Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I apply?
- Where are the interviews held?
- What if I am applying as an international student?
- Is there an entrance exam?
- Do international candidates sit the same aptitude tests?
- Do I need to submit written work?
- What grades do I need?
- I am not studying A-levels - can I still apply?
- I haven't got these grades, or I don't think I will achieve these grades. Can I still apply?
- Can I start at Oxford before my 18th birthday?
- What does it cost to study at Oxford?
- What funding is available? Are there any scholarships?
- Where will I live?
- How do I choose a college?
- How do I arrange a visit to Oxford?
- Are there any courses for English as a foreign language?
- Are TOEFL or IELTS required for international students?
- Can I apply to Oxford as a transfer student?
- Are there particular subjects that you recommend I study at school/college?
- Should I take more than three A-levels?
- What do Oxford tutors look for in an applicant?
- Where can I get further information?
How do I apply?
To apply for an undergraduate course at the University of Oxford, you will need to complete a UCAS application online at www.UCAS.com.
Where are the interviews held?
Applicants from the UK and other countries in Europe would be expected to come to Oxford for interview if they are invited.
Interviews are also held in several international locations for all subjects except Medicine and Fine Art. (All interviews for Medicine and Fine Art are held in Oxford.)
Please refer to our international student pages for more information.
If you do not live in Europe and cannot attend any of the international interview locations, tutors may ask to interview you by telephone.
What if I am applying as an international student?International applicants apply in the same way and by the same date as UK students. You must complete a UCAS application online at www.ucas.com by 15 October of the year preceding the year you wish to begin studying here. All candidates living in Europe, and all candidates for Medicine and Fine Art are expected to come to interview in Oxford in December, if they are invited to do so.
However, interview panels also visit several locations in Asia and North America, to interview for every subject except Medicine and Fine Art. The UCAS application should still be submitted by 15 October. For further details please see our international student pages.
Is there an entrance exam?
There is no longer a general entrance examination for Oxford University. However, many subjects do require candidates to sit an aptitude test as part of your application. This may be before the interview period, or during the interview period in December. It is your responsibility to check the requirements for your subject, to make sure that you have completed any registration that is required, and that you are available to take the test on the right date.
Do international candidates sit the same aptitude tests?
Yes. Please make sure that you check the requirements for your subject. It is your responsibility to do this, and to make sure that you have completed any registration that is required, and that you are available to take the test on the right date.
If your subject has a test during the interview period in December, you may still be required to sit this test on the same date in December, even if you are attending an interview in October or November at one of the international centres.
Do I need to submit written work?
Some subjects do require submission of written work as part of the application. This should be sent to your college, not the university admissions office, by 10 November, with a cover sheet. Your school or college may have copies of the cover sheets, and they will be available to download. Please check the requirements for your subject.
What grades do I need?
In order to make a competitive application to Oxford you need to be studying for, or have already achieved, three A grades at A-Level or other equivalent academic qualifications.
I am not studying A-levels - can I still apply?
Yes, providing that you are studying, or have already achieved, qualifications equivalent to three A grades at A-level. Check the details for your qualifications here.
I haven't got these grades, or I don't think I will achieve these grades. Can I still apply?
Most students who apply to Oxford do have, or expect to achieve, at least AAA at A-level. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider whether or not you will be able to make a competitive application. Remember that you will only be able to list five university choices on your UCAS application, or four if you are applying to study Medicine.
However, each application to Oxford is considered carefully on its individual merits, so if you feel that you have not performed, or will not perform, to the best of your ability because of extenuating circumstances, please explain this on your application form. It would be helpful if your academic referee could also mention these circumstances when they write your reference. Tutors would take your personal circumstances in to account, but would need to be confident of your abilities to cope with your degree course.
Competition for places is very strong, and so we could not be optimistic about your chances of making a successful application if your grades are much lower than AAA at A-level, or equivalent.
Can I start at Oxford before my 18th birthday?
The University does not set any age requirements, but applicants for all undergraduate courses will be expected to demonstrate a mature approach to the study of their subject which includes demonstrable skills of critical analysis, wide contextual knowledge and the ability to manage their own time without the external imposition of a full daily timetable.
What does it cost to study at Oxford?
Please see our finance pages.
What funding is available? Are there any scholarships?
Please see our finance pages.
Where will I live?
All colleges provide rooms in the main college buildings for first year undergraduates, so you do not need to look for accommodation before starting your course. You may have to move out to private accommodation in your second or third year, and many students choose to share a house with friends. The University Land Agent's and Accommodation Office provides information about accommodation in the private sector for all students. Married undergraduates, or those with dependent children, should contact the Office as soon as they have been accepted, as University-owned accommodation may be an option.
Land Agent's and Accommodation Office
Ewert House, Ewert Place, Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7BZ. Tel: 01865 280812
How do I choose a college?
Please refer to our college pages for advice.
How do I arrange a visit to Oxford?
You are welcome to visit Oxford at any time. We recommend our Admissions Information Centre as a good first port of call, for general advice about applying to Oxford and to pick up literature. The office is usually open Mondays to Fridays, from 9 am to 5 pm. There is no need to make an appointment.
We particularly recommend coming to Oxford for one of our Open Days, as these are a great opportunity to find out more, and to visit parts of the colleges and departments that may not usually be open to visitors.
Oxford's Tourist Information Centre may be able to help you with practical arrangements for your visit.
Are there any courses for English as a foreign language?
No provision is made by the University for teaching English as a foreign language. Students who are admitted to the University to study for an undergraduate degree are expected to have fluency in English.
Are TOEFL or IELTS required for international students?
Yes, Oxford does have specific English language requirements.
Can I apply to Oxford as a transfer student?
No, students cannot transfer to Oxford to complete a course begun elsewhere. Graduates of other universities who wish to undertake a Second undergraduate degree at Oxford may be given Senior Status, which would mean that they could start at the second year of the course. Oxford also has a Visiting Student programme.
Are there particular subjects that you recommend I study at school/college?
For some degree courses at Oxford, there are specific subject entrance requirements.
Once you have met any specific requirements, we recommend that you take those subjects which you enjoy the most, and where you most likely to achieve A grades. All subjects are acceptable for admissions purposes, with the exception of general studies. As our selection criteria are entirely academic in nature, we do recommend that students consider which subjects will best enable them to demonstrate their academic abilities.
Should I take more than three A-levels?
All courses at Oxford are very competitive, and offers are likely to be for three A grades at A-Level. Some candidates take a fourth or even fifth subject, as this can be one way of demonstrating the academic abilities that will be required for the intense studying of an Oxford degree.However, taking extra A-Levels is certainly not the only way to demonstrate your abilities. Tutors would prefer a candidate who has read around their subject beyond their school or college work, and who shows a great passion for their subject, over a candidate who may have taken more subjects, but who is not able to discuss their interests with any enthusiasm or in any depth.
We also advise candidates not to spread themselves too thinly across too many subjects, where they may risk dropping a grade or two in their results. Three A grades would be sufficient to meet most conditional offers, but two As and two Bs would not.
What do Oxford tutors look for in an applicant?
Tutors are looking for excellent academic ability and potential, and also for self-motivation and enthusiasm for the degree subject. They look for evidence that you applicants are thinking independently and willing to engage with new ideas, beyond the scope of the school or college syllabus.
Where can I get further information?
Further details of Oxford University, the colleges, and the admissions procedures can be found throughout this website. You can also download the full prospectus in pdf format. If you would prefer to order a printed copy of the prospectus, please go to www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/epay. Prospectuses are free, but we do ask for a payment of £5 to cover the postage costs for delivery to addresses outside the UK.
Other useful documents are also available to download.
If you have any further questions, please contact us.