Freshers' Week


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 where students live but they offer far more than accommodation and meals; they are the heart of the University, providing a small, welcoming community for students, Fellows and staff alike. Worcester is an average-sized college, with about 400 undergraduate students and 200 graduate 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.  Decisions about the syllabus of courses are made by the University, which is also responsible for setting examinations and conferring degrees.

Colleges are self-governing independent institutions, with resources and facilities separate from those of the University. As well as housing their students, colleges provide a social base, and offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Academic staff often have appointments with both the University and College, and research and teach for both.

Most importantly, college tutors are responsible for directing and supporting their undergraduates' studies, and for providing and arranging small group college-based tuition. Colleges therefore represent a second and more personal academic focus for students and provide a ready-made smaller community within a larger university. In this setting students find it easy to form friendships, often with others studying different subjects, and to participate in the various activities on offer.

Why Oxford?

The University of Oxford enjoys a well-deserved reputation for world-class teaching, research and facilities. Our students benefit from centrally-organised lectures, seminars and lab time, and from the collegiate system of small-group teaching (called a tutorial) that takes place in the colleges. This approach supports individual support and guidance, enabling students to thrive academically whilst offering countless opportunities to get involved with extra-curricular activities.

Your College will be your home during term-time and will be the focus of both your academic progress and your social life, so it’s important that you choose the right college for you.

Which College?

Applicants choose one college to apply to, although you can make an open application if you would rather not specify. Not all subjects are offered by all colleges, but you can check here what courses are offered where. The University hosts Open Days when all colleges open their doors for prospective applicants to visit and help them make a decision, but in most cases you can visit colleges at any time.

Why Worcester?

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and types of schools and colleges. All candidates are considered on their own individual merits, and we select students solely on the basis of their academic ability and potential.

Here are eleven reasons why we think Worcester is such a popular choice:

  1. We have a strong academic reputation, as evidenced by our position in the Norrington Table, and our students benefit from our Tutors’ and Lecturers’ expertise.
  2. Worcester is famed for its friendliness and welcoming community of 600 students (400 undergraduates and 200 graduates).
  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.
  4. We offer all undergraduates accommodation for three years of their degree. We have a range of options available (two thirds of which are en-suite) and all rooms are either on site or no more than 300yds from the 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 extra-curricular activities led by the Junior Common Room (JCR), including music, sport and drama, and many more. 
  9. Great food at reasonable prices.
  10. Students grants for travel and research projects and Funds to help students in financial difficulty.
  11. A well-developed and effective welfare provision, including the Deanery, College Nurse and Doctor, dedicated JCR reps, and peer supporters.

If you have any questions about the College or the application process, do get in touch with our Admissions and Access Officer, Claire Sims, on or 01865 278391.