Rooftops in Merton College
Merton College
(Image credit: Rob Judges Photography / Oxford University Images).

Merton College

About the college

Graduates at Merton College form part of a dynamic and diverse intellectual community. In addition to excellent facilities, they enjoy many opportunities to interact with one another and with established scholars.

Research groups, such as the History of the Book, and the Bio-Medical and Life Sciences Group, provide for intellectual cross-pollination.

The thriving Middle Common Room (MCR) hosts a variety of social events and opportunities for relaxation. Graduates slightly outnumber undergraduates, an unusual situation for a mixed college. 

Merton College is strongly committed to the College Adviser system, and to providing ample opportunities for graduates to participate in, and benefit from, college life in general. 

College tour

College facilities

Library and IT services

The library is housed in two locations, Old Warden’s Lodgings in Merton Street and in the Lower Library in Mob Quadrangle. 

The Mob Quad library building is the oldest continuously functioning library for university students and staff in the world, growing over centuries to comprise its current collection of over 70,000 volumes featuring a special collection of over 300 medieval manuscripts.

Internet access is provided in all student rooms and computer rooms with printing and photocopying facilities are available 24 hours a day.

Wi-Fi access is available in the majority of the college's buildings and houses.

Sport, music and college facilities

The college's music provision includes four pianos, two organs, music rooms and a choral foundation, which provides for a choir of eighteen graduate and undergraduate choral scholars

Merton's sports pavilion has pitches for field sports, tennis and squash courts. The college also offers its own boathouse and access to the 'real tennis' court in Merton Street.

Facilities for disabled students

Merton is committed to providing equality of opportunity for disabled people and/or people with chronic illnesses, including prospective applicants.

Most of the college’s buildings are accessible to wheelchair users, either via flat access or ramp. Wheelchair access to the dining hall is via a lift. Where rooms are not accessible, the college endeavours to make alternative arrangements to accommodate disabled students. The college's graduate student accommodation is on Holywell Street and there are ground floor en-suite rooms available. There is a specially-adapted suite suitable for a disabled graduate and carer.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Disability Coordinator to discuss their specific needs.

For accessibility information about Merton College, including photographs, see the Oxford Access Guide.


The Merton Middle Common Room (MCR) is both a physical place and a corporate community. Members include graduate students, fourth-year undergraduates, and associate members.

The MCR is a diverse collection of scholars, representing a range of nationalities, interests and experiences.

Accommodation and meals


Merton aims to accommodate all its fresher graduates and the rooms are allocated by the Accommodation Manager and the location is advised on arrival at Merton. There is no mechanism for choosing your accommodation. Graduates are mainly housed in our accommodation annexe in Jowett Walk, a 10-minute walk from the college precinct. Most of this accommodation is en-suite, but some is in houses with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Graduates may also be accommodated in shared housing in Manor Place.  

Rooms are allocated to freshers and in subsequent years are chosen via a room ballot run by the MCR.  Many graduates live in college accommodation for the duration of their studies and the college is able to provide accommodation for approximately 50% of the total graduate body.

Merton has one fully-adapted set of rooms, consisting of a bedroom, study and bathroom and a room for a carer, if required, which are located in the graduate annexe in Jowett Walk.

The college has a few one-bedroom flats for couples, which are in a building located on the corner of Iffley Road and Stockmore Street, about ½ mile from the city centre. These flats are let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis for a fixed term from the end of September to the end of August each year. The college regrets it is unable to offer family accommodation.

Further information on accommodation at Merton College is available on the college website.


Students are encouraged to dine in the college's dining hall; eating together is an important part of Merton’s communal life. A swipe-card system means you only pay for the meals you eat. There are no other charges involved with dining in college. 

It is hoped that graduates will enjoy dining in Hall but where this is infrequent, there is adequate provision within the graduate accommodation for graduates to cater for themselves.

Further information on catering at Merton College is available on the college website.


This college accepts graduate students for the following courses:

Please note that not all subjects areas or streams of a particular course may be offered by this college. Please see the college information on the relevant course page for further details. For a comprehensive list of all graduate courses available at the University of Oxford, please refer to our courses A-Z listing


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