A quad in University College on a sunny day
Main quadrangle, University College.
(Image credit: Rob Judges Photography / Oxford University Images).

University College

About the college

University College ('Univ') is very proud of its graduate community. The college's graduates are high achievers and many secure highly competitive studentships. They are internationally diverse and make up a large section of the student body.

Though having a claim to be Oxford’s oldest college (endowed in 1249), University College strives to be forward thinking in aspiration and modern in outlook. It combines academic excellence with an atmosphere that is friendly, relaxed and welcoming.

The college's students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and from over 35 different countries. As a graduate student at Univ, you will be able to participate in a wide range of intellectual, social and sporting activities.

The college has made funding for graduates a priority and offers a large and increasing number of competitively awarded financial packages each year, as well as book, travel and conference grants available to all graduate students.

Distinguished alumni of Univ include:

  • physicist Stephen Hawking
  • politicians Bill Clinton, Festus Mogae, Clement Attlee, Bob Hawke and Kofe Abrefa Busia
  • literary figures VS Naipaul and Andrew Motion
  • sports personalities Roz Savage and Acer Nethercott
  • media figures Christina Lamb and Armando Iannucci.


College facilities

Library and IT services

Both of University College's well-stocked and comfortable libraries are open 24 hours a day for most of the year, with professional staff on hand to help during office hours. Book suggestions from graduate students are encouraged; a dedicated budget allows us to buy books which are in high demand or unavailable elsewhere. As well as two large, quiet reading rooms the college offers a law library and two rooms that can be booked for group study.

There are excellent computing facilities including PCs and printers at various locations throughout the main site and the North Oxford site and dedicated IT support to ensure facilities are constantly updated and functioning smoothly.

WiFi is available on the main site, the North Oxford site and at the Boathouse.

Sport, music and college facilities

There is a college sports ground on the Abingdon Road catering for traditional field sports, an award-winning boathouse - including a dedicated ergo gym for rowers - and a squash court on the main college site. Students may use the University's sports centre and swimming pool free of charge.

The college has music practice rooms, a beautiful 17th century chapel, accomplished choir and an active music society.

The college offers its graduate students opportunities to participate in research presentations.

Facilities for disabled students

There are four adapted rooms - three on the main site and one in the Staverton Road complex. Limited parking is available on the Staverton Road complex, though there is currently no parking on the main site.

University College is an extensive site with many accessible facilities; however, some areas are not fully accessible. The college will put in to place measures to bring services to you if you cannot access them. 

Further information on accessibility at Univ is available on the college website. Please feel free to contact the college about any accessibility requirements.


The graduate common room, equivalent to the MCR in other colleges, is known as the Weir Common Room (WCR). The WCR is on the main site and offers a meeting place and college base that is managed by and for graduate students.

There is a comfortable area for social gatherings or for simply catching up on the newspapers, as well as a kitchen and a TV room.

Accommodation and meals


The college is usually able to offer accommodation to all first-year graduates, but this is not guaranteed. Most graduate accommodation is located on the main college site. Additional accommodation is available in a modern accommodation centre in North Oxford, twenty minutes’ walk from the college, with lovely gardens. Some of the college's second-year single graduates also live on this site. The accommodation in North Oxford is close to the excellent shops, cafés and restaurants of Summertown.

A few rooms are available at the Boathouse, all en-suite, with a shared kitchen/common room. Some accommodation may be offered close to the hospitals and medical sciences departments in Headington.


Meals are offered in the main college site each day during term, and throughout much of the vacation, via both informal self-service and served dinners; graduate guest nights are regular events and always a sell-out. All meals are optional and offered on a pay as you eat basis. All graduate accommodation has self-catering provision so that people can cook for themselves or with friends.

Further information on accommodation and meals at University College is available on the college website.



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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