Visiting Students

If you are a student from overseas and wish to spend up to one year in Oxford on an undergraduate course, you can apply to a college for a place as a registered Visiting Student.

This page was last updated in March 2023. We hope to share updated information for Visiting Students soon. 

As an undergraduate registered Visiting Student you become a member of an Oxford college, and it is the college that will arrange for your tuition.

How do I apply?

Your starting point should be the Study Abroad Office at your home institution. If there are any links to particular Oxford colleges you should apply through the scheme already in place. If not, please see the details below. For more information about individual colleges, please see the college pages or our guidance on how to choose a college.

Further information

If you have any further questions about applying for a place as a Visiting Student, please contact the college you would like to apply to. Find out Which colleges accept Visiting Students?

What do Visiting Students study?

Undergraduate Visiting Students typically study topics which form part of the courses that are available to Oxford undergraduates. It is not usually possible for Visiting Students to take a subject in which they have no university-level experience.

What subjects are available to undergraduate Visiting Students?

In principle Visiting Students may study any course from the undergraduate courses available, except Fine Art and Medicine.

It is not possible to study Medicine as a Visiting Student, but the University runs an Elective Programme, whereby Clinical Medicine students may apply for placements in local hospitals alongside Oxford students. Please see the Medical School website for further information.

Oxford does not work on a credit system, so it is not possible for students to build up' a composite programme of study from many different subject areas. Most successful applicants are admitted for specific degree programmes; it is then up to the home university to assess their worth in terms of credit at the home institution.

It is occasionally possible, however, for undergraduate Visiting Students to study elements of different courses, if the accepting college has this teaching provision available.

It is also possible for undergraduate Visiting Students to study one element of a joint course - for example, Politics or Economics (which are not offered as single degree subjects to applicants for a full degree).

What Visiting Student options are there for graduates?

If you are a graduate student interested in attending Oxford as a visitor for a period of study there are two possible options available to you:

1. Following the curriculum of an undergraduate course and applying to a college as a regular registered visiting student. Students who are graduates at their home institution but who wish to follow an undergraduate course as a Visiting Student should check with their college of choice to see if this is permitted.

2. To undertake a period of research under a supervisor as a Recognised Student. Read more information about this status. More information on colleges and subject areas can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.

Please note that there are no taught graduate courses available to graduate visiting students. 

What are the entry criteria?

Each individual application is judged on its own merits, taking into account a range of factors, including:-

  • academic achievement at the home institution
  • any relevant pre-university qualifications
  • relevant written work
  • strength of academic references and personal statement
  • suitability for study at Oxford
  • correlation between the course at Oxford and the curriculum at the home institution

Applicants should be of similar academic standard to full-degree students. As a guide, successful students will usually have GPA of at least 3.7 on a 4.0 scale (for North American students), or a level of achievement at university equivalent to a strong 2:1 UK degree classification (for students whose university courses are graded differently). Each application will be considered according to all the information available and in comparison with other applications. Extra-curricular activities are not taken into account.

Visiting students will also be required to meet the relevant English Language requirements for undergraduate students.

Can I study for less than the full academic year?

The academic year at Oxford consists of three eight-week terms: early October to early December (Michaelmas term); mid-January to mid-March (Hilary term); and mid-April to mid-June (Trinity term). Visiting students attending for less than a full academic year are often expected to attend an additional period of academic induction before the start of their first term.

Candidates should note that not all colleges will accept students wishing to study for less than a full academic year.

What qualification am I awarded as a Visiting Student?

Oxford does not award a degree or any other qualification for a period of study as a Visiting Student, but colleges are willing to provide a record of study undertaken, for example for credit purposes at the home university. If necessary (e.g. for an employer) the University would be able to confirm that you were listed on the register as a Visiting Student. 

Can I transfer from being a Visiting Student to being a full undergraduate or graduate student?

No. The Visiting Student status can be held for a maximum of three consecutive terms, not overlapping separate academic years. If at the end of this period you then wish to become a full-degree student at Oxford, you will have to apply via the standard application route for undergraduate applications or for graduate applications.

How much does it cost to be a Visiting Student?

The University tuition fees for Visiting Students are the same, regardless of nationality or residence. The amount payable is dependent on subject and period of study.

Students who are visiting for less than one year pay the appropriate proportion of the relevant fee rate (e.g. one third of the yearly rate for one term). In the case of a student studying across different subject areas, the appropriate fee rate is that which applies for the larger proportion of their studies.

In addition, all students must pay a college fee, which varies from college to college.

You should also consider your living costs.

Candidates should contact colleges of their choice direct for information about the level of fee applicable for their residence in Oxford and proposed course of study.