How to Apply to Oxford University

How to Apply to Oxford University in 2023

If you are one of the million students dreaming of applying to Oxford university, you will need to prepare for very strict and high requirements. We prepared a detailed guide on how to apply to Oxford University

How to get to Oxford? Check our detailed guide and requirements.

  • To successfully apply to Oxford, you need to pass your high school diploma, get a language certificate, prepare a Personal Statement and pass the preliminary interview.
  • Oxford is recognized as one of the best universities in the world
  • The University of Oxford has 33 academic colleges scattered across the city. You can choose the one that suits you best

Oxford University

Oxford is a dream of many high school students. No wonder, after all, it is one of the top universities in the world, and it is located in Europe. It’s one of the oldest universities in the world, established in 1096. It’s a part of the prestigious Russell Group universities

Related:

Learn how to apply to Russell Group universities
How to apply to Cambridge University

How to apply to Oxford University?

Application to Oxford consists of two stages:

1. Creating a candidate profile on the UCAS platform

Firstly, there should be personal data, scientific achievements (grades in subjects, exam results) and something that will convince the commission to consider the application positively; such documents include a Personal Statement and references from teachers. The desired fields of study are also marked in the candidate’s profile.

2. Direct application to Oxford

Application forms are available on the Internet. This is a necessary condition for a successful application.

To be admitted to Oxford, applicants should complete both applications on time and submit their applications by October 15th. Then take the entrance exams. Written papers (essays) must be submitted by November 10th. Interviews are held in December, and on January 11, the recruitment results can be expected.

How to apply to Oxford University, application timeline

Oxford University Application Deadline

The deadline for applications is 6 pm (UK time) on 15 October and this must be strictly adhered to.

Oxford University Entry Requirements

It is no secret that the enrollment process at this university is not easy, but contrary to the opinion of the majority, it is also not impossible to pass. 

When you’re seriously considering studying at Oxford, it makes sense to enlist the help of an education counsellor who will walk you through the process at hand, which will take away a lot of stress and increase your chances of getting in. 

The most important thing is to decide to choose Oxford early enough, because then it is time to calmly prepare for the whole process.

Language exam

To apply for a Masters’s and Undergraduate program at Oxford, you will first need to confirm your English proficiency with the Admissions Committee. The most popular exam taken by candidates is IELTS. Getting a score between 7 and 9 will ensure that your Oxford application does not stand out from other applicants’ applications. 

After all, it can be said that some of the best apply to Oxford.

Matura exam

First of all, you need to start thinking about the high school diploma. It does not matter whether we write an international high school diploma – both are accepted, but their results cannot be lower than 90%. More precisely – Oxford generally requires an average of at least 90% of all matura exams and three matura exams written at the extended level, at a minimum of 90%. These thresholds are subject to change depending on our performance at a later stage.

Personal Statement for Oxford

However, this is only the first element of the application for studies, if you want to submit it at all, you must attach a Personal Statement – a cover letter that will allow recruiters to get to know you better and show that you are the perfect candidate for Oxford. 

It should be your showcase, in which you describe your achievements and experiences related to the field of study you are applying for. 

You can also read more on our website on how to write a Personal Statement

Remember that this is one of the most important stages in recruitment and it depends on it whether you will be invited to the Interview.

Interview at Oxford University – Top 5 Tips

Receiving an invitation to an interview is already a great achievement and proves that the university has sincerely interested in you. 

However, do not rest on your laurels – such an interview is very demanding and you need to prepare for it to get to Oxford.

1. Practice your language

It will be your primary tool and you should feel free to express yourself in English. Start listening to British podcasts or interviews, and if possible, try to talk to family or friends in that language as much as possible.

2. Track your Personal Statement

Consider what the committee might want to ask based on your letter. For example, if in your essay you mentioned a book you’ve read, you can be sure that they will try to refer to it – you need to know it from cover to cover and have your own opinion on it.

3. Read carefully the chosen field of study

Analyze the study program you are applying for, find out what subjects are awaiting you and what lecturers will conduct classes – you may know one of them. Be prepared, of course, for questions strictly related to your knowledge. Oxford applicants are expected to go a long way beyond the curriculum – you must show that you are seriously interested in the subject and that you devote your free time to progress in the field.

4. Be confident

Last, and perhaps the most important, advice about the Interview – be confident! You didn’t get there by accident. It is you, out of thousands of applications, that they invited for an interview and they want to spend their precious time listening to what you have to say. Remember that you are an interesting person with big dreams and if you can convey this during the meeting, success is guaranteed.

5. Remember that there may be several recruitment interviews

Finally, it is worth noting that there may be several interviews, especially when you are recruiting for combined courses.

Waiting Response from Oxford

When you are done with it, all you need to do is wait for the call. You can rest easy if you have done your best. 

6-8 people apply for one place in Oxford!

Don’t forget that 6-8 people apply for one place in Oxford, and each of them is as intelligent and determined as you are. Usually, the details determine when someone gets the offer and someone else doesn’t. 

Even if you fail this year, you have a whole year to prepare for recruitment and then you are already in a winning position – you know the process from your own experience and show the committee your determination to pursue the goal.

What can you study at Oxford University?

Bachelor

Oxford, as a renowned university, known all over the world, offers its students a rich educational offer. It allows applicants to study to choose from 49 undergraduate programs. The offer is varied and includes majors in many areas of interest, such as:

  • Art (e.g. music, modern classics and languages, art history)
  • Languages ​​and literature (e.g. European, Middle Eastern, English)
  • Medical sciences (e.g. biochemistry, medicine, psychology)
  • Social sciences (e.g. anthropology, economics and management, law)
  • Philosophy (e.g. classics, theology and religion, oriental studies)
  • Physics (e.g. materials science)
  • History (e.g. archaeology, ancient history)
  • Life Sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry, geology)
  • Applied mathematics (e.g. computer science, statistics, economics)

These are just some of the specializations – the rest are waiting to be discovered! Many fields of study combine several areas of interest. This allows you to discover connections between different areas and take completely new development paths.

Masters

A novelty for students coming to Oxford is the master’s degree programs there. Some of them are very condensed – they only last 9 months and focus on the fast and intensive acquisition of knowledge / professional qualifications. On the other hand, there are also several-year Master’s studies, lasting up to 6 years! However, these are mostly part-time courses that allow you to study and gain work experience at the same time.

Choosing a dream master’s program is much more difficult for undecided people. Oxford offers as many as 350 courses for undergraduate graduates! It is impossible to list all possible specializations, so the following list includes only some of the areas:

  • criminology,
  • experimental psychology,
  • zoology,
  • public policy,
  • clinical medicine.

The full range of Master’s courses can be found at this address.

The most popular courses at Oxford Uni

You can identify the most popular majors by looking at the admission requirements and the number of colleges that offer them. The more stringent the admission criteria for a given course, the greater the candidates’ interest. If a major is offered by many colleges, it means it’s popular.

Oxford, as a prestigious university, is known for educating future doctors, lawyers and linguists. 

The following fields of study are very popular among students:

  • philosophy,
  • geography,
  • languages ​​- mainly modern and English,
  • medicine,
  • biomedical sciences.

Outstanding alumni are also sure to convince individual programs at the University of Oxford. Among them are, for example, Nobel laureates such as John Gurdon (in the field of medicine) or V.S. Naipaul (from literature).

Ranking of universities in the world

Do you know that it is Oxford that is at the forefront according to many recognized, world rankings of universities? According to QS World University Rankings, Oxford ranks second, just behind the world’s best MIT.

As you can see, you don’t have to go to the United States for good-quality education and prestige – Oxford is recognised as one of the best universities in the world.

Choose the Oxford College

The University of Oxford has 33 academic colleges scattered across the city. Students benefit from both the reputation of a world-class university, such as Oxford and the opportunity to study in a smaller group – at colleges.

The institutions offer not only education but also accommodation and attractive scholarship systems. The main differences between individual colleges are:

  • location;
  • accommodation – type, price, equipment, number of available places;
  • educational offer – some fields of study, such as medicine, mathematics or law, are available in most colleges; more niche languages, such as Czech and Arabic, are found in only a few Oxford institutions.

Recommended for reading: Norrington Table 2021, Oxford Colleges Ranking

How to apply to a college at Oxford University?

When applying to study at Oxford, you must apply through UCAS (UK First Cycle Application System) and mark your course of study. Although the platform allows you to define the preferred campus (using a code), the choice of candidates is not always respected. There may be times when a student is transferred to another college that offers the curriculum of their choice.

The best candidates have the largest selection – they are the ones where places in individual institutions are distributed. Among the requirements taken into account in the assessment of students are, for example:

  • entrance exams / portfolio,
  • previous results (matura exam, grades in subjects),
  • tests (e.g. PAT, BMAT exam).

It is therefore worth starting preparations for studies at Oxford much earlier – thanks to this, you can significantly increase your chances of a dream course/college.