For Students

Outreach and Access for Prospective Students

If you want to know more about what a university is, how Oxford is different, what it’s like being a student here, and how to make a competitive application to Oxford, then this page is for you!

As well as our resources, be sure to check out the University of Oxford’s pages and YouTube channel(s), which have the most up-to-date official advice and regulations, as well as demonstration interviews and other tips on how to make a successful application.

We are currently adding new materials and resources to these pages – please watch this space!

Important Notice about Admissions Tests

Please note that the test registration deadline of 29 September has now passed. Please check that you have received email confirmation of your test registration, together with your test registration ID and login details (username and password) for the online test platform. If you believe you have missed the test registration deadline, please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact your school as soon as possible. If your school is a registered test centre with TCS, they have a short grace period within which they can still register you to sit our test(s). 
  2. If your school was not able to register as a TCS test centre, then we advised that you should try to find an open centre using our Find an authorised centre tool. The open centres will also have a short grace period within which can register you to sit our test(s).  
  3. If neither of the options above are appropriate, we would advise that you contact the college to which you have made an application to request consideration of your application without a test score.
The Road to University and Oxford

Future Choices - Step by Step

Making decisions about your future and applying to university can be difficult and confusing, so we have prepared these resources that lead you through the decisions you will have to make, the application processes for UK universities and competitive applications, as well as providing information to help concerns about finances, careers,  and the welfare support available to students.

Follow the page down through the stages of the application process, all the way from choosing universities and courses through to preparing for your time at university just before starting. Or if you have a specific stage you're looking for, clicking the buttons below will take you straight to that section.

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What is University?

Introduction to Higher Education

Thinking about University can often be a confusing and daunting process, especially for those who might be the first in their family to go or consider going to university.

We have prepared a helpful guide as an introduction to the Higher Education system in the UK, and the options available to you.

One of the major concerns students might initially have about going to university is the financial aspect, which is covered in the guide or you can skip ahead to the Student Finance section of this page for some more specifics on the process.

Learn more
What is Oxford?

Introduction to Oxford

Information and short videos about university, how Oxford is different, and why it might suit you.

Oxford has a history going back over 900 years, and has a lot of aspects that make it a very special place to live and study. Most notably, Oxford is a university made of many unique colleges, and uses the tutorial system to really enhance its teaching.

This is part of the reason why Oxford has been ranked Number 1 in the world by Times Higher Education World Rankings for the past seven years!

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Oxford Is
Is Oxford for Me?

Oxford is a place for some of the most academically-able students from across the world from all backgrounds – there is no "typical Oxford student" because Oxford is made up of such a vibrant, diverse, and varied group of people from all walks of life.

The real qualities all Oxford students share are passion for their subjects and motivation to learn more about those subjects! If you really love your subject, and have the perseverance to push yourself academically with its demanding workload, then Oxford might just be the place for you – regardless of your background.

If these qualities describe you, then why not apply – you might be just what Oxford is looking for!

Learn more
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Oxbridge Women and Non-Binary People in STEM Programme

Oxbridge Women and Non-Binary People in STEM is a joint sustained-contact programme run by St Anne's College Oxford and Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, aimed at encouraging more women and people identifying as other marginalised genders to explore their interests in STEM, and to guide and advise with the application process.

Want to find out more about STEM subjects at university and about Oxford and/or Cambridge? If you identify as female, non-binary, or another marginalised gender, and are in Years 10-12 (England and Wales), S3-S5 (Scotland), Years 11-13 (Northern Ireland) or equivalent overseas, then sign up here! The programme is free of charge and will involve: 

  • - A virtual launch event, introducing the broad range of Physical STEM subjects on offer at Oxford and Cambridge, attended by academics and current students from St Anne's and Fitzwilliam Colleges.
  • - Regular STEM newsletters, including exclusive access to academic taster lectures, profiles of researchers in STEM, and further reading to explore the subjects in more depth!
  • - Webinars for each individual subject, delving into the application process in more detail and with Q&A opportunities with current members of staff.
  • - A follow up in-person visit to St Anne's and/or Fitzwilliam Colleges.

Learn more
Picking a Subject


Find out which subjects you can study here, as well as those offered at the university more widely.

Here you'll also find the entry and selection criteria for each subject, and resources to help you explore courses you might not have come across before.

See St Anne's Range of Courses
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Astrophoria Foundation Year

The Astrophoria Foundation Year is a new fully-funded programme for those who have faced personal disadvantage or disrupted education, enabling up to 50 students each year to study a year-long course in Science, Humanities, Law, or PPE, where those who complete this course are then able to automatically join the relevant standard-entry degree course.

Learn more
2019 July Open days


Oxford is a bit different from the majority of UK universities – it is made up of many colleges, each teaching a variety of subjects. So as well as choosing your course, you can also choose which college to apply to, or if you really can't decide on a college, you can make an Open Application.

Colleges are typically where you live, eat, and socialise, and are your first contact for any welfare or finance matters, making each college its own unique community. Click here to find out more about Oxford colleges in general, and below to see St Anne's.

Why Choose St Anne's College
How do I choose?

Selecting a College

When you make your application to Oxford, you are asked to pick a college, as well as your selected subject. Some colleges don’t offer certain subjects, so that can often help narrow down your selection.

There are many factors that can go into deciding on which college you apply to, such as its buildings, accommodation, rent, catering, location, etc., but the best way to gauge whether a college is right for you is by visiting it in-person, and speaking to its students (if possible). Ultimately your college will be your first point of contact for your whole degree, so you need to make sure it’s the place that you feel suits you best.

When making applications, it’s also very important to remember that which college you apply to (or making an Open Application) will not affect your chances of being offered a place – applicants are judged across the entire cohort (across all colleges), so strong applicants who apply to a college that is “over-subscribed” for their subject may be reallocated to another college, so that the best candidates will always get a place at a college.


Visiting St Anne's

Prospective applicants are welcome to visit the college throughout the year - please let the Porters know as you arrive at the front gate (the Porters' Lodge).

  • Our address is:
  • St Anne's College
  • Woodstock Road
  • Oxford, OX2 6HS

If you would like a guided tour, please contact our Outreach Team in advance and if we are available, we would be more than happy to show you around! If you do want your own self-guided tour, here's a map of the college site to help you find your way around.

You can also view a short virtual tour of the college as well as a more detailed virtual tour if you want to see more!

We strongly recommend visiting Oxford on one of its Open Days to get the most out of your visit.

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Competitive Applications

A competitive application is an application to a course that typically receives more applications than it has places to offer, for example most courses at Russell Group universities, as well as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and law courses.

In order to make a successful competitive application, yours needs to stand out from the crowd, and demonstrate what makes you the best fit for the course. Use the information and resources below to give yourself the best chance of receiving an offer from top universities.

Learn more
August New Books
Beyond the Classroom

Super-Curricular Resources

We've created a bank of resources (as well as links to other colleges' resources) to help you learn more about your subject beyond what you learn in the classroom.

Not only are super-curriculars a great way to boost your application and make your personal statement stand out, they'll allow you to explore aspects of your favourite subject further and in more detail, and will be genuinely enjoyable in the process! Top tip: don't just do a super-curricular to boost your application; if you're not enjoying or not understanding that resource, try another one that does interest you – there are plenty out there!

Further reading, useful websites, Oxford-specific events and so much more!

Learn more
How to write...

Personal Statements

Prospective applicants need to have submitted their UCAS applications by mid-October (16th October for 2024-25 entry applications) and therefore need to have their personal statements ready by then.

There's no need to stress about your personal statement! Different things work for different people – some prefer to work on theirs in short but frequent bursts, whereas other prefer to sit down for a few extended periods of time. Typically, schools will recommend that students begin drafting their personal statements before the summer between Years 12 and 13, so here are some resources to help in the run up to the deadline.

See our Overview
Preparing for...

Admissions Tests

Many of the courses offered at Oxford use admissions tests as a part of their application processes. Typically these take place in October before the year of entry, and for applicants hoping to start university in September/October 2024, this year's tests must be taken by/during the week of the 16th to the 20th October 2023.

Here are all the admissions tests currently being used, and you can find out whether the course you're interested in requires an admissions test too by clicking the button below.

Click on the test(s) required for your subject - there are past papers, solutions and webinars for the different papers that you can use to practice. There are also a number of useful resources from across the Oxford Colleges and Departments you can use, for example:

  • - Jesus College's YouTube channel also has some really useful resources for preparing for the TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment).
  • - The Maths Faculty has a number of videos to help you prepare, including this video on the MAT
  • - Several faculties are running online workshops for their admissions tests, so check their websites to find out how you can join

Remember, to sit the test you will need to register with a test centre – this will typically be your school for UK students, so do make sure you let your teachers know in advance! For applications in 2023 and onwards, schools will need to re-register as test centres, so please consult your school's academic office or exams officer to check this.

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Beaver Quiz 2c

Written Work

Some subjects will require applicants to submit some written work, typically after admissions tests, and may act as a springboard for discussions during interviews, should the applicant be shortlisted and invited to interviews.

What needs to be submitted varies from subject to subject, and if you have any queries about what your application requires, click here, or ask the college to which you applied or were allocated.

Learn more
Preparing for...


For many competitive applications, universities use interviews to help make decisions about which applicants should receive offers. the prospect of interviews can often be daunting, particularly for those who might not be used to the tutorial style or on-the-spot thinking and discussions, so our students have some tips to help.

Although interviews are the final hurdle in many application processes (in Oxford they take place in December), this does not mean that your performance in interviews is all that is used to make the final decision as to whether to offer you a place on the course – all applications are considered holistically, taking into account personal statements, teachers' references, contextual information, performance in admissions tests and written work as well.

The button below will take you to the University's official guidelines and advice on interviews, as well as the recently-updated demonstration interviews.

Learn more
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What next?

Offers and Bridging Programmes

After interviews, tutors will make their decisions about which candidates to make offers to – whether you're made an offer or not, you will receive the result of your application on the 9th January 2024.

There are several types of offers from Oxford, so if you receive one make sure to read yours carefully – for example, you might have been reassigned to another college, or made an Open Offer, or selected for the Opportunity Oxford programme.

If you are offered a place on your course, you may then be asked (or recommended) to complete a Bridging Programme, which is often intended to ensure that all students start their course at the same level of understanding as their peers. Some of these will be subject-specific, but we also recommend coming back to our Super-Curriculars resources, as these are often applicable to many levels, and can really help extend your knowledge to prepare for starting studying again.

How will I fund University?

Student Finance

Although it's true that going to university is a big financial commitment because of both tuition fees and living costs, there is always financial support out there for anyone who needs it – so the cost of university should never be the factor stopping you from going to university to study the subject you love.

Additionally, going to university remains a good long-term financial investment, since on average graduates earn £11,500 more per year than those who don’t go to university, proving that a degree continues to be a rewarding investment ( as of 28th September 2023).

For more details on scholarships, bursaries, and student loans – which are more like a "graduate tax" than a normal loan – see Student Finance and Oxford bursaries.

Learn more
Oxford and Beyond


Not only does studying your favourite subject at university allow you to really explore your interests in great detail and independence, an undergraduate degree opens many doors in the world of work beyond university.

Many employers now ask that applicants have an undergraduate degree, but the vast majority of those do not ask for a specific degree. Some professions need certain degrees such as medical professions requiring a Medicine degree, but many tech-based occupations will only ask for a STEM degree.

Oxford also provides a lifelong Careers Service to its students and graduates, with plenty of regularly-updated job opportunities, internships, and career advice.

There's always support available

Welfare Support

One of the main benefits of Oxford's collegiate system is that as well as being part of the university, you also have your college – each one a community that comes with its own support availablein addition to the University's Welfare Support.

St Anne's has a dedicated team for welfare and wellbeing, who are there for support you with concerns over academic matters, stress, disabilities, mental and physical health, and everything in-between. They are also supported by the student Junior Deans, who are available 24/7 and live on-site.

Learn more

Outreach Opportunities for Students

During October-November, we run a number of interview workshops for state schools in our link regions (in the North East: Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, and Sunderland and in London: Hillingdon and Southwark). We ask schools to host these visits, and students from across our link regions are welcome to attend.

Alongside Trinity and Christ Church Colleges, with support from Lincoln College, St Anne’s offers an annual residential for state school students from the North East of England (from Middlesbrough to Northumberland). This residential ties in with the main University of Oxford Open Days (end of June, beginning of July) and is a great opportunity for students who are considering an application to Oxford to find out more about the university in person. The residential is free to attend, and all travel, meal and accommodation costs are covered. To find or more, or to apply, click here.

Aim for Oxford is St Anne’s College’s new sustained outreach programme, especially for state school students from the North East of England. It runs for up to two years, and supports participants to make strong applications for Oxford. Find out more here.

These sessions are aimed more broadly at students considering university from the North East of England (not just for those considering Oxford or Cambridge) and will take place online in July 2020. To apply for your place, please complete the form here.

Want to explore your subject in more detail, or learn about a new topic? Currently just open to students in our link regions of Hillingdon, Southwark and the North East of England, the St Anne’s Super-Curricular Club offers weekly topics, short videos, quizzes and discussions on a wide range of subjects. Click here for more information.