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Frequently asked questions about postgraduate accommodation

What do the different grades mean on my accommodation preference form?

College rooms are graded based on size, condition, location and facilities. Because of the huge variety of staircases, there is no ‘average’ room at Oriel College. All rooms are single – there are no shared bedrooms. Oriel has a small number of flats on Rectory Road for graduate freshers accommpanied by spouses or partners, but the College unfortunately cannot accommodate children.

What is the difference between the ‘Main Site’ and ‘Rectory Road’?

We have two sites – the main College site which includes the Island site, and the complex at Rectory Road (sometimes called JMH), which is situated off Oxford’s famous Cowley Road just 10-15 minutes walk or 5 minutes on a bike from the College.

The majority of our graduate rooms are at Rectory Road and are modern, en-suite ones graded from B to A*. When choosing your preferred grade you need to decide where your priorities fall. Please note that 90% of the available rooms are A or B grade and make sure you budget accordingly.

Will I get my first choice of room grade?

We do our best to accommodate all graduate fresher requests but can’t guarantee that you will be assigned the grade or location you ask for – it will all depend upon the demand. Priority for choice is given to those students who return their accommodation preference forms before 31st July, but it is not a “first come, first served” policy. If the demand for a certain type of room (i.e. low grade, en-suite, main site, etc) exceeds supply, names are drawn at random in order to ensure fairness.

What if I have a disability which means I need a certain kind of room?

If you have an illness or disability , please contact the Academic Registrar (see details below) as soon as possible before you arrive so that they can assist you.

What if I have a religious reason for requesting a certain kind of room?

If your religious beliefs or practices mean that you may need a certain type of room, please let the Admissions Officer know as soon as possible before you arrive and they will help you with your request.

What is my postal address?

All students have a pige (pigeonhole) at the Lodge which is manned 24 hours/day. Your postal address is therefore Oriel College, Oriel Square, Oxford, OX1 4EW. There are no postal facilities at Rectory Road, so all post is delivered to the main College site.

How long do I have my room for?

Graduates are expected to take their rooms for the full academic year (1st October – 10th September) with no refunds for the first 39 weeks of residency. Students who have completed their course or have a good reason to move out will be released from their rental obligation with one month’s notice to the Accommodation Manager. Graduates in couples accommodation cannot apply for early release.

What if I need to arrive before 1st October?

If you need to arrive early, please contact the Accommodation Manager ( / 01865 276553) with your arrival date. You will be charged accordingly.

What if I arrive after 1st October?

The room will be reserved for your use from 1st October, so you will be charged from that date even if you arrive later.

When will I find out about my room allocation?

Because of the unpredictable nature of the graduate fresher process, room allocations are not finalised until September, usually two weeks before your arrival date. Do not be alarmed if you do not hear from the Accommodation Manager immediately. Please be patient – we will be in contact with the details of your room allocation in due course.

Will I arrive in Oxford with nowhere to live?

If you have indicated that you would like a room and have returned your accommodation preference form, you will have a room from 1st October.

What if plans change and I don’t need/want a room?

Please inform the Accommodation Manager as soon as possible so that they can offer your room to someone else. Failure to do so may result in a financial penalty.

How do I pay for the room?

Graduates are battelled (charged on their College account) their accommodation charge 3 months in advance at the beginning of every term. For more information, refer to the Graduate Fees and Charges Guide.

Can I cook in my room?

No cooking equipment other than kettles and electric toasters may be kept or used in rooms. Rice cookers, Foreman grills and sandwich toasters are not permitted in rooms. They may be used in communal kitchens, but they must be kept there.

Do I need to buy my own possessions insurance?

The College provides possessions insurance (at no cost to you) while you are in College accommodation. Bicycles are not covered. The Accommodation Manager sends out an email with details of what is and isn’t covered at the beginning of the academic year.

What should I bring with me?

All College rooms are supplied with the following:

  • Bed, mattress, duvet, pillow
  • Bedside table
  • Desk and desk chair
  • Armchair
  • Desk lamp
  • Chest of drawers and/or wardrobe
  • Window and floor coverings

The college does not supply bed linen.

Contact the Admissions Officer
Contact the Accommodation Office
Contact the Academic Registrar
Download our Fees and Charges for Postgraduates document

Further information

Students with disabilities

More about living at Oriel

Postgraduate funding