Skip Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Frequently asked questions about undergraduate 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 and buildings, there is no ‘average’ room at Oriel College. All rooms are single – there are no shared bedrooms.

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 accommodation complex at Rectory Road (sometimes called JMH), which is a 10-15 minute walk or 5 minutes on a bike from the College. All undergraduate fresher rooms are on the main site. It is important to note that 90% of the available rooms are B grade or higher – please budget accordingly.

Will I get my first choice of room grade?

We do our best to accommodate all requests but can’t guarantee that you will be assigned the grade you ask for – it will all depend upon the demand. If the demand for a certain type of room (ie low grade, en-suite, main site, etc) exceeds supply, names are drawn from a hat at random in order to ensure fairness.

How long do I have my room for?

Undergraduates have access to their rooms from Sunday of 0th week to Saturday of 8th week for each of the three terms. Term dates can be found on the University website.

What if I want to stay beyond Saturday of 8th Week or return before Sunday of 0th Week of the next term?

All undergraduates in College accommodation must fill out a vacation residence form which tells the College about when you plan to leave and return. You must fill out this form even if you don’t want to stay late or return early. The Accommodation Manager will send out emails with information in them. Keep an eye out for them – failing to hand in your vacation residence form earns you an automatic fine.

Can I leave anything in my room at the end of term?

Undergraduates in College accommodation must remove *all* belongings from their room when leaving for the vacation. Nothing should be left in cupboards, drawers or other spaces. Anything found will be thrown away.

I live in another country – do I have to clear my room at the end of term?

Yes. There is, however, a limited amount of storage in Oriel available over the vacations for international students only. The Accommodation Manager will send out an email with information at the end of term.

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, Oxon, OX1 4EW.

When will I find out what room I have been allocated?

When you arrive on Sunday of 0th week. Room allocations are not finalised until just before you arrive and the Accommodation Manager is not able to let each undergraduate fresher know what room they will be in before arrival. As you are unfamiliar with the College, it would not mean much to you even if they did.

Can I have the room I stayed in when I came for my interview?

Undergraduate freshers are not able to request individual rooms.

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

If you need a certain kind of room because of illness or disability, please contact the Academic Registrar as soon as possible before you arrive so that she can assist you. The Academic Registrar can be contacted on:

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 and he will help you with your request. They can be contacted on:

Can I arrive before Sunday of 0th Week?

If you arriving from overseas, please let the Admissions Officer and the Accommodation Manager know of your arrival date. If you are from the UK, please arrive with the other freshers on Sunday of 0th week.

How do I pay for my room?

Undergraduates are battelled (charged on their College account) their accommodation charge at the beginning of every term. For more information, refer to the Undergraduate Fees and Charges Guide included in your fresher information pack.

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 bedlinen. Remember, though – anything you bring with you at the beginning of term must be taken away with you at the end.

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

Further information

Students with disabilities

More about living at Oriel

More about fees and funding