Student ambassador with his arms outstretched
A Student Ambassador leading a college tour on an Open Day.

For students

On this page you’ll find opportunities which you can apply for directly as a prospective student.

Oxford for East England organise a wide range of events, activities and programmes every year, both in Oxford and in your region, offering you the chance to experience university life and receive expert advice on your future options.

Some other activities, such as those run in schools and the Oxbridge Student Conferences, need to be organised through your teacher – please ask them if they can organise a visit or know of any upcoming events you can attend.

There are also lots of resources available online, including information and advice about university as well as super-curricular activities to stretch and challenge you outside the classroom. Find out more on our Online Resources page.

Open Days | UNIQ Oxford | Balliol Subject Taster Days | Wadham Summer Schools: Biology & Human Sciences / Classics / Modern Foreign Languages | Floreat: Humanities Access Programme | Unsung Heroes of Science: video competition | Target Oxbridge | Target Schools | Independent visits | UCAS Exhibitions | Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach Newsletter

Open Days

Who for: Students (Y11-13), Teachers, Families  |  When: 26 and 27 June and 20 September 2024   |  Where: Oxford

The University holds three Open Days, two in June or July and one in September, each year. All colleges and departments are open for prospective students to visit and there's plenty of opportunity to ask questions. While you do not need to apply to visit us on an Open Day, sessions in some academic departments will require you to register in advance.

Find out information about what the Oxford for East England colleges have to offer here: Balliol College, Hertford College, Wadham College

Open Day visitors mingling on a lawn.

UNIQ Oxford

Who for: Students (Y12)  |  When: Summer (applications earlier)  |  Where: Oxford & online

UNIQ is the largest University of Oxford access programme for state school students. We prioritise places for students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford and other universities. Every year more students from diverse backgrounds get offered places at Oxford with help from UNIQ.

The UNIQ residential summer school started in 2010 and we continually make changes to improve the support we provide to UNIQ students. For the last two years UNIQ has been delivered online, due to the pandemic. UNIQ 2022 will build on the successes of previous years, offering students both an academic residential in Oxford and a sustained online admissions support programme.

UNIQ residentials take place in the summer and give students a taste of the Oxford student experience. Students live in an Oxford college, attend lectures and seminars, and receive expert advice on the Oxford application and interview process. UNIQ is free of charge and travel costs are also covered.

UNIQ students with balloons

Balliol Subject Taster Days

Who for: Students (Y12)  |  When: Summer  |  Where: Oxford

Balliol College will be hosting a number of in-person subject-specific Taster Days in 2024. 

These events are for Year 12 UK state school students who are interested in studying the related course at university. 

These Taster Days will include academic sessions, admissions information and a demonstration interview in the named subject. There will also be the opportunity to speak to tutors and current undergraduates studying the course at Oxford University.

Any student who is in Year 12 at a UK state-funded school is welcome to apply. We will prioritise applications from disadvantaged students and from groups which are under represented at the university.

Our current planned Taster Days for 2024 are:

Chemistry: Wednesday 10 April 2024. The application deadline is 5pm on Friday 15 March.

Modern Languages: Monday 3 June 2024. The application deadline is 5pm on Friday 10 May.

Biology: Tuesday 4 June 2024. The application deadline is 5pm on Friday 10 May.

History: Wednesday 5 June 2024. The application deadline is 5pm on Friday 10 May.

Physics & Philosophy: Tuesday 11 June 2024. The application deadline is 5pm on Friday 17 May.

Engineering Science: Wednesday 12 June 2024. The application deadline is 5pm on Friday 17 May.

English: Thursday 13 June 2024. The application deadline is 5pm on Friday 17 May.

Balliol College logo

Balliol College - Year 12 Try Before You Buy Days

Balliol College will be hosting a number of days offering the chance for prospective applicants in year 12 at UK state schools to experience Oxford University style teaching in their desired subject.

Who are they for?

Serious applicants in year 12 at UK state schools and studying the appropriate qualifications to apply to study at Oxford.

What will the day involve?

Each day will include an Oxford University style tutorial in your named subject, a guided tour of Balliol College from a current undergraduate student and a talk covering student life at Oxford and the undergraduate admissions process.

Lunch will be provided free of charge in the Balliol hall. There is no charge for these events.

How can I apply?

If we are offering a day that includes the course you wish to apply for, you can apply by completing the relevant form below:

Please note, some subjects tutorials will be repeated on different days. This is to allow for more prospective applicants to experience this opportunity in subjects which are in high demand.

Please do not apply for multiple days.

Thursday 23 May 2024: — please complete this form if you are aiming to apply for one of the subjects listed below:

  • Biomedical Science or Medicine
  • Economics and Management
  • History
  • Law
  • Maths

Wednesday 29 May 2024: - please complete this form if you are aiming to apply for one of the subjects listed below:

  • Biochemistry or Chemistry
  • Biomedical Science or Medicine
  • Economics and Management
  • History
  • Psychology

Thursday 30 May 2024: - please complete this form if you are aiming to apply for one of the subjects listed below:

  • Biomedical Science or Medicine
  • Classics
  • Economics and Management
  • History
  • Physics

The deadline for applications for the above dates is Thursday 2 May 2024 at 5.00pm.

Thursday 20 June 2024: - please complete this form if you are aiming to apply for one of the subjects listed below:

  • Biomedical Science or Medicine
  • Chemistry
  • History
  • Maths
  • Physics

The deadline for applications is Thursday 16 May 2024 at 5.00pm.


Next Steps Essex: Oxford & Cambridge webinars

Who for: Students (Y11-12)  |  When: October to May  |  Where: Online

Organised in collaboration with Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Next Steps Essex is a webinar series which equips Year 11 and 12 students from Essex with the tools to make a competitive application to Oxford and Cambridge.

Sign up on the Hertford College website.

Next Steps Essex on navy and teal background

Wadham Summer Schools: Biology & Human Sciences / Classics / Modern Foreign Languages

Who for: Students (Y12)  |  When: August (applications February-May)  |  Where: Oxford

Wadham College’s three Summer Schools give students realistic, first-hand insights into university life, providing intensive academic training in a chosen subject, and guidance on preparing strong university applications. Participants attend seminars, workshops / language classes, lectures, and participate in social activities with undergraduate mentors.

Wadham College logo

Balliol College access programmes: Fibonacci, Floreat and Frontier.

Who for: Students (Y12) from Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk  |  When: February to August  |  Where: Oxford & Hertfordshire

Balliol College’s Year 12 sustained contact programmes are offered to Year 12 students from state schools in the college’s link regions. The programme offers the opportunity to engage with Oxford-style teaching through after-school academic seminars and a 3-day residential summer school in Oxford. The Floreat programme is designed for students who aspire to study a Humanities degree. Frontier is for those interested in Life Sciences. Fibonacci focuses on Mathematics and related fields. All of these programmes are designed to academically challenge those interested in applying to competitive universities.

These programmes begin in the spring and finish with a residential at Balliol College in August.  Aspiring applicants should look to apply in the autumn term of Year 12 as applications are open in the late autumn.

Balliol College logo

Unsung Heroes of Science: video competition

Who for: Students (Y11-13)  |  When: Spring  |  Where: Online

Hertford College’s Unsung Heroes of Science video competition challenges you to create a short video celebrating a scientist who deserves wider recognition. Shortlisted teams attend a celebration day in Oxford and get their creations highlighted on YouTube - previous entries have been viewed almost 100,000 times!

Unsung Heroes of Science logo

Target Oxbridge

Who for: Students (Y12) from African/Caribbean backgrounds  |  When: Year-round  |  Where: Online, Oxford & Cambridge

Target Oxbridge is a free programme that aims to help black African and Caribbean students and students of mixed heritage with black African and Caribbean heritage increase their chances of getting into the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge).

The programme includes a residential in Oxford, student mentoring by black or minority ethnic Oxbridge graduates as well as many tailored sessions throughout the year. Since launching in 2012, Target Oxbridge has helped 81 students to secure Oxbridge offers.

Target Oxbridge logo

Target Schools

Who for: Students (Y12)  |  When: Year-round  |  Where: Oxford & online

Target Schools is Oxford Student Union’s flagship access programme. Run by a student committee, they offer Year 12 students the chance to come to Oxford for a day and shadow an undergraduate student. This includes everything from attending lectures, having a tour around the city, to having lunch in one of the college dining halls.

This is completely free and Target Schools can also offer a limited number of travel grants to those who would otherwise be unable to afford the journey. These events run several times every Oxford term.

Target Schools logo

Independent visits

Who for: Students, Teachers, Families  |  When: Year-round  |  Where: Oxford & online

You’re welcome to visit Oxford independently at any time by going to see the colleges during their opening hours. When you arrive at a college entrance (known as a Porters’ Lodge) inform the people there that you are a prospective applicant and they should allow you to enter for free. Please check each college website for their visiting hours before your visit and feel free to email us in advance.

You can find advice for your visit here: Independent Visit Advice

If you’re unable to visit Oxford in person, there are plenty of online alternatives, including:

Please note that in-person visits are not currently possible due to Covid-19.

Tour group looking at window

UCAS Exhibitions

Who for: Students (Y10-13), Teachers, Families  |  When: Year-round  |  Where: Your region

Higher education exhibitions enable you to meet university representatives and industry professionals. These free events allow you to find out about a wide range universities and courses. You can also pick up copies of prospectuses and attend talks about student finance.

Find your nearest UCAS Exhibition and make sure to come and speak to us at the Oxford University stand.

Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach Newsletter

Who for: Students, Families

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news on undergraduate admissions, events and other opportunities from Oxford University. Sign up here: Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach Newsletter