Postgraduate Study

Oriel's graduate community (often referred to as the Middle Common Room, or MCR) is made up of over 200 students from all over the world who are pursuing degrees in subjects in all four academic divisions of the University. Oriel accepts students in many subjects, but not all graduate courses are offered at the college. Please check your course page on the University of Oxford website to see whether we offer your course.  

Academic Support

Oriel provides a supportive environment for its graduate students. The Tutor for Graduates, who is a Fellow of the College, has responsibility for the academic affairs of graduate students. Upon arrival, graduate students are also allocated a College Advisor (in addition to their University Supervisor), who is a Fellow or Tutor of the College in their broad subject field. The College Advisor and Tutor for Graduates are there to provide additional support for graduate students, and students are always welcome to contact them.

Financial Support 

On the financial side, the College has a Hardship Fund, from which several awards are made to graduate students each term, and a Travel Grant fund, whose purpose is to support students travelling to conferences or other academic activities. Every year the College awards some scholarships to graduate students.

Research Engagement

Oriel has a very distinguished academic fellowship. Our fellows are actively engaged in research and in many cases they are leaders in their fields, and they are all involved in graduate teaching and guidance. There are many opportunities to interact both socially and academically with the fellows. Different subjects organise talks, lectures, seminars, and other events attended by graduate students.

The MCR (Middle Common Room) has launched an initiative called 'Oriel Talks' which brings together members of all three common rooms and aims to promote the research interests of members across the College. The College also has several social functions to which graduate students are invited, and the MCR also organises regular social events to which fellows of the College are invited.

Graduate Teaching Scheme

The College is keen to provide teaching opportunities for graduates, and has its own graduate teaching scheme. Furthermore, every year several Graduate Teaching Assistants are appointed across a range of subjects. These positions will be advertised in the Vacancies section of the College website, and MCR members will also be notified by email when opportunities arise.

Middle Common Room (MCR)

The MCR has its own comfortable and spacious rooms overlooking historic Oriel Square. One of the rooms has a large colour television and video, DVD player, stereo, piano, a well stocked bar, provisions for snacks, tea and coffee, and cooking facilities. The other room contains space for study. The MCR subscribes to a wide variety of daily newspapers and weekly magazines selected by its members. During any afternoon or evening one can find students from several countries engaged in lively discussion in the MCR. It is open twenty-four hours a day. Graduate students are encouraged to play an active part in the social and sporting life of the College.

As a self-governing body, the MCR provides a forum where graduates can debate and formulate positions on issues concerning the College and the University. The Committee of graduates elected each year supervises the operation and programmes of the MCR, but the administrative structure is informal and individual members are strongly encouraged to put forward their own ideas and to help organise MCR activities.

The MCR committee organises a wide range of cultural events, including trips to the theatre in Stratford or London, film previews, and joint events with other colleges. The MCR has a joint guest night each term, to which fellows of the college are invited. Oriel sponsors a variety of societies, clubs and teams in addition to those offered by the University. These include the Oriel Drama Society, which regularly puts on a summer production in College, the Oriel Chapel Choir, which achieves a fine standard of performance, the Pantin Society, which is for those interested in modern history, the Philosophy Society, and the Raleigh Society, which is concerned with English literature. 

For further information about graduate life at Oriel, see the MCR website.