Three undergraduate students
Oxford students come from all over the world and from all kinds of backgrounds
Credit: Joy von Waldenfels

Oxford is for you

Oxford students come from all over the world and from all kinds of backgrounds and this is one of the best things about being a student here. However, as you would expect from somewhere offering a world-class education, the academic standards are very high and the workload more demanding than at some other universities

Is Oxford right for you? Asking yourself the questions below might help you decide.

I think the common denominator that I find at Oxford is the ability to think deeply... It's the ability to look at anything - whether it's a newspaper article, a piece of research or an object - and instinctively start considering the theory behind it, the potential impacts on a wider level, your own position and thoughts about it, what other people might think... It's the ability to absolutely refuse to take things at face value.


 About you

  • Do you love one of our courses?

  • Are you on target to meet our admission requirements?

  • Do you like the idea of personalised and interactive tutorial teaching?

  • Do you recognise the following in yourself?

Qualities of an Oxford studentWhich qualities are important in Oxford applicants? 

These are some of the qualities our students think are important in Oxford applicants:

  • Enthusiasm - for your subject and life generally
  • Positivity
  • Curiosity
  • Hard working
  • Determination
  • Self-motivation

If this sounds like you - please apply!

Astrophoria Foundation Year

We now offer 50 fully funded places on our Astrophoria Foundation Year programme.

If you're a UK state school student with high academic potential and have experienced severe personal disadvantage or disruption to your education, you may be eligible to apply. 

Find out more about the Astrophoria Foundation Year

How can I find out more? 

If you're still not sure and would like to know more, then here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep exploring our website
  • Go to our outreach calendar to find out about all the events we run for prospective applicants both in Oxford and near you
  • Come and visit - ideally during one of our University-wide Open Days.

As a disabled student

Whether your disability is seen or unseen, the earlier we know about your particular requirements, the sooner we can begin to meet them.

Please be assured that our admissions decisions are only based on academic merit and potential and the University makes reasonable adjustments to facilitate access.

Your support once on-course will be carefully and individually tailored. As a prospective student you may also request pre-application advice and 1:1 meetings at Open Days. 

If you are shortlisted for an interview, please make sure you let us know if you would like help with interview arrangements.

If you receive an offer of a place to study here, the Disability Advisory Service (DAS) can provide help:

  • Advise upon and facilitate access to study support for disabled students, including Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) applications where applicable
  • Work with you, your college and your department to recommend support and reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning
  • Promote inclusive environments so that you can fully participate in university life.

Read more about applying to Oxford as a disabled student.

As a care experienced student

Going to university can be daunting for everyone, and Oxford recognises there are specific issues that are more relevant to care leavers, and works tirelessly to support and mitigate these. The collegiate system also often means that college can feel like a family.


The University of Oxford is committed to supporting students from care experienced backgrounds.

There are around 23,000 students from across the globe at Oxford, with an amazing range of backgrounds and interests, meaning that the only things that Oxford students have in common are academic ability and intellectual curiosity.

Please be assured that we will work with you to make sure you have the support you require, whether you are still considering university, already making your application, or just starting your studies.

When we say care experienced, we mean those who have spent any amount of time in the care of the local authority care, such as through foster care, children’s homes, or a supervision order, or who have spent time in kinship care.

We understand that the experiences and needs of care experienced students vary widely and are highly individual, and you may, therefore, have questions about your own unique circumstances.

Whether you are considering applying to Oxford yourself or supporting a care experienced young person who might be interested, please contact [email protected] for confidential advice and guidance, including assistance in connecting with Oxford colleges or departments or arranging a visit to Oxford.

As a mature student

If you will be 21 or over at the start of your course, then you will automatically be considered a mature student.

I thought the door to Oxford was closed when I put off going to university for 5 years after leaving school, but I found that they were eager to give me an opportunity to re-enter academia, even after my break.

Adam, Philosophy and Theology

Oxford is looking for the best and brightest candidates, irrespective of their age or background.

Coming to university as a mature student can be both exhilarating and challenging. We understand that you will have a lot to consider when thinking about returning to education, and that your needs and experiences are likely to be different from those of younger students.

In addition to considering how an Oxford degree may contribute to your academic path or career aims, you may need to take into account other personal and professional commitments. 

So, whether you have been to university before or not, whether you are looking to improve your employment prospects or pursue an academic interest for its own sake, we have support on offer to help.

Check out our Applying to Oxford for Mature Students page for more information.

As an international student

Our students come from over 150 countries and we hugely value the benefits which this diversity brings to our academic community. The application process is exactly the same for you as for all other candidates.

Will you accept my qualifications?

Oxford may accept school-leaving qualifications and scores from your country – if they are equivalent to the attainment of very high grades in three or more British A-levels: otherwise you may need to undertake further study.

All the international qualifications we accept are listed on our international qualifications page.

Is my English good enough?

Teaching at Oxford is all in English (unless specific to a language course) so you will need a high standard of written and spoken English.

You may be required to take an English test to prove your fluency and meet our English Language requirements.

Our Language Centre offers English classes in advanced writing and communications skills.

Do I have to come to Oxford if I’m shortlisted for interview?

Due to COVID-19, all interviews were held online in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Further details about interviews in 2023 will be available soon. 

Read more about interview arrangements.

What support is available when I arrive?

Our Student Immigration team offers immigration and visa advice before you arrive and whilst on course.

Around 21% of our undergraduates are from outside the UK and there are student societies representing most countries in the world.

Do you run events in my country?

Our student recruitment team runs events in several countries for international students, their teachers and advisors.

For more information about applying as an international student, please visit our International Students page.