Submitting Written Work to Oxford

Last Updated: 8th October 2018

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Submitting written work to Oxford

The basics

You’ve got the dreaded UCAS application out the way, but there are still some stages left in the Oxford application process. In this blog, we run through the next step; submitting written work to Oxford. For a number of humanities courses, Oxford will require you to submit pieces of written work as part of your application. We also give some hints for how to use your work to prepare for the stage after that: your interview!



What should I send?

  • Notice that that this section-title uses the word “send”, not the word “write”. The university is very specific about the fact that when you are submitting written work to Oxford; you should not write something especially for the application. Instead, you should take a piece of work which you have already written. Given the timing of submission, it is most likely that you will choose your written pieces from your year 12 (Lower Sixth) school work.
  • Although Oxford advises that EPQs or Extended Essays are not suitable for this part of the application, you may submit an extract.
  • Also note that when submitting written work to Oxford, all written documents submitted to Oxford should be in English. If you wrote your piece in another language, you will have to translate it accurately or choose another essay.

Submitting written work to Oxford: Best practice

The best practice is to select essays which you have written for either coursework, coursework practice or perhaps mock exams. Pick ones where you have written about a topic which you feel you could explain your argument succinctly and also talk about it without running out of things to say. Furthermore, the essays should reflect your writing-style and show that you have good-quality language skills. The point of submitting written work to Oxford is so that the tutors can consider your standard of academic writing, the actual content itself would be a secondary concern.

If you are sending more than one piece, you may want to submit essays that vary from each other if this will help to showcase your range of writing skills. This might be particularly applicable if you study more than one humanities subject. However, you should try and find out if your faculty or college has a particular preference on this point.

Make sure to fill out the cover sheet when you send your work, and post it all to your college of application. Make sure to check their specific instructions including how many copies to send, in what format to send them (email or hard-copy) and the person to whom you should address your submission. Finally, make sure you keep a copy for yourself!

The next stage: Oxford interview

Congratulations! It’s great to tick off another stage in the Oxford application process, and submitting written work to Oxford is a great relief.

The next stage is attending your Oxford interview. At UniAdmissions; our tutors are able to assist you with tuition, coaching and mock interview that will help you to prepare for the big day. Our tutors are all Oxbridge experts, with a proven rate of success preparing students just like you for Oxbridge interviews. Last year, 63% of students we helped got a place to study at Oxbridge. That is triple the national average!

Speak to our expert admissions team to learn more about how we can help you (PS: At UniAdmissions; you’ll always deal with Oxbridge and Medicine experts).

I have submitted my written work to Oxford: What should I do next?

Congratulations! It’s great to tick off another stage in the Oxford application process, and submitting written work to Oxford is a great relief.

As mentioned above, you should keep a copy when submitting written work to Oxford, as it will be very helpful for you to review it during preparation for the next stage. It is possible that if you receive an invitation to interview, one or both of your essays will form the basis of part of your discussion.

Before you travel to Oxford for your interview, have another read of the written work you submitted to Oxford. As a starting point, try to work through them with the following questions in mind:


This is one area where you can try and anticipate a bit more what questions might come up, so it can really help with nerves and your thought-process to have gone through your work.

If you would like any further help practising a discussion of your written work in the interview setting, why not book a mock interview package with UniAdmissions? Our tutors would be happy to give you a personal and constructive experience.

Don’t forget to make sure you have checked that submitting written work to Oxford is actually necessary for the course you are applying for. You will need send your work after you have submitted your UCAS application, and the college you have applied to will get in touch with instructions. You should submit your written work to Oxford at the by the 10th November.

Further help: Oxford interview

Give yourself the best chance of interview success with Oxford interview tuition. Your experienced Oxbridge tutor will help you create a plan of action for interview based on your subject, circumstance and personality.

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