Applying to Oriel
Conditional offers for students studying A-levels will range between A*A*A and AAA depending on the subject, and more information can be found on specific course pages. A full list of courses offered by the University and their typical A Level requirements can be found on the University of Oxford website. You will also find further information in our Undergraduate Courses pages.
For students who are not taking A Levels, we also accept a range of international qualifications including the International Baccalaureate. Complete information on international qualifications accepted by the University can be found on the University of Oxford website.
Application Process and Deadlines
Applications are made through UCAS, and the deadline for students wishing to begin their courses in 2021 (or for deferred entry in 2022) is 6pm (UK time), 15 October 2020. The University has a step-by-step guide to the application process and we recommend that you read the information there thoroughly. Undergraduate applicants may specify Oriel College (or another college) as their college of choice on their application.
How to Prepare
You can do a lot to prepare before making an application. First, it’s important to think carefully about your choice of degree course. Don’t simply choose the subject in which you get the best marks at school. Choose the subject the makes you want to find out more. Finding out more might mean doing personal research on the internet, or in a local library or bookshop. It might be possible to get some work or volunteer experience in something related to an aspect of your future studies or career.
Personal Statements (UCAS form)
Tell us honestly why you want to study your chosen subject. Give us concrete examples of the things you have done or the books you have read that have confirmed your decision. Tell us what you got out of those books or those experiences. We will use the personal statement as the basis for some interview questions, but we are not looking for a particular type of person, and extra-curricular activities unrelated to your studies are not important to us.
Admissions Tests and Written Work
Applicants for many of our courses will need to take a test (or tests) shortly after submitting their application. These tests must be registered for separately, ususally by 6pm on 15 October (except in the case of Law applicants, who must register for their LNAT by 5 October and take it between 1 September and 20 October). Other tests usually take place in early November. We recommend you check your course page fully when completing your UCAS application so that you are aware of what is required of you. There is also further guidance on the University of Oxford website.
For many courses, you will also be required to submit a piece of written work along with your application - you can find out whether this is required by checking your course page on the University of Oxford website.
Everybody whose application is short-listed will be interviewed, either in Oxford or by Skype or phone (for those living outside Europe). The interviews are conducted along the lines of a tutorial. We go through questions and problems, discussing your ideas and responses, and finding out something about how you think. There will always be more than one interviewer in the room, and you will be interviewed at least twice, sometimes at more than one college. Interviews usually take place during December, and you should receive notification towards the end of November or in early December to let you know whether you have been invited for interview. More advice on interviews can be found on our Interviews page.
Note - all shortlisted candidated for Medicine are required to come for interview.
What Are We Looking For?
Oriel students are hard-working, inquisitive, and creative. They are determined to explore their chosen subjects, and they are able to work independently towards their goals. There is no ‘Oriel type’, and no ‘Oxford type’ for that matter. All that our tutors are looking for is students who have the potential for academic excellence and who are committed to their studies.
Our students come from all sorts of backgrounds and all sorts of schools. We are not biased against anyone, and we are not biased in favour of anyone. We do, however, know from experience that not all schools can provide the same type of opportunities for their pupils, so we take this into account and assess your future potential, as well as your achievements on paper.
Oriel values diversity in its student body - whether of nationality, ethnicity, sexuality or belief. We strive to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for students from all walks of life. Oxford is a safe and dynamic place for students to expand their horizons, explore new identities and challenge themselves both inside and outside the classroom.
Timeline for Undergraduate Admissions
- 1st September – 15th October: Submit your UCAS application. If your course requires an admissions test, check the registration arrangements / deadline.
- 31st October: All pre-interview tests administered by Cambridge Assessment take place (this is not an exhaustive list – for example, the LNAT for Law can be taken between 1st September – 20th October so CHECK arrangements for your subject).
- 10th November: Deadline for submission of written work (if required).
- End of November: Shortlisting decisions made and invitations to interview sent.
- 2nd – 13th December: Interviews in Oxford.
- By mid January: Decision letters issued.
- August: Conditional places confirmed following receipt of examination results. Fresher information sent out via email.
If you have a question and can't find the answer on our website, please get in touch with our Admissions Officer, Mrs Julianna Fatimaharan (firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)1865 276522).