How to Choose an Oxford College

By Clara Marks


Think of this as the ultimate Oxford college quiz! Below find a comprehensive list of questions which you should ask about any colleges you are considering applying to. Then, you can compare answers and see which college comes out on top!


First, and most importantly:

Does the college offer places for your subject?

How many places does it offer on average per year?


Also important is location:

Where is the college situated in Oxford?

Is it far from your faculty building?

Are there supermarkets nearby?

Will you need a bicycle to get to the city centre?

Is it far from popular clubs and nightlife locations?

Is it far from your faculty library?


Often overlooked but interesting is how wealthy a college is:

How much funding support are students given?

Do the college award book and technology grants?

How subsidised is the accommodation and food?

Are there travel grants available?


The accommodation you may be living in is also crucial:

Do they offer accommodation on-college site for all years of your degree?

What does the standard accommodation look like?

How expensive is it?

Does it work on a random ballot system or can you choose what type of accommodation you get?

Do you get guaranteed access to kitchen facilities?

What size bed are you likely to have?

What are the bathroom facilities like?


Finally, we come to other considerations, such as the facilities which colleges offer:

What facilities does the college have?

Is there a 24 hour access college library?

Is there a college gym (and when can it be accessed)?

Is there a college bar?

What is the food situation e.g. are there any extra food facilities apart from the dining hall?

Are there dedicated study spaces for students?

Are there sports fields or courts?

What is the garden space like?

How spacious and well equipped is the JCR or MCR room?

Does the college have anything else to offer for students e.g. dance studio, music rooms, sports facilities?