Merton College | University of Oxford
Merton College
Merton College
(Image credit: Rob Judges Photography / Oxford University Images).

Merton College

Merton is one of the oldest and most beautiful colleges in Oxford with medieval and 17th-century buildings and a fine garden protected by the city wall. Merton has a strong sense of community with a lively and stimulating atmosphere. As with other colleges, we have a strong ethos of widening participation and are keen to attract talented applicants, whatever their background.


Merton CollegeStudents in the grounds of Merton College.

(Credit: John Cairns)

Merton overlooks meadows stretching down to the River Thames, yet it is in a quiet cobbled street just off the High Street, close to the University libraries, lecture rooms and departments. The Holywell Street annexe is within a few minutes of the Science Area.

Accommodation and meals

Undergraduates can live in college-owned accommodation for their whole course, whether for three or four years. First years live in houses on Merton Street or on the main college precinct, while second years live in college-owned houses in Holywell Street, just 7 minutes from Merton Street; final years generally live on the main site. Many rooms have a private shower or bath, and two rooms are accessible for students with disabilities. All accommodation has Ethernet and Wi-Fi access.

Merton’s hall food is among the tastiest and best value in the University and is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis. There are student kitchens on the main site and in each of the properties on Holywell Street. We are happy to discuss any particular access or dietary requirements.

Read more on the college website.


Students have a choice of workspace in the college – the well-stocked lending library, which contains 80,000 volumes, and a separate reference library. The medieval Old Library houses a significant collection of early books and is the oldest library in Britain in daily use.

Merton’s facilities include a TV room, bar and laundry. The college gym is on the main site, while a boathouse and sports ground (with playing fields, pavilion and tennis and squash courts) are nearby. There is an active Junior Common Room (JCR) which organises social events. The magnificent chapel holds regular services and is also used for concerts and plays. A music practice room and the state-of-the-art TS Eliot Lecture Theatre can be booked by students.

Merton is also able to provide generous financial support in the form of various grants to assist in purchasing books, travel in connection with study, etc.

Student societies

There are plenty of opportunities for students to pursue their interests, including drama, debating and art as well as a wide range of sports. The chapel choir has a strong reputation, and a number of choral scholarships are available, while other choirs and bands cater for wider musical interests. For more information, see

Academic staff

Biological Sciences

Professor Tim Guilford*
Dr Bridget Penman*
Dr Craig MacLean* 


Professor Tim Softley*
Professor Veronique Gouverneur*
Dr Michael Laidlaw
Dr Christopher Rodgers
Dr Christopher Rennick


Dr Rhiannon Ash*
Dr Guy Westwood
Dr Mary Whitby
Fra Sam Eidinow


Professor Luke Ong*
Dr Michael vanden Boom 


Dr Bassel Tarbush*
Dr Michalis Rousakis 


Professor Richard McCabe*
Dr Michael Whitworth*
Dr Aisling Byrne*


Dr Ian Maclachlan*
Mrs Renée Williams


Dr David Groiser

History, Ancient

Dr Jonathan Prag*

History, Modern

Dr Steven Gunn*
Dr Matthew Grimley*
Dr Micah Muscolino


Professor Guido Bonsaver


Ms Mindy Chen-Wishart* 
Professor Jennifer Payne*
Mr Kelry Loi

Management Studies

Dr Kathryn Blackmon*


Professor Alexander Scott* 
Professor Minhyong Kim*
Dr Radek Erban*


Professor David Paterson*
Professor Andrew King
Professor Robert MacLaren
Dr Julian Knight
Professor Nicole Zitzmann*


Dr Daniel Grimley*
Mr Ben Nicholas


Dr Ralf Bader*
Professor Simon Saunders*


Professor Simon Hooker*
Dr Alan Barr*
Dr Alexander Schekochihin*
Professor James Binney* 
Professor Christopher Ramsey


Dr Patricia Thornton*
Dr Sergi Pardos-Prado*


Dr Catriona Kelly


Dr Jonathan Thacker*

Student welfare


The Revd Dr Simon Jones*

Principal of Postmasters (Dean)

Dr Jonathan Thacker*

Junior Members: Adviser to Women

Dr Rhiannon Ash* 

Deputy Principal of Postmasters (Junior Dean):

Mr Cristian Regep

Welfare Dean

Mr Dustin Stuart
Ms Elizabeth Perry 

*Fellow of the college