Oxford offers a wide variety of online materials, resources and other support to supplement our regional outreach programmes, which you can access free from home. These range from materials designed to help you develop your academic skills to advice about applying to University.
For students, teachers and families
A free innovative digital outreach portal from the University of Oxford, Oxplore aims to engage those from 11 to 18 years old with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom. Big questions tackle complex ideas across a wide range of subjects and draw on the latest research undertaken at Oxford. Oxplore aims to realise aspirations, promote broader thinking and stimulate intellectual curiosity. This resource can be explored as an individual or used by a teacher to lead a class.
Digital Resources Hub
The University of Oxford has compiled the best of our digital resources to support learning and exploration. The digital hub includes resources created by the university and recommended external sources. These resources can help parents and teachers to feed the curiosity of growing minds and inspire them to think broadly. These resources can also enable older students to explore their passions and interests further, and to discover more about Oxford. The digital resources hub provides resources for students under 12, 12-16 and over 16 as well as materials for teachers and families. Many of the following resources can also be found via this hub.
The University of Oxford YouTube channel has lots of useful videos including ones providing details on most Oxford courses. You might find these particularly useful when thinking about student life at Oxford:
Do also check out LMH's "Applying to Oxford" playlist - featuring webinars, mock interviews, application tip guides & snapchat takeovers - as well as Exeter & Merton's channels.
Applying to Oxford
The main Oxford University website has a wealth of information available if you choose to apply to Oxford, including Applying to Oxford, Fees and funding and Student life
There is also lots of guidance regarding personal statements and admissions tests online, including tips, past papers and mark schemes. If you are invited to an interview then there are many ways you can prepare including by looking at past questions, watching guidance videos or seeing what tutors think of the interview process.
You can find mock interviews by Oxford and Cambridge online too. Even if there isn’t one for your course, you may find it useful to watch one for another subject to get a better idea of the interview process: Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Engineering, English, Law, Maths and Modern Languages
Keep in touch
Make sure to keep in touch with Oxford for South West via our social media channels:
- Exeter College: Instagram & Twitter
- Lady Margaret Hall: Instagram & Twitter
- Merton College: Students’ Access Instagram & Twitter
- Oxford: Instagram & Twitter
Or visit our college access and outreach webpages
Staircase 12 is an online hub of resources developed by University College, Oxford for students aiming high at school and thinking about applying to top universities. You'll find plenty of resources to help develop your interests, book reviews from current undergraduates to give ideas about where to start 'reading around' the subject and ideas for stretching yourself beyond the school syllabus.
Worcester College have launched a bookshelf project for any Year 10-13 who attends a non-selective state school, which you can take part in from your own home! You pick a book from the list, you’ll be sent a copy and then your book review will be put on the Bookshelf website
Myth busting - by Merton college students
This short leaflet gives the student perspective on myths surrounding Oxford. Questions range from is Oxford only full of posh people and is there any bullying, through to questions about workload and opportunities for fun.
Humans of Merton
This facebook page is another way of finding out more about Oxford and college life. This will also tell you about new student led access projects such as Merton Classics Access which launched in November 2020
Student competitions - Exeter college
Exeter College has announced its second essay competition for Year 10 and 11 students. This is open for all students across the South West and other parts of the country. This is an opportunity to write about something you find interesting whether it’s a current issue you think needs solving or an important aspect of your favourite subject you’d like to explore in more detail. Prizes for the first competition were given to essays on the following topics:
- Institutional Racism towards the Black Community within the British Police Force (£100 Voucher)
- Addressing the Issues with Operations in Modern Firms (£75 Voucher)
- Are you Morally Justified in Permitting the Suicide of an Immoral Man? (£75 Voucher)
- Cancer: What Next? (£75 Voucher)
For more details on how to apply, see here
Details of other academic competitions open to students across the country are available on the University of Oxford website.
Supercurricular resources - Exeter college
At Oxford, we often talk about `supercurricular activities` -the things you do outside of the classroom which relate to your subject. Exeter college has made a list of useful things to help you explore your chosen subject in more detail– hopefully you`ll find something of interest here!
Looking at LMH - a digital hub.
This set of pages explains the top 5 reasons you might want to consider Oxford, and provides resources that will enable you to make a Competitive Application.
Written by students, for students!
Choosing where to go to university can be a life-changing decision, and whilst this is exciting, it can also be daunting. We hugely value the supporting role that teachers and careers advisors can play in encouraging students to consider their options and make informed decisions.
The University of Oxford’s webpages for teachers aim to give you all the information you need to help your students. We encourage you to explore our website widely but hope that you will find the resources here particularly useful. We welcome the chance to talk with teachers and advisers about supporting your students through all aspects of considering, and applying to, Oxford.
Ignite: Oxford’s free careers education programme for schools
Ignite is a career confidence programme for schools and colleges from the Oxford University Careers Service. It aims to help develop pupils’ assertiveness and confidence in academic, extra-curricular, family, social and eventual career activities.
The programme is aimed at secondary school pupils (ages 11-18) and is to be delivered within the school by teachers / PSHE tutors. It is available in modules to be applied and used as appropriate.
There are a number of different e-newsletters to which you can subscribe to keep up-to-date with the events and programmes on offer.
- Exeter College: Please register for the Exeter College Mailing lists here. We would especially encourage those located in Cornwall, Devon, the Isles of Scilly, Somerset, Plymouth, and Torbay
- Lady Margaret Hall: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to hear from LMH. Especially get in touch if you’re located in Gloucestershire including South Gloucestershire!
- Merton College: Please email email@example.com to sign up for Merton College’s schools mailing list. Merton’s link regions are Bath and North East Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire
- Bristol Sign-Up: We also have a dedicated mailing list for teachers at schools and colleges in Bristol – sign up here.
- Oxford Teachers’ Newsletter: This University e-newsletter features updates about our admissions process, events that teachers and students can attend, and updates regarding our access and widening participation programmes, including UNIQ. Feedback from teachers has been very positive, with many reporting that they forward the email to students interested in applying to Oxford.
Supporting university choices
If your child is studying for their A Levels, they are probably already thinking about their next steps. It’s not always easy for parents and family members to know how best to help them navigate their options. The University of Oxford publishes webpages directed at families that want to find out more about studying at Oxford. These pages include guidance on choosing the right course and the application process as well as information about student life. We also provide information on the support the University can provide students, including welfare and financial support, as well as how we support students after they have graduated.
We also publish a Families’ Guide: supporting an Oxford applicant which can be read on line or downloaded, now available in Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu as well as English.