Brasenose College seeks to attract and select the very best applicants, regardless of their ethnic, social, religious or educational background. In recent years around 80% of our UK undergraduate intake have been state schooled. The Schools Officer, Dr Joe Organ, provides support and advice for prospective undergraduate applicants, their teachers and schools. His role is to provide potential applicants with the right information to enable them to make an informed decision about applying to Brasenose College and the University of Oxford.
Please contact him on [email protected] or 01865 277535 if you would like to arrange a visit or have any questions. Follow us on @BrasenoseNews on twitter.
The Open Days are an ideal time to visit Oxford, and Brasenose puts considerable energy into ensuring that Open Day visitors are warmly welcomed, and given a thorough insight into academic and social life at the College. Visitors will be given tours of the College and will be able to talk to some of the current students about undergraduate life. Subject tutors will be available at various times to discuss courses, admissions procedures, study at Oxford and other issues. There is no booking required. The days are chosen to coincide with the subject Open Days held in departments, as well as many other events across the University of Oxford. Please see the main University Open Days web pages for more information.
Visiting your School or College
If there isn't already an Oxford representative working with your school, the Schools Officer is happy to look into visiting UK schools or colleges to talk to any Sixth Formers who may apply to Oxford, or to talk to GCSE pupils about the possibility of applying to Oxford and Higher Education generally. Conditional offers for students studying A-levels range between A*A*A and AAA depending on the subject. Read more about admissions requirements.
The Schools Officer can provide presentations, workshops and Q+A sessions on a variety of topics, including "Why Oxford?", interviews at Oxford, UCAS personal statements, course choices, Oxford college choice, pre-interview tests and others. If possible, he may be able to bring an undergraduate studying at Oxford.
Please contact the Schools Officer to arrange a date. If at all possible, there is a minimum group size of 12 for a session, so it may be appropriate for schools and colleges in the same area to host a joint event and to bring together pupils who are seriously thinking about applying to Oxford. Due to limits on the time and resources the Schools Officer has available, it is not always possible to visit every school that requests support. However, it might be possible for a colleague in another college to visit in his place.
As part of the ongoing commitment to engage with schools, the University of Oxford has developed a programme to simplify communication between the University and all schools in the United Kingdom. The scheme will not have any bearing on the Oxford admissions process and will not influence whether a college offers a candidate a place. It is not intended to replace any existing contact a school may have with a particular college or department. Each Oxford college is linked to a Local Authority area to ensure that schools have a first point of contact within the University. Please see the University's Regional Outreach pages for more information.
Brasenose College is linked with East Berkshire (comprising Bracknell Forest, Slough and Windsor/Maidenhead) and North Yorkshire. The Schools Officer will be pleased to arrange sessions with any schools or colleges in these regions, either at Oxford/Brasenose College, or at the school.
Schools Liaison - examples
Over the last few years, our Schools Officer has been in contact with thousands of prospective applicants through visits to Brasenose, visits to schools and colleges, attendance at Higher Education Fairs, and other events and projects. On any given visit, he will usually introduce the University and the collegiate system, provide advice on the admissions process and answer any questions prospective applicants may have. Student helpers will also contribute to sessions where possible, as shown in the right-hand picture taken at a mentoring session at Didcot Sixth Form.
This contact is in addition to Brasenose's highly successful summer undergraduate Open Days, where current students and tutors talk to many visitors per day. Visitors were able to gain a real insight into what studying at Oxford is all about, meet with College tutors, and talk to students about life in College. Prospective applicants are guided around the College, often by students studying the courses they were interested in. A typical tour of college visited the Dining Hall, several student bedrooms, the College library, the chapel, the quadrangles, the Bar, the Porter's Lodge and the student Common Room. A general talk was given twice daily by the Schools Officer, highlighting some of the benefits of studying at Oxford and outlining the admissions process. Tutors were also on hand to talk to prospective applicants about courses and answer any questions.
We often run study days. For instance pre-pandemic Brasenose College ran another Language, Literature and Culture day, attended by prospective applicants and teachers from all over the UK interested in studying English, French or Classics at University. In the morning, the Brasenose tutors, Dr Sos Eltis, Professor Simon Palfrey, Dr Carole Bourne-Taylor, Dr Llewelyn Morgan and others ran taster tutorials for prospective applicants, whilst Brasenose students provided tours of the college. After a College lunch, Simon Palfrey delivered a lecture on Shakespeare, Llewelyn Morgan spoke about the classical world whilst Carole Bourne-Taylor presented some thoughts about French and European Literature. The lectures were followed by session on how undergraduate courses work at Oxford and Brasenose, and advice about the admissions process, including a mock interview. Read about a student helpers' reflections on one of these days.
With St Catharine's College Cambridge, we regularly run a spring North Yorkshire Road Show, which has proved to be highly effective in reaching out to North Yorkshire schools. The week-long trip, run by the Schools Officer, Dr Joe Organ, enabled Brasenose to visit up to four schools a day, with several Oxbridge students helping to reach out to Sixth Formers and younger groups. The trip usually includes visits to Stokesley, Whitby, Scarborough, Pickering, Northallerton, Harrogate, Richmond and Selby with several schools attending locations close to them. Sessions range from workshops with a handful of participants to large evening events with several hundred attendees.
Brasenose College is committed to encouraging the most promising and agile minds to apply, regardless of background. Please contact the Schools Officer if you would like to arrange a visit, or to discuss your requirements:
Some applicants who have the right academic credentials and passion for their chosen subject decide not to apply to Oxford; in some cases this may be because of misconceptions and myths about the University. Four such myths are discussed at the link below.