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Welcome to University College

In Oxford

There are a range of opportunities for students and teachers from the West Midlands region to visit Oxford. These are summarised here and listed in our event calendar. Please note that some events take place during school terms and hours and so need to be booked by your school.

For students: Study Days, Subject Exploration Days and other day-long visits (Year 12) | Open Days (Years 11-13) | UNIQ Oxford (Year 12) | Target Oxbridge (Year 12) | Oxford Pathways (Years 10 & 11) 

For teachers: College Visits | Open Day Accommodation | Teacher Summer Schools | Inspirational Teachers Awards

For families: Open Days (Years 11-13) | Visiting Oxford

For students

Study Days, Subject Exploration Days and other day-long visits (Year 12)

Oxford for West Midlands colleges offer a number of different opportunities for high-achieving Year 12 students to visit Oxford for a day to experience higher level study in their chosen subject. These visits are free of charge and targeted at students at non-selective state schools. Various visits will be available on different dates and with varying application deadlines, so please visit individual college websites to find out what is currently available.

  • Keble College offers 3-4 Subject Taster Days in a typical year (subjects will vary), largely aimed at state schools in the West Midlands. In 2022, Taster Days are available for Theology (Religious Studies), English, Law and Geography. Students should sign up independently: an application form and more information on these events is available on the Keble College website.
  • University College offers around 5 Subject Study Days for Year 12 students in a typical year (subjects will vary) in the spring and summer terms. More information on what is currently available, and what the college has offered in the past, is available on the University College website.

Open Days (Years 11-13)

The University holds three Open Days each school year, two in June or July and one in September.

All colleges and departments will be open to prospective students on Oxford University Open Days. For more information on our Open days see here.

Students do not need to apply in advance to attend an Open Day.  If you are eligible for open day accommodation, however, you will need to apply for this via your school.

UNIQ Oxford (Year 12)

UNIQ is the largest University of Oxford residential access programme for students in their first year of further education, who are based at UK state schools or colleges. UNIQ has a successful record of helping students make successful applications to Oxford: this year alone 250 UNIQ students were made offers by the University.

Students apply to UNIQ between December and January and can be selected for either UNIQ Digital or the UNIQ residential. UNIQ residentials take place in Spring and Summer and give students a taste of the Oxford undergraduate student experience. You will live in an Oxford college for a week, attend lectures and seminars in your chosen subject area, and receive expert advice on the Oxford application and interview process. UNIQ is free of charge and travel costs are also covered.

UNIQ Digital provides comprehensive information and guidance on the university admissions process, and aims to give a realistic view of Oxford student life through videos, activities and quizzes. The platform offers a range of forums where you can discuss both academic and social topics.

For more information see the UNIQ website.

Target Oxbridge (Year 12)

Target Oxbridge is a free programme that aims to help black African and Caribbean students and students of mixed race with black African and Caribbean heritage increase their chances of getting into the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge. 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. In 2020 alone, Target Oxbridge helped 74 students to secure Oxbridge offers. For more information see the Target Oxbridge website.

Oxford Pathways (Years 10 & 11)

Oxford for West Midlands colleges work with other colleges at Oxford to provide the Pathways Programme. Oxford Pathways is for students attending non-selective state schools across the UK, with little, if any, history of sending students to Oxford.

Through Oxford Pathways, students get the opportunity to visit Oxford, to explore the university and to see what it is like to study here. Taster Days give academically able Year 10 students an introduction to higher education and student finance, interactive sessions with current students, lunch served in a college dining hall and participation in an academic activity.

The same students are invited back to Oxford in Year 11 for Investigating Options Days, which focus on the importance of GCSE results and post-16 choices.

Applications are made by schools, rather than individuals, with each school welcome to bring up to 10 students; please ask your teacher about this opportunity. For more information see the Pathways website.

For teachers

College visits

Oxford for West Midlands colleges offer visiting schools in our link regions a full day of talks, workshops and activities. We provide relevant material for students of various ages (particularly Years 9-13), from those with little to no experience of University or Oxford, to those looking to make a competitive application to the University.

  • Oriel College offers visits for Years 7-12 from state schools, with limited availability for visits from primary school groups. A typical visit runs from 10:00-14:30, and includes an introductory talk, student ambassador Q&A, college tour, and academic taster session or additional college tour. All activities are tailored to the visiting year group/key stage. The college Outreach Officer is happy to discuss what will suit your group and provide the experience and information most beneficial for your school and students. Free hot lunches in the college dining hall are provided for staff and students aged Year 9 and above, and Oriel College covers all transport costs for visiting schools from their West Midlands link areas (please note that a maximum group size of 30 students applies to school visits to Oriel). Visits to Oriel College can be booked by schools or colleges in Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. More information and a booking form are available on the Oriel College website.
  • Keble College offers school visits for all state schools, with priority given to those in its designated link areas. A maximum group size of 30 applies. A typical visit runs 10:00-15:00 and typically includes an Oxbridge talk, free lunch in Hall, a tour/Q&A with current students, and an academic session or museum visit. Teachers should email [email protected] to access a booking form. Please note that visits are very popular, so early booking is recommended.
  • University College offers set days to which schools can book to bring small groups of KS4 students. These aim to challenge myths surrounding the University of Oxford and its admissions process, provide students with insight into studying at university, and allow them to meet and ask questions of current undergraduates. Activities include an "Introduction to Oxford" workshop, college tours, a free lunch in the college's dining hall, and taster sessions either in college or at one of the University museums. 1-3 schools attend each date, with groups of 10-15 students. Spaces are prioritised for state schools in the college's West Midlands link regions: Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Please email [email protected] to express an interest in a visit or see the University College website.

Open Day Accommodation

Oxford for West Midlands colleges may be able to offer a limited amount of free overnight accommodation to state schools attending the University of Oxford’s Open Days.

Accompanied groups may receive up to one night of accommodation, plus dinner and breakfast in college. During their stay, teachers will be given the opportunity to ask staff and current undergraduates questions about applying to Oxford and the Oxford University experience.

School groups must be escorted by a teacher/s who will remain responsible for all safeguarding arrangements. All accommodation bookings must be made in advance by teachers.

For more information, please contact the colleges directly.

Teacher Summer Schools

Oxford’s CPD accredited Teacher Summer School is a free two-day residential conference for teachers from state schools and colleges in the UK. During the summer school, teachers receive detailed support and guidance about the Oxford admissions process, experience taster sessions for different academic subjects, and learn from mock interviews. It aims to support teachers to stretch and challenge their most able students, and equip them with the best possible advice and guidance on selective university admissions. Click here for more information.

Inspirational Teachers Award

Since 2010, the University of Oxford has run a scheme to recognise inspirational teachers from UK state schools and colleges. This award scheme recognises the crucial role teachers play in encouraging talented students in their schools or colleges. Each year, current first-year Oxford undergraduates from UK state schools or colleges with a limited history of sending students to Oxford are asked if they would like to nominate an inspirational teacher. Click here for more information.

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For families

Open Days (Years 11-13)

You may wish to accompany your child on a visit to an Open Day. All colleges and departments will be open to prospective students on Oxford University Open Days. For more information see our Open Days webpages.

Visiting Oxford

If you can’t make an Open Day or outreach event in Oxford and would like to visit another time, please get in touch to enquire about visiting the relevant Oxford for West Midlands college.

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