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Visiting Students

International 1If you are a student from overseas (in most cases countries outside the EU) and wish to spend up to one year in Oxford on an undergraduate course related to a degree in your own country, you can apply to a college for a place as a Visiting Student.

As an undergraduate Visiting Student you become a member of an Oxford college, and it is the college that will arrange for your tuition. Oxford does not award a degree or any other qualification for one year of study as a Visiting Student, but colleges are willing to provide a record of achievement, for example for credit purposes at the home institution.

Graduate Visiting Students spend their time in an area of research with an Oxford tutor; consequently graduate applicants are strongly encouraged to make contact with tutors who share similar interests in advance of making an application.

How do I apply? 

You should first check with your home institution whether they have any links to particular Oxford colleges. If so, you should apply through the scheme already in place. If your home institution does not have any links to particular Oxford colleges, please see the details below. For more information about individual colleges, please see the college pages or our guidance on on  how to choose a college.

Further information

If you have any further questions about applying for a place as a Visiting Student, please contact the college you would like to apply to. See:  Which colleges accept Visiting Students?


What do Visiting Students study?

Undergraduate Visiting Students typically take the same courses that are available to Oxford undergraduates. Depending on the subject, the topics offered will usually be from the first or second year of the undergraduate curriculum.

It is not usually possible for Visiting Students to take a subject unrelated to the course at the home university or a subject in which they have no university-level experience.

What subjects are available to undergraduate Visiting Students?

Visiting Students may study any course from the undergraduate courses available, except Fine Art and Medicine.

It is not possible to study Medicine as a Visiting Student, but the University runs an Elective Programme, whereby Clinical Medicine students may apply for placements in local hospitals alongside Oxford students. Please see the Medical School website for further information.

Oxford does not work on a credit system, so it is not possible for students to 'build up' a composite programme of study from many different subject areas. Most successful applicants are admitted for specific degree programmes; it is then up to the home university to assess their worth in terms of credit at the home institution.

It is occasionally possible, however, for undergraduate Visiting Students to study elements of different courses, if the accepting college has this teaching provision available.

It is also possible for undergraduate Visiting Students to study one element of a joint course - for example, Politics or Economics (which are not offered as single degree subjects to applicants for a full degree).

What Visiting Student options are there for Graduates?

There are no taught graduate courses available to Graduate Visiting Students; the two options available are (1) research under a supervisor or (2) following the curriculum of an undergraduate course.

Applicants for graduate research as a Visiting Student are normally supervised by a Fellow or tutor of the accepting college or PPH. Such applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a Fellow or tutor with similar academic interests in advance of submitting an application.

More information on colleges and subject areas can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.

Students who are graduates at their home institution but who wish to follow an undergraduate course as a Visiting Student should check with their college of choice to see if this is permitted.

What are the entry criteria?

Each individual application is judged on its own merits, taking into account a range of factors, including:-

  • academic achievement at the home institution
  • any relevant pre-university qualifications
  • strength of academic references and personal statement
  • suitability for study at Oxford
  • correlation between the course at Oxford and the curriculum at the home institution

Applicants should be of similar academic standard to full degree students. As a guide, successful students will typically have GPA of at least 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (for North American students), or a level of achievement at university equivalent to a 2:1 UK degree classification (for students whose university courses are graded differently). There is no minimum qualification, however, since each application will be considered according to all the information available and in comparison with other applications. Extra-curricular activities are not taken into account.

Applications for Graduate Visiting Student status will be judged mainly on how closely the proposed research area matches the interests of the tutor.

Please also see the English Language requirements for undergraduate students or graduate students

Can I study for less than the full academic year?

The academic year at Oxford consists of three eight-week terms: early October to early December (Michaelmas Term); mid-January to mid-March (Hilary Term); mid-April to mid-June (Trinity Term).

Candidates should note that applications for a full academic year are far more likely to be successful: it is easier for colleges to arrange tuition for a full year, and since not many offer this option, those which do are likely to attract larger numbers of applications.

What qualification am I awarded as a Visiting Student?

Oxford does not award a degree or any other qualification for a period of study as a Visiting Student, but colleges are willing to provide a record of achievement, for example for credit purposes at the home university. 

Can I transfer from being a Visiting Student to being a full undergraduate or graduate student?

No. The Visiting Student status can be held for a maximum of three consecutive terms, not overlapping separate academic years. If at the end of this period you then wish to become a full degree student at Oxford, you will have to apply via the standard application route for undergraduate applications or for graduate applications.

How much does it cost to be a Visiting Student?

The University tuition fees for Visiting Students are the same regardless of nationality or residence. The amount payable is dependent on subject and period of study.

Click here for details of the University tuition fees for Visiting Students.

Students who are visiting for less than one year pay the appropriate proportion of the relevant fee rate (e.g., one third of the yearly rate for one term). In the case of a student studying across subject areas, the appropriate fee rate is that which applies for the larger proportion of their studies.

In addition, all students must pay a college fee, which varies from college to college. You should also consider your living costs.

Candidates should contact colleges of their choice direct for information about the level of fee applicable for their residence in Oxford and proposed course of study. Applicants from the EU should also note that they can no longer have any of their tuition fees reimbursed from British government funds.

Scholarships for Visiting Students are very limited. For information on what is available, please see the International students homepage.