Applying to Oxford University is a dream for many students due to its prestige and quality of education. Oxford is constantly ranked in the top 5 universities in the world and it is part of the Russell Group Universities. However, getting accepted into Oxford is very hard, the admission process is extremely competitive with a low undergraduate acceptance rate.
In our complete guide, we will discuss the admissions process, factors that affect the acceptance rate, the overall Oxford acceptance rate, acceptance rates by courses, and things you can do to boost your chances of getting an offer from Oxford.
Admissions Process at Oxford University
Oxford University follows a holistic undergraduate admissions process that evaluates applicants based on their academic achievements, Oxbridge personal statement, reference letters, admission tests and extracurricular activities. Unlike many world universities, Oxford does not have a centralised application system. It realises the UK’s UCAS application system, and each college at Oxford handles admissions independently.
Keep in mind, acceptance rates are different from college to college.
Applicants apply to a specific college rather than to the university as a whole, even if they have an open application option. Read more in the Oxbridge application guide.
Once admitted into a particular college, students have access to university resources and facilities across Oxford. This decentralised admissions process allows colleges to recruit students based on their criteria.
Learn more about Oxford in our guides:
- Norrington Table, Oxford Colleges Ranking
- How To Make A Successful Oxbridge Application
- The Best Oxford Colleges
- Applying to Russell Group Universities
- How to Apply to Oxford University
- Choosing Oxbridge College
Why Is the Acceptance Rate Important for the University of Oxford?
Oxford’s low acceptance rate shows just how competitive it is to gain a place at the university. The acceptance rate gives applicants an idea of how difficult it is to get accepted into Oxford compared to other universities in the UK.
For example, having an acceptance rate of around 10% means that for every 10 students who apply, only 1 is offered a place.
Universities with lower acceptance rates are generally perceived as more prestigious and more selective. This is because a lower acceptance rate implies that a university can afford to be more choosey in selecting students. A high acceptance rate, on the other hand, suggests that the university needs more students to remain solvent.
Besides the high entry requirements, the low acceptance rate show that the University of Oxford is more focused on smaller groups of students per course. In this way, professors can work more with talented students.
Factors Influencing Oxford Acceptance Rates
Several factors influence Oxford’s acceptance rates in any given year. Some of the main factors are:
- Number of applications: As the number of applications increases each year, acceptance rates naturally go down. This is because Oxford has a limited number of places to offer.
- Course popularity: More popular courses tend to have lower acceptance rates due to a higher number of applicants. In-demand courses with high career prospects see more applications.
- Academic preparedness of applicants: If applicants have superior academic credentials in a given year, acceptance rates may drop to maintain Oxford’s rigorous academic standards.
- Strategic planning: Oxford may alter its acceptance rates to meet targets for gender balance, international students, and students from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Available funding: The availability of scholarships and financial aid impacts acceptance rates, especially for international students.
Recommended for reading:
- King’s College London Acceptance Rate
- Cambridge University Acceptance Rate For UK & International Students
- Durham University Acceptance Rate
- Imperial College London Acceptance Rate For UK & International Students
Oxford Acceptance Rate
Overall, Oxford University has a relatively low acceptance rate of around 13% to 15%. In 2022 Oxford acceptance rate was 13.73% for undergraduates, according to the latest admission report. Oxford received 23819 applications and 3271 students are admitted with place.
Below in the graph, you can see the University of Oxford acceptance rate for 2018-2022.
It’s important to note that 60.8% of admitted students in 2022 achieved three A* grades in A-Levels.
However, acceptance rates vary widely across colleges and courses, and for UK and international students.
Oxford University’s acceptance rate for UK applicants is 17.82% in 2022. This is above the overall rate. However, it’s much below the average of the Russell Group.
Oxford Acceptance Rates by Course
Note that the acceptance rates of Oxford University can be different for most of the courses.
It’s not surprising, courses with higher competition see much lower acceptance rates.
Acceptance rates for Economics, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics courses typically range between 5% to 10%.
The course with the lowest acceptance rate at Oxford is Computer Science – 5.6%. Economics & Management course is just behind with 8.3% of admitted students.
The easiest course to get into the University of Oxford is Music with an acceptance rate of 51%, Classics with 45% and Theology and Religion with 44.6% accepted students.
Below is the table, you can find acceptance rates for the most popular courses at the University of Oxford.
|Mathematics & Computer Science||873||67||7.7%|
|Economics & Management||2,364||196||8.3%|
|History & Politics||833||114||13.7%|
|Asian and Middle Eastern Studies||302||104||34.4%|
|Theology and Religion||287||128||44.6%|
Oxford Acceptance Rate for International Students
Around 38-40% of Oxford applicants every year are international students. Approximately 20% of students at Oxford are from around the world.
As a world-top university, Oxford is very targeted by students, but high admission standards are limiting most international students. So, Oxford’s acceptance rate for international students is significantly lower compared to UK applicants.
The acceptance rate for international students at Oxford University in 2022 is just 7.30%.
Oxford University Acceptance Rate For Masters
Around 35 thousand graduate students apply to Oxford postgraduate programmes every year.
On the whole, acceptance rates for Oxford Master’s degree programmes tend to be slightly higher than those for undergraduate courses.
The acceptance rate for Master’s programmes at the University of Oxford is 17.9%, according to the latest Graduate admission report.
Factors Affecting Your Chances of Getting Into Oxford
While having a low overall acceptance rate, Oxford considers multiple factors for each applicant:
Excellent academic grades from secondary school and previous degrees. Strong performance in prerequisite subjects is essential. The standard entry requirement is A*A*A* in A-Level relevant subjects.
Extracurricular Activities and Leadership
Active participation in extracurricular activities, work experience, internships, volunteer work and community service.
Leadership roles held in student organisations, clubs, teams and other initiatives.
These skills can be evaluated in interviews.
Personal Statement and Reference Letter
A compelling personal statement that highlights your skills, interests, and fit for the chosen course of study.
Strong reference letters from professors and mentors that speak to your aptitude and suitability for Oxford.
Getting into Oxford University is extremely competitive with an overall acceptance rate is 13.73%. But there are things you can do to strengthen your application and boost your chances of gaining admission.
Focus on excellent academic performance, actively participate in extracurriculars, and write an Oxbridge personal statement to make your application stand out.
The current acceptance rate for Oxford University is 13.73%.
Oxford tends to be focused on smaller groups in courses and it’s more focused on 1-on-1 work with students. They accept a smaller number of students, but the number of applications raising every year.
It’s very hard. Of 100 applicants only 13 get admitted to Oxford every year.
The acceptance rate for international students is very below the average. It’s only 7.30%.
Definitely, chances for average students are minimal. More than 60% of admitted students have three A* grades in A-Levels relevant subjects.
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