Student Applicants

This page provide links to general information about the University’s access strategy and the policies and processes governing student admissions, with specific information for applicants with disabilities and for applicants who would be under 18 at the start of their course or, alternatively, who would be considered a ‘mature student’.

Access to Oxford

In its agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), the University has set itself targets to diversify its undergraduate student population by increasing the numbers of:

  • Students from schools and colleges which historically have had limited progression to Oxford
  • Students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds
  • Students from neighbourhoods with low rates of participation in higher education
  • Students with disabilities

The University and colleges operate a common framework for undergraduate admissions which sets out the high level objectives that inform all admissions procedures:

  • To attract applications from the most academically able individuals, irrespective of socio-economic, ethnic or national origin
  • To ensure applicants are selected for admission on the basis that they are well qualified and have the most potential to excel in their chosen course of study
  • To ensure that the prospects of admission are not affected by the college an applicant has chosen or been assigned to through an open application

A key element of the University’s access strategy is the use of contextual data at the shortlisting stage. Applicants are eligible for additional consideration at shortlisting if they meet the academic requirements and at least two of the criteria relating to:

  • Prior education
  • Residential postcode
  • Care background

See for more information.

Disabled applicants

The University welcomes applications from disabled students and makes reasonable adjustments to facilitate their access to courses. Colleges and departments view applications from students with disabilities on the same academic grounds as those from other candidates.

Contact the Disability Advisory Service for informal advice on applying to Oxford, for help with arrangements for Open Days, and to discuss possible adjustments to study.

Undergraduate applicants

Postgraduate applicants

All applicants

Young or mature applicants

Young applicants

We welcome applications from students regardless of their age. However, potential candidates for all courses will be expected to demonstrate a mature approach to the study of their subject, including skills of critical analysis, wide contextual knowledge and the ability to manage their own time effectively.

If, for welfare reasons relating to age or other grounds, a college considers that it is not in the best interests of an individual student to live in college, they will discuss alternative options if an offer of a place is made.

The University’s Safeguarding Code of Practice supports its work with children and vulnerable adults.

Mature applicants

We offer a wide range of opportunities for mature students, from day schools, summer schools and evening classes to online courses, part-time undergraduate awards and full and part-time degrees. We value the skills and experience that mature students bring to Oxford, and hope that many more mature students will choose to join us. A mature undergraduate student is someone who is aged 21 or over at the start of their course (October of the first year).