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Foundation Oxford

Foundation Oxford

What is Foundation Oxford?

Oxford University is committed to improving opportunities for talented students from all backgrounds to be able to access its excellent education.

Our foundation year course is for UK state school students who have high academic potential, but have experienced severe personal disadvantage or disrupted education. Those offered places take part in a free, fully-funded, yearlong bespoke subject-specific course at Oxford.

Foundation Oxford will offer up to 50 places per year. Foundation Oxford will admit its first students for entry in October 2023. All applicants for this course must apply via UCAS by the January deadline in 2023.

Foundation Oxford enables motivated students to reach their academic potential through a supportive and challenging academic course aimed at developing each individual student’s confidence, self-belief and personal achievement.

Foundation Oxford will be implemented at colleges across the University and builds on the pioneering pilot foundation year programme developed at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH).

“The Foundation Year has helped me to mature, as a person and academically. And also to be more confident in myself. To add to that, it’s also helped me to realize the importance of setting my ambitions high.”  Ras.I (LMH foundation year pilot programme student)

Is Foundation Oxford for me?

Are you interested in exploring and discussing your subject and are you motivated to learn?

Has your academic attainment been impacted to the extent that your current grades do not meet Oxford University’s entrance requirements and that this is due to your studies being severely affected by reasons outside your control, such as personal circumstances and socio-economic background?

Then you may be eligible to apply to Foundation Oxford!

Through this one-year intensive foundation year course you will have the opportunity to bring your academic skills to the level required to start an undergraduate degree at Oxford. The benefits include:

  • All tuition and accommodation are provided free of charge and you’ll receive a bursary for other living costs
  • Living and studying in an Oxford college alongside the wider undergraduate community
  • Being immersed in Oxford’s learning environment so you can develop your study skills, subject knowledge and capacity for independent study
  •  Access to the University’s internationally outstanding teaching facilities and experience of lectures, seminars, labs (where appropriate) and our distinctive and supportive tutorial system
  • Your own academic mentor to support you with guidance on academic writing, presentations and communication
  • Your own college tutor to give you support throughout the year
  • A team of student ambassadors who will be there as friendly faces and will also be available to offer mentoring as well as their insights and experiences into studying and living at Oxford
  • Full access to the University’s support services, facilities, societies and clubs.

By the end of the foundation year you will have developed the confidence to meet the challenges of a demanding undergraduate degree. On condition that you have completed your foundation year at the required level, you will be expected to continue on to an appropriate Oxford undergraduate degree. If this isn’t possible, Foundation Oxford will help you with your applications to other undergraduate degrees elsewhere.

“The teaching is great - my tutors were lovely and were really dedicated to helping me learn a wide range of content that was interesting and also helpful for undergraduate study. The sessions in study skills and undergraduate writing were also good and the tutors seemed keen to help us get as much out of the sessions as possible. The amount of time the staff give to invest in your educational development is so helpful and will help you in every aspect of university life, and they really care about giving you the best chance possible to do well at Oxford. It is a life changing thing and the fact that it is fully-funded is incredible. (LMH foundation year pilot programme student)


If you have any questions about Foundation Oxford please get in touch at

What subjects can I study?

When you apply for Foundation Oxford you will know the undergraduate course you would like to study. During the foundation year you will select modules that follow the relevant subject pathway in preparation for the undergraduate course you intend to progress on to. Together with this subject pathway, all Foundation Oxford students will follow Preparation for Undergraduate Study modules designed to prepare you academically for your undergraduate degree. 

Foundation Oxford: Preparation for Undergraduate Study

The preparation for undergraduate study course comprises a number of core modules that focus on the development of key academic skills as well as consistently enhancing academic and personal confidence. Foundation Oxford allows you to gain experience of tutorial teaching which will prepare you to thrive during your undergraduate degree at Oxford, or at another university. These modules will include the opportunity to build on your written and verbal communication skills with support for academic essay writing, giving presentations and taking part in tutorial discussions.

You will also meet with an individual academic mentor to talk about your progress. The overall aim of this course is to equip you with tools to thrive on your undergraduate degree wherever that may end up being.

Foundation Oxford: Humanities

The Foundation Oxford Humanities course will offer the opportunity to explore a number of subject-specific modules across Classics, English, History, and Theology & Religion. In the Humanities course you’ll take part in modules to build on your knowledge from school or college, develop subject-related skills, have the opportunity to learn a language or improve your maths proficiency and complete an extended project in a subject related topic of choice. 

Foundation Oxford: other subjects

More information about future Foundation Oxford courses in Social Sciences and Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) will be announced here in due course.

Go for it and don't doubt yourself or whether you are good enough or not. The foundation year has been so beneficial for my self growth, not just as a student but also as a person. For example, it allowed me to become more independent in my learning. The tutorial system is also very beneficial and unique to Oxford. If you enjoy interesting academic conversations and one-to-one teaching, this course is for you.” Aneela (LMH foundation year pilot programme student)


If you have any questions about Foundation Oxford please get in touch at


Further information on eligibility, entry requirements and applying through UCAS for Foundation Oxford will be added here in due course.

How do I apply to Foundation Oxford?

Foundation Oxford will admit its first students for entry in October 2023.

From May 2022 you can register and start your application on UCAS for 2023 entry. However, you will not be able to submit your application to UCAS until September 2022.

All applications for the Foundation Oxford course must be submitted via UCAS by the January 2023 deadline.

Find out more about applying through UCAS.

Am I eligible to apply?

Foundation Oxford is designed to support students with high academic potential who have experience of severe personal disadvantage, disrupted education or other specific circumstances shown to have negatively impacted their educational attainment.

What are the entry requirements?

Entry requirements are under consideration for subjects participating in Foundation Oxford, more information will follow.

“If you're passionate about any of the subjects on offer, there is no harm in applying. The foundation year is a fantastic opportunity and I'm glad I decided to apply.” Robert (LMH foundation year pilot programme student)


If you have any questions about Foundation Oxford please get in touch at


What else are we doing to widen access to Oxford?

Oxford’s students come from every background imaginable. There are around 24,000 students from over 140 countries at Oxford, studying here as undergraduates and postgraduates.

However, some groups are still under-represented in our university and we want this to change. There is widespread recognition within our university that we need to make further progress in diversifying our student body. Only by doing this can we be sure that we are offering our outstanding education to the most academically-talented students from all backgrounds.

Oxford runs thousands of free events and programmes every year to give you a chance to learn about studying and student life at Oxford. Take a look at our range of free events and resources for students.

You can read more about what the University is doing to improve access on our Oxford Access page.

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