Affiliations • Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) • European University Association (EUA) • International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) • League of European Research Universities (LERU) • Coimbra Group • The Russell Group • Universities UK
University of Oxford is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world and also the oldest university in the UK located in Oxford town of Oxfordshire county. It is on the top of the list of the seven British and Irish ancient universities founded before 1600. It is also a member of the Russell Group — a self-selected association of twenty-four public research universities in the United Kingdom.
Oxford University history
The exact date of Oxford University foundation is unknown, however it was firstly mentioned in 1096. Since 1167 the university has started to attract the brightest minds from all the UK because Henry II made English students to give up their education in France and they returned home to study.Initially Oxford University had quite a small territory and only monks were taught there.
However since the second half of XIII century religious communities and colleges started to emerge. Later, until XVIII century, Oxford University were involved in a bunch of religious and political disputes yet continuing its educational activity and not losing the status of the leading world institution. Until XIX century Oxford University was teaching mostly the exact sciences, later many subjects of Humanities were included and also the Medical School was opened which now is considered to be one of the best in the world (2nd position in 2015/16 according to QS Rankings).
Infrastructure and facilities in Oxford University
Oxford University enjoys quite a large territory - more than 28 acres of forest and parks land, that is impressive. Many university colleges are located in the city center or nearby, so many university campuses neighbour with cultural heritage, stores, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Besides, on the territory it is easy to find several churches, Sheldonian theater, and more than a hundred museums and libraries. Moreover, Oxford University has its own publishing house where the famous Oxford dictionary is printed.
There are also a dendrarium and the oldest Botanic Garden in the UK among university buildings. It is notable that classrooms and canteens of some colleges could be seen in the Harry Potter film series. Christ Church College dining hall was one of the most famous sight there. You may enjoy a unique atmosphere in the student town — medieval architecture, smoothly shaven evergreen lawns, small parks with labirints of evergreen bushes and trees, glorious buildings and chapels. All of these attracts more than 9 million tourists annually.
Oxford University faculties
Even though nowadays Oxford University is mostly famous for the field of Humanities, the exact, social and medical sciences are taught on the same top level as well as banking and law. University of Oxford is like a small state which has 38 various colleges and 6 Permanent Private Halls(PPH). The main difference between them lays in the number of students, daily schedule, charter and taught disciplines.
PPH are supported by many religious organisations including the Roman Catholic Church. There is no division of specialisations, so any student of any college may study in any department. The university offers education in almost all possible specialisations for Bachelor’s level, Master students can learn everything except Accounting.
Scientific achievements in Oxford
Oxford University entered the list of TOP-10 best universities in the world in 2016.
In 2013 a collaboration of Oxford and Harvard researchers found a gene for human growth — it was a side effect during the research on heart diseases.
During the experiment a pattern was revealed indicating that tall people have higher risk of particular cancer diseases.
Oxford University is a place for many discoveries in a field of cosmology — Mars research, the trajectory of the galaxies (it was found that in 5 billion years our galaxy will collide with Andromeda galaxy), the Universe emergence theories.
In particular, in 2013 Oxford scientists discovered a “glass planet” which surface was covered with the analog of our glass.
In 2013 genetics professor Bryan Sykes and a group of Oxford researchers finally disproved the existence of a snowman. A mysterious animal which was taken for a snowman was revealed to be a rare species of bear.
One of the most fundamental research on cancer treatment in 2011 was carried out in Oxford. During the research a gene responsible for sublimation of malignant cells was discovered.
Why to apply for Oxford University?
Oxford University education systems has a tutoring system, so every student is assigned to a tutor.
A tutor develops a tailor-made program for a student taking into consideration specifics and particular skills of that student.
Oxford University has received Royal University Award 9 times — more than any university in the UK.
There is a great campus system in Oxford. Students can live either in a student residence or separate apartments.
Oxford University has all rights to be proud of its alumni among whom there are 40 Nobel laureates, 25 British premier ministers, 6 kings, 12 saints and about hundred worldwide famous politicians.
Oxford students have the opportunity to spend their leisure time in different electives and hobby clubs which accounts for more than 300. There are plenty of literature, sports, language clubs ets.
In Oxford sport events are taken very seriously and many students take part in sports competitions such as football, basketball, rowing (jointly with Cambridge students), baseball and other fields.
For sport lovers there are a fitness studio, playgrounds for cricket and hockey, several tennis courts, 15 grass fields for football and baseball plays, 25-meter swimming pool and gym.
Oxford has the biggest library system in the UK — more than a hundred libraries. The university also has several museums and a botanical garden on its territory.
Oxford Career Service helps students to get an offer from the most prestigious companies in the world.
Every weekend Student Leisure Center organises for students excursions for various towns, games and dance events.
7 million GPB are spent annually on financial aid in Oxford.There is no tuition-free places there but grants could cover the expenses on education fully.
The university welcomes applicants with disabilities but the academic requirement are equal for all. Students with disabilities may use the right to have a flexible attendance.
Oxford University admission requirements
The process usually starts with submitting the application in UCAS system. It should be mentioned in the application why a student has chosen the particular field of study. The following step depends on applicant’s wish to pursue an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree in Oxford University. In any case, the first step is to standardize a diploma or a high school certificate.
Unfortunately, CIS certificates of education are not recognized in the UK. Applicant can resolve the issue in several ways:
Applicant will go through a 2-year foundation program in one of schools or colleges in Great Britain. First year is devoted to 4 specific subjects including Advanced English. During the second year there are 3 more disciplines. To be accepted to A-Levels program participants should have a command of English on the Intermediate level proving it by IELTS certificate with no less than 5.0. Some schools offer accelerated programs which last only 1 year. A-Levels tuition fee in a private school is approximately £25,000-£30,000 with full board. Studying a in a public school costs around £8,000 per year, however you should consider costs of living in a host family or in apartments (around £7,000). One of the most popular A-Levels program is in the D’Overbroeck College, Oxford.
International Baccalaureate (IB) certificate
International Baccalaureate could be an analog for A-levels with a same quality. It assumes that a student goes through a 2-year specific program in a private school in the UK. Program includes 6 subjects and a course paper in the end of study. IB could cost between £15,000-£30,000 depending on school location. If student’s command of English is not enough to pursue IB, there is a special Pre-IB 1-year course for improving speaking, writing and comprehending skills (tuition fee is ~ £25,000 per year).
Applicants have an opportunity to take a 1-year or 2-year Foundation program in Oxford University in such fields as History, English Language and Literature (average tuition fee per year is starting from £20,000 (without housing and living expenses). After completion of these programs students can apply directly for the second year of corresponding Bachelor programs.
Applying for Oxford after 2 years of study in a local university
To become a student of Oxford applicants should complete 2 years in a university in his/her home country or other country. It is possible to apply right after completion of 1 year of university. As one of the leading institutions Oxford requires excellent academic standing and high SAT/ACT scores. Of course, a perfect knowledge of English is an essential prerequisite (no less than IELTS 7.0). Another requirement is an essay in English and a motivation letter which allows to stand out from the crowd and win the admission committee.
In case of successful passing of the first step the applicant will come through an interview with a referee which will assess student’s potential.
Academic recommendations from teachers and professors are also a part of application. Applicants are not required to choose college immediately as they can submit an open application. As a result he/she will be given a list of colleges available for a particular student. Basically colleges have more similarities than differences and the majority of subjects are taught in each of them.
Admission statistics in Oxford University
In 2016 the admission committee received more than 37,000 applications but most of them were rejected during the first steps. Around 13,000 applicants were invited to the interview stage, and only 3,000 have become students and started their Bachelor and Master programs.
Application deadlines in Oxford University
Applications are open till the 15th of October through the centralized UCAS system developed especially for those wanting to enroll in the UK universities. There is also another way to apply — through early admission process when the application is sent a year prior to admission. You may apply immediately after your first year in a local higher education institution, e.g. in the middle of June, as your documents will be considered during the next 12 months.
Tuition-free education in Oxford University
For sure most people mentally associate Oxford University with something accessible only for affluent students or royal persons. To some extent, this could be reasonable as tuition-free education is possible only on highly competitive basis and Oxford tuition could be compared only with Cambridge education costs. However, Oxford University is highly motivated to attract the brightest students maintaining the status of one of the most prestigious university in the world. That is why for every student there are dozens of financial aid schemes — from special grants based on nationality to faculty scholarships for excellent performance or research achievements.
Generally, Master's and Phd students have more opportunities to get a grant rather than Bachelor’s students. There are many sources of financial support both from the university and third parties (Hill Foundation Scholarships, Palgrave Brown Scholarship, Reach Oxford and others).
You should know that scholarships fully cover tuition fees and some funds offer financing for touristic trips and excursions. To receive a grant or a scholarship a student should show an outstanding research potential which is actually a rare asset. Though, without outlined requirements it is not possible not only to receive a grant but even to get the admission letter. Therefore, it is necessary to adequately assess your chances in the first place — IELTS results, excellent GPA and clear future prospects are the key prerequisites for your admission.
Additional opportunities — MBA degree in Oxford University
Those who dream of pursuing MBA program and learn more about doing business abroad may do it in Oxford University and also choose a specific specialization. There is a college called Said Business School preparing future Masters in Business Administration. Application requirements for all colleges and schools of Oxford are similar but for MBA application it is necessary to pass GMAT test and provide a Bachelor diploma in law or economics. Average tuition fee for MBA program accounts for €42,000 per year.
International exchange and internship programs in Oxford
Oxford University collaborates with companies, universities and research centers from all over the world, which allows its students to study abroad virtually for free. Oxford offers internships in the most prestigious universities of Europe, Australia, Asia and the US (Australian National University, Princeton University, Peking University, Kyoto University etc.). It is also possible to attend a summer school or go for an expedition for up to 5 weeks to one of the exotic locations. In addition, students of Oxford may participate in Erasmus+ program and get a scholarship of 600 EUR per month studying in a partner university in Europe.
Help in after-graduation employment in Oxford University
Statistically 92% of graduates find a job within first 6 months after graduation. Career Service usually helps in this difficult task — it is the organisation working within university and searching for vacancies for graduates and students. Career Service organises career fairs where students can meet prospective employers, get advice on employment from career professionals and also apply for internship in prestigious companies.
Career Service has elaborated a special mobile application called Oxford Careers Fair Plus which could be downloaded free of charge from the official Oxford website. It facilitates the process of informing a large number of students about upcoming career fairs, new vacancies and all information about employers.
Famous alumni of Oxford University
Stephen William Hawking — the most renowned theoretical physicist, cosmologist who contributed enormously to the modern cosmology. He was a famous popularizer of science and he was born in Oxford town.
Timothy John Berners-Lee — a British scientist who invented World Wide Web, URL, HTTP, HTML and many others revolutionary inventions in the field of IT.
Margaret Thatcher — the 71st British PM, “the Iron Lady” who became not only an important political figure but also a cult person.
Thomas Hobbes — an English political philosopher, best known for his book Leviathan, whose ideas considerably influenced modern geometry, ethics, physics and history. He was one of the inventors of the theory of sovereignty. Was enrolled in Oxford being only 15 y.o. and successfully graduated.
Jonathan Swift — an Anglo-Irish writer of XVII century, creator of widely famous Gulliver's Travels — a work which is a fascinating fairy tale for a child and a sharp social satire for an adult. Swift being an Englishman by throughout his life were defending Irish people rights which is also notable for English-speaking population.
John Locke — an English philosopher of the 17th century and the “Father of Liberalism”. His ideas influenced Rousseau and Voltaire works as well as political philosophy as a whole and to this day his thoughts are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence. He is renowned as the greatest Enlightenment thinker.
Oscar Wilde is a an Irish writer, poet and philosopher best known for his work The Picture of Dorian Gray. He is one of the greatest playwrights of late Victorian London.
Aldous Huxley — a modern renowned British writer, an author of the dystopian novel Brave New World.
Opportunities, conditions and a cost of rent in Oxford campus
Oxford University as any other ancient university has in its disposition a whole network of campuses among which there are also students’ dormitories. Rental fee usually depends on sleeping places in a room and a decoration. You may take into consideration that the most successful students (academically) have an opportunity to live in a separate apartment.
An average student pays around £250 - £350 per month for a place in a dormitory. Private rental is more expensive — from £350 to £400 per month (utilities and common costs not included). Food expenses could account for £150 - £200 per month, books and materials — £50 - £100. Leisure activities and night fun in pubs are integral parts of student life in Oxford and they also require money, quite a large amount to say.
Interesting facts about Oxford University
Exactly in the Oxford University campus all Harry Potter episodes were filmed.
Lewis Carroll wrote his Alice in Wonderland in Oxford walls.
John Tolkien who wrote Lord of the Ring was inspired by gothic Oxford campus while describing castles in the novel.
An eternal rival of Oxford University, Cambridge University, was founded by Oxford students who were expelled due to a big scandal — one student was involved in a murder (not possible to identify who was).
Geometry professor of Oxford University Edmund Halley predicted the return of a famous comet named after him.
Worldwide famous meme — “British scientists proved” — is related mostly to the research groups of Oxford and Cambridge as they are responsible for the major part of modern fundamental studies and discoveries as well as Nobel prizes.
Admission process in Oxford University
Application for Oxford as a rule is accompanied by an impressive set of documents and there is always a long way of tough competition for an applicant due to Oxford high academic standards. The first thing to take care of is an excellent academic standing, but final impression is always made by accurately completed application forms, motivation and recommendation letters. You should indicate there the best achievements, reveal the passion for research and specify why you must be chosen as an Oxford students from dozens of others.
Every year the admission committee receives tens of thousands of such applications, that is why your application package should be designed with respect to the university requirements, having no lexical or grammar mistakes.
Every applicant reserves the right to decide if to apply for Oxford University independently learning all the pitfalls and organisational issues or to engage a professional to this process. Making final decision it is important to realise that you have only one chance and that your future depends on your decision today.
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