The University

Oxford is considered to be one of the premier universities in the UK. It is located in Central England on the M40. The town of Oxford itself has a student population of over 30,000.
Originally founded around 1100, the university has been at the forefront of world education for many years.
Traditionally Oxford has always offered humanist subjects and traditional degrees. Recently, however, they have expanded their repertoire. The courses currently offered are:

Oxford Colleges and Private Halls

There are 45 colleges and private halls at Oxford. The private halls are Christian colleges which also cater for lay students. These halls are in italic. The colleges vary in size and normally take between 100 to 500 students (except for the Private halls which take smaller numbers). Colleges offer accommodation to their students and teaching is primarily done within the college although not exclusively. Nearly all colleges take undergraduate and graduate students. All intakes figures are for the academic year 2000/2001.

  • All Souls College(all-souls) - Founded 1438. Takes only members of Holy Orders and traditionally takes only graduates. Intake of 40 students each year, studying only theology or canon law.
  • Balliol College (Balliol) - Founded 1263. Intake of 412 undergraduate and 134 graduate students.
  • Blackfriars (bfriars) - Founded 1221, suppressed 1538 and refounded 1921. A Dominican community. Intake of 25 undergraduate and 3 graduate students.
  • Brasenose College (bnc) - Founded 1509. Intake of 357 undergraduate and 121 graduate students.
  • Campion Hall (campion) - Founded 1896. Jesuit community. Does not cater for lay undergraduate. Intake of 3 undergraduate and 12 graduate students.
  • Christ Church (chch) - Founded 1546. Intake of 426 undergraduate and 154 graduate students..
  • Corpus Christi College (ccc) - Founded 1517. Intake of 220 undergraduate and 120 graduate students.
  • Exeter College (Exeter) - Founded 1314. Intake of 326 undergraduate and 138 graduate students.
  • Green College (green) - Founded 1979. Only takes graduate students, primarily to do medical studies. Intake of 240 graduate students.
  • Greyfriars (greyfriars) - Founded 1224, suppressed 1538 and refounded 1910. Franciscan/Capuchin origins but now just generally Catholic. Intake of 31 undergraduate and 5 graduate students.
  • Harris Manchester College (hmc) - Founded 1786. Dedicated to mature students (over 21). Intake of 87 undergraduate and 14 graduate students.
  • Hertford College (hertford) - Founded 1282. Intake of 367 undergraduate and 157 graduate students.
  • Jesus College (jesus) - Founded 1571. Intake of 337 undergraduate and 115 graduate students.
  • Keble College (keble) - Founded 1870. Intake of 451 undergraduate and 200 graduate students.
  • Kellogg College (kelogg) - Founded 1990. Focuses on part time education. Intake details not given but student population of approx. 100.
  • Lady Margaret Hall (lmh) - Founded 1878. Intake of 415 undergraduate and 120 graduate students.
  • Linacre College (Linacre) - Founded 1962. Only takes graduate students. Intake of 260 graduate students.
  • Lincoln College (Lincoln) - Founded 1427. Intake of 284 undergraduate and 180 graduate students.
  • Magdalen College (magd) - Founded 1458. Intake of 399 undergraduate and 181 graduate students.
  • Masfield College (Mansfield) - Founded 1886. Intake of 191 undergraduate and 47 graduate students.
  • Merton College (merton) - Founded 1264. Intake of 297 undergraduate and 142 graduate students.
  • New College (new) - Founded 1379. Intake of 420 undergraduate and 186 graduate students.
  • Nuffield College (nuff) - Founded 1937. Takes only graduate students. Specialises in social sciences. Intake of 80 graduate students.
  • Oriel College (oriel) - Founded 1326. Intake of 285 undergraduate and 128 graduate students.
  • Pembroke College (Pembroke) - Founded 1624. Intake of 424 undergraduate and 100 graduate students, also has 35 visiting students.
  • Queen's College (queens) - Founded 1341. Intake of 305 undergraduate and 127 graduate students.
  • Regent's Park College - Founded 1810. Maintains a Christian atmosphere but not obligations. Specialises in theology and philosophy. Intake of 77 undergraduate and 40 graduate students.
  • Somerville College (some) - Founded 1879. Intake of 399 undergraduate and 99 graduate students.
  • St Anne's College (stannes) - Founded 1879. Intake of 435 undergraduate and 168 graduate students.
  • At Antony's College (sant) - Founded 1960. An international College, Oxford| College taking only graduate students from all over the world. Specialises in international relations. Intake details not given but student population of approx. 250.
  • St Benet's Hall (st-benets) - Founded 1897. Founded for monks and still 12-15 monks resident most of whom are studying. Specialises in theology. Intake of 40 undergraduate and 5 graduate students.
  • St Catherine's College (stcatz) - Founded 1963. Intake of 430 undergraduate and 156 graduate students and 50 visiting students.
  • St Cross College (stx) - Founded 1965. Only takes graduate students. Intake of about 70 graduate students.
  • St Edmund Hall (she) - Founded c.1278. Intake of 416 undergraduate and 97 graduate students.
  • St Hilda's College (st-hildas) - Founded 1893. The only college devoted to women's education. Intake of 390 undergraduate and 68 graduate students.
  • St Hugh's College (st-hughs) - Founded 1896. Intake of 426 undergraduate and 160 graduate students.
  • St John's College (sjc) - Founded 1555. Intake of 392 undergraduate and 174 graduate students.
  • St Peter's College (spc) - Founded 1929. Intake of 395 undergraduate and 110 graduate students.
  • Templeton College (templeton) - Founded 1984. Takes only graduate students. Specialises only in Management studies. Intake details not given but student population of about 40.
  • Trinity College (trinity) - Founded 1554-5. Intake of 288 undergraduate and 115 graduate students.
  • University College (univ) - Founded 1259. Intake of 430 undergraduate and 112 graduate students.
  • Wadham College (wadham) - Founded 1610. Intake of 454 undergraduate and 151 graduate students.
  • Wolfson College (wolfson) - Founded 1966. Only takes graduate students. Intake details not given but student population of about 380 graduate students.
  • Worcester College (worc) - Founded 1714. Intake of 400 undergraduate and 145 graduate students.
  • Wycliffe Hall (wycliffe) - Founded 1877. Evangelical Christian ethos. Specialises in theology. Intake of 50 undergraduate and 16 graduate students.

Information taken from and various college websites whose abbreviations are given in brackets after the college name. For example Worcester college would be

Here are some interesting facts about Oxford:

1. The college with the longest name is Oriel College. It is still officially known as ''The Provost and Scholars of the House of the Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford, commonly called Oriel College, the foundation of Edward the Second of famous memory, sometime King of England'.

2. All Souls College, the most academic and austere of all Oxford Colleges, also observes the most bizarre ritual in Oxford - the Mallard Hunt. Fellows of All Souls to abandon their dinner, take up sticks and torches and pretend to search for the ghost of the Mallard in the quads and even of the roof! However, the ritual is observed during dinner on the first feast of All Souls in the first year of every new century and concludes with the ceremonial singing of the 'Mallard Song'.

3. The University's Bodleian Library, the second largest in Britain after the British Library, is almost seven centuries old and currently houses more than six and a half million documents on 169km (105 miles) of shelves in ten buildings and in a maze of underground tunnels that run beneath Broad Street and Radcliffe Square. The collection is growing at a rate of 300,000 documents every year!

Student life in Oxford centres around the various colleges. Colleges provide students with most facilities including well equipped libraries, provision for tutorials and accommodation. Most students stay in College accommodation for the majority of their time in Oxford. Social life centres around the Junior Common Room or the JCR for undergraduates and the Middle Common Room or the MCR for graduates. JCRs usually run the bars, organise various entertainment events and parties (these are known as bops in Oxford) and is headed by a President for which elections are keenly fought.

Two people integral to college life in Oxford are the scout and the Porter. The duties of a scout are cleaning and changing linen but they are the source of all gossip. If you don't want your scout to disturb you in the morning, the traditional practice is to leave your bin outside. It's a sign that you don't want to be woken up at an unearthly hour. However, in days gone by a scout was originally a student's manservant, acting as butler in their home from home.

Porters are the fountain of knowledge. They man the Porter's Lodge which can be found at the entrance to all colleges. They perform a variety of functions and are usually extremely popular with the students.

Oxford has its own selection of quaint terms. Here are a few:

1. Battels- these are the College bills. Usually highly inflated and a source of much misery and complaint.

2. Come up- to arrive as a student as Oxford. Note that this is separate from matriculation where you are formally inducted as a member of the University.

3. Go down- the opposite of 'coming up'. To leave as a student at Oxford. However, if you are expelled for a misdemeanour then you are 'sent down'. 4. Mods- short for 'Moderations'. These are exams usually held at the end of your first year. You just have to pass them! Some first year exams are called prelims. 5. Sub fusc- Dark suit, white bow tie, gown and mortar-board worn for matriculation, exams and degree ceremonies. Women wear something similar. From the Latin subfuscus meaning dark brown, although actually a brown suit would never do!

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