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Prospective undergraduates

FAQs for prospective undergraduate applicants

Last updated: Monday, 26 July 2021
 
This page provides the latest information for applicants for our undergraduate courses.
 
If you are already holding an offer of a place from Oxford and would like to know more about confirming your place or arrangements for your first term, please review the latest information for offer holders and returning students, and our undergraduate offer holder FAQs


The deadline for applications for entry in autumn 2022 will be 15 October, 2021.

I am expecting to apply for undergraduate study starting in 2022/23 academic year. Where should I go for more information?

Offers for entry in 2022 will be made in January 2022. If you are planning to apply for a place to begin studying here next year, please note our UCAS deadline of 15 October, 2021 and read carefully the information on our Undergraduate Admissions website. We also encourage you to sign-up to our regular newsletter, Choosing Oxford and follow us on Twitter (@OxOutreach) and Instagram (@studyatOxford) to help you get a feel for what studying here might be like.

I am a private candidate* planning on applying to Oxford for entry in 2022. What are my options?

We realise that due to the situation with COVID-19, private candidates might be particularly concerned about the awarding of qualifications in 2021 or 2022. At this stage, we encourage you to consult guidance from OfQual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and your examination board(s) if you need further clarification.

*Private candidates include those who may have been planning to sit exams at a school or college or other exam centre but who were being educated at home, by distance learning or studying independently.

I will be applying for a course starting in the 2022/23 academic year, after I have received my A-level (or equivalent) qualifications. Will Oxford accept the grades awarded to students this year?

In countries where the normal examinations have been cancelled for 2021, we will recognise the alternative assessment put in place by examination boards and examination regulators. Oxford is committed to a fair and flexible admissions process which will aim to ensure no students are disadvantaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular those from under-represented and less advantaged backgrounds.

We encourage you to include any information in your application that you would like to be taken into consideration when your application is assessed. UCAS has advice on how to detail the impact of COVID-19 in an academic reference and this will be updated over the coming months for 2022-entry. For information about how to apply to one of our undergraduate courses, please see our admissions website and guide for applicants. We also encourage you to sign up to our prospective applicant newsletter, Choosing Oxford.

I will be applying for a course starting in the 2022/23 academic year, after I have received my A-level (or equivalent) qualifications. What if I am unhappy with the grades I receive?

If A-level (or equivalent) students are unhappy with their results, and they choose to retake these exams, Oxford will not consider these sittings as retakes and so this will not disadvantage an application. Please note, however, that you will still need to declare the results of all official or public examinations, including the grades awarded in 2021, in the 'Education' section of your UCAS form.

We encourage you also to include any information in your application that you would like to be taken into consideration when your application is assessed. UCAS has advice on how to detail the impact of COVID-19 in an academic reference and this will be updated over the coming months for 2022-entry. For information about how to apply to one of our undergraduate courses, please see our admissions website and guide for applicants. We also encourage you to sign up to our prospective applicant newsletter, Choosing Oxford.

Do I have to pass the science practical component of any science A-levels I am taking in order to meet the conditions of any offer made to me in January 2022?

In normal circumstances, if you have taken any science A-levels, we would expect you to take and pass the practical component in addition to meeting any overall grade requirement. However, we are aware that students may not have had the chance to complete their practical tasks due to the pandemic. If this is the case, and you receive an offer to study at Oxford, you should contact the college offering you your place to discuss this requirement.

I will be receiving my GCSE grades in summer 2021 and I am thinking about applying to Oxford in the future. What if I am unhappy with the GCSE grades I receive, will this affect the competitiveness of my application?

 If you have taken GCSEs, then they will be considered as part of your application. However, they are just one aspect that we look at. Tutors will also consider your achieved or predicted grades at A-level (or other equivalent qualifications), your UCAS personal statement, academic reference and any written work or results from written tests required for your course. If your application is shortlisted, your performance at interview will also be taken into account.

For those who will receive GCSE grades in 2021, we will take into account the difficult circumstances in which these grades were issued when we assess your application. We encourage you to include any information in your application that you would like to be taken into consideration when your application is assessed. UCAS has advice on how to detail the impact of COVID-19 in an academic reference. 

Please follow our advice about personal statements and academic references which we update for each year of entry. If you are expecting to apply for Medicine, please see the additional information on how they shortlist and their mitigating circumstances policy.

I am thinking of applying to Oxford and want to attend an outreach event. Are these events still running?

As a result of COVID-19, and in line with government guidance on social distancing, most outreach events are still taking place online rather than in-person, including our 2021 June, July and September Open Days. We remain strongly committed to providing opportunities for you to discover what it is like to study at Oxford and you can find out more about these via our outreach event calendar and from individual college and department websites. In the meantime, please do everything you can to stay well and we hope to welcome you and your family on a visit to Oxford before too long.

I am unlikely to be able to arrange works or other subject-related experiences. Will this affect my application?

Tutors at Oxford are only interested in your academic ability and potential so in general there is no requirement for work experience or particular extracurricular activities. Please read our guide for applicants for more information about what makes a strong application. Extra reading or delving into your subject using the resources on our digital resource hub are great ways to demonstrate engagement with your subject which will support your application.

Candidates considering an application to study Medicine, may be interested in advice from the Medical Schools Council on relevant experience to study medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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