Health and welfare | University of Oxford
Health and welfare
A new student arrives at Wadham College with her family.
(Image credit: David Tolley / Oxford University Images).

Health and welfare

One of the advantages of Oxford's college system is that students have all the benefits of a large, international university while living in a small, friendly community. This means that students have support available from fellow students and staff at a college level, and their department, as well as the Oxford University Student Union and the wider University.

We believe this welfare structure is working well: our overall student drop-out rate is one of the lowest in the UK; around 1.6% compared with a national average of around 7%.

A ready-made college support network

I am one of six trained peer supporters in my college. Our photos and phone number are up around college for people to get in touch if they want to...Oxford is an incredibly welcoming and supportive environment and my job is to make it even more so.

Daniel, 3rd year

Being part of a college community means that there is always help on hand if you need it. The people who will be available to help may vary a little from college to college, but will normally include your subject tutor, student ‘peer supporters’, people in designated welfare roles, a National Health Service doctor (with whom you can enrol normally in your first week) and a college nurse who is available for minor medical problems. 350 students across the University are trained peer supporters, supervised by the Counselling Service.

University support

Student funding

I receive a Moritz-Heyman scholarship, which is for students from low-income backgrounds. As well as funding and tuition fee reductions, it provides support for an internship during the vacation.

Izzy, 3rd year

Oxford offers generous financial support to UK and EU students with around 1 in 4 receiving a bursary to help them with their living costs. Find out more from our Fees and funding pages.

Student Counselling Service

The counselling service is staffed by fully trained counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists who are available to help you address personal or emotional problems that get in the way of having a good experience at Oxford and realising your full academic and personal potential. Its aim is to help you develop a greater ability to make decisions for yourself that effect real change. As well as individual and group sessions there are also workshops and self-help materials available.   

I was convinced somebody had made a mistake letting me in to Oxford... My counsellor helped me to understand why I felt a fraud and we worked on how I could change the way I thought about myself. I got a first in Finals.

Zara, graduated 2012


The University is committed to maintaining a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all members of the University community are respected. The University has a network of Harassment Advisors in colleges and departments and runs a dedicated harassment line.


The University’s Childcare Services offers places at University and college nurseries, as well as places in other local nurseries.

Childcare Services manages nursery places for children aged four months to five years, with 12 nursery sites to choose from. Four colleges operate their own nurseries independently. Two holiday play schemes are available to further support childcare for older-age children. The University’s Childcare Fund is available for students in financial hardship with care and related costs.

For more details, please contact

By students, for students


Nightline is a confidential listening, information and support service run by students, for students. It is open overnight, 8pm–8am, every night in termtime. A male and a female volunteer are always available.

Student Advice Service

The Student Advice Service (run by Oxford University Student Union) is a free and confidential source of information, advice and advocacy for students. The service can help with both simple information requests and more complex problems, such as accommodation, harassment and abuse, academic problems, complaints and appeals.