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    I'm really confused, sorry if this is common knowledge.
    What are colleges at Oxford and Cambridge and why do both have so many? Are they subject specific or to do with location....? Just a general explanation would help a lot thanks!
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    (Original post by quiiddle)
    I'm really confused, sorry if this is common knowledge.
    What are colleges at Oxford and Cambridge and why do both have so many? Are they subject specific or to do with location....? Just a general explanation would help a lot thanks!
    https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...olleges?wssl=1

    From the University website - hope this helps *
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    (Original post by quiiddle)
    I'm really confused, sorry if this is common knowledge.
    What are colleges at Oxford and Cambridge and why do both have so many? Are they subject specific or to do with location....? Just a general explanation would help a lot thanks!
    Colleges are a hangover from the medieval university system, when a 'university' was basically just a group of religious institutions which agreed to give out academic awards to students who came to live and study in Oxford and Cambridge. They're kind of like a cross between halls of residence and tutorial groups: each college has rooms for students as well as academic staff, a social space, a dining hall, and some classrooms, and usually various other facilities such as a small library and a bar etc. Students usually have some of their classes in their college, and the rest of their classes in the central classrooms of their department of study. The reason there are so many is that Oxford and Cambridge have been around for 800 years, and it is traditional for rich benefactors to establish a college every so often. New colleges increase the capacity of the university and provide for specialist needs.

    Some colleges are rather generalistic and have students from all subject areas, but some are restricted to certain types of student: girls, or postgraduates, for example. And some have a particularly good reputation in a certain subject area, or a specialist library, or a good location near a certain campus.Other colleges have a particularly good academic reputation, others a great sports reputation: and so they attract different types of people depending on their interests. Although some people just choose a college because they like the architecture or because their parents went there.

    Generally speaking, the older ones are the most prestigious, and the ones built in the past 100 years are often specialist ones for niche subject areas and are looked down on a little since they haven't had a chance to build up much prestige yet.

    A piece of advice: usually when you apply for Oxbridge, you have to apply to a specific college rather than to the university as a whole. But you also have the option of choosing an 'open application'. Do not do this: it means you are allocated a college by a computer, which usually means whichever college had a smaller number of applications than the others. Needless to say, there's usually a good reason why a college recieves less applications. Try and pick a college that is suitable for your needs, and if you can't choose, just pick any of the older ones that doesn't have too ridiculous a rate of applications per place and that you can see yourself living in.
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    The University of Oxford is made up of all the colleges combined.

    There are lots of them because history.

    When you go to Oxford, you are enrolled as a member of both the University as a whole and as a member of a particular college. The organisation of your life at Oxford reflects this dual identity.

    Academic departments are centralised, so that most of the time, your lectures and pracs are held together with every other undergraduate doing your subject across the whole university. i.e. just like every other Uni. However, your allocated principal tutor will be someone who is attached to your college. So your tutorials are often based in your college, and you will tend to be tutored by other tutors who have some connection to your principal tutor. Most undergraduate colleges offer most subjects - colleges are not subject specific.


    Library facilities are both centralised (the Bodleian is huge, and its buildings pop up all over the place) and devolved - your college will have its own library. So you are likely to spend library time split between the central and your college library.

    However, Oxford has no central Students' Union building, centralised catering/food halls, and no Halls of Residence which are open to the whole undergraduate body.

    Instead, your college tends to be the "default" setting for eating, hanging out and socialising during the term (although of course, you can easily eat and socialise in other colleges as a guest). Unless you organise your own accommodation, you will also live exclusively in properties owned by your particular college.

    This obviously means that there tends to be a strong sense of belonging to a particular college, and that you are more likely to make friendships/emnities with people at your college, rather than people doing your subject.

    Hope that helps.
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    Colleges are like cars. You could be at Girton/Churchill - that is like driving a Ford Ka. Or at Trinity/Johns/Clare/Caius/Kings - that is like a BMW.
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    (Original post by 4EX)
    Colleges are like cars. You could be at Girton/Churchill - that is like driving a Ford Ka. Or at Trinity/Johns/Clare/Caius/Kings - that is like a BMW.
    I can just imagine the shame now;

    "Which University did you go to?"

    "Oxford "

    "Ah cool, which College?"

    "Churchill...."

    "LOL you suck at life! "
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    (Original post by loooopppyyy)
    I can just imagine the shame now;

    "Which University did you go to?"

    "Oxford "

    "Ah cool, which College?"

    "Churchill...."

    "LOL you suck at life! "
    Churchill is in Cambridge though. That person probably went to "Bucks New University"
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    (Original post by 4EX)
    Colleges are like cars. You could be at Girton/Churchill - that is like driving a Ford Ka. Or at Trinity/Johns/Clare/Caius/Kings - that is like a BMW.
    Requires lots of gasoline and lacks working indicators?
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    Does it make more sense to apply to a college that has several tutors in your subject vs applying somewhere that has none. I originally wanted to apply to a certain college but they don't have any tutors at that specific college. Also, they only have 1-2 spaces each year for my subject. Is it smarter to apply to another college that does have tutors in my subject or does it really make no difference?
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    (Original post by snowflake39)
    Does it make more sense to apply to a college that has several tutors in your subject vs applying somewhere that has none. I originally wanted to apply to a certain college but they don't have any tutors at that specific college. Also, they only have 1-2 spaces each year for my subject. Is it smarter to apply to another college that does have tutors in my subject or does it really make no difference?
    Your chances of an offer should not depend on the college you apply to - although of course, you have to apply to a college which offers the subject! If you are thought worthy of a place, but your college of choice has already filled its allocation, you should be offered a place at another college which has spaces. About 25% of Oxford undergraduates are re-allocated in this way.

    If your question is about whether the quality of teaching is higher at a college which has more tutors in a given subject, then....erm...I don't know... but I suspect it doesn't make a lot of difference either.

    If you are really interested in analysing offer stats, here's a helpful starting point
    https://public.tableau.com/views/UoO...showVizHome=no
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    (Original post by OxFossil)
    Your chances of an offer should not depend on the college you apply to - although of course, you have to apply to a college which offers the subject! If you are thought worthy of a place, but your college of choice has already filled its allocation, you should be offered a place at another college which has spaces. About 25% of Oxford undergraduates are re-allocated in this way.

    If your question is about whether the quality of teaching is higher at a college which has more tutors in a given subject, then....erm...I don't know... but I suspect it doesn't make a lot of difference either.

    If you are really interested in analysing offer stats, here's a helpful starting point
    https://public.tableau.com/views/UoO...showVizHome=no
    Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean the quality of teaching I just meant having tutors teaching your subject at one college VS having no tutors teach it at another. For example, if someone apples for geography at Wadham and there are 4 geography tutors there VS if they apply to Hertford and there are 0 there, (but of course both colleges offer the subject) is it smarter to apply to e.g. Wadham than Hertford simply because there are actually tutors for your subject there?
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    (Original post by snowflake39)
    Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean the quality of teaching I just meant having tutors teaching your subject at one college VS having no tutors teach it at another. For example, if someone apples for geography at Wadham and there are 4 geography tutors there VS if they apply to Hertford and there are 0 there, (but of course both colleges offer the subject) is it smarter to apply to e.g. Wadham than Hertford simply because there are actually tutors for your subject there?
    I would imagine you'll either have tutors from other colleges/from the departments who come to you and tutor you at your college (I have a tutor for physics who tutors at a couple of different colleges), or you'll go to them, so it shouldn't actually affect the standard of teaching - they wouldn't offer it if there wasn't anyone at all to teach you, and in later years (when you might be doing more specialised topics) you may not have the tutor you need at your college anyway!
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    Just a PSA that there's absolutely nothing wrong with going to a smaller or newer college :rolleyes: What a college might lack in "prestige" or wealth is usually made up for through better food and a friendlier atmosphere.

    Also, ex-women's colleges tend to have better libraries than most because they were not permitted to use the main libraries for the longest time.

    Again, I'm glad I was at Magdalen because of the wealth, beauty, location and facilities, but I did often envy friends at really friendly close-knit newer colleges, so swings and roundabouts really!
 
 
 
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