Oxford University – How to choose a college – Undergraduate Admissions
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Oxford University – How to choose a college – Undergraduate Admissions


As you might have guessed, Oxford is a little bit different from most other universities. For a start, the University of Oxford is made up of lots of different colleges. All students at Oxford belong to a college, as well as being members of the University. So, when you apply, do you have to choose a college? You can apply to a specific college, if you like, or you can make an open application. An open application is just like saying ‘I don’t mind.’ When an open application arrives, it will be automatically assigned to a college by the Admissions Office computer. It’s kind of like a magic Sorting Hat. Applications made directly to a college are treated in exactly the same way as open applications that have been assigned to a college. Oxford colleges really have more in common than they have differences. They all provide excellent teaching standards, as well as academic and pastoral support. All have a library, computer access, a dining hall, bar and common room, in addition to a whole host of other facilities. You also get a room to live in, for at least your first year. If you want to choose a college, it’s more about your personal preferences than any academic decisions. After all, you’ll be studying the same course, whichever college you go to. You will be listening to the same lectures in the same places, and taking the same exams at the end. So, how do you choose a college if you want to? First, make sure that your college offers your course. Most colleges offer most courses, but it’s a good idea to check. Also, you might want to consider a few of the following things. The size of the college: how big is it? How many students are there? How many students will be taking your course? How old is the college? Some are hundreds of years old, others are much newer. Where is it? How close to the college is the city centre? Your department? The park? The river? The sports centre? What is the accommodation like at that college? How many years will you be able to live in? And, finally, you need to ask yourself: how does it feel? To help you make up your mind, come and visit, if you can, on an open day or tour. If you can’t visit, then make use of all the information that’s available online. Don’t worry too much about choosing. You may be interviewed by other colleges anyway, and you might receive an offer from another college. We work hard to make sure that the best candidates are successful, whichever college that they’ve applied to. Plus, we’ve found that everyone loves their college, and thinks it’s the best!

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23 thoughts on “Oxford University – How to choose a college – Undergraduate Admissions

  1. I am not familiar with this system. If, regardless of which college you go to, you go to the same room as people from other colleges for your classes somewhere else, why do you have to make sure your college 'offers your course'? In what sense does a college offer a course?

  2. thanks for your question, @moyga. You do go to lectures or labs together but you will have more personal teaching as an undergraduate actually inside your college. So you will need to go to a college which has professors in the subject you'd like to study.

    Search for "which oxford colleges offer my course?" to find out more.

  3. I'm Vietnamese and I'm 22 years old now. I graduated highschool in good result and then applied in HCMC University of Law in Vietnam but i have not graduated University yet. How can I be eligible for Reach Oxford Scholarship? Please tell me soon because deadline of application is coming soon 🙂

  4. I'am from Indonesia,when i graduated to my high school can I apply undergraduate admission? but in my country there is only 12 years study but it must be 13 year study isn'it? how can i enter to Oxford if i have studied 12 year?

  5. Hi, I'm from India and here we have 12 years of schooling. in the UK oxford offers seats to students before their final examinations, will it be the same case for Indian students.

  6. Hello,
    So I am finishing grade 12 in Canada, but I did not take any IB or AP courses, but rather regular ones. Am I still eligible to apply to this university? 
    Thanks, 
    Hamza 

  7. Hi +sai rishi, yes that's right – unless you wanted to wait a year after your studies, you would be applying to Oxford before your final examination, based on predicted grades.

  8. I have to say this is the best prospectus film I've ever seen from a university, does anyone know how to get hold of 'Daniel' the film maker?

  9. how could i get the admission .. next year is my graduation year from high school .. i'm from saudi arabia though.. which kind of proceedings should i do to get the admission and start my first year in college on Oxford .. please help ! 
    i want to study Cosmology though

  10. If you did not get the grades you needed and have to resit,how are you going to raise the predicted grades and prove that you are a dynamic applicant

  11. I'm still confused I want to take international relations Dphil so I can pick absolutely any college? or do I pick a college that relates to this

  12. Guys i just finished high school. Can I go to one of these oxford colleges? Do any of them have accommodations? Thanks

  13. Why are you talking soooo fast ??? 😤🔫 And the background music is too loud 🙉 it's very hard to understand your speech for any non English person 😒😒😒🔫

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