Studying at Oxford | University of Oxford
Studying at Oxford
Students sitting on the steps of the Weston Library.
(Credit: John Cairns)

Studying at Oxford

As an Oxford undergraduate you’ll be part of one or more departments, depending on the course you’re studying. You’ll also be a member of a college – a community of students and academics from many different subject areas.

Whichever college you go to, you will be studying for the same degree.

When you accept your offer of a place at Oxford you will enter into two separate contracts: one with the University and one with your college. These contracts are inter-linked: as an undergraduate you cannot be a member of the University without being a member of a college and vice versa. While you are admitted by your college, you are awarded your degree by the University. See more information about this at ox.ac.uk/oxforddegree.

College system

Your college is so much more than just buildings, it’s your home (not just for 3 years either... I never want to leave!) It’s where you live, work, sleep and eat. It’s where you’re going to develop into an adult, make memories and create friendships that last for a long time... this is very cheesy - but I genuinely couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.

Jane, 2nd year

Every student at Oxford is a member of a college. They are sometimes compared to halls of residence at other universities, but they are so much more besides. Your college will be your home for much of your time at Oxford, providing accommodation, meals, a library and IT support. The relatively small number of students at each college allows for close and supportive personal attention to be given to your induction, academic development and welfare. Find out more about the colleges.

Tutorial teaching

I think the teaching is outstanding. The quality of the lectures, tutorials and practicals is incomparable. I have really benefited from the attention and challenges of small group tutorial learning which has driven me to work harder and learn more than I thought I could and still enjoy it.

Joe, 3rd year

‘Tutor’ is Oxford’s name for a member of academic staff. They are experts in their field, and tutorials are a chance to get individualised teaching from them. At least once a week in each subject studied, groups of two or three students will spend an hour with their tutor, discussing a topic in depth. This personalised attention means that you will face rigorous academic challenges on a weekly basis, encouraging and facilitating your learning in a way that just isn’t possible in a lecture. It also means that tutors are immediately aware if you need any extra support with any aspect of your course, so they can help you right away. Find out more about tutorials.

Financial support

Oxford is strongly committed to this principle: if you are a UK student and have the talent and ability to study with us, you should never be put off from applying for financial reasons. In 2015–16, Oxford is committed to providing generous financial support to students from lower-income households, to ensure they can make the most of what Oxford has to offer. Find out more about funding.

Career opportunities

Oxford graduates are highly valued by employers for their communication, leadership and problem-solving skills. Hundreds of recruiters visit the University each year, and the Careers Service can help you find an internship, learn business skills and land your dream job. Six months after leaving, the majority of our students are in employment and most of the rest are in further study. When we checked with the 2014 leavers, only 3% were looking for work and 6% were doing something else such as taking time out to travel.