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Hi @PeteM01

What a coincidence, you are just the person I wanted to speak to!

Any chance of telling us how the graduation went?
Oh Congratulations to you and your son. It is such a relief at the end isn't it! Enjoy the graduation ceremony.
Original post by PeteM01
And to bring closure to anyone reading this thread in the future - all's well that ends well...
Original post by Oxford Mum
Hi @PeteM01

What a coincidence, you are just the person I wanted to speak to!

Any chance of telling us how the graduation went?


Original post by Scotney
Oh Congratulations to you and your son. It is such a relief at the end isn't it! Enjoy the graduation ceremony.

At the risk of identifying the wain, the exams were 'only' Part I but were the final public exams after 3 years. One more year to go, but no more exams...
Well felicitations in any case and 1 more year of being an Oxford parent yay!
Original post by PeteM01
At the risk of identifying the wain, the exams were 'only' Part I but were the final public exams after 3 years. One more year to go, but no more exams...
Original post by Scotney
Well felicitations in any case and 1 more year of being an Oxford parent yay!

Thank you! Another year of 'living through my child' :tongue:
:thumbsup:
Original post by PeteM01
Thank you! Another year of 'living through my child' :tongue:
God, I love the people on this thread!!
May I join you? DD has just decided to apply to Oxford for 2020, to read chemistry. I'm not convinced it's the best place for her, as she is dyslexic and gets really tired from studying, so I think it may all be a bit intense for her. But she is very excited by the tutorial system, and is keen to experience an interview 'cos it sounds like fun', so I am on an information gathering mission. She will need to put in a lot of work this summer, alongside being away for 3 weeks, and that bit I am leaving up to her.

One of the things I am looking into is the finance. DD won't be eligible for any bursaries, but neither can we give her bucket loads of money. We could afford some of the cheaper colleges, or ones with kitchen so she can at least prepare some meals for herself, but if she if 'pooled' and sent to an expensive college with no kitchens we won't be able to afford it. I know we only have to pay for 8 week terms, which helps! The website says that the living costs are usually between £1058 and £1643 per month for 2019 entry - so £6348 - £9858 for the 8 weeks of term - but then it says to budget for 9 months, so quite a lot more than that. DS is at Durham and is paying £7425 fully catered, and that covers longer terms and vacations (although they are not catered) How realistic are the Oxford amounts - and do they tend towards the lower or upper limits?

My main concern at the moment is the 4th year of the chemistry degree which is 38 weeks of research - how does this work with staying in college? They all seem to be for 3x8 week terms, with some offering a bit of extra time, but most seem to say they charge £20+ a night, which is going to be too expensive for us to consider. I suppose she could live out - where can I find prices for that?

I'm sure there will be lots more questions to come - I've enjoyed reading this thread (although I have to confess I haven't made it to the end)
Sounds a good idea to leave it to your daughter to do work over the summer. If it feels like too much of a chore for her, that might be an indication that the Oxford intensity is not right for her. Chemistry is one of the subjects that's said to be particularly demanding in the first year, so it's as well she understands that. I like the attitude that going for an interview would be good fun. Viewing it like that, rather than some sort of pivotal point of your whole life, is sensible.

I'd say the living costs on the Oxford website are on the extravagant side. The college accommodation and meal costs are transparent. Everything is in easy walking/biking distance, so transport costs are zero; libraries are adequate so there's no obligation to buy textbooks; there are Sainbury's, Tescos etc in easy reach. The only costs my daughter had to keep an eye on were going into cafes every day to work and socialise. For the costs of living out in rented accommodation, you might want to scan spareroom.co - there are always lots of shared houses with rooms going spare, especially off the Cowley Road.

One additional thought is that the University Disability Service is a good resource. They supplied my daughter with various aids and adaptions for free and very promptly. They and each college's access office may be able to help if your daughter's dyslexia means she has additional support needs.
Really good advice from Oxfossil here. My son has a bursary, but is watching his pennies, and so cooks in the kitchen rather than going for meals. He also has a demanding course, so would rather be cooking a fast meal and working than taking his time eating in the hall.

I am really glad you like this thread, by the way. I enjoy it myself, and you (also your daughter) are more than welcome here any time. It would be a good idea for your daughter to do some reading over the summer, just to see how she feels about doing a bit of research. She also has a healthy view to applications, ie to not take it too seriously and if she gets in, it's a bonus.

She will have four more choices on her UCAS form, so it's not like it's Oxford or nothing. It's best to go to lots of open days and ask many questions!

Best of luck and hope to see you again on this thread.
Original post by 2childmum!
May I join you? DD has just decided to apply to Oxford for 2020, to read chemistry. I'm not convinced it's the best place for her, as she is dyslexic and gets really tired from studying, so I think it may all be a bit intense for her. But she is very excited by the tutorial system, and is keen to experience an interview 'cos it sounds like fun', so I am on an information gathering mission. She will need to put in a lot of work this summer, alongside being away for 3 weeks, and that bit I am leaving up to her.

One of the things I am looking into is the finance. DD won't be eligible for any bursaries, but neither can we give her bucket loads of money. We could afford some of the cheaper colleges, or ones with kitchen so she can at least prepare some meals for herself, but if she if 'pooled' and sent to an expensive college with no kitchens we won't be able to afford it. I know we only have to pay for 8 week terms, which helps! The website says that the living costs are usually between £1058 and £1643 per month for 2019 entry - so £6348 - £9858 for the 8 weeks of term - but then it says to budget for 9 months, so quite a lot more than that. DS is at Durham and is paying £7425 fully catered, and that covers longer terms and vacations (although they are not catered) How realistic are the Oxford amounts - and do they tend towards the lower or upper limits?

My main concern at the moment is the 4th year of the chemistry degree which is 38 weeks of research - how does this work with staying in college? They all seem to be for 3x8 week terms, with some offering a bit of extra time, but most seem to say they charge £20+ a night, which is going to be too expensive for us to consider. I suppose she could live out - where can I find prices for that?

I'm sure there will be lots more questions to come - I've enjoyed reading this thread (although I have to confess I haven't made it to the end)
Original post by 2childmum!

My main concern at the moment is the 4th year of the chemistry degree which is 38 weeks of research - how does this work with staying in college? They all seem to be for 3x8 week terms, with some offering a bit of extra time, but most seem to say they charge £20+ a night, which is going to be too expensive for us to consider. I suppose she could live out - where can I find prices for that?

Chemistry does seem to be a tough course, even by Ox standards. After a visit/interview, your daughter may become enthused to work really hard; if not, then somewhere other than Oxford may be better.
On the 4th year of the courses that have this research element, some colleges offer a 38 or 40-week housing contract, usually with other 4th years/postgraduate students. The cost is similar, pro rata, to the 24 week contracts and will likely be in self-catered accommodation (but check for each college).
We have found living-out to be more expensive than college accommodation (even at the 38/40 week rate), but Oxfossil's suggestion would be much cheaper. However, your daughter will probably wish to live with friends in a shared house and that will cost more.
We have had several children at university simultaneously (really poor planning 20-odd years ago) but our Oxford child has the least expensive habits of the lot (which may explain why they are where they are...), so the overall costs have not been ruinously higher.
Hola 2childmum,

Thanks for your queries.

Chemistry is a certainly demanding course as there are three components to master: Organic, Inorganic, and Physical Chemistry. We have had students enrolled with special learning needs, however, including dyslexia. In relation to other institutions we have worked at, we would say that the support available is very good. There are currently about 4,500 registered disabled students at Oxford and 13% of our current offer-holders fall into this category.

We can't speak for other colleges but the prices you cite look very high and we wonder whether you may have misread them. Our rooms are banded and the rates per TERM (not per month) range from £1,164 (band F) to £1,850 (band A). Students pay an additional flat charge of £40 for heating. There is no fixed charge for food and students just pay for what they eat. The subsidy on food is so high that there would not in our view be a substantial saving from self-catering (this may vary at other colleges). Rent is the biggest single item in a student's budget so we would suggest concentrating on this.

We offer college accommodation for all years of study including the 4th year. Chemists in the fourth year can opt to take a tenancy of 40 weeks which works out at £5,216 to £6,888 depending on the room band. The more expensively banded rooms are larger with en suite bathrooms. The rates include all maintenance call outs that might be needed and also a cleaning service - both provided in house.

Depending on your household income, the government loan scheme will expect you to make a varying parental top-up contribution. All UK students can, however, access loans for both tuition and maintenance. We are not legally qualified to give financial advice but there is a well-known and respected commentary available at this link: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes/

Oxford tuition fees are no higher than anywhere else. It is probably possible to rent a private room in a house for a year at a lower rate than the rates we have quoted above but it would need to be in a very low priced city. We do not know whether Durham are guaranteeing the rate charged for all years of study. In addition to our headline rate, we offer discounted accommodation at other times of the year. All Finalists can also receive free accommodation for much/most of the Easter vacation (depending on its length) prior to the Term they sit their Final exams. There are also discretionary funds that can be applied to for a range of support.

We are not claiming to be John Lewis ("never knowingly undersold") but as a value proposition we think we may be worth a second look. As a perpetual college and educational charity, our strategy is to provide as much support as we can for each cohort of students without compromising our ability to support subsequent cohorts.

Please feel free to post further queries.

Brasenose Admissions


(Original post by 2childmum!)
Original post by 2childmum!
May I join you? DD has just decided to apply to Oxford for 2020, to read chemistry. I'm not convinced it's the best place for her, as she is dyslexic and gets really tired from studying, so I think it may all be a bit intense for her. But she is very excited by the tutorial system, and is keen to experience an interview 'cos it sounds like fun', so I am on an information gathering mission. She will need to put in a lot of work this summer, alongside being away for 3 weeks, and that bit I am leaving up to her.

One of the things I am looking into is the finance. DD won't be eligible for any bursaries, but neither can we give her bucket loads of money. We could afford some of the cheaper colleges, or ones with kitchen so she can at least prepare some meals for herself, but if she if 'pooled' and sent to an expensive college with no kitchens we won't be able to afford it. I know we only have to pay for 8 week terms, which helps! The website says that the living costs are usually between £1058 and £1643 per month for 2019 entry - so £6348 - £9858 for the 8 weeks of term - but then it says to budget for 9 months, so quite a lot more than that. DS is at Durham and is paying £7425 fully catered, and that covers longer terms and vacations (although they are not catered) How realistic are the Oxford amounts - and do they tend towards the lower or upper limits?

My main concern at the moment is the 4th year of the chemistry degree which is 38 weeks of research - how does this work with staying in college? They all seem to be for 3x8 week terms, with some offering a bit of extra time, but most seem to say they charge £20+ a night, which is going to be too expensive for us to consider. I suppose she could live out - where can I find prices for that?

I'm sure there will be lots more questions to come - I've enjoyed reading this thread (although I have to confess I haven't made it to the end)
Thank you for your replies. I have gone through colleges to find those that seem to offer longer lets in the 4th year - although several of them seem to be quoting start dates after the dates for the beginning of the extended term for chemistry - but hopefully that can be sorted out! The costs vary hugely though - one college appears not to charge any more for the extended term than they do for an 8 week term, right up to those who charge the normal room rate for the extra 98 days (so at what looks like an average room rate of about £22/day that's an extra £2000 ish.)


Brasenose admissions - thank you for your reply. DD spoke to the central disability support and to a tutor in one of the colleges, both of whom were encouraging. Regarding the room charges - from what I can see it is expensive to rent a room in Oxford, but most of the other unis we are looking at it would be cheaper to rent a house than to live in college accommodation. I can't find food costs on your website, but the table comparing costs on the main Oxford website gives an average cost of food which would work out at about £48 a week - which I consider expensive and it would be much cheaper to self-cater. The overall costs I quoted are those given on the University website and are monthly costs. If these are on the high side, maybe this could be pointed out to the university as these costs are very off-putting.

All this research could be made redundant by DD, even if she gets a place, being offered a different, more expensive college entirely. Comparing colleges is far, far, far more confusing than comparing universities!

But I have had a lovely time looking at the photos of all the beautiful buildings in the city!! If DD really works her socks off this holiday and wants to give it a go, I am sure we can work something out.
Original post by 2childmum!
All this research could be made redundant by DD, even if she gets a place, being offered a different, more expensive college entirely. Comparing colleges is far, far, far more confusing than comparing universities!

But I have had a lovely time looking at the photos of all the beautiful buildings in the city!! If DD really works her socks off this holiday and wants to give it a go, I am sure we can work something out.

I don't envy you having to compare colleges - comparing unis was enough of a headache for me! But you will get a lot of help from people on here who have already gone through the process if your DD decides to give it a go :smile:
Original post by 2childmum!
Thank you for your replies. I have gone through colleges to find those that seem to offer longer lets in the 4th year - although several of them seem to be quoting start dates after the dates for the beginning of the extended term for chemistry - but hopefully that can be sorted out! The costs vary hugely though - one college appears not to charge any more for the extended term than they do for an 8 week term, right up to those who charge the normal room rate for the extra 98 days (so at what looks like an average room rate of about £22/day that's an extra £2000 ish.)


Brasenose admissions - thank you for your reply. DD spoke to the central disability support and to a tutor in one of the colleges, both of whom were encouraging. Regarding the room charges - from what I can see it is expensive to rent a room in Oxford, but most of the other unis we are looking at it would be cheaper to rent a house than to live in college accommodation. I can't find food costs on your website, but the table comparing costs on the main Oxford website gives an average cost of food which would work out at about £48 a week - which I consider expensive and it would be much cheaper to self-cater. The overall costs I quoted are those given on the University website and are monthly costs. If these are on the high side, maybe this could be pointed out to the university as these costs are very off-putting.

All this research could be made redundant by DD, even if she gets a place, being offered a different, more expensive college entirely. Comparing colleges is far, far, far more confusing than comparing universities!

But I have had a lovely time looking at the photos of all the beautiful buildings in the city!! If DD really works her socks off this holiday and wants to give it a go, I am sure we can work something out.


Here is a guide to our food prices. As mentioned earlier, we have no fixed charge so it is a simple pay as you eat system (in fact students pay using a card and get billed).

BREAKFAST
One slice of toast 14p
Hot items (eg sausage, veg sausage, bacon, egg, has brown) 29p per item
Croissant / pain au chocolat 62p
Bowl of cereal 62p
Porridge 44p
Tea/coffee no charge

LUNCH
Hot main £2.02
Vegetarian or vegan main £1.86
Soup of the day 78p
side dish (eg chips, curly fries, new potatoes, herbed pasta, seasonal veg) 70p
salad bar 74p
jacket potato £1.79
jacket potato fillings 60p each
pudding 69p

DINNER
Similar cost to lunch if self-service (available daily)
Three times a week students may also sign up for "Formal Hall" which is a 3-course restaurant standard meal, served to table costing £5.70

Last year, of those students applying to direct us who received an Oxford offer, approximately 44% received a Brasenose offer. We keep what we give a subsidy to under review and consult regularly with current students. We could, for example, increase the subsidy on sports/leisure or increase book/equipment grants. Alternatively, we could shift from universal rent/food subsidy to more targeted support. What we do is informed by (but not dictated by) local student preferences and we feel this delivers best value for resource.

Note that we are located centrally and Oxford's university centre is also relatively compact. As a consequence, the great majority of students have in effect a zero transport budget.

You may find it useful to consult some student budget surveys that have been carried out eg https://www.savethestudent.org/money/student-money-survey-2018.html This survey reports that students spend on average £108 per week on food to put £48 in context. Based on our food habits, we would be spending around £35 to £40 per week if we paid Brasenose prices.

Our 2nd years live together in a pleasant annexe about 4-5 minutes walk from Main Site. This facility has kitchens (on the Main Site kitchen facilities are limited by listed building regulations - one reason we keep food prices low). While the kitchens at the annexe are used, most students still prefer to eat college food. We also have kitchens in our two graduate annexes. Although it is not a serious problem, kitchens and self-catering can on occasion cause disputes between students. Fire call outs are also always generated by students leaving pans or toasters unattended. There can also be links to eating disorders and social withdrawal. So there are some downsides to student kitchens. That said, in the interests of balance, one of us has a son/daughter at a regional university who loves to cook (although they have never produced a meal for us!) and some of our students similarly like to host dinner parties in the annexe kitchens.
Hi everyone, I'm new to this site.

My DD got an offer for Maths & Ph this year. I like to know something about Oxford student accommodation. Does she need to bring a heavy blanket for the winter? Does room has heater supply system during winter?
Hi goodsmile! My DD also has a conditional offer. Accommodation depends on which College she is going to attend. I’m sure that all accommodation has heating. My DD is planning on taking a favourite blanket and cushions, so her bed can double as a sofa.(all depending on results of course). If you are travelling a long distance, or from overseas, I think it might be best to leave the blanket, and buy one in Oxford if it’s needed.
Original post by goodsmile
Hi everyone, I'm new to this site.

My DD got an offer for Maths & Ph this year. I like to know something about Oxford student accommodation. Does she need to bring a heavy blanket for the winter? Does room has heater supply system during winter?
Brasenose - I think you will find that the £108 quoted is per month, not per week. My son at uni spends about £25 per week, which is also what I budget per person. So I do think £40+ is expensive.

Anyway, I have gone on enough about money! I look forward to reading everyone else's contributions - lots of useful and interesting info here, thank you
Thanks, we stand corrected on the monthly figure! The source quoted also found that Cambridge (Oxford was not surveyed) was relatively more expensive than the average.
Original post by 2childmum!
Brasenose - I think you will find that the £108 quoted is per month, not per week. My son at uni spends about £25 per week, which is also what I budget per person. So I do think £40+ is expensive.

Anyway, I have gone on enough about money! I look forward to reading everyone else's contributions - lots of useful and interesting info here, thank you
Thanks for your reply!
Original post by 10271661
Hi goodsmile! My DD also has a conditional offer. Accommodation depends on which College she is going to attend. I’m sure that all accommodation has heating. My DD is planning on taking a favourite blanket and cushions, so her bed can double as a sofa.(all depending on results of course). If you are travelling a long distance, or from overseas, I think it might be best to leave the blanket, and buy one in Oxford if it’s needed.

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