Introduction | University of Oxford
Interior of the Divinity School
Interior of the Divinity School
(Image credit: Ahmad El Naggar / Graduate Photography Competition)


Oxford aims to deliver an exceptional education, to carry out world-leading research, and to make significant and lasting contributions to society – regionally, nationally, and globally.

The University of Oxford has an outstanding global reputation for its teaching, research and contributions to society. We combine rich history and tradition with the innovative and forward-thinking approach of a modern university. 

A world-class university

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020 rank Oxford as the best university in the world for the fourth year running.

Oxford was also ranked first in the THE's subject rankings for social sciences, medicine and health, computer science and engineering and technology, and top 5 in the world for all other subjects. Oxford's medical and health teaching and research have been ranked best in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

The QS World University Rankings 2020 place Oxford as the fourth best university in the world, and the best university in Europe. Oxford also ranked first in the global subject rankings for arts and humanities, and top five for natural sciences, life sciences and medicine, and social sciences and management.

Graduate study at Oxford

There are over 11,000 graduate students at Oxford, almost half of the University’s student body. Graduate students are key to our academic community, and join our world-leading academics in tackling the most important questions we face today.

Key facts (2019)

  • 350+ graduate courses
  • 4 academic divisions, plus the Department of Continuing Education
  • 70+ departments
  • 44 colleges and halls
  • Around 5,400 places for students applying in 2019-20

We welcome applications from students of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.

Admission to graduate study at Oxford is very competitive. Requirements vary between programmes, but in general our academic departments look for students with the ability, enthusiasm, curiosity and commitment needed to pursue higher-level study here.

We have high expectations of our graduate students, and we aim to provide a supportive and stimulating environment in which you can reach your full potential. This includes cutting-edge research facilities and unrivalled resources across the disciplines, as well as personal and welfare support, academic guidance and a sense of community throughout your time here. 

If you're thinking about applying for graduate study, you can find out more about our welcoming community, world-leading research, outstanding resources, and how a graduate degree from Oxford can help you prepare for your future.

Was this page useful?*