Applying to Oriel - Oriel College (2024)

taking the first steps

The Oxford application process can seem daunting at first, so here is some guidance on what to do and when to help you along the way.

what are we looking for?

We’re not only interested in your grades and achievements, but in understanding your potential to grow and thrive here. We understand that not all applicants have had the same opportunities, and take that into account.

Independent thinkers

You don’t have to conform to a traditional viewpoint – we encourage students to think for themselves (but be prepared to back up your views with sources or evidence).


We have high academic standards, and we are looking to admit students who have the desire to reach their full potential.


We’re looking for students who are passionate about their subject and possess a deep curiosity to find out more.

Entrance Requirements

Before you begin your application, check the entrance requirements for your chosen course. Conditional offers for students studying A Levels will range between A*A*A and AAA depending on the subject, and more information can be found on specific course pages. A full list of courses offered by the University and their typical A Level (or international equivalent) requirements can be found on the University of Oxford website. You will also find further information in our undergraduate course pages.

For students who are not taking A Levels, we accept a range of international qualifications including the International Baccalaureate. Complete information on international qualifications accepted by the University can be found on the University ofOxfordwebsite.

Visit the University website
Find out about the courses we offer

Application Process and Deadlines

All applications are made online through UCAS, and the deadline for students to submit their completed form is 6pm (UK time) on 15th October the year before you wish to start your course. The University has a step-by-step guide to the application process and we recommend that you read the information there thoroughly. Undergraduate applicants may specify Oriel College (or another college) as their college of choice on their application, but it is not compulsory to choose a college when you apply.

Visit the University website

Writing your Personal Statement

Our tutors are not looking for ‘perfect’ candidates, or those who check certain boxes – they are looking at each candidate as an individual. What they really want to know is whether you are passionate about your subject, and whether you have the potential to thrive here. In your personal statement, speak honestly about why you want to study your chosen subject and what areas of it you are particularly interested in. Rather than talking generally, you could give specific examples of things you have done or books you have read that have solidified your passion for your subject.

Your personal statement will be used as the basis for some interview questions, but we are not looking for a particular type of person, and extra-curricular activities unrelated to your studies are not important to us.

some helpful advice

Become more engaged with your subject outside of the classroom, and begin to develop your interests. Private: Iona Cowley|Classics and English

Admissions Tests and Written Work

For many courses, applicants are asked to take a test (or tests) shortly after submitting their application. Applicants need to register for the test(s) separately, usually by 6pm on 15th October(except in the case of Law applicants, who must register for their LNAT by 5th October and take it between 1st September and 20thOctober). Other tests usually take place in early November.

We recommend that you check your course page fully when compiling your UCAS application so that you are aware of what is required of you. There is further guidance available on the University of Oxford website. The University’s website also has practice materials available for students.

Visit the University of Oxford website

Admissions Interviews

Everybody whose application is shortlisted will be interviewed, either in Oxford or by Skype or phone (for those living overseas). The interviews are conducted along the lines of a tutorial. The interviewing tutors will go through questions and problems, discussing your ideas and responses, and finding out about how you think. There will always be more than one interviewer in the room, and you will be interviewed at least twice, sometimes at more than one college.

Interviews usually take place during December, and you should receive notification towards the end of November or in early December to let you know whether you have been invited for interview. More advice on interviews can be found on our Interviews page.

Please note that for Medicine, all shortlisted candidated are required to come to Oxford for interview.

Read the Alternative Prospectus

Further Information

Find out what our students say

Find out what our students say

Find out about life at Oriel

Find out about life at Oriel

Find out about the courses we offer

Find out about the courses we offer

Applying to Oriel - Oriel College (2024)


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