Four Myths about Oxford

The University of Oxford has a world class reputation for academic excellence, with internationally renowned tutors who provide high quality teaching and support through our famous tutorial system. The University has fantastic facilities and equipment, including the largest university library system in the UK, with over 100 libraries. Brasenose College, along with the other colleges at Oxford, provides students with a fantastic community within which to study and live, offering excellent academic services, accommodation, food, social facilities and welfare support. The University is consistently ranked as the top university in the UK, and in the top ten worldwide. We attract applicants from all over the UK and the world. However, many applicants who have the right academic credentials and passion for their chosen subject decide not to apply; in some cases this may be because of misconceptions and myths about Oxford. Four such myths are presented below:

Myth One: Oxford is for posh people

The colleges of Oxford are populated by students, tutors and staff from a whole variety of backgrounds. Our students are a diverse, cosmopolitan group, hailing from all kinds of different schools and backgrounds. Whether from Aberdeen or Truro, Tulsa or Lahore, students coming to Brasenose College are welcomed into the community. Our tutors are unconcerned about applicants' schools, nationality, gender, accent, hair style and fashion sense. Academic credentials and potential, combined with interest and enthusiasm for the chosen subject is what counts during the admissions process. Potential applicants do not need to be concerned that they will not fit in because there is a particular "Oxford set". In actual fact, Oxford is an incredibly diverse place, where students are bound together not by a common background, upbringing or outlook, but by passion for their chosen subject. Colleges at Oxford favour neither maintained or independent schools, but consider each application individually. Read a recent report showing admissions statistics for undergraduate study at Brasenose College.

Myth Two: It's too expensive to study at Oxford

As a city in the South East of England, some aspects of life at Oxford can be expensive relative to other parts of the UK. For instance eating out in restaurants or going to the cinema. However, overall Oxford can be an economical place to live and study in. For instance:

• We are determined that the brightest students from the UK should be able to study at Oxford regardless of financial circumstances. The University's Bursaries scheme, one of the most generous in the country. These Bursaries do not need to be paid back and are supplementary to the normal government grants and loans. Colleges also offer additional hardship and maintenance support, study grants, travel grants and academic awards. 

  • Well-stocked college and departmental libraries, along with the central Bodleian Library, means that students will often not need to spend money on books and other printed material. The Bodleian Library dates from 1602 and is globally acknowledged to be one of the greatest libraries in the world, holding 11 million printed items in 250 kilometres of shelving.
  • Oxford is a compact city, and many of the colleges, departments, libraries and other facilities are a short walk or bike ride away. There is no need to spend money on public transport in Oxford.
  • Food and drink in college is subsidized, so students can eat well at low cost. For instance, a large breakfast at Brasenose College consisting of tea, toast, sausage, egg, bacon, hash brown and baked beans would cost you just over £1 in 2018 (although we wouldn't recommend this combination for a breakfast meal every day for plenty of reasons, and healthier options are available!)
  • Brasenose is able to provide rooms in College for all years of study, making accommodation relatively cheap. These rooms are much cheaper than living out of college, as students only need to pay rent for term time rather than the whole year.

Read the University's guide on living costs.

Myth Three: It's too competitive to bother applying

Although our courses are competitive, and applicants tend to have excellent academic qualifications, it is not the case that our application numbers mean it is not worth applying. On average we have five and a half applicants per place (although this varies from course to course) whereas many other courses across other UK universities have a much higher applicant per place ratio. If you are predicted the right A-level grades (or equivalent), and have a passion for your chosen subject, there is no reason why you shouldn't consider applying.

Myth Four: You have to be an Einstein to be at Oxford

We are not expecting our applicants to be experts or geniuses. What we are looking for are applicants who are interested in their subject, and motivated to study at degree level. Potential, passion, enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity are the ingredients you need to study at Oxford. We do require at least AAA at A-level (courses require A*AA or A*A*A) or equivalent, and tutors will also consider your GCSE marks when assessing your application.

Read the Prospectus

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