Oxford Brookes University is a modern, forward-thinking university, which aims to provide its students with "one of the best university educations anywhere". Its main campus is situated between the centre of Oxford and the suburb of Headington. The university boasts an outstanding teaching record, excellent graduate prospects and all the makings of a great university experience in an excellent location.
This article aims to provide a student-based approach to the university and to the city of Oxford, as well as all the relevant up-to-date facts and figures that may be of use to students interested in applying to the university.
Oxford Brookes University began life as the Oxford School of Art in 1865, founded by dissatisfied Oxford University students. It later became Oxford Technical School, before becoming Oxford Polytechnic in 1970. After government proposals to widen access to higher education, the institution gained university status in 1992, when it received the Royal Charter. It has, since then, gained a distinctive identity as the UK's most successful modern university, but it also competes with the older institutions. Today Oxford Brookes is made up of three main campuses. Brookes offers a wide range of courses, ranging from traditional core subjects, to more modern vocational studies. The university claims to be the first fairtrade university and the Brookes Centre for the Development and Emergency Practice was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2002.
Layout of the University
Oxford Brookes University includes the following campuses:
Headington Campus - Gipsy Lane: this is the largest single teaching space and is where the majority of non-business and engineering students will have their lectures and seminars. All students enrol here in September. It is about 1.5 - 2 miles from the city centre and there is a bus stop for the Brookes bus on the Gipsy Lane next to the campus. The main student reception is located here, as is the finance office, admissions office, administrations office, the Student Union Shop and the main lecture theatre and hall. There is a good range of catering facilities and this campus is within walking distance to the main sports centre - the Brookes Centre For Sport.
Headington Campus - Helena Kennedy Centre - on the other side of Headington Road (virtually next door to the Gipsy Lane site) is where the Student Union is located. The Freshers Fair takes place here each September.
Wheatley Campus is located about 5 miles from the Headington Campus in the village of Wheatley. This is where the School of Business teaches all business-related courses. Mathematics is also taught here, as well as Engineering in the new Engineering building. The school of technology is also based in Wheatley. It boasts its own library with specific books relating to the courses that are primarily taught at this site.
Harcourt Hill Campus is on the western fringe of the city and is a half hour bus ride to the Gipsy Lane site. The Westminster Institute of Education is here, where many part-time courses are taught. This is also home to many sports courses as well as paramedic studies.
The School of Health and Social Care (SHSC), most recent sub-campus to open, the SHSC is based Marston, north Oxford and is attached to the main Headington campus. It is less than a mile from the main campus and is where healthcare and social courses are taught. It has over 70 teaching rooms, with skills laboratories for practising the practical aspects i.e. manual handling, orthotics, first aid etc. Also it has an AV room where you are able to observe and practise communication skills. It is a smaller 'community' than the other campuses and has two common rooms for students as well as the canteen, which is a brilliant opportunity to meet others outside your course.
Ferndale Campus is based in Swindon and has additional courses for the health and social care area including Adult Nursing and Operating Department Practitioner courses. As well as offering an osteopathic clinic, where the Osteopath students gain their practical experience and is open to the public.
1865 (School of Art) 1970 Oxford Polytechnic1992 Oxford Brookes University
Headington, Oxford as well as campuses in Swindon, Wheatly and Harcourt Hill, UK
Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Oxford, OX3 0BP
Applicants per place:
Brookes has achieved an excellent reputation for many of its courses and for its teaching over the years and is voted the best new university by a number of independent newspapers. The university boasts particular strength in the fields of humanities and business, performing highly in research assessments for areas such as history, modern languages and English. Brookes' history department received a 5* rating for research in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, which was higher than the research rating for the history faculty at the University of Oxford in the same exercise. The university also boasts high student satisfaction scores, with an impressive 84% of students saying that they felt satisfied with their course and would recommend it to other students (National Student Survey). The architecture course was ranked 2nd in the country (after University College London) by the Architects' Journal in 2006. Brookes also ranks well for graduate employment, being placed 26th out of 122 British higher-education institutions in the Times Good University Guide 2008. 72% of its graduates found employment or further education within six months of completing their course (Times Good University Guide 2008). More recently in the 2007 Sunday Times University Guide the university was placed 15th in the country for teaching, placing it in the top 12% of UK universities on this performance measure. It is ranked 49th in the country overall in the Times Good University Guide (53 for The Guardian and 53 for the Sunday Times), however it should be noted that research data used in current league tables (from the RAE 2001) relies on research from as long ago as 1995. Although a relatively new institution, the university has, in recent years, expanded its research output substantially, this has included the building of a special research centre in 2006. Oxford Brookes is ambitious to expand its reputation from the best new university to one of the best of all universities in the future. It aims to become one of the UK's top 20 universities on overall performance indicators within 10 years.
The university has four main faculties. These are:
List of degrees taught
The university offers around 80 undergraduate and 150 postgraduate degree courses. There are a range of professional/short courses taught, as well as pre-degree/foundation courses.
For a full list of degrees available for entry please view the following links:
Headington Library : the largest library in the university, offering excellent resources for all subjects of study, with over 500,000 books. This library is on three floors and has various computer areas/rooms and lots of desks where you can plug in your laptop. Also with group spaces to practice presentations, work together etc. It is currently open between 8am and 11pm in the week with varying hours in the holidays and weekends. There is a large collection of journals and newspapers in the library and finding books for your subject can be very confusing at first, so it is advisable to book a library tour at the beginning of the first semester. There are some specialist computers which basically contain a database of all the books, journals, and newspapers in the library and whether or not they are available or are on loan. These databases are available off-campus also.
Wheatley Library : specifically for students studying at Wheatley Campus (although open to all students), the library specialises in business, engineering, technology, computing and mathematical sciences.
Harcourt Hill Library : primarily for students who are studying at Harcourt Hill (although open to all students) it specialises in education, theology, human development, communication, sport and performing arts.
A library card is issued at enrolment and enables you access to the library as well as withdrawing books.
In addition to the above, the university has an extensive 'electronic' library - that is, an online database of various journals and books in the Brookes network.
IT and Computing
All students are issued with their password and username on enrolment which allows them access to all university-linked computers. The university has a special internal university portal called the PIP (Personal Information Portal) and also runs Brookes Virtual, the university's online learning system.
PIP allows students access to their timetable, enrolment details and their course handbook which contains information about how each module is run and assessed. Students can pick a small number of modules from any discipline by going on PIP and then adding the module to their timetable.
There are over 750 networked PCs in 37 rooms. Some have 24-hour access - perfect for finishing that essay at 3am! Students can access the internet from their halls by Hallnet which is including in your rent. Also students are able to connect to Eduroam wifi on all campuses.
The university offers some pretty impressive sports facilities. The centre for sport holds an impressive health fitness full of a variety of cardio and weight machines. There is also a free-weights room available to members. On top of this the university have both there own swimming pool (Harcourt) and indoor rock climbing centre.
At Wheatley, there are three floodlit pitches suitable for football, basketball, netball, hockey and other sports.
There are also many societies that specialise in certain sports. These very active societies mainly congregate either at the centre for sports in between the Gipsy Lane campus and Cheney, or the playing field nearby.
The university excels in rowing, basketball, cricket, rugby, hockey and climbing. The rowing team is one of the top half dozen in the country and is ranked alongside the historic rowing teams of Oxbridge and London.
Rowing Oxford Brookes' Rowing Club has enjoyed international success with members participating at Olympic level. The university currently boasts eight student and four Olympic medallists in rowing. The club has won 16 times in 14 years at the Henley Royal Regatta. The group includes eight under-23 GB international athletes.
Cricket Brookes has two cricket teams in the BUSA. It participates in the Oxford Universities Centre of Cricket Excellence, a join initiative between Oxford Brookes and Oxford University.
Rugby Four men and one women's team have been entered in to the BUSA leagues. Facilities are shared with Oxford Harlequins and Oxford Rugby Club.
Hockey Four men's and four women's team participate in the BUSA.
Climbing / outdoor pursuits Brookes offers expeditions to the Himalayas and the Atlas Mountains and skiing trips at New Year and Easter. Climbing trips to the Pyrenees and the French Alps are also offered, as well as regularly weekend trips in the UK. This is completed by an overseas summer trip to such places like Cyprus and Sicily.
Basketball The former Great Britain captain, Ken Walton, is the head of coaching for basketball at the university. Brookes men's team has regularly reached the BUSA finals and the university now has a men's team in the England Basketball's National League. The ladies' team also plays in the BUSA.
Gym facilities include: A fully equipped weights room, a large fitness suite with extensive cardio equipment, squash, aerobics, polygons, racket hire, junior basketball, basketball, boxercise, martial arts, sunbeds, sports hall, cricket nets, various tennis courts, shoot a hoop, badminton court, circuits, volleyball and climbing room.
There are 29 sports clubs at the university. These include:
- The Student Union is there to help students with any issues they face during their studies at the university. The Students' Union Advice Centre offers advice for students with any academic and financial issues and housing advice is also available.
- Moving to a foreign country can seem daunting at first. The Student Union also offers advice for international students for any problems they may encounter whilst at Oxford Brookes.
There is a doctor's surgery on campus based in the Helena Kennedy Centre. This is supported by other surgery's across Oxford including St Bartholomew, in Cowley. This serves as an emergency out of hours doctors.
Best places to buy books etc
- The Blackwells Book Shop on the Gipsy Lane site offers an excellent number of key texts for all degree subjects. Over 500,000 books are stocked and the shop offers personal credit accounts to help students spread the cost of their books.
In Oxford city centre
Blackwells Book Shop in Oxford is one of the largest book shops in the world, offering outsanding collections for all disciplines.
NB: You can also arrange to apply for membership to the Oxford Bodleian Library in semester 2 of your second year and for your dissertation project. Obviously you can't buy books from the Bod but you will have access to one of the best libraries in the world (and the second largest in the UK, after the British Library in London).
During the first few weeks of term at Wheatley, Blackwell's Book Shop have a stall which sells the main text books for courses studied at Wheatley.
Catering and Dining
Headington/Gipsy Lane site
- Brookes Restaurant - The award-winning Brookes restaurant offers world-class cuisine with many of its workers being students at Brookes who are taking work placements as part of their course.
- JB's Cafe - sells sandwiches, pastries, bagels etc...
- Galaxy Lounge - excellent coffee and chocolate drinks, bagels, savouries, crisps, sandwiches etc...
- Food court - sells a wide range of foods from spaghetti bolognese to large baguettes.
- Latina - excellent Mexican Cuisine.
- Upper Crust - baguettes are from £2.50 to over £3.50.
The food court contains several outlets with a range of foods from around the world - prices for hot food is. There are a few small outlets scattered around all the main campuses which sell various sandwiches, drinks etc. but all sell similar products to one another. This is great for picking up something to eat in-between classes.
- Helena Kennedy Centre - HK Madisons - sells jacket potatoes, pies, paninis, pizzas etc...
Fairtrade drinks and snacks available at the Cocodirect coffee bar and the Eights Bar, also selling hot lunches. The Spice Bar offers good cooked meal and you can get a pre-ordered stir fry
Harcourt Hill - A wide range of snacks and drinks are available at the refectory and the Cafe Direct coffee bar.
There is a cash machine and Abbey sub-branch in the Gibbs building at Gipsy Lane and also at the Helena Kennedy Centre (home of the Student Union) near the Gipsy Lane site.
There are also cash machines on most if not all campuses
Brookes students who live in Halls are given a Brookes bus pass at enrolment (which you have to pick up), which provides a free bus service on the routes U1,U5 and U5X. These routes have links into the city, Cowley, hospital, past all Halls, and of course to all campuses. In semester time buses run regularly with the U1 every 15minutes. Also the bus pass allows you to travel other Oxford Bus Company buses for a reduced fare.
Travel into London is also available on the Oxford Tube and is typically £10 peak return with you student ID (library card) straight into London Victoria. Also there are the National Express coaches which are available to various destinations and prices start from £1 each way, for further information see their website. If you need to get to Gatwick or Heathrow then there are buses that run to these airports as well.
Many roads have designated cycle lanes including along Headington Road and throughout the City. All Halls of Residence and campuses offer bicycle bays and also some offer secure locked storage. It is the easiest way to travel.
Oxford is not a 'car-friendly' place. Students living in university-owned accommodation, most notably Halls are not permitted to have their car on-site, for reasons including space and the transport system Oxford has to offer. There are only in rare circumstances which the university will allow this.
The nearest train station is about 2 miles from the main Headington Campus and you can be taken there by the Brookes Bus. There are direct trains to Oxford from many large cities in the UK with direct routes also from Oxford to London Paddington, as well as many other cities including Manchester and Birmingham. Oxford is also served by Cross Country who serve many towns and cities across the UK.
The Gipsy Lane Campus is about a 20 minute walk to the city centre. Although crime is relatively low in Oxford compared to other similar size cities, it is advisable to use the Safety Bus or a cab to get home late at night. It is to be noted here that dial up cab firms are cheaper than black cabs.
Many course offer the chance for students to complete a work placement, especially those in the business sector. Healthcare students do have to complete placements throughout their course, placements are sorted by the placement learning unit at the SHSC.
The Student Union offer careers advice for students studying and leavers. They also run a jobshop, for students to find part time work whilst studying.
The best time to look for part-time jobs is during Freshers' Week. The Student Union offers a wide range jobs within the university but Oxford is a very student-friendly city so finding a part-time job here should be pretty easy.
Chaplaincy - in the student union building (Helena Kennedy Centre). There are regular meetings every day of the week in semester times for people of all faiths. Confidential support and prayer requests are always available by the chaplaincy.
There is the Oxford Brookes Catholic Chaplaincy - see website for details: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/student/services/chaplaincy/catholic.htm
For information on religious facilities available in Oxford, please visit the link from the article 'A Student's Guide to the City of Oxford':
- Co-Op - there is a one in Headington which offers the basics at cheap prices. Also another based in Cowley centre for those living up in that area (including Cresent and Paul Kent Halls)
- Tesco - you'll find a large Tesco in Cowley which is popular with students. You can get a direct bus ride to it from all the campuses on Mon-Fri evenings and on weekends (from the Brookes Bus, so it's free for Brookes students with a pass). You then get roughly an hour of shopping time before the bus picks you up and takes you back to halls. This place will have everything you need as it is probably Oxford's largest supermarket (and there are plenty of deals and discounts for students). This is ideal because you can get straight back to the bus stop, which is next to the Tesco Car Park so you won't get a back ache from carrying all that shopping. Also along the Cowley Road is another medium tesco offering the basics. There is also a Tesco in the centre of town for convenience.
- Londis in Headington is open later than most food shops on Sundays so you can get the basics here if you need any food after five o' clock on a Sunday.
- Sainsbury's is in the city centre, inside the Westgate Shopping Centre. In my experience it is slightly more pricey than Tesco, but is convenient if you are unable to catch the bus at the set time for tesco. There is also a further Sainsbury's on the other side of Oxford city centre for those food needs also. Along with one at the bottom of Headington hill in St clems, however this is small. This is the closest for those living in Clive booth halls.
- "'Waitrose"' is located in Headington for those with a more expendable food budget.
- '"Iceland"' is also in the Headington shops and Cowley area. It mainly concentrates on frozen goods, but also has some good offers on other foods and alcohol. Very very cheap and good for stocking up the freezer.
- Of course there are other stores and corner shops as well, like the one near to Clive Booth on Martson Road to pick up those items you urgently need i.e. milk!
- Student Union is also another place where you can find all your essentials, food and otherwise
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Bars, Pubs and Clubs at Brookes
Oxford Brookes currently operates the sports bar at the sports center details can be found below.
- Centre for Sport bar and cafe
Next to the gym, this bar and cafe is on your doorstep if you're living in Cheney with good meals available and light snacks. There is a vending machine which sells lots of sports drinks and there is also a nice outdoor area too.
Bars, pubs and clubs in Oxford
A lot of people worry that the night life in Oxford is limited as its a very academic place to be, however, you would be wrong to think that. Oxford hosts some big nights during the week and there is always somewhere to go where you will have a great time!
There are many to choose from but here is a list of the popular ones:
Bridge - one of the most popular with students, this club organises various live performances and is relatively big for an Oxford nightclub. Currently in 2011 holds a BROOKES ONLY (where only Oxford Brookes students can enter) night every Monday which is great fun! Then on Saturday they hold the normal R&B/HipHop night for anyone to go to! Bridge is definitely a hit with Brookes students!
No9 - average sized club, basically on the high street.. quite good nights here particularly on Fridays. On a Friday it is home to the bomb event which regularly drops large amounts of cash for students to win.
Lava Ignite - Very popular all week with their cheap student nights. With VIP tokens or a wristband you can get in very cheaply and drinks are cheap before 11. It is a relatively big club in Oxford with 3 big rooms all hosting different DJ's and different genres of music! This is open on a Tuesday as a Brookes night for bounce.
Clementines - also known as Clems, towards Headington, near Magdalen Bridge, this is a small club which plays trance and can be particularly crowded. Also a very big hit with students in Oxford - especially on Fridays .
Oxford O2 academy - situated on the popular Cowley Road, this is one of the Oxford's most well-known venues. Hosts a variety of popular bands touring the country so its always good to check out the event lists. On a Wednesday it holds the very famous Brookes night FUZZY DUCKS. This night is always packed full of students and is the sponsor of several sports teams at the uni. Every week is a new fancy dress theme to have fun with. Also now on a Friday it is home to warehouse which used to be housed in the regal. With its new location comes an extra room with different music.
Turf Tavern - undoubtedly Oxford's most historic public house. Mentioned in Inspector Morse and many facts line the exterior walls. Although a bit pricey, has many a pint on draught, including Old Rosie scrumpy. Very hard to find and so many only know of its existence through being took there by other students.
The University holds a ball once a year at the end of exams, which is a black tie event.
Clubs and societies
There are 70 societies to join. These are:
New societies are being created all the time.
The university offers 9 halls of residence for first years. Shared-housing in Oxford is also available to 2nd/3rd/4th years.
Accommodation is provided to all first year students who firm the university. They are guaranteed to receive 1 of their 5 choices. For those who insure the university Brookes does its utmost best to find you accommodation in either halls or privately owned accommodation.
Each hall comes complete with several laundry rooms which cost £1.80 per wash with £1 per dry. Hall receptions are open during 9-5 office hours mon-fri and there is always several hall wardens on site during those out of hours.
Halls of residence:
Cheney Student Village: Next to Headington Campus. New - opened in 2004. 750 en suite rooms, arranged in flats of five or six bedrooms with shared kitchen / living / dining rooms. Self-catering. The main sports centre is on your doorstep here which includes the nice sports bar and terrace. Its residents do have a reputation as generally being quite middle class, but like the vast majority of Brookes students, you're sure to find that they're a pretty friendly bunch overall. This is one of the most luxurious of all the halls of residence (definitely luxurious for student accommodation) and it is almost a stone's throw from the Headington Campus at the Gipsy Lane site. The tennis courts are next door. It is the closest hall of residence to the city centre (very slightly closer than Clive Booth. You are also within 15-20 minutes walking distance to the High St from here and from Cowley Road, with all the takeaways and excellent nightlife it has to offer). There's a nice common just along the hill here as you head down to the city centre which I would guess is great for sledging during any rare snow events that Oxford experiences. You also pay for a 50 week contract here which means that your room is available during the summer holidays. (up until mid August)
Clive Booth Ensuite Hall: 0.5 miles from Headington Campus. 638 en suite rooms arranged in flats of five or six bedrooms with shared kitchen / living / dining rooms. 12 two-bedroom family units are also available. Self-catering. Popular with mature students, this hall is one of the most modern in the university, opening in 2003. This is very near to the School of Health and Social Care and is within walking distance of the Headington Campus. It is right next to Morrell Hall which is just above it. There are also some computer rooms for students without personal laptops. Morals Bar is just above here (see Morrell Hall for more info on this Morals Bar).
Crescent Hall: 2 miles from Headington Campus. 306 single study-bedrooms, each with a hand basin, arranged in flats of 6 or 7 with shared kitchens and bathrooms. Self-catering. About a 30-35 min walk from the Headington Campus but only a few minutes by bus. These flats are non-en suite but offer comfortable living at a cheaper rate.
Westminster Hall: Harcourt Hill Campus 262 ensuite single study-bedrooms sharing kitchens in groups of 5 or 6 plus 50 self-contained studio apartments available to couples or individuals.
Lady Spencer Churchill Hall: Wheatley Campus. 162 single study-bedrooms. Catered during semesters. One of the smallest halls of residence. This is a few miles from the main campus so not the most ideal place to live if you're not studying at Wheatley. Has a very sociable atmosphere.
Clive Booth Non-ensuite Hall : 0.5 miles from Headington Campus. 554 single study-bedrooms arranged in flats of five or six with shared kitchens and bathrooms. Self-catering. This is within good walking distance of the university's main campus. It's a nice scenic walk to the Headington Campus from here, going through a country lane with lots of nice cottages and greenery. Laundrettes are scattered all over the place but you can also use the laundrettes at Clive Booth. Some of the flats have a large common room which is shared for 12 - this is very good in my experience because you get to meet everyone from your flat. Usually one half of the flat is all-male, the other is all-female so a shared common room will mean you will be able to get to know plenty of people when you arrive on your first weekend.
Clive Booth Post Graduate centre: 500 yards from Headington Campus 792 en suite rooms arranged in flats of five or six bedrooms with shared kitchen / living / dining rooms. 12 two-bedroom family units are also available. A new halls avaiable from the academic year 2010/11.
Paul Kent Hall: 1.5 miles from Headington Campus 242 single study-bedrooms, most en suite, with shared kitchens allocated to groups of six to nine. Self-catering. May need to get a bus rise to the Headington Campus if living here. However you could walk which would take about 25 mins.
Warneford Hall: 0.25 miles from Headington Campus. 252 single study-bedrooms with large shared kitchens and showers allocated to groups of six (occasionally three or five). There is a sink in every room, and normally 2 shower / bathrooms between each block of (up to) six. Self-catering. This is within very short walking distance of the main campus. At this campus, the bicycle sheds are securely within the hall's perimeters, within the quad and is thus very secure.
The Oxford Brookes Student Union is the hub of Brookes' societies. The Student Union offers many jobs to students looking for part-time jobs and offers advice, support and representation for students of all backgrounds.
The SU also runs the Safety Bus which allows students who are in Oxford late at night to travel back to their accommodation safely. They ask for a £1 donation but if you've spent all your money then you'll just have to get your mate to give £2. This bus is not a taxi service but if you have managed to get so drunk no taxi will take you, then the safety bus will get you home. Freshers week is probably their busiest time.
Oxford is pretty expensive and is the second most expensive area after London. Prices for food and drinks at the university have risen steeply over the last two years especially as the Student Union, who operated two of the shops at the university, recently sold them to Oxford Brookes to operate. These shops used to offer fairly good value for money and a large range of sandwiches and snacks but now have fallen in line with the university's pricing structure. All hot food served on campus is sourced from the same contractor through several themed outlets - and does not offer value for money comparable to local outlets. A hot meal costs around £4.50 (baked potato plus topping). The Range of food on offer is reasonable, but the quality of food and its value is often not. Coffee bars are also operated by the same contracted catering company with a small Latte costing £1.40. Bottled soft drinks and snacks are on average 10% more expensive than the local convenience stores and 24-hour garages. A hot Panini (not fresh, wrapped) is from £3.50-£3.70. A single Baguette ranges from £2.50-£3.50, sandwiches cost on average £3. Prices do not compare favourably to local sellers. All catering and shop outlets are operated by either the university or it's chosen contractor.
The student population at Oxford Brookes is diverse with people coming from a wide range of backgrounds and international students can feel right at home here. Some students are from places as local as Oxford itself. Some students come from countries as far away as China and Australia. 23% of students are international and the university welcomes mature students. Freshers have no problem making friends as the university has an excellent student union, which hosts many exciting events during Freshers Week, most notably the Freshers Ball. For me, it has been very easy to call this place my second home (my other home being at my parent's house).
The university's architecture is modern/ contemporary but it is only a short trip down the road when you will find the medieval Oxford spires. Oxford is a fantastic city for photographers as it is so 'typically English'. During campus redevelopments in Brookes over the next ten years, the university's buildings will be transformed and much of the campus buildings will be demolished and rebuilt. Some of the old 1950s/60s buildings have already been rebuilt on in the last few years.
The city of Oxford
The city is famous for its history as a Roman settlement and the University of Oxford, which is one of the oldest and most highly acclaimed in the world. Oxford is without doubt one of the most student-friendly cities in Europe. You will find that there are many clubs which are very student-centred and which offer various discounts and special offers to ease the cost of drinks. There are many major cultural and social activities to choose from throughout the year, and geographically Oxford is well placed for a day trip to London. The city centre is one of the most beautiful in the country with its ancient buildings of Cotswold stone and dreaming spires. Oxford still looks fantastic even on a rainy day. The punting and rowing on its many rivers and an abundance of bikes and joggers makes Oxford the perfect place for a healthy lifestyle. Its compact layout means you do not have to travel far to find what you need and this will obviously mean lower transport costs than universities at larger cities.
Why not read A Student's Guide to the City of Oxford?
With the capital only a bus ride away, you are in easy reach of the some of the most famous shops, restaurants, theatres, exhibits, monuments and nightlife to be found anywhere in the world. However there are many great places to visit which are closer to Oxford.
- Blenheim Palace, a world-renowned 18th century palace and official World Heritage Site, is located 7 miles from Oxford city centre in Woodstock. It is also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. With its magnificent grounds and architecture, it is the perfect place for a day's visit. Worth going to as a one-off treat - as prices are steep.
- The Cotswolds, stereotypically English, this is a great place to go for a drink with a few mates on a summers day. There are lot of pretty villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold which are very popular during the summer months. You can get a direct train from Oxford to Moreton-in-Marsh which is one of the most popular villages of the Cotswolds. The scenery in the Cotswolds is pretty spectacular at any time of year.
- The River Thames in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire is a great place to go punting or rowing on a warm summer's day.
- Henley-on-Thames for the famous Henley Royal Regatta.
Applying to Oxford Brookes
Overall there are roughly 7 applicants per place (figures may vary depending on the course) - but don't let this put you off! Currently the typical offer for most courses at Brookes ranges from ABB - BCC, however this does depend on the course. A few courses do have lower entry requirements, whereas the typical offer for Architecture is AAB.
24 subjects rated as excellent across a broad range of spectrums. The university is ranked particularly high for overall teaching quality.
Oxford Brookes operates the Modular System which allows students flexibility over their choice of modules, and a number of modules can be studied outside of the main subject of study.
This gives you the opportunity to study a limited number of modules which can be of any subject, regardless of its relation to your main discipline. This is only applicable in your first year.
This university runs on a 2 semester system whereas the university of Oxford runs on 3 terms. Full-time students can expect to begin the academic year in mid to late September to start semester 1, which finishes in mid December. There is a long Christmas break until semester 2 runs from the end of January to the middle of May, the last two weeks of which are exam weeks. The 4 month summer break gives students the opportunity to earn a good deal of money for the following academic year and exam resits for semester 2 occur in July. In the unlucky event that you do end up doing resits in the summer, you will have to arrange for accommodation as students usually need to leave halls of residence after exams finish in May (the only exception to this is Cheney).
Opportunities to study abroad
The university operates many exchange programmes, where students can study in European, US, Canadian and Australian universities as part of their degree. These students will be expected to achieve excellent grades whilst at university to be elligible for such programmes. These exchanges can be made during the second or third years. Tuition is free for those going to European universities and you will still receive the credits for your degree at whichever university you choose for your study abroad programme.
For a full list of all the universities available for exchange, please visit: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/students/exchanges/index_html
Additionally, on courses involving a sandwich year, students can opt to study abroad (pending university acceptance).
Oxford Brookes is a forward-thinking university, which I quote: 'is more interested in its future than its past'. The university is currently planning to rebuild much of its campus buildings in a £150 million investment scheme over the next 10-15 years, which is key to maintaining the university's growing academic portfolio. The building begun during the academic year of 2007-2008 but is mostly taking place during holidays. The student union is ensuring that there is minimal disruption to the university experience at Brookes during the campus revamp and hopes students should feel encouraged by these plans, which aim to enhance the university's learning and social environment and boost its academic standing even further. This building is due to open in 2013.
Brookes students in the media
In September 2007, five second year Oxford Brookes students triumphed on the BBC quiz show 'Eggheads' and beat five winners of the show who had been undefeated for the previous 74 games!
Brookes is also mentioned in E4 program fresh meat.
Questions to ask yourself
Here are some final questions you might want to ask yourself:
-Do you want to live in one of Britain's most historic, student-friendly and culturally-diverse cities?
-Do you want to live somewhere that has good access to London at relatively cheap prices?
-Do you want to live in a university that offers excellent teaching, good career prospects and a flexible degree system, which allows you to take a limited number of modules outside your main discipline in your first year?
-Do you want to live in a university with a friendly and diverse student population, which offers a large range of sporting activities and societies?
If you answered yes to these questions, or to most of them, you might want to consider applying here!
Some final points
- Your NUS card does offer you a wide range of discounts at many shops in Oxford, however living costs in the city are still pretty high nonetheless. Make sure you get a student loan and as much as you are entitled to.
- You may be aware that Oxford Brookes is little more than a couple of miles from one of the best universities in the world. The relationship between the two university's is great and members of Brookes are eligible to join the famous Oxford union which has regular talks from famous people. In the past this has included, Mother Teresa, The queen and in 2011 had Johnny Depp. Brookes is definitely a good university and this is proven in many performance indicators. It just happens to be next to one of the top universities in the world - because Oxford is exceptional! You'll find that the majority of Oxford students and Oxford Brookes students do get on with each other; they live in the same city and will regularly go to the same clubs and pubs. However this is limited due to each other having specific club nights so not to overcrowd clubs.
- Oxford is not a large city so it doesn't boast the range of nightlife that you get in the big cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester. However it is very easy to get to London so if huge nightclubs with massive venues are your thing, you can always visit the capital.
- You will not be allowed to bring a car to Oxford if you live in halls. Remember though, that there is an excellent transport system and the Brookes bus is free for such students (prices are included in the accommodation fees). I haven't met anyone here who has been disadvantaged by not being able to bring a car.
- You may be interested in what the general climate is like in southern England (if you are an international students for example). If you want to find at what you can expect weather wise then have a look at:
Applying to Oxford Brookes
Thinking of applying to Oxford Brookes? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?
Other Oxford Brookes Articles
Why not read these other Oxford Brookes Articles?