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    Hello guys I am new here, I was planning to apply to Oxford University, so does anyone know which is better for a History major, Balliol or Magdalen?

    appreciate it.
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    Define 'better'?! From an independent (other college perspective) I did not have either on my 3 colleges shortlist when deciding but I'd have been happy to go to either if that had happened.

    Both had quite large History intakes this year (13 and 12 offers respectively, all to direct applicants from a FOI request) because they have a fairly big staff. Both are pretty well off (Magdalen very) which can help. Both are respected and attractive old colleges with solid academic reputation but no Oxford college is poor academically and there is variation year-year/subject-subject.

    Balliol is a bit closer to the History Department & Bodleian (say 5 minutes) and feels a bit nearer the Radcliffe camera (2-3 minutes). This might matter a bit especially later in the course. Might.

    Be aware that pretty much every history UG will get some tuition in 3 years either from departmental tutors and tutors from other colleges depending on subject choices so university wide excellence matters. Similarly you will mix in lectures/seminars with students from other colleges. Another reason why college academic reputation is subjective/tricky.

    I'd suggest using their websites to look at tutors & their interests if you have any areas you are particularly keen on. If you had/have the opportunity to visit then take it. I doubt you'd regret either (or anywhere else).

    (on my hobby horse) 1 in 4 applicants get in (for history) and up to a quarter of successful applicants get reallocated from first choice colleges pre-interview or pooled at interview so you could wind up somewhere else!

    I hope others at Balliol or Magdalen can offer more specific insider help.
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    (Original post by SonOfAGeek)
    Define 'better'?! From an independent (other college perspective) I did not have either on my 3 colleges shortlist when deciding but I'd have been happy to go to either if that had happened.

    Both had quite large History intakes this year (13 and 12 offers respectively, all to direct applicants from a FOI request) because they have a fairly big staff. Both are pretty well off (Magdalen very) which can help. Both are respected and attractive old colleges with solid academic reputation but no Oxford college is poor academically and there is variation year-year/subject-subject.

    Balliol is a bit closer to the History Department & Bodleian (say 5 minutes) and feels a bit nearer the Radcliffe camera (2-3 minutes). This might matter a bit especially later in the course. Might.

    Be aware that pretty much every history UG will get some tuition in 3 years either from departmental tutors and tutors from other colleges depending on subject choices so university wide excellence matters. Similarly you will mix in lectures/seminars with students from other colleges. Another reason why college academic reputation is subjective/tricky.

    I'd suggest using their websites to look at tutors & their interests if you have any areas you are particularly keen on. If you had/have the opportunity to visit then take it. I doubt you'd regret either (or anywhere else).

    (on my hobby horse) 1 in 4 applicants get in (for history) and up to a quarter of successful applicants get reallocated from first choice colleges pre-interview or pooled at interview so you could wind up somewhere else!

    I hope others at Balliol or Magdalen can offer more specific insider help.
    Hello, thanks for the information. What about new college,how does it compare to these two or in general?
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    Hello, thanks for the information. What about new college how does it compare to these two or in general?
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    Slightly smaller intake. Between Magdalen and Balliol location wise. Otherwise similar. Frankly most of the older colleges form a 'similar' group. Most of the newer colleges also group. Both groups have more in common than they have different when you get beyond the architecture. Some are bigger, some are smaller. There is plenty of information on here, the OUSU, their websites, their alternative prospectus etc. If you have an interest in particular historic periods, themes or geographies you can search the staff page on the history faculty website using different parameters to identify relevant tutors and see if any colleges recur frequently.
 
 
 
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