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 College Students eating in the dining hall.
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 (one is a fully adapted suite with adjacent carer room). 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. Five music practice rooms 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 grants for buying books, language learning, course-related research expenses and travel with educational benefit.

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

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