Balliol College Crest

Balliol College

Balliol is a gorgeous college with a reputation for a laid-back atmosphere and highly inclusive vibe. While it does live up to these claims, students still find time to do pretty well academically, too.



Balliol is lucky to have not only a hall, but also a student-run cafe! In hall you can get lunch and dinner (about £3 each), and there's a daily veggie option. The student-run cafe is called "Pantry" and does breakfast, lunch (often cheaper than hall), and dinner (the same price). We usually have three Formals a term which are pre-booked, and everyone is welcome to bring guests, as space allows.



Everyone in their first and final year lives in college, and, for the other years, in college flats (a 5-minute walk from college) or privately rented accommodation. Postgraduate students get to live in a beautiful Manor just 10 minutes away from the College. All rooms around college and college-owned accommodation are nice, with lots of choice (inc. varying degrees of kitchen access). College flats are luxe: every room has access to a kitchen and most rooms have an en suite. People tend to live with their friends in the college flats, but college rooms are allocated by random ballot, meaning there’s no guarantee with whom you’ll end up living.


Balliol has one of the most active and welcoming JCRs in Oxford! The College is home to the only student-run cafe in Oxford, there is a student-run bar and also a rapidly expanding drama society. The JCR is always full of people so there’s bound to be a friend or friendly face around.


The college has really good wellbeing and welfare provisions, including access to the lovely Chaplain and Welfare Officer. The JCR also provides student support, and the College prides itself on being one of the most caring JCRs. The JCR is such a nice place to be, not least due to the regular Welfare teas, where you can have a chat along with some drinks and biscuits for free.


We have nine big parties - Bops - a year, as well as some smaller ones too, and our bar is probably the cheapest in Oxford. While you do get a few free posh dinners throughout your time at Balliol, the college community likes to keep it more low-key and relaxed. If you do feel like dressing up, Balliol puts on a rather fancy Ball most years!

Thanks to our student-run cafe and bar, everyone gets to know each other in a way that doesn't necessarily happen at other colleges.
Flo, Chemistry, student from 2012
Balliol is mint - it’s right in the middle of town so you’re near the libraries during the day and the clubs at night!
Lottie, Oriental Studies, student from 2012
Balliol is so friendly! Everyone made me feel right at home right from my first day.
Frances, Classics, student from 2014

Find out more

Founded: 1263
Undergraduate students per year: 112
Total number of undergraduate students: 366
Famous alumni: Howard Marks, Graham Greene, and - rumour has it - the inventor of the Hobnob biscuit.

You might also want to take a look at the Balliol alternative prospectus or the official college website.