For families | University of Oxford

For families

When it comes to deciding what to do after school, everyone benefits from the support of the family and friends who know them best. Having said that, it's not always easy to know how to help, so we want to make sure you have to hand the information you might need. Here you will find a brief insight into student life at Oxford, plus our top tips on the admissions process. We explain why we believe university might be the right next step for your child and why Oxford might be a good fit. There's advice on how students should set about choosing what to study, preparing for university and how to put in a strong application. We want you to know that students are in safe hands at Oxford and how seriously we take their wellbeing, so there's information on the support we offer. We also understand that you need to be clear on how costs will be covered, and to be reassured that our financial support for UK students is some of the most generous offered by any university. 

More detailed information about undergraduate life at Oxford and our admissions process can be found throughout our website and on the UCAS website, so please do explore further.

You are also warmly invited to accompany your child to one of our Open Days, where there are specific events for parents and carers, as well as other opportunities open to all.

Most Popular Questions 

Will extra-curricular activities enhance my child’s application?

There’s a myth that Oxford is looking for the most well-rounded applicants, with a long list of varied extra-curricular activities. In fact, extra-curricular activities are only helpful in so far as they demonstrate the selection criteria for your child’s chosen course. 

Your child can find more advice on writing their personal statement on our UCAS application page.

Is there a minimum GCSE requirement?

There is no minimum GCSE requirement for any of our courses. Higher grades at GCSE can help to make an application more competitive, but they are just one aspect that we look at, and where possible they will be considered in context. See further advice on GCSE consideration.

Does Oxford accept home educated students?

Yes, Oxford University welcomes applications from home educated students. Your child will still need to meet our entrance requirements for their application to be considered, and so would need to be taking A-levels or another accepted equivalent. See further advice for home educated applicants.

Does Oxford prefer students to take four A-levels?

Not necessarily; three A-levels is absolutely sufficient to make a competitive application. A candidate who has had time to read around their chosen subject(s) will generally be more appealing than a candidate who may have taken more subjects, but who is not able to discuss their interests with any enthusiasm or in any depth. See further advice on taking additional A-levels.