The Oxford Application: How to Choose an Oxford College
During your Oxford application, there will come a time when you will need to choose which college you would like to join.
Understandably, the college system is quite a confusing aspect of your application process.
You will want to make sure that for your first year of university, you choose a college that you will be happy with.
To help you make the right decision, we’ll explore what the college system is, what it means to your studies and what’s important when picking an Oxford college.
What does the college system mean?
The college system at Oxford is similar to that at Cambridge. If you’re applying to Cambridge, here’s our ultimate guide on picking the best Cambridge college.
It is something to keep in the forefront of your mind whilst starting your Oxford application.
The structure of a college means that your studies and social life are somewhat mixed depending on your subject. This centralisation means that college is a big part of Oxford life.
There are lots of different colleges to choose from.
Therefore, it is a good idea to visit Oxford before starting your Oxford application to have an idea of the atmosphere at the various colleges.
What does the college system mean for your studies?
Each college is very different, some are big and have lots of tutors, and some have fewer.
First of all, not all colleges offer every subject and this is a good starting point in your Oxford application.
In addition, some colleges are meant to be very good for certain subjects. But what does this mean?
This could include having lots of tutors and students for this subject, having a well-stocked college library, or simply, being close to the faculty building.
All of these things are good to consider in your Oxford application.
How is the location important in your Oxford application?
Although Oxford is a very small town, the colleges are sprinkled all over.
In your Oxford application, makes sure you think about the practical sides of university life. For example, it is very important to check to see whether the college has on-site accommodation or whether you have to live out of campus (in a house with friends).
You might even have to go to accommodation which is miles from the college or your faculty building. Libraries are a huge part of Oxford life and, therefore, you should make sure that the college you are applying for is near to the library you would need.
The social side of college life.
In general, socialising is not something that a candidate will really take into account in their Oxford application.
However, it is obviously a huge part of student life.
Therefore, it is a good idea to look on individual college websites and look to see what the general co-curriculum scene looks like, such as sport, talks, drama, music, and art. This will give you a good idea for what a college is like before starting your Oxford application.
The Oxford College Myths
Whilst starting your Oxford application, you may hear some rumours about colleges.
Lots of colleges have reputations, some of which are correct, and rightly so.
Wadham college is known for being more liberal, left-wing and LGBT driven, but some of the negative reputations are old-fashioned and generally false.
This is something to be aware of so that you do not get put off a certain college and question whether Oxford is really for you.
So what have we learnt about how to pick your Oxford College?
Ultimately, it’s all about what you personally want from a college. You might want a college close to all the hustle and bustle of university life. It depends, also, on what subject you are studying as to what college you are able to attend. But, in the end, whatever college you apply to, you will enjoy your time at Oxford University.
Want to triple your chances of getting into Oxford?
Students enrolled on UniAdmissions’ Premium Programme have a consistent track record of tripling the national average success rate to get into Oxford.
Through our Premium Programme, we ensure you submit a strong Personal Statement, score highly in your Admissions Test and teach you how to interview effectively.
Discover our Premium Programmes by clicking the button below.