Trees and the library at Somerville
Somerville College.
(Image credit: Greg Smolonski).

Somerville College

About the college

Somerville has a diverse and lively graduate community, reading for a wide variety of disciplines.

The college provides a friendly environment for its students to meet and swap ideas with like-minded academics and where they can benefit from Oxford's world-class graduate training. A relaxed and friendly college, Somerville is free of religious affiliation, with students coming from many different cultural backgrounds.

The social centre of graduate life at Somerville is Margery Fry House, a building on the college site which is partly managed by students themselves and reserved for graduate-only use. This is the home of the Middle Common Room (MCR), which organises numerous social activities throughout the year.

College tour

College facilities

Library and IT services

The 24-hour access library stocks more than 120,000 volumes and offers unlimited book borrowing, with a loan period of one term or one vacation period. The library has strong research holdings across the humanities, multiple copies of science textbooks and special collections, including the library of John Stuart Mill. The librarian offers one-to-one orientation sessions with all new graduate students during the first two weeks of their first term.

Wi-Fi access is available in the library and throughout the college site. The library and computer rooms are equipped with scanning and printing facilities. There is an IT help desk available to handle student and staff queries and problems (including emergency laptop loans).

The Dorothy Hodgkin Quad music room offers access to Sibelius music software, and the college offers laptops and digital camera for loan to students.

Sport, music and college facilities

Somerville College now has a study/reading room in the Catherine Hughes building for graduate use only.

The college has an on-site gym and croquet lawn, off-site shared sports facilities and numerous college sports clubs.

Music practice rooms, an organ and pianos support musicians at the college, including the music society and chapel choir. There is also a drama society, law, history, and medics’ societies.

The college's non-consecrated chapel is open to all faiths.

There is a college nurse with a treatment room on site available by appointment and via open door sessions.

Facilities for disabled students

Although bedrooms in most of the college's accommodation are not suitable for wheelchair users, wheelchair-accessible bedrooms are available on the college site.

The dining hall and Terrace Bar have lift access. The library, function rooms and chapel are on the ground floor and have level access, although they may not have automatic opening doors. The MCR is accessed via the lift to the Terrace Bar and via several small steps, so as such it is not wheelchair-accessible.

Somerville College will consider requests for other adaptations. Please contact the Disability Coordinator, Jo Ockwell, to discuss requirements. 


The Somerville Middle Common Room (MCR) is located in the primary graduate accommodation hub of Margery Fry House and net to the Terrace Bar and outdoor seating area. There are twice-termly MCR/SCR symposia with dinner and an annual MCR dinner with supervisors and college advisers.

The common room space provides a communal kitchen, lounge area, a quiet study area, small computer room and a room available for graduates to tutor in.

Accommodation and meals


Most of the college's graduate accommodation is within the college site or very close by. The main graduate building on site is Margery Fry House. The college also has a graduate house within 10 minutes’ walking distance on Woodstock Road and has the use of a number of houses in St Giles Terrace and a number of rooms in Wellington Square for graduate accommodation, all immediately opposite an entrance to the college.

The college can accommodate more than half of its graduate students in their first year and rooms are allocated on a first- come, first-served basis with a waiting list normally operating for later applications. Accommodation after the first year is subject to availability.

Somerville has single rooms only with shared facilities. We also have a small number of rooms which can be adapted for those with a wide range of disabilities. The college has a nursery onsite available to student and staff members with young children.

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


Three meals a day are available in the college's dining hall from Monday through to Friday with brunch and dinner available on weekends, and Formal Hall is held six times per term. The Terrace Café/Bar is open seven days a week serving a range of snacks and drinks during term time.

During the vacation there are no weekend or evening meals available. All graduate accommodation buildings and the Middle Common Room (MCR) also provide communal kitchens.  

The accommodation charge does not include meals. The dining hall and Terrace Bar are both accessible by lift as well as via the main stairs.


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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