Merton College
Merton College Quad.

Merton College

About the college

Merton is one of the oldest and most beautiful colleges in Oxford with medieval and 17th-century buildings – including our 13th-century chapel – and glorious, extensive gardens protected by the city wall. Modern facilities include a lecture theatre and five new music practice rooms.

Students at Merton College

Ours is a close-knit community with a friendly and stimulating atmosphere, superb educational and welfare support, and a well-earned reputation for academic excellence and success. We have a strong ethos of widening participation and are keen to attract talented applicants, whatever their background.

View our short video to hear our students’ views about what it’s like to live and study at Merton. You can also find further insights into life at Merton in the Alternative Prospectus, and via the Merton JCR Access Instagram account.

Undergraduates can live in college-owned accommodation for their whole course. Many rooms are ensuite, and two are fully accessible for students with disabilities. Merton’s hall food is among the tastiest and best value in the University, charged on a pay-as-you-go basis. Student kitchens are also provided.

Numerous extra-curricular and subject opportunities are available for Merton students, including a wide range of societies, sports, music, and diverse reading groups.

Merton offers generous financial support including grants for buying books, language learning, academic prizes, course-related expenses and projects, and travel.

Notable alumni from Merton include the current Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Irene Tracey, as well as famous writers such as T.S. Eliot and JRR Tolkien. Several Nobel laureates in the sciences are also alumni of Merton, including Anthony Leggett and Nikolaas Tinbergen.

Read more on the college website.

Merton is...

'…a pretty place, but it is made by the people – the thriving, friendly and supportive community is what sets us apart.'

'…where I’ve found friends for life.'

'...such a friendly place…it is a really inclusive and welcoming community.'

'…an inclusive community with the perfect balance of fun and academia.'

'…a wonderfully welcoming place, with a thriving LGBTQ+ community.'

'…such a mix of people from different backgrounds and who have different interests…you will find people who are like you.'

'…full of amazing opportunities you didn’t even know you needed!'


College facilities

Visit our College Facilities Table to compare facilities across different colleges.

College accommodation


College availability

All first years on siteYes
Usually offered for all yearsYes
Usually offered for three yearsNot applicable
Usually offered for first year and one other yearNot applicable
Some vacation storage for international studentsYes


Catering type

College availability

Dining hallYes



College availability

Gym on siteYes
Library open 24/7No
Computer rooms/stationsYes
Wi-Fi throughout collegeYes
Music roomYes
Theatre/performance spaceYes
Multi-faith prayer roomYes

Clubs and societies

Club / society

College availability

Music societyYes
Dramatic societyYes
College student magazine/paperYes
Some subject societiesYes
Other societiesYes

Link areas

In order to ensure that all areas of the UK are fully supported by the University of Oxford, our colleges are working together to establish Oxford for UK, a series of regional outreach programmes offering tailored and local support to students of mixed ages, their parents and teachers.

Getting in touch with the college linked to your region has no influence on your chances of being accepted to this or any other particular college. You are also very welcome to get in touch with any other college for advice about applying or studying here.

Merton College is part of Oxford for South West.

Link Local Authorities

Bath and North East Somerset


Access and Outreach at Merton
Schools Liaison & Access Officer: Laura Cox

 +44 (0) 1865 286343

Postal address:
Merton College
Merton Street, Oxford OX1 4JD