Students sat at a picnic bench with laptop and notebook


The University and Colleges

Students at Oxford belong both to the University and to one of the colleges, which are dotted around the city. The colleges are often where graduates live but they offer far more than accommodation and meals, providing a small, welcoming community for academic and social life. Worcester is an average-sized college, with about 200 graduate students reading for advanced degrees in most of the faculties, and 400 undergraduate students.

The University as a whole has about 12,000 undergraduates and 10,000 graduate students, all of whom enjoy central facilities belonging to the University, such as the famous Bodleian Library, faculties, departments and laboratories. The University conducts research across a very wide range of academic subjects and provides teaching to students through lectures, seminars and practical classes and supervisions and facilities for graduate study.  Decisions about the syllabus of any taught graduate courses are made by the University, which is also responsible for setting examinations and conferring degrees.

Graduates are usually taught and/or undertake research under arrangements made by the University, and the main focus of their academic life is therefore likely to be the appropriate department or faculty, rather than the College. Postgraduate students at Worcester have a subject-based academic supervisor, who may be a member of any college, but they are also assigned a College Adviser, one of Worcester's academic staff, who takes a general interest in their progress and is on hand to offer help and advice, if needed.

Colleges are self-governing independent institutions, with resources and facilities separate from those of the University. As well as providing accommodation, colleges provide a social base, and offer a wide range of academic and extra-curricular activities. Academic staff often have appointments with both the University and College, and research and teach for both, meaning that graduates have the opportunity to be supervised and advised by experts in their field.

Further information about the research interests of Fellows of the College can be viewed here and general information about applying to the University of Oxford to undertake graduate study can be found here.

Worcester College is able to consider a small number of applications from graduate visiting students if arrangements have already been made for academic supervision to be carried out by one of the Fellows of Worcester College. If academic supervision arrangements have been made with a Fellow of Worcester College, please contact the Graduate Officer ( to request an application form.

Why Oxford?

The University of Oxford enjoys a well-deserved reputation for world-class teaching, research and facilities. Graduate study at Oxford represents the opportunity to work with leading academics and make use of some of the very best libraries, laboratories, museums and collections in the world.

Why Worcester?

Here are twelve reasons why we think Worcester is such a popular choice for graduates:

  1. We have a strong academic reputation and all our graduates are assigned a Graduate Adviser, who can provide advice and guidance and be a source of support away from the Department.
  2. Worcester is famed for its friendliness and welcoming community of 600 students (200 graduates and 400 undergraduates).
  3. Being in the city centre, our location is convenient for departments, faculties and libraries, as well as for all the amenities Oxford has to offer, including shops, restaurants, museums and theatres. We are also situated conveniently for both the coach station and the rail station.
  4. The College aims to provide one year's accommodation for most first-year graduate students. We have a range of options available and all rooms are in residential streets around the College perimeter.
  5. Great sports facilities on your doorstep - we are the only college to have our sports pitch on site. There are various Worcester sports teams and we have a Boathouse on the Thames.
  6. Worcester boasts 26 acres of beautiful grounds, including a lake, giving students relaxed and tranquil surroundings to enjoy.
  7. We benefit from an excellent library, whose modern reading room contains some 65,000 volumes and whose magnificent Old Library houses collections of European importance. There is also a separate Law library.
  8. A fantastic range of academic and extra-curricular activities led by the Middle Common Room (MCR), including talks and debates, and a diverse social programme.
  9. Great food at reasonable prices.
  10. Student grants for travel and research projects and funds to help students in financial difficulty.
  11. A well-developed and effective welfare provision, including the Dean, Assisant Dean, Head of Welfare, Junior Deans, College Nurse and Doctor, College Chaplain, College counsellor, dedicated MCR welfare reps, and peer supporters.
  12. We particularly welcome applicants for part-time graduate study, and seek to provide part-time students with support tailored to their particular needs.

If you have any questions about the College or the application process, do get in touch with our Graduate Office by emailing or calling +44 (0)1865 278352.