Wadham College Crest

Wadham College

Wadham is friendly, fun-loving and inclusive, with a liberal, politically engaged and diverse community. We tend to do very well academically and came sixth in the Norrington table in 2020. It’s very central and has a beautiful quad (the most symmetrical in Oxford), a chapel and gardens, as well as a modern library and a new undergraduate centre holding the JCR and college bar (and study spaces!).



Lunch is served in the new refectory each weekday, and usually costs £3-5, with a number of vegetarian/vegan options. For dinner (which is £5.88) you can eat either in the new refectory or in hall if you’re feeling fancy and includes two courses, usually main and dessert. Wadham doesn’t currently have formals (although there is a motion to introduce these), but there are guest nights where students can bring parents or friends.


You can live in college for your first year and one other, usually your last, and all rooms cost the same amount. Third years do a random ballot for priority choosing rooms whilst first years are more randomly allocated but you fill out a questionnaire stating some preferences beforehand. Some college rooms have a kitchen and there is the main JCR kitchen that everyone can use. A few of the rooms have en-suites but usually a bathroom is shared between two to four people. Second years live out in the Dorothy Wadham Building which is college-owned accommodation located in Iffley. Despite being around 30 minutes away, the accommodation is lovely with large social spaces and great kitchen facilities. Living out allows you to explore Cowley and Iffley which has nice restaurants, cultural shops and you’re also closer to the Bullingdon and O2 Academy if you’re a fan of the nightlife scene. Wadham also has off-site accommodation called Merifield where graduates, fourth years and exchange students live, located in Summertown.


Wadham has a thriving extra-curricular life – with both sports teams, including a successful rowing team of course), and non-sporting societies. Uniquely, there is the Wadham Weightlifting Society where those who self-identify as women and non-binaries have a comfortable training environment. There’s also an active drama scene with the annual college garden play finally returning post-COVID. There’s so much to get involved with that you won’t know where to start!


At Wadham, student welfare is genuinely a priority. The Student Union (SU) has four Welfare Officers who organise regular events like welfare brunch, Zumba and Yoga. The SU also has a Women’s Officer, an LGBTQIA Officer, a People of Colour and Racial Equality Officer, a Disabled Students Officer and a Trans Rep. There are also trained peer supporters who do regular drop-in sessions. Wadham has a Welfare Advisor, and Jane the chaplain is always on hand for a cup of tea and a chat, along with Maggie Mae, the college dog (although technically she is a ‘cat’). We also have a college tortoise called Archibald.


At Wadham we work hard but play harder! We have fortnightly ‘bops’ (big open parties) every two weeks which always end with ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ where people get ‘mandela-ed’ (essentially you just get on someone else’s shoulders!). The Wadham Entz officers organise Queerfest at the end of Queerweek, which is a week of talks, workshops and performances about LGBTQIA issues and culture. Queerfest is an annual event celebrating LGBTQIA identities and it’s the glitteriest night you can imagine. In addition, Wadstock is a 12-hour mini music festival in Trinity term. We also have a ball once every three years for a more formal and fancy night to remember!

I didn't choose Wadham, but I absolutely loved my time here. Our liberal, friendly and increasingly diverse community made it easy for me to fit in and grow into a more confident individual. Plus, the work hard play harder culture meant I had fun and enjoyed things beyond just my studies whilst making some awesome friends
Karishma, Law, student from 2020
The best thing about Wadham is that it's a college where it's easy to get the work-life balance right. Not only is it easy to work hard here, but it's easy to play hard too.
Liam, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, student from 2015
I have never felt more comfortable or more accepted than at Wadham – it’s a really kind, fun, supportive community. Oxford can be really tough but Wadham has made it more than worth it.
Ella, Classics, student from 2014
There are always so many amazing things happening at Wadham - from activism and student politics, to sport and theatre, there is genuinely something for everyone.
Isobel, History of Art, student from 2014

Find out more

Founded: 1610
Undergraduate students per year: 128
Total number of undergraduate students: 425
Famous alumni: Rowan Williams, Michael Rosen, Monica Ali, Laurie Penny, Rosamund Pike, Robert Hooke, Michael Foot, Christopher Wren

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