The College Community


Oxford’s colleges and permanent private halls are an integral part of the University, but at the same time, they are independent self-governing bodies of academics, students and staff. Of the 38 colleges, seven are dedicated to graduates only; others also accept undergraduates. Graduate colleges provide uniquely tailored college support for over one third of our graduate population. The six permanent private halls admit both graduates and undergraduates. Founded by various Christian denominations, the halls still retain their religious character.

During their time at Oxford, postgraduate students are affiliated with both a department and a college. The collegiate system lies at the heart of Oxford University’s success and is popular with academics and students alike.

College life

  • complements the benefit of belonging to a large, internationally renowned institution with the advantage of being a member of a smaller, inter-disciplinary academic community
  • offers a range of social and sporting activities
  • allows academics and students across countries, subjects and year groups to interact, taking you beyond your academic field and adding another invaluable dimension to your experience of graduate study
  • fosters intellectual and cultural exchange on a formal and informal level: in college seminars, over meals in the dining hall or during late-night debates in college accommodation
  • gives you a unique chance to establish and/or extend your professional network and find a new circle of friends

Welfare and support

The college also provides students with extensive academic and welfare support. All colleges have a Tutor for Graduates or a Senior Tutor, whose role includes general oversight of all graduate members of the college. You will also be allocated a college adviser from the college’s academic staff: though your studies will be run by your department or faculty, you will have the opportunity to consult an additional person for advice and support. All colleges invest heavily in facilities for extensive library and IT provision, accommodation and welfare, sports and social events. Graduate students benefit from the Middle Common Room (MCR) – both a physical space and a student organisation in charge of social events and advocacy of student-related matters, which is a link to the graduate community at the University.