Colleges release exam results for 2012

Oxford's colleges have published information showing undergraduate degrees results in 2012.

The interim figures give the number of undergraduate degrees gained by students at each college, broken down by degree classification. The final table (which is often slightly different following the outcome of appeals) will be available in September.

Since the 1960s, when Sir Arthur Norrington first started to rank colleges according to the results of their undergraduate students in a particular year’s final honours school, a 'Norrington score' has been calculated for each college. A formula is applied which expresses overall finals attainment by college, and the resulting table of colleges has become known as the 'Norrington Table'.

It should be noted when interpreting the data that the number of students per college is relatively small and the rankings are therefore of limited statistical significance. However, since there is clearly an interest in the tables from the media and the public, the results are published so everyone has access to the data.

This year in the interim table Magdalen College comes top, followed by Brasenose.

Degrees at Oxford are awarded by the University, not the individual colleges, and examinations are set and marked by the University. Teaching is provided by both the University (on a departmental basis through lectures, seminars and practical work) and by the student's college (through tutorials).

The Norrington Score is based on the classifications of undergraduate degrees awarded. It is calculated by attaching a score of 5 to a 1st class degree, 3 to a 2:1 degree, 2 to a 2:2 degree, 1 to a 3rd class degree and 0 to a Pass, Honours Pass and Unclassified Honours. The total score is expressed as a percentage of the maximum possible score (ie five times the number of degrees awarded).

Oxford colleges, though independent and self-governing, form a core part of the University, to which they are related in a federal system. Thirty of the colleges admit students for undergraduate degrees. There are also six Permanent Private Halls, which were founded by different Christian denominations and which still retain their religious character. They all admit students for undergraduate degrees. In addition, Ripon College, though not a Permanent Private Hall, can put a limited number of students forward for Theology degrees.

Degree information for Permanent Private Halls and Ripon is presented separately from the colleges because the numbers are so small as to make comparisons meaningless.