Our post-graduate students are a vital and dynamic group within the Wadham community.
Graduate information and facilities
Wadham has some of the most affordable accommodation in the University. Graduates are either offered accommodation in ‘Merifield’ (the College’s modern development of shared flats in Summertown), in College, or choose to live in private accommodation. When not living in College accommodation, students can apply for a grant to help with the costs of private accommodation. Click on the link above to read more about the accommodation available.
The MCR (Middle Common Room)
While the SU represents all students, an MCR committee also exists to cater for the specific needs of graduate students.MCR website
Given that research can be an isolating and individually-focused pursuit, a lively and active graduate community is an important way to meet people within (and outside) your discipline and to balance academic pursuits with social activities. The Wadham Middle Common Room (MCR) is both the name for the graduate community and the space they occupy.
The MCR at Wadham is a thriving community with the new McCall MacBain Graduate Centre at its heart. This is a brand new dedicated space on the main College site available for graduate study, seminars, socialising and other events. Boasting a library, common room, kitchen with coffee machine, media room (with 65 inch 3D TV!) and bar this is one of the best-equipped graduate spaces in Oxford. Fully furnished with sofas, armchairs, chairs and desks, it is the perfect place for a gathering of friends, but big enough to find a quiet spot for study, whatever else is going on. The MCR is open to graduate students and also 4th year undergraduates on combined BA and masters courses and mature undergraduate students.
Each year, an MCR Committee is elected to represent the opinions and needs of the graduate community in the College and in the University. Graduate students are also members of the Students’ Union and the MCR President attends various College meetings, including meetings of the College’s Governing Body, to put forward student-led proposals or represent the views of the graduate community.
With the Warden, the MCR holds a bi-termly Research Forum where graduate students get the opportunity to present and discuss their research with fellow graduates, Fellows and tutors in order to develop their work and to encourage interdisciplinary understanding.
But it’s not all work! The MCR also organises regular parties, cultural events and guest dinners and encourages all MCR members to get involved. You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in college life, whether you want to organise trips, or just go along for the ride, the MCR committee will support you in all of your endeavours. MCR members are also actively involved in everything from College sport and drama to regular salsa dancing lessons and poetry readings. If you would like to learn more, please visit the MCR website.
MCR President, Gareth Molyneux
Gareth Molyneux is a first year DPhil Student in Synthetic Biology, and has been elected for a one year term of office.
All students are assigned a College Adviser, who is usually a Fellow of the College.
Your College Adviser can:
• provide pastoral support, for example on health, personal or coping issues, and/or direct you to appropriate persons for assistance
• monitor your progress, by discussing your University supervision reports and by being available for consultation, either in person or by email
• discuss with you any problems or difficulties you may be experiencing in your Department or Faculty, and/or with your supervisor
• consult the Tutor for Graduates/Senior Tutor if there are concerns about your academic progress and if you appear to be experiencing difficulties with your academic work
• offer guidance on sources of support available within the College and University
In addition your College Adviser may be able to offer you advice on academic-related matters such as: applications for research funding, conferences and seminar attendance, publication and career plans.
Your College Adviser is not expected to perform the role of your Department or Faculty Supervisor(s), and is not responsible for directing your academic work or for giving detailed academic guidance.
You will first meet your College Adviser during your first term, and you are encouraged to contact your College Adviser as and when you need advice or help. (You should also feel free to consult other College officers as necessary: see below.) Your College Adviser may be changed during periods of sabbatical or other academic leave. Should there be reasons for you to seek a change of Adviser, you should contact your Tutor for Graduates/Senior Tutor.
This guidance focuses specifically on the role of your College Adviser. Your College Adviser will be able to direct you to relevant sources of advice and support, which you should feel free to consult as necessary. These might include (but are not limited to):
• MCR Welfare Officers
• College Nurse or GP
• College Welfare Officer
• Welfare Dean
• College Chaplain
• Senior Tutor or Academic Administrator
• Tutor for Graduates
• College Bursary - for financial matters
Frequently asked questions
Now is the best possible time to be a graduate student at Wadham. The College recently built the new McCall MacBain Graduate Centre and is now focused on making Wadham a destination for top graduate students in Oxford by providing funding, facilities and unique opportunities to become involved in the life of a historic yet progressive college.
What is the Middle Common Room?
Every student the University of Oxford has two parallel affiliations: a University department and a College. For graduate students, most teaching will happen in the department, while the College complements this academic life by offering housing, food, welfare and the chance to spend time with graduate students studying a wide variety of subjects. The chance to meet and become friends with people—undergraduates, graduate students and fellows—outside of one’s discipline is a central advantage of the college system. For a lot of people, these informal interactions are some of the most important parts of their experience at Oxford.
Within the College, Middle Common Room—or the 'MCR' as most people refer to it—is the first port-of-call for all graduate students. The MCR is both a physical space (in Wadham it is the common areas of the McCall MacBain Graduate Centre) and the College’s graduate student association. As an association with an elected executive committee, the MCR is dedicated to making sure that graduate students can take full advantage of all the educational, pastoral and financial resources that Wadham has to offer. For example, the MCR organizes the graduate events for 'Freshers’ Week', the orientation program for new students that takes place the week before classes start (0th week) in Michaelmas Term.
Why is it called the 'Middle' Common Room?
Most Oxford colleges have a three-tiered common room system. This means that there are three distinct associations and physical spaces specifically for College members of different stages in their academic career: the Junior Common Room (JCR) for undergraduates, the Senior Common Room for fellows and, finally, the MCR for graduate students. It is the “middle” common room, because graduates’ academic careers have progressed beyond undergraduate level, but they are yet to become professional academics.
Wadham, however, deviates from the standard model. In the 1970’s, Wadham students created a Student Union between the JCR and MCR. This was formed for several reasons. It was a demonstration of solidarity between undergraduates and graduates and it increased student bargaining power in negotiations with the College about things like the price of food and accommodation. Wadham has the only Student Union in Oxford, and it is a point of pride for the College and its students.
However, there is still a separate MCR committee as a subset of the SU and a separate common space for graduates. These have continued to exist because of the recognition that undergraduates and graduates have distinct academic, social and welfare needs within the College. The SU is primarily directed by undergraduates, but provides services for all Wadham students—like administering College sports teams and peer support services.
While the MCR continues to exist as both an association and a space, the JCR has not. The association has been completely replaced by the SU and only the physical room remains. This room is where the SU hosts parties, bi-weekly meetings, and movie nights and houses its several TVs and video game consoles.
What is the MCR committee?
The MCR committee is a collection of elected and appointed student representatives. The committee is responsible for:
• Organizing and carrying out the welfare and educational support promised to MCR members
• Representation of its members at College and University levels.
• Management and disbursement of financial resources allocated to the MCR by the College.
The MCR Committee basically helps to ensure that graduate life at Wadham is as rich and rewarding as possible.
Who are the different members of the MCR committee?
The committee is divided into elected representatives who form the 'executive committee' and appointed representatives who are considered non-executive committee members. The executive positions are:
Vice President (Academic)
Vice President (Finance)
Vice President (Welfare)
Vice President (Communications)
The non-executive committee positions are:
To see information about this year’s committee go to the internal MCR Website. The more people are involved in the committee the better the MCR is! Even first-year students and students on one-year courses can take part and help shape graduate life by using the Common Room’s significant financial resources to put on social events, lectures and other activities for Wadham’s graduates.
Have more questions? Email a member of the MCR Committee!