A week in the life of an Oxford student | University of Oxford
A week in the life
Students chatting in cafeteria.
(Image credit: Rob Judges Photography / Oxford University Images).

A week in the life of an Oxford student

Five students share their timetables here to give you an idea of a typical week at Oxford University. They show how they organise their time for studying, and that they make time to have fun and relax as well.

Carys - 2nd year, Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Carys is a second year PPE student who has shared her timetable to show an example of a student’s week at Oxford University. It demonstrates how she organises her time for studying, and that she makes time to have fun and relax as well.

Monday
9 am Get up and go for a run around Christ Church meadow.
11 am Microeconomics lecture in the department. While I’m there I go to the Social Sciences Library and get the books for my next assignments.
12.30 pm Have lunch in hall then go to the college library to read for a political theory essay in the afternoon.
8.30 pm Go to the Oxford Union to watch the debate ‘This House believes that there is nothing "Special" about the "Special Relationship"'. Have a drink with friends in the Union bar then go to bed.

Tuesday
9 am Get going on politics work that I need to hand in later today.
11 am Lectures on microeconomics and political theory.
1.30 pm Meeting at Oxhub, the student charity society, to discuss a volunteering project I’m starting this term that involves teaching maths to school pupils in East Oxford.
2 pm Complete my politics essay and hand it in.
4.30 pm Microeconomics tutorial, discussing the work and the topic in general. It lasts a bit longer than expected, as our tutor wants to make sure we understand!
7.30 pm Buy a baguette from my favourite sandwich shop opposite college, and then go to see the new Twilight movie with friends.

Wednesday
9.30 am Politics tutorial, going over our essays and the topics we encountered in the reading. Everyone disagrees, and we end up debating whether cricket and football should be available on the BBC.
10.30 am Distribute leaflets for our college Access Scheme, which encourages students to talk to sixth-formers in their area about Oxford.
11 am Lectures on applied maths and international relations.
2 pm Go to an internship fair and find out about possible future careers.
4 pm Work on a maths problem sheet with my tutorial partner, and other people on our course when we get stuck.
10 pm Watch some TV and go to bed.

Thursday
10 am Read the material for next week’s economics essay.
1 pm French lesson at the Language Centre.
3.30 pm Roundtable discussion with Amartya Sen, a famous political philosopher and economist in Oxford to talk about his book, The Idea of Justice.
7 pm Go to a meeting at Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) about equal opportunities in the University.
8 pm All the PPE students at my college go for a meal and drinks with PPE students from another college. Some of us continue to a club.

Friday
10 am Carry on with my economics work in the Bodleian Library.
2 pm Maths class to go over the problem sheet.
4 pm Go swimming at the University sports centre.
6 pm Write my economics essay.
8 pm Relax in the evening with friends.

Saturday
Morning: Have a lie-in and get up in time for brunch. Wouldn’t want to miss the Belgian waffles!
12 pm Look for a house to rent next year, and stop for a coffee break.
3 pm Read for my next politics essay.
Evening: Go out with friends to a dubstep night.

Sunday
Morning: Brunch followed by a walk along the river with friends.
Afternoon: Work on my politics essay, as it is due in on Tuesday.
8:30 pm JCR meeting. We discuss what happened in the week and elect Charities and Communities reps. We also get free pizza!
10 pm Go to a Motown and rock’n’roll night, where tea and cake are served with the Sunday papers.

Helena - 2nd year, History

Helena is a second year History student who has shared her timetable to show an example of a student’s week at Oxford University. It demonstrates how she organises her time for studying, and that she makes time to have fun and relax as well.

Monday
10 am Reading for this week's essay, usually in the Upper Camera or in college if our library has the books.
12 pm Lecture in the Exam Schools.
1 pm Lunch and catch up with friends.
Afternoon: Carry on reading and note-taking.
6 pm Dinner in college.
Evening: Do a bit more reading.
10 pm Have tea with friends.

Tuesday
8.30 am Flyering in the lodge for the upcoming OUSU elections which I am an activist for.
9 am Reading for essay.
12 pm Lecture in exam schools.
1.30 pm Meeting in college about OUSU elections and getting people to vote.
Afternoon: Finish reading for essay and make essay plan.
6 pm Dinner in college.
Evening: Usually on Tuesdays there is an Academic Affairs meeting in OUSU that I go to as I am Academic Affairs Officer
for the JCR in college, but it is cancelled for the OUSU elections so instead watch a film with friends.

Wednesday
9 am Write essay and take it to Pembroke to hand in as this term my tutor is not in college.
12 pm Lecture.
1 pm Lunch in college, quick meeting with the JCR president to discuss the agenda for this afternoon’s Tutorial Committee.
2 pm Tutorial Committee, a meeting of college fellows to discuss academic-related issues; the JCR has two positions for the unreserved agenda which the JCR president and Academic Affairs officer take.
4 pm Observe a study skills session for first years, giving them tips on how to approach reading lists and essays, in order to compile a report on the session.
6 pm Dinner in hall.
7 pm Catch up on emails and call some friends for a chat.
9 pm Watch Spooks in the JCR and catch up with friends in college.

Thursday
Morning: A lie-in for a change!
12.45 pm Hold an academic feedback session in college where one subject gets to give feedback on their subject teaching and course, part of AcAff.
2 pm Coffee with a friend.
3.30 pm Tutorial for the week. Afterwards I check the reading list to see where next week's books are available.
7 pm Annual history dinner in college with all three year groups and tutors.
9.30 pm Bar with all the historians!

Friday
11 am Head to the library to take back books and get books for my next essay. Go into town to go to Sainsbury’s and have a look around the shops.
1 pm Lunch.
2 pm Have a look at one of the general background books for my essay.
4.30 pm Drinks at the Union with some friends from college.
7 pm Formal Hall in college.
9 pm Head down to the college bar then out into Oxford.

Saturday
Late morning: Meet up with friends, have a wander into Cowley to see when housing lists are published. Catch up on emails and the student newspapers.
12 pm To my favourite high street sandwich shop for lunch!
Afternoon: Read some articles or chapters for my essay.
6 pm Dinner.
Evening: Catch up on iPlayer for the week and have tea with friends.

Sunday
11 am Read for essay.
12 pm Brunch in college.
12.30 pm Carry on reading for essay.
4.30 pm Ring home to catch up with family.
5.30 pm Dinner.
6 pm Reading for essay.
8 pm JCR meeting in college.
Evening: Catch up with friends and do laundry!

Martin - 2nd year, Engineering

Martin is a second year Engineering student who has shared his timetable to show an example of a student’s week at Oxford University. It demonstrates how he organises his time for studying, and that he makes time to have fun and relax as well.

Monday
9 am Some work to start the day, as I have to complete a question on radiation as a method of heat transfer.
11 am Two lectures: one on heat and mass transfer, then one on communications and magnetism (engineers in general have ten hours of lectures a week, with a set timetable).
1 pm Lunch in college and chance to catch up with my friends.
3 pm Planning for my paid work over the Christmas holidays, and also arranging my college's ski trip!
5.30 pm Tea in Hall.
8 pm More studying.

Tuesday
9 am I have a look at a communications and magnetism tutorial sheet I need to work on this week, and make a start on the first question
(generally I have to do three of these tutorial sheets each week, and they take 10-15 hours each).
11 am Two more lectures: another one on communications and magnetism followed by one about structural failure.
1 pm Quick lunch in college - they offer take-out options including hot snacks.
2 pm Tutorial on communications and magnetism. The tutorial notes help to complete my knowledge on this area and provide a good base for starting the next week's work.
3 pm I get to work straight away with the tutorial sheet for next week.
7 pm I go out for a curry with my rowing crew - an essential part of any team sport!
10 pm More studying, this time on my tutorial sheet for my next tutorial on structural failure.

Wednesday
9.30 am Pick up from where I left off last night on the structural failure work, and complete another question.
11 am Lectures: this time one on structural failure followed by one on the mechanics of materials.
1 pm Get back from the department to grab a quick lunch, head down to the boat house for rowing this afternoon.
2 pm I am rowing in a four this afternoon. It's beautiful, as the sun is shining, and there's hardly anyone else around. We have the river to ourselves!
6.30 pm Special dinner held by the head of my college followed by a night in town with cocktails and partying!

Thursday
6.15 am I get up very early to cox the novice women’s rowing crew from my college. It's always nice to see the sun rise over the river.
9 am Relax with a good cooked breakfast.
10.30 am Attempt to get up to date on my next tutorial sheet for communications and magnetism.
4 pm An introduction lecture on discrete systems followed by structural failure.
6.15 pm Dinner in college followed by a quiet night with friends.

Friday
9 am Early lectures, discrete systems followed by mechanics of materials.
11.30 am Start another tutorial sheet, on discrete systems this time. Also finalise my preparations for two tutorials this afternoon.
3 pm First tutorial, which turned out to be one of my best, as we had a heated debate about heat transfer and an interesting fluid dynamics mechanism of a Pelton wheel.
4.30 pm Another tutorial with a different tutor.
5.30 pm Finish writing up my notes from the week now that all the lectures and tutorials are over.
7.30 pm Socialising, watch a film.

Saturday
11.30 am My weekends always start with brunch in hall with friends. We just chat and relax.
1.45 pm Out on the river again, coxing for the novice women’s rowing crew.
3.30 pm Gym session at the boat house.
6 pm Order lots of takeaway pizza and spend time with my friends.
8 pm Work on tutorial sheets for next week.

Sunday
8.30 am Sunday is my work day - make sure I’m prepared and organised for the week ahead.
11.30 am Brunch.
1.45 pm Cox the novice women’s rowing crew.
4 pm Work on tutorial sheets.
6.30 pm I meet up with my friends every Sunday and we cook together in someone’s kitchen.
8.30 pm Return to working on tutorial sheets. Nearly finished now.

Kei - 2nd year, Experimental Psychology

Kei is a second year Experimental Psychology student who has shared his timetable to show an example of a student’s week at Oxford University. It demonstrates how he organises his time for studying, and that he makes time to have fun and relax as well.

Monday
9 am Wake up, run in University Parks.
11 am Lectures.
2 pm Reading for and planning an essay.
Evening: Gig with friends.

Tuesday
9 am Pre-recording and editing the radio show I host with a friend.
11 am Lectures.
1 pm Lunch at the faculty.
2 pm Labs.
Evening: Dinner at home, go to a talk by a psychologist, then back to work on an essay.

Wednesday
9 am Breakfast with friends.
11 am Lectures.
1 pm Reading for the next essay.
5 pm Meeting for international students, about joining the committee for the annual International Fair.
Evening: Order in pizza with housemates, relax, then do some work.

Thursday
11 am Lecture.
2 pm Prepare for my tutorial by going over the lecture notes, and the notes I made from my reading.
5 pm Tutorial: we talk about the essay, and have a general discussion about the topic, then each present an experimental paper.
Evening: Go to a party I helped to organise – I’m social secretary of the Psychology Society.

Friday
9 am Tutorial.
10 am Psychology Society meeting, then work on lab report.
1 pm Meeting with a careers advisor at the Careers Service to try and figure out what to do after my degree.
2 pm Writing up notes from tutorial, and reading for next week’s essay.
5 pm Tutoring – I’m part of a volunteering scheme which allows university students in Oxford to teach kids whose first language isn’t English.
7 pm Dinner with housemates.
Evening: Go out with friends.

Saturday
Do some art in the morning; work on lab report; watch a movie in the college auditorium.

Sunday
Catching up with friends, some work for the next week, and formal hall in college in the evening.

Rachel - 1st year, Physics

Rachel is a first year Physics student who has shared her timetable to show an example of a student’s week at Oxford University. It demonstrates how she organises her time for studying, and that she makes time to have fun and relax as well.

Monday
9 am–12 pm Lectures.
12.15 pm–1 pm Coached fencing training.
Afternoon: Finish off tutorial work that was set last week, hand in at 5pm.
6 pm Dinner in college.
8 pm–9 pm Fairtrade Coalition meeting (I'm the Secretary).
9 pm onwards Do a bit of work, bed at 11ish.

Tuesday
9 am–12 pm Lectures.
12 pm–1 pm Have some lunch in the college gardens.
1 pm–3 pm Prepare for tutorial by working on problem sheet I had to prepare
3 pm–4 pm Physics tutorial, reviewing the problem sheet with one other first year physicist and my tutor, asking any questions we have from this and from our lectures; organise next week's tutorial work
4 pm–5.30 pm Relax! Maybe tidy my room, have someone over for tea
5.30 pm Rowing training
6 pm Dinner in college
7 pm–9 pm Do a bit of work for my maths tutorial
9 pm onwards Go out with my friends

Wednesday
9 am–12 pm Lectures
12 pm–3 pm Lunch, relax
3 pm–5 pm More work on the problem set for my maths tutorial, read over the lab script in preparation for practicals tomorrow
5 pm–5.30 pm Weights session in the gym
Evening: Every Wednesday evening I have several friends over and someone cooks for everyone else and we generally catch up

Thursday
9 am–10 am Lectures
10 am–5 pm In labs. Basically, we collect the details of the week’s experiment the week before and read over the theory and background. There might be a demonstration from one of the supervisors, then we conduct the experiment.
6pm Dinner
7 pm–8.30 pm Work on maths tutorial work
8.30 pm–10 pm Fencing at the Sports Centre
10 pm Sleep!

Friday
6 am Rowing outing on the river
9 am–10 am Lectures
10 am–3 pm Go over maths tutorial work, make a start on the physics
3 pm–4 pm Maths tutorial, same format as physics – we say what we don't understand, and work through it. Set work for the next week
6pm Dinner
Evening: Friends come over

Saturday
Lie in! Get up about 11am, maybe have a rowing outing at some point, see some friends, work on physics for a few hours, watch a film in the evening and generally relax

Sunday
This is when I get a lot of my work for the week sorted, probably work from about 10am until 6pm, then church until 8pm, come back and do some more work. Have an early night, ready for the nine o'clock lectures tomorrow morning...