Blackfriars College building behind a tree
Entrance to Blackfriars
(Image Credit: Fr Lawrence Lew OP)


About the college

Blackfriars Hall has been a centre of scholarly excellence for over 800 years, and is heir to one of Oxford's oldest academic traditions. The first Dominicans arrived in Oxford in 1221, shortly after the foundation of the Order, at the direct instructions of St Dominic. 

Suppressed at the Reformation, Blackfriars was re-founded in 1921, and became a Permanent Private Hall in 1994. It comes under the umbrella of the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans, a Roman Catholic religious order.  Blackfriars welcomes students of all faiths or none, and flourishes as a space for intellectual and social debate and discussion.

Located in the heart of the city, Blackfriars is a small and welcoming academic community for graduate students. We accept graduate students in all Humanities subjects and in many Social Science subjects, and are particularly keen to attract students whose work engages in any aspect of our two research centres, the Aquinas Institute and the Las Casas Institute for Social Justice. Blackfriars' graduate intake is among the smallest in the University, offering students a close and supportive engagement with the Fellows, tutors and staff.

College facilities

Library and IT services

The Hall's library of over 35,000 volumes specialises in theology and philosophy and takes a number of periodicals that are not readily available elsewhere in Oxford. There is a strong holding in Patristic literature, scripture, and books and journals on the thought of St Thomas Aquinas.

A computer catalogue allows one-stop searches for works both in the Blackfriars library and in the libraries of the central University, including the Bodleian. There are computers linked to the electronic databases and resources of Blackfriars and the University, and wireless internet access.

Wi-Fi access is also provided in the MCR and teaching rooms. A computer suite provides printers and PCs for student use, with additional terminals in the library.

Sport, music and college facilities

Students, Fellows and staff organise frequent social events. Highlights in Blackfriars’ social calendar include the informal Pizza and Wine Seminars, end-of-term parties, Formal Hall dinners and a summer garden party. Students regularly combine with members of other colleges for sporting activities, and a grant is available towards the cost of university gym facilities and cycle safety.

Facilities for disabled students

There is wheelchair access to the Middle Common Room (MCR), lecture room, tutorial rooms and the ground floor of the library. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Senior Tutor directly to discuss any specific needs.


Graduate students are members of the Middle Common Room (MCR). The MCR organises regular meals and social events and holds informal social evenings every week.

Accommodation and meals


Blackfriars Hall provides high-quality, good size rooms for around a third of our graduate students who request them. These are all within walking distance of the Blackfriars site. One room is particularly suitable for a student requiring accessible accommodation. However, please contact the Senior Tutor about any accessibility arrangements you may require before applying to the college.

The accommodation is ideally located in a well-lit street right in the heart of the city, close to the main sights and attractions, and convenient for University facilities, rail and bus stations. However, it is away from the main bustle and city noise: perfect for balancing the need for study and recreation.

All study bedrooms are equipped with network connections and WiFi access, and are available throughout the Christmas and Easter vacations. Rooms are allocated according to Bursary guidelines.

Further information about accommodation at Blackfriars is available on the hall website.


The accommodation provided by Blackfriars Hall has self-catering facilities. Arrangements can be made for students of Blackfriars to dine at other colleges, subject to their agreement and charges. During term, up to three Formal Halls are offered free of charge.


This college accepts graduate students for the following courses:

Please note that not all subjects areas or streams of a particular course may be offered by this college. Please see the college information on the relevant course page for further details. For a comprehensive list of all graduate courses available at the University of Oxford, please refer to our courses A-Z listing


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