Why not Oxford?

Subject choice

There are a number of popular subjects that Oxford doesn't offer (e.g. Dentistry, Architecture, Performing Arts, Sports Science, Accounting). The most important thing to consider is whether or not Oxford offers a course you're really interested in. All of our courses are listed on this page of the website. Many of them you probably didn’t - or couldn't - study at school but lots of them can be studied here without prior knowledge. Why not have a look at oriental studies, theology, classics, material sciences, human sciences or archaeology and anthropology?


Oxford degrees are difficult and we are expected to work hard. Students are set up to three essays, problem sheets, or lab reports to complete each week. Tutors expect these to be completed to a high standard and it's not uncommon to need to work beyond the usual 9-5 on busy weeks. The University knows this can be stressful, and there are a lot of welfare support services available to help you balance your workload.

We do get long holidays (six weeks at Christmas, six weeks at Easter, and twelves weeks in the Summer!). During breaks, tutors expect some revision and vacation work, but there's still plenty of time to relax, travel, get a job, or complete an internship. Even during term time, Oxford students find time to fit in a huge range of extra-curricular activities and nights out (see the student life section) but we recommend considering the substantial workload when deciding whether to make an application to Oxford.


The majority of Oxford's successful applicants will mostly have A/A*s at GCSE (or equivalent) and be predicted AAA-A*A*A at A level (or equivalent) in line with the standard offer for the subject they are applying for. However, Oxford contextualises your GCSE grades relative to the performance of the school you sat them at, which means that you could still make a competitive application with lower GCSE results if your grades were outstanding compared to your peers. Oxford also takes extenuating circumstances into account when considering applications so make sure your teacher’s reference clearly states if there's a reason your grades don't match your academic potential.


Many applicants are worried about the costs of studying at Oxford. However, this should NOT put anyone off and there is actually a huge amount of financial support available.