Virtual Open Day
Have a tour around Wadham College with our student guides and take a look at answers from our Access team to your questions about life and work at the University of Oxford.
Take a virtual tour of Wadham College
This 360 degree tour allows you to view the rooms, gardens, bedrooms, Hall, Chapel, Graduate Centre and much more...Virtual tour
Top ten open day questions:
Won’t it cost too much to study at Oxford?
It’s easy to assume that it would cost more to study at universities like Oxford or Cambridge, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
From 2017, the tuition fee will be £9,250 (Home/EU). All UK and EU students can access a loan from the UK government to cover the full amount of this fee and do not need to pay anything upfront. In terms of living costs, Oxford colleges usually offer students college accommodation for at least two years of their studies. As of 2019, Wadham now offers accommodation for the usual duration of our undergraduates' course. Often, students only reside in (and pay for) this accommodation during term time and the costs are subsidised by revenue taken from conference events in the vacation. This means that many students are able to afford college accommodation in the centre of Oxford at a lower rate than if they lived in private, rented housing. Further details about Wadham’s board and lodgings costs can be found here. It's also worth looking at Oxford's information about fees and funding.
What are the minimum GCSE requirements for Oxford’s courses?
Oxford students do tend to have a mixture of As and A*s at GCSE (or equivalent). However, there is no formal entrance requirement for GCSE grades.
The exception to this is a requirement of GCSE grade C or above in Maths if you would like to study Law. In addition to the admissions tests that make up part of Oxford’s application process, GCSE results are also used by tutors when deciding who to shortlist for interview, where available. However, GCSE results are considered in the context of how an applicant’s school performed overall in GCSE exams for that year as we recognise that some students applying to Oxford have not necessarily received the same level of education and support in their studies as others. More about contextual information.
Can you do Business Studies, Accounting or Journalism at Wadham?
Although a large number of subjects can be studied at university level, Oxford does not offer all of them.
Instead, the university offers subjects that are academically-focused rather than vocational in nature. Click here for a full list of Oxford’s courses. Prospective applicants do sometimes get the impression that Oxford gradutes might not be suitably equipped for employment after their studies, but it’s worth noting that around 95% of Oxford undergraduate leavers are employed or in further study six months after graduating. The skills that students develop from these academic courses facilitate progression to diverse career paths; in other words, students are not restricted to seeking employment in a sector directly relevant to the subject they have studied at Oxford – and this is similarly the case for Russell Group universities in general. Many graduate-entry jobs seek students with a high degree grade in any discipline/subject.
What should I think about when picking a college?
If you do not have a preference for an Oxford college then you can make an open application.
If you make an open application, you will be randomly allocated to a college by an algorithm. This college will consider your application in the first instance, and by the time your application reaches their admissions office, they won’t know whether you applied directly or not. Alternatively, if you’ve seen a college which you like then you can apply to that college. However, do bear in mind that your application may be reallocated to a different college during the interview stage. Roughly one in four applicants who are offered a place at Oxford receive an offer from a different college from the one to which they applied or were allocated. So if you like the location, size, architecture or facilities provided by a particular college then apply - but don’t set your heart on it.
Should I apply to Oxford or to Cambridge?
It isn’t possible to apply to both Oxford and Cambridge on the same UCAS form in the same admissions round; therefore it’s crucial that students think through their choice carefully.
The most important thing to consider is the course itself – this is also the case for university choice more generally. Oxford and Cambridge do not offer the same courses so it’s worth looking carefully at their course lists. You might like to think about course structure, content, teaching, and assessment methods before applying for any university course. If you see a course that takes your interest on the Oxford and Cambridge lists then it can also be useful to visit the universities themselves in order to get a feel for the place. Oxford and Cambridge do have a lot in common, but visiting the universities can help to highlight the differences between them. Also bear in mind that the application process, as it currently stands, is slightly different for each institution.
What are tutors looking for in an application?
Tutors across the Russell Group universities often look for two key things when it comes to applications: academic potential and academic ability.
Tutors assess a student’s academic ability and potential by considering all of the information that applicants submit during the admissions process: contextualised past grades and predicted grades (where possible), personal statement, teacher's reference, admissions test results (where applicable), written work (where applicable), and the interview. Throughout the admissions process, tutors will also be looking to gauge an applicant's academic interest in the course and will assess the application against the published admissions criteria, which can be found under the 'How to Apply' tab on each course page on the Oxford University website. It’s a good idea to think about why you would like to study a particular subject at university and then research this interest further in order to help you decide whether this is the right subject for you. You might find it useful to look at our personal statement tips.
What is a tutorial?
A ‘tutorial’ is the main teaching format for most courses at Oxford; Cambridge has a similar system – ‘supervisions’. Between one and three students meet with one tutor once or twice a week to discuss the topic that they are currently studying.
This usually takes place in the informal setting of a tutor’s office. Students prepare work before the tutorial to aid the discussion; this could be an essay and/or, for science/maths subjects, a problem sheet. This style of teaching and learning allows students to discuss their thoughts and questions in detail with their peers and a tutor who is knowledgeable in the field of study relevant to the tutorial topic. Tutorials encourage students to develop lots of valuable skills, such as time management, reading and writing skills, strategic thinking and communication and presentation skills.
What are Oxford interviews like?
Each year, ‘sample questions’ from Oxford and Cambridge interviews are circulated in the media and can sound bizarre when taken out of the context of the interview setting.
Instead of having a set list of questions that tutors ask every single applicant, tutors may begin interviews with the same problem/specimen/text, but the questions that follow could be very different in each interview. In this sense, the interviews are more like discussions of topics and problems, which often revolve around the interests of applicants – as outlined in their personal statements. Consequently, no two interviews will be the same. These interviews provide a taster of the tutorial style of teaching at Oxford and, ultimately, tutors are trying to assess how applicants think and how they approach new, unfamiliar, and difficult problems; they are not trying to catch candidates out. Click here for more interview guidance.
Am I good enough to get a place at Oxford?
Rather than whether you are ‘good enough’, consider whether you think you would be suited to Oxford’s academically-rigorous environment, whether you have a keen academic interest in the subject you are hoping to study, and whether the teaching/learning style would suit you.
It is the case that the Oxford admissions process is competitive, but if you apply to Oxford and are not offered a place (or interview) that should not be seen as a failure. It is important to recognise that tutors are assessing whether applicants would flourish in the environment that Oxford offers, not just whether they are clever.
Will I fit in at Oxford?
Oxford is often viewed as a place where only people from certain backgrounds study. Although stereotypes do exist, the reality is that Oxford students come from a diverse variety of different backgrounds.
This is reflected in the number and range of student clubs and societies: with over 200, from the Harry Potter Society, to College Football, there is something for everybody! The University is committed to encouraging all students who could thrive in the academic environment that Oxford offers to make an application. Some of our traditions (like wearing gowns, or the Matriculation ceremony) can seem intimidating, but to most students they are quirky novelties, which are part of the fun and experience of being at Oxford.
Open Day in pictures
Click on the slideshow below to follow Wadham students around the College.
Got a question?
Whatever your question, do get in touch by emailing our Admissions Office: firstname.lastname@example.org