The riverside at St Hilda's College
St Hilda's College
(Image credit: St Hilda's College).

St Hilda's College

About the college

There are a number of reasons to choose St Hilda’s as a graduate student: its commitment to excellence and equality, its beautiful riverside setting, its relaxed and friendly environment and the wide range of scholarships, grants and facilities available to its graduates.

The setting

St Hilda’s has one of the most beautiful settings in Oxford. The buildings and gardens stretch along the banks of the River Cherwell which flows under nearby Magdalen Bridge. From the lawns, you can enjoy one of the best views of Oxford’s dreaming spires. The college is just off Oxford’s busy High Street, close to the University Examination Schools, with the Bodleian Library, museums, laboratories and departments just a short way beyond this. St Hilda’s is also two minutes from East Oxford, famed for its vibrant mix of independent shops, world cuisine restaurants, cafés and bars. 

The support

St Hilda’s has very generous financial and other support for students. The college’s focus is on providing an environment where everyone can succeed, helping not only with academic needs but also support if problems arise. The college can offer a number of fully-funded Clarendon-linked scholarships as well as direct awards for subjects in the social sciences for graduate study. In addition, the college's study and travel grant support for graduate students is extensive. A wide range of networks set up by former students help encourage and mentor the college's graduates into their careers.

The distinctiveness

St Hilda’s has many distinctive characteristics that make it a unique and remarkable college. The college is committed to excellence and equality and values the essential Oxford traditions of scholarship and learning, but is also able to provide students with a relaxed and accessible environment in which to live and study. 

The college is set in four acres of informal landscape gardens; this tranquil setting has many lawns that students can enjoy freely as well as river punts to borrow. St Hilda's is also the only college with circular tables in its dining hall, enabling friendly and informal mealtime gatherings. All these elements exemplify the distinctive approach of St Hilda’s, which with its dynamic community of fellows, staff and students, makes it an inspiring and vibrant college.

The academic environment

All colleges provide an interdisciplinary community for the discussion of ideas outside individual areas of study – which can spark many new approaches to research. At St Hilda’s, the college and its Middle Common Room (MCR) see this as an essential task in supporting graduate students. The MCR provides a large, and growing, range of events, conferences and workshops bringing together graduate students, early career academics and senior fellows.

Accommodation and meals

All first year graduates can apply for accommodation, which is subject to availability and operates on a first-come-first-served basis. There are a limited number of rooms available for second- and third-year graduates.

The college’s range of well-equipped graduate housing is located in East Oxford near the Cowley Road.

Library and IT services

The library boasts seven reading rooms over three floors, with seating for 158 readers; the library collection is one of the most extensive of all Oxford Colleges. The galleried main reading room, dating from 1935, looks out over the River Cherwell and the ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford.

The library has a small rare book collection as well as special collections in law and medieval history. Together with the college archive, the rare books are kept in a state-of-the-art archive store, where temperature and humidity levels are closely controlled. 

Internet access is provided free of charge in all student rooms and other areas within the college.

Sport, music and college facilities

The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building situated on the college site offers St Hilda’s students outstanding practice and performing facilities, as well as being the venue for prestigious concerts, recording sessions, and community music events. The Director of College Music helps students organise musical events and recital series, and conducts one of the student choirs.

The college has an on-site gym and facilities for association football, lawn tennis, and rugby. In recent years, St Hilda’s has had successes in a variety of sports, including rowing, netball, rugby, and football. St Hilda’s is also the closest Oxford college to the Oxford University Sports complex on Iffley Road, where facilities include a power-lifting gym, rowing tank, Olympic-sized swimming pool, and running track. The sports complex offers St Hilda's students a fantastic discounted annual membership.

Facilities for students with disabilities

St Hilda’s College welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The college has adapted rooms for students with mobility requirements, and the library has full disabled access. Candidates who are considering an application are advised to contact the college to discuss their requirements in confidence. The college has a Disability Fellow, a senior member of college who is there to offer practical help and support. Arrangements for assistance can be made on an individual basis, and the college aims to respond to the needs and requirements of all students.


St Hilda's Middle Common Room (MCR) is a lively community and is the place to make friendships, share ideas and have a great social life outside the limits of your own department or faculty. Our new front-of-house development providing  an improved MCR space for graduate students, which overlooks the river and makes the most of our beautiful setting, opened in September 2020. 


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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