You can find a lot of information on applying to, and studying at Oxford University from the University admissions pages, and a series of useful podcasts here.

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Applications for Oxford are received through UCAS in much the same way as for other UK Universities – see the UCAS website for more details.

What qualifications do I need?

The current A-level admission requirement is A*AA, with the A* in a Science or a Mathematics (see full list of 'subjects in which an A* grade will be acceptable'). Biology/Human Biology at A-Level (or equivalent higher qualifications) is normally required. There are no “ideal” combinations of subjects. Equivalent international qualifications are also accepted. For details, please see the University pages on international qualifications. The requirement for the International Baccalaureate is total score of at least 39 points including core points, with 7 at the Higher level in Mathematics or a science (preferably Biology)

What is the College system?

Though Oxford University has many centuries of history behind it, complete with traditions, legends and possible notoriety, we hope that we can immediately dispel any notion of elitism or “superiority”. There are some differences between us and most other British universities, but the only one that need concern you is to do with the Colleges at Oxford. Unlike most other universities, where you would expect to apply to a Biology department to study biology, at Oxford, you have to apply to one of the 21 Colleges that accept biologists (see links page for details). Your choice of college will not influence your success as a biologist. Though you college will be your new home, most of your teaching (and indeed, exams) will be organized centrally by the biologists at Oxford. Your college’s biggest contribution to your education will be via the tutorial system, organized, or at least overseen, by your personal tutor in college who will also be an academic biologist. The University provides further information on the collegiate system.

How do I choose a college?

You can either put down your preference for one particular college, or you can leave the choice of college to the University administration and be allocated to a college according to a formula designed to ensure the fair distribution of candidates. If you do choose your own (and most people do), make sure you select one which has a biology tutor (see the links page for details or check the college website). Please note that the choice of college for a biologist will not affect the quantity and quality of teaching you receive, since the bulk of your working time will be spent in the Departments. This is not to say that colleges are not keen to be centres of academic excellence — indeed they are—but college is also somewhere to live, relax and enjoy all that Oxford is able to provide. The university page on choosing a college may be of some help.

What is the timeline for applications, interviews and admissions?

The deadline for applications to Oxford is the 15th October. On the basis of your UCAS form, you may be called for interview in December by the tutor of your chosen college. This is usually for admission the following October, but you may also submit a deferred application for the following year.

How can I find out more?

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