Hertford College | University of Oxford
New College Lane and the Bridge of Sighs at night
Hertford College's Bridge of Sighs
(Image credit: Edmund Block)

Hertford College

About the college

Hertford is known for its friendly atmosphere, welcoming students from around the world to engage in a wide range of academic research areas. The college values its informal, progressive climate, which is key in fostering positive working relationships  between students, tutors and peers. It’s a college which is small enough to be friendly and offer a personalised experience, while being large enough have a diverse student community. 

Hertford’s central position in Oxford is within easy reach of all the University’s faculties, departments and libraries, with plenty of shops, cafes and bars just a stone’s throw away. The Bodleian Library is directly opposite the main entrance and many of the science laboratories are no more than a ten-minute walk away.

The rooms set aside for graduates (the Middle Common Room, or MCR) are located in the historic Octagon, one of the most distinctive spaces in the college which was built as part of the medieval city wall and served as a chapel in the 16th century.

All Hertford graduate students benefit from having a personal College Advisor whose academic interests are related to the student’s own research area.

Accommodation and meals

Graduate students are accommodated in college-owned houses in three popular areas of north Oxford – Jericho, Park Town and Summertown – all of which are within a short distance of the main college site and can be easily accessed by foot, bicycle or public transport. The townhouses provide both single and couples’ accommodation, with modern kitchens and bathrooms.

Hertford houses around 45% of its graduate population and offers accommodation to the great majority of its students in their first year of graduate study. The college's allocation policy gives priority to incoming graduates who have disabilities or other special requirements or who are new to the UK. Rooms are allocated, month by month, from March until July. Graduates interested in college accommodation for subsequent years are entered in a ballot run by the MCR.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available on weekdays in and out of term on a ‘pay as you go’ basis (there is no kitchen charge). At weekends, the college only serves brunch, but there is a regular formal dinner on Sunday evenings. Graduates can eat in Hall, on the main college site, or at Warnock House in south Oxford.. They can also sign up to attend the candle-lit formal hall – held twice a week during term – when students dress smartly and are expected to wear gowns.

Further information on accommodation at Hertford College is available on the college website.

Library and IT services

The college library is open 24/7, operating on a self-service basis. Across three floors, the library offers study spaces, excellent wifi access and a computer room.

The Middle Common Room (MCR) Computer Room has a variety of computer and printing facilities exclusively for graduate use.  

Sport, music and college facilities

Graduate students enjoy access to a wide range of intellectual, musical and sporting activities. The college’s sports ground provides rugby, cricket, soccer and hockey pitches as well as squash courts and grass tennis courts. The college also has its own boathouse and Boat Club, as well as an on-site gym which is free for students to use. 

The Hertford College Music Society is one of the University's largest student-run music societies, with several ensembles including an orchestra and jazz band, as well as a traditional chapel choir which is inclusive to all and sings once a week during term.

Facilities for students with disabilities

Hertford welcomes students with disabilities and benefits from the expertise of an academic Disability Lead, Welfare & Wellbeing Coordinator and Tutor for Equality & Diversity. Although the college does not have any dedicated graduate accommodation which is accessible, arrangements may be able to be made for individuals. While there is a ramp into the library and height-adjustable desks, the Hall is currently accessible only by a flight of stairs. 


Nestled in the heart of Oxford, the Hertford Middle Common Room (MCR) provides a home for all of those who study for advanced degrees as members of Hertford College.

At Oxford, the term ‘common room’ refers to both a group of students and the premises in which they meet and socialise. As an association of graduate students, the Hertford MCR constitutes a warm and friendly graduate community. It has a very high standard of amenities for its graduates, making it a welcoming home away from home with a wide range of academic and social activities to get involved in.


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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