The College System

The Collegiate System

Magdalen CollegeThere are 38 colleges scattered across the city, seven of which are solely dedicated to graduate students. There are also six permanent private halls, which were founded by different Christian denominations and still retain their religious character. Each college has its own distinctive identity. Some are grand and ancient, some are modern with award-winning architecture, and some are small and intimate. Many feature stunning courtyards called quadrangles ('quads') and have beautiful grounds and gardens.

Colleges and halls have their own libraries and study spaces, dining halls, bars and common rooms, sporting and social facilities. College teams compete with each other in sports such as rowing, hockey, cricket, netball and rugby; plays and concerts are staged in college auditoriums, chapels, gardens and quadrangles; and dinners in hall are an excellent way to get to know other members of the academic community.

"The aspect of Oxford that I appreciate the most is the sense of belonging that the collegiate system offers. If you choose to accept it, your college will provide you with the social scaffolding to ensure that both your weeks and weekends are fun." DPhil student

Oxford is relatively small and most colleges are no more than about a 15-minute walk from the city centre. However, graduate accommodation is sometimes located away from the college and can therefore be slightly further from central Oxford.