The University of Oxford is one of the world’s most notable and historical institutes. A self-governing institute, it is ranked the fourth best university in the world by QS World University Ranking 2023. On the other hand, it is ranked #1 by the Times Higher Education World Ranking list for 2022. It is a world-class university that is highly regarded for its contribution to research.
Located in the city of Oxford, the University has more than 30 colleges, all spread throughout the city. Established in the 13th century, the University, Balliol, and Merton Colleges are the oldest. Green Templeton is the University’s newest college.
The University has three societies – Kellogg College, Reuben College, and St Cross College and they are considered departments under Oxford.
Students from more than 160 countries and territories come to study at Oxford.
Oxford University Acceptance Rate
As one of the world’s best educational institutions, almost every student aspires to study at Oxford.
The university is home to more than 25,000 students, including 12,510 undergraduates and 13,044 postgraduates.
However, entry to the courses is competitive, and there are only 3,300 places. In 2021, more than 24,000 people applied.
In 2020-21, 6,697 applicants were accepted out of 30,096 individuals in graduate programmes.
Admission Eligibility Criteria
University of Oxford admission criteria varies according to the course. The essential admission criteria include:
- The student must have studied an A-level course
- Students with an international bachelor’s degree should have a total score of 38, 39, or 40 points (depending on the course)
- Students with a European bachelor’s degree should have an average of 85% or above
- Students who don’t have English as their first language should appear for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests before the admission procedure
The University of Oxford admission criteria changes every year. However, it usually includes a list of some essential documents.
The UCAS application process will ask for the following documents:
- Personal details
- Education details and past qualifications
- A personal statement
- Letter of recommendation
To successfully complete the process, applicants need to pay a fee.
For graduate study, the following documents are required:
- Two references
- Official transcript
- Statement of purpose/research proposal
- English language test score report/certificate
- Certificate of language proficiency
- GRE certificate
- Scholarship supporting statement
The document list may be different for each course. While applying for the course, check the ‘How to Apply’ section to get the updated list of documents for the admission year.
Tests Required and Average Scores
The University of Oxford conducts admission tests for all courses to choose the best-suited students. The Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (CAAT) administers the University admission tests.
The GRE and GMAT scores are required depending on the subjects. The Said Business School by the University usually accepts GMAT scores of 650 and above, GRE verbal scores of 160, and a quantitative score of 160. These scores change every year.
The popular courses and their tests are mentioned below:
Classics and English
Classics and Modern Languages
Classics and Oriental Studies
Computer Science, Computer Science and Philosophy, Mathematics and Philosophy, Mathematics and Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematics
Engineering Science, Materials Science
The entry requirement and the test scores vary with subjects and country. IELTS or TOEFL is compulsory for students whose first language is not English. The minimum scores for this test as per University requirements are:
Reading: 24 Speaking: 25 Writing: 24
Minimum overall score
Minimum score per component
IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713)
TOEFL iBT, including the ‘Home Edition’
Popular Courses at Oxford
Oxford offers more than 350 graduate programs. These include full-time and part-time courses, entry-level diplomas, and research courses.
The University has four academic divisions; Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences, Humanities, Medical Sciences, and Social Sciences.
Popular courses at the University include:
- Applied Theology
- Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management
- Chemical Biology
- Classical Archaeology
- Economics and Management
- Fine Art
- History and Politics
- Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
All these courses are available for graduate, doctoral, and research levels.
How University Evaluates Applicants
Not everyone who applies makes it to the University. After a lengthy process of application, only a few get selected. The tutors look for intellectual curiosity and academic excellence in the students.
The few factors that are considered for selecting applicants include:
- The performance of the student in the interview and online assessments
- The scores of the admission test and the quality of the work in the written test requirements
- Grades of previous academic qualifications
- Any major accomplishment of the student in academic or personal life
- Academic references and their opinion of the student
- The impression made in the personal statement
- Meeting all eligibility criteria
- The student’s reason for studying at the University, the idea of the subject, and further plans in the course
Tips to Make It to Oxford University
It is no surprise that entry to Oxford is competitive and excellent qualifications are not all that matters. Of course, it will give one an edge over other applicants, but there are other factors that the University considers to ensure only the best candidates get admission.
If one is wondering how to get admission in University of Oxford, here are a few tips that will help one to put one’s best foot forward:
- Choose a subject of interest. This can help in acing the interview. Make sure one meets the University of Oxford admission requirements for the subject and be aware of the course structure and the challenges the subject poses.
- Make a well-informed choice because one cannot apply to Oxford and other top universities in the same admission round, namely Cambridge.
- The personal statement is the chance to make it or break it. It should not cover too many aspects, yet it should not just revolve around one topic. Remember, the professors will go through hundreds of statements, and one needs to stand out.
- Explore the course structure, the college, and other details before submitting the UCAS form. One can either select the college or submit an open application.
- The letter of recommendation should be relevant. Use it to highlight significant achievements, academic developments, and other milestones.
- Lastly, act quickly. It is wise to carefully note down all the admission deadlines and clear all processes before the last date.
Oxford’s admission process has several stages. It is important that one understands each process and is aware of the deadlines.
Firstly, the application process begins a year before the course’s start date. Application opens around May, but one has to wait until September to submit it. The important dates for the 2023 admission cycle are mentioned below.
To start the process, applicants will first have to fill in an online UCAS application. It should be complete and include the academic reference. Work on a personal statement and check if there is a need to sit for tests. Usually, all subjects require students to sit for a test.
Register for the test between 1st to 30th September. The test for BMAT will be held on 18th October, and the rest on 2nd November.
The UCAS application deadline is 15th October.
If the course requires the submission of written work, the deadline is 10th November.
Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held between 1st to 20th December.
By January next year, one will be able to find out if one has made it to Oxford.
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