OUSU victoryThere were scenes of joy in Brasenose last night as three students were elected to be full-time student representatives at the Oxford University Student Union. The College Bar was packed as students came to listen to the results live on the student radio and celebrate the candidates’ success.

Matriculation BallBy Maddy Thickett (3rd Year Engineering)

Back in October it was the duty and privilege of the student Committee to assist in the celebrations of Brasenose’s latest matriculating class. Oliver Sadik and I; the committee’s Entz reps, along with James (President), Anna (Vice-President), Beth (Access and Admissions), Wrik and Alex (Welfare) had an entire day to plan for, to make sure this was the best possible day for freshers as their first official Oxford experience.

 By Oleaving bncwen Riddall (Physics and Philosophy Second Year)  

"Ok, on three: one, two, THREE!" Five bikes slid under the barrier. "And over we go...see you on the other side!" Five cyclists leapt aboard five bikes and sped away in single file

karen_meadows.jpgBy Karen Meadows - Third Year Chemist

"When I started looking for an internship for the summer between my second and third year, I knew I wanted the placement to be closely linked to my Chemistry degree"


Thinking of applying to Brasenose and wonder what it's like? All is revealed here!

Chloe Cornish, recently graduated English student, has produced a short film depicting life at Brasenose from an undergraduate student point of view. Click here to view the film. 


By Ronan O'Donoghue (Third Year languages student)

"You're going to Iran?" repeated the bank clerk, peering at me closely through the glass. "Are you in the army?"

borneo_photo.jpgBy Alice James - Third Year Biologist

I was lucky enough to go on a field trip to Borneo in September this year. We spent two weeks in some amazing, pristine rainforest, doing all the normal Oxford things

Brasenose Charity

A Year of Charity -  by Jonny Attwood, Brasenose JCR Charities Representative

In my time as Brasenose JCR's charities representative there has been a great deal of good news which I am pleased to be able to share and reflect upon here.



schools liaisonIf you have met the conditions of your offer and will be joining Brasenose in October then you have been sent a hard copy welcome pack in the post. There is also a website for Freshers which has lots of useful information and tells you what you need to do now. We look forward to welcoming you here in the autumn!



john_butterworth.jpgRecent Biochemistry graduate John Butterworth (pictured) has entered the Teach First programme, which trains people to become inspirational teachers in schools in low income communities across the UK. Brasenose College supports this programme by offering up to five £1000 bursaries for Brasenose students and recent graduates to help make ends meet during the unsalaried Teach First summer training programme, before teaching placements begin in the autumn. John reflects on his Teach First experience thus far:

"I first decided to apply for the Teach First program while in my second year at Brasenose. I attended a talk run by Teach First on how to get through job assessment centres, in which they squeezed in a lecture at the end about what the charity was and what it was trying to achieve. The lecture was completely unlike any other graduate scheme sessions that I had been to previously - inspiring me with talk of making a difference to childrens' lives, rather than just making a difference to a client's bank balance. I applied immediately and gained a deferred place for after finishing my degree in biochemistry.

moot_victory_photo.jpgFollowing College mooting success earlier in the year, Brasenose Law students have helped Oxford University win the seventh annual Oxford v Cambridge Clifford Chance LLP Roman Law Moot Court Competition.  Caroline Greenfield and Eewei Seah, who have both just completed their first year at Brasenose, were members of the victorious team of four.

The Oxford team researched and developed arguments on three grounds. The first was a claim for manifest theft of the plaintiff Figulus's beautiful white stag, Fautrix, by the defendant Stellio. This claim required counsel to cut through knotty problems of ownership and possession of a wild beast. The second claim was that of Stellio entering Figulus's land without permission. The final action was so mysterious that not even the two very eminent Romanists who heard the learned (if divergent) arguments of four counsel felt confident enough to make a ruling!

mens_first_boat_in_action.jpgReport by Ed Matthews - Men's Captain (and Second Year Medical Student)

Rowing is one of the most popular sports in Oxford, and it's a special kind of rowing racing that is practiced. Boats all line up at one end of the river Isis (or Thames), one boat behind another, and on the firing of a cannon, thrash their way up to the other end. The aim is to physically bump the boat ahead of yours (which can be fantastically chaotic), so that in the next race you swap positions. In this way, over many races (and many years) you can work your way up to being ‘Head of the River' - leading at the front of all the boats.

For Brasenose, this summer was the most successful in 25 years for the men's first boat. We bumped four times over the four races in the tournament (i.e. the best result that could have been achieved) - so next year we will start four places closer to being Head of the River. It was a fantastic achievement stemming from hours and hours of incredibly hard work from the crew members, some good coaching, a great deal of enthusiasm, and a healthy spoonful of luck.


alice_in_wonderland_poster.jpgLewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, which has been turning our world upside down since 1865, is being adapted this summer by the Oxford University Dramatic Society. The production, which will play outdoors in Christ Church meadow in Oxford, and then at the London Arcola Theatre before running for four weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is being directed by Brasenose's Josie Mitchell and produced by James Fennemore, who have both just completed the second year of their English degrees.

The new adaptation will immerse you in the dark and vibrant world of Lewis Carroll's imagination, with its physical theatre and powerful storytelling. Think you're all grown up? Then it's time to leap down the rabbit hole...

When Alice chases after a white rabbit, tumbling down the burrow, she little expects the fantastical world that greets her at the bottom. Inhabited by a kaleidoscope of strange anthropomorphic  creatures, Wonderland sees Alice encounter a hookah-smoking caterpillar, a baffling Mad Hatter at his bewildering tea-party, and the unsettlingly grinning Cheshire Cat, before a final showdown with the ruthless Queen of Hearts.

rtatlow1.jpgReflections on the Fourth Year Classics Extended Essay - by Rebecca Tatlow

Unlike other classics degrees, the Oxford course takes four years. This allows students longer to consolidate their linguistic abilities before the first set of examinations in second year but also impacts on the breadth and depth of study available to the student; and I found the fourth year particularly helpful in understanding the great diversity of disciplines within the course- history, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and philology. 

Although it is possible to have your degree assessed purely on the final examinations, I chose to submit an extended essay in Classical Reception - the study of how classical literature has continually influenced the works of subsequent authors. It is of particular interest to literature students, but is truly interdisciplinary and allows exploration of how different cultures interact as well as highlighting the history of classics itself. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to read poetry without having to translate it first.


brasenose_helpers_2013.jpgThe summer undergraduate Open Days of 2013 were held at Brasenose College in late June. Hundreds of prospective applicants, teachers and parents visited Brasenose during the two days, all of whom were interested in finding out about living and learning at the College.

Several dozen current students from virtually every subject were on hand to answer questions about undergraduate life and to run tours of College for visitors throughout the day. Subject tutors were also available at various times to discuss with prospective applicants how the undergraduate courses are run, the tutorial system, how to apply and other topics.  The Senior Tutor, Dr Simon Smith, and the Schools Officer, Dr Joe Organ, once again delivered four general admissions talks during the two Open Days. As well of the main prospectus, the brand new alternative prospectus proved to be extremely popular amongst the visitors.

Joe Organ commented: "Our student helpers were once again fantastic, and I'd like to thank them all for their efforts in welcoming the visitors, and showing what a happy and enriching place Brasenose is. The Open Days are a great chance to communicate some key messages to prospective applicants - for instance that we are looking for enthusiasm, ability for hard work and intellectual curiosity, and it doesn't matter where you are from, what you look like or what school you attend. Open Days also give us an opportunity to reassure visitors about college choice, as Oxford has systems in place in ensure that you have an equal chance of being admitted, regardless of which college you put down as your preference on the UCAS form."

protein_model.jpgResearch Sketch - by Dr Steve Johnson, Lecturer in Biochemistry, Brasenose College

My research interests focus on the use of biophysical techniques to study host-pathogen interactions. The primary technique I use is called X-ray crystallography and was developed 100 years ago to look at the arrangement of atoms in 3-dimensional space. This process first involves persuading the molecules of choice - in our case proteins involved in bacterial pathogenesis - to form an ordered lattice termed a crystal. We then expose the crystal to high energy X-rays at a synchrotron facility such as the Diamond Light Source near Didcot. By monitoring the interaction of the X-rays with the sample we can calculate a 3D map of the electrons in the crystal. This then allows us to build a model of the protein by placing the component amino acids in the density, as shown in Figure 1 (it's rarely this easy).

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