The grounds of Somerville College
The grounds of Somerville College.

Somerville College

About the college

Somerville is a warm, forward-looking and inclusive college with a streak of radicalism at its heart.

Founded in 1879 to include women when others wouldn’t, famous alumni include two former prime ministers, the only British woman to win a Nobel prize for science and pioneers in literature and activism.

Nestled in beautiful grounds at the top of St Giles’, Somerville offers a diverse range of subjects and support to students from all over the world. 

Somerville is one of the few Oxford colleges able to house all its undergraduates in-college for every single year of their degrees. 

Somerville is known for its good food, excellent formals and beautiful central Quad, where students get together to study and socialise in the summer months. The college has one of the best undergraduate libraries in Oxford, containing more than 120,000 items, available to our students 24/7. 

Somerville is also one of Oxford’s most financially supportive colleges, with 1 in 5 students receiving some form of financial support. Generous travel and special project grants are available to help students widen their experience during vacations and finance volunteering or community-building projects. 

The college has an excellent choir, an active drama society, an annual arts week and regular open mic nights alongside a wide range of team sports including rugby, football, netball, rowing, cricket and hockey.

Read more on the college website.

Somerville is...

'…the right balance of academia, fun and friendliness.'

'…the smiles, waves, and impromptu conversations you have crossing the Quad on the way to a class.'

'…Going to hall for Saturday brunch to have four of those perfect hash browns.'

'…a feeling of home, regardless of who you are, where you're from, your gender, or race, or sexuality.'

'…a place where you can be yourself and feel at home.'

'…the place I look forward to returning to after every vacation.'

'…a community where freedom of expression is accepted and valued.'

'…less like a castle and more like a home.'

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


Facility type

College availability

Gym on siteYes
Library open 24/7Yes
Computer rooms/stationsYes
Wi-Fi throughout collegeYes
Music roomYes
Theatre/performance spaceNo
Multi-faith prayer roomYes

Clubs and societies

Club / society

College availability

Music societyYes
Dramatic societyYes
College student magazine/paperNo
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.
Somerville College is part of Oxford for South East.

Link Local Authorities

Isle of Wight
Forest of Dean
Kingston upon Thames


Access and Outreach Officer: Hannah Pack
Access and Outreach Support Officer: Eren Slate
 +44 (0) 1865 280632

Postal address:
Somerville College
Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HD