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Are Oxford colleges the same as Oxford University ?

Are colleges just the names of the buildings ?
All of the colleges situated in the city of Oxford, plus the actual subjects departments dotted about, all make up the university of Oxford.

Each college has their own set of students, so if you was say to study physics, there would be many colleges that would have placements for 4-8 physics students each.. Each college has its own library, subject tutors, deans, junior common rooms and accommodation. Some are modern, others are 800 years old.
Are you interested in going? I know a bit through my daughter who applied last year and did the UNIQ summer school there, but Oxford Mum is really knowledgable on Oxford.
Reply 3
There is a lot of misconception that the University of Oxford has only one huge ass physical campus, that is NOT true! The whole city of Oxford is pretty much the campus as colleges are scattered all over the city, and all of these colleges as @Ghostlady said make up the university of Oxford.
This is why whenever anyone says Oxford, you think about the university rather than the city itself.
(edited 3 years ago)
Original post by The RAR
There is a lot of misconception that the University of Oxford has only one huge ass physical campus, that is NOT true! The whole city of Oxford is pretty much the campus as colleges are scattered all over the city, and all of these colleges as @Ghostlady said make up the university of Oxford.
This is why whenever anyone says Oxford, you think about the university rather than the city itself.

I tend to think about the individual colleges, rather than just the one university.
Original post by lhh2003
Are colleges just the names of the buildings ?

Yes and no. Each college is amazing, and has fantastic, world renowned tutors who are world experts in their own field. All of them have wonderful friendly students who have worked their socks off to get a place. They are like a big, welcoming family. I remember going into the porter's lodge at my younger son's college and the porter said "welcome to Oriel". Another member of staff called us members of the Oriel family. It brings a lump to my throat just typing this.

So with so many wonderful choices out there, how on earth do you whittle them down? Firstly make sure your college offers your subject (for example, Mansfield does not offer German). Then please look at the Choosing an Oxford college chapter of Oxford Demystified, below

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6468778&p=88379572#post88379572

This includes other criteria you could use to narrow it down.

Have a look at the videos of individual colleges, and go with your gut feeling. Where can you see yourself studying and living? It's a bit like falling in love, you know?

Hopefully you will apply to one of these colleges and you will get in. If you get in, but not to your original college don't worry, as you will grow to love it, and will be fiercely devoted to it by the end of the first term. Then if a tourist comes up to you and say "Are colleges just the names of the building"? you will harrumph with righteous indignation.
The colleges are individual institutions which are members of the university but are independent in theory otherwise. Undergraduate admissions are handled solely by the colleges, while graduate admissions are handled centrally by the university and department(s) involved. Pastoral support tends to be dealt with by colleges individually, as will all accommodation matters for undergrads (and possibly postgrads as well), although there will (probably) be a central accessibility/wellbeing department/initiative outside the college system. Also for reference, each college is not a single building (usually). They will normally be a collection of buildings, usually on a single (closed) site, although some might have "satellite" sites with accommodation for e.g. later year undergrad students or postgrads.

Teaching departments are separate to the colleges, although colleges arrange teaching internally for undergraduates (which can make up a substantial amount of the teaching for some subjects, notably "arts" subjects such as e.g. history, English etc). However, even for subjects where much of the teaching is done via tutorials in the colleges, you may not necessarily have tutorials in your own college, particularly for specialised options in later years of the course (where the director of studies will arrange the tutorials with whomever has appropriate expertise in that area. That said, I gather this is more common at Cambridge than Oxford

That said, there are often classes, lectures, and labs arranged centrally by the department outside of the colleges for many courses though e.g. any course with language elements will probably have centrally arranged language classes, some "arts" courses with more technical content like economics are likely to have centrally arranged classes and lectures which make up a major part of the teaching Additionally any STEM subject will have centrally arranged labs and the lectures offered by the department for those subjects are usually more core to the teaching for those subjects, and very small subjects may have more centrally arranged tutorials and classes.

However for Oxford (and Cambridge), due to how the tutorial(/supervision) system works there, which is done via the colleges, the colleges are more than just a named building or student accommodation. For other collegiate universities (e.g. Durham, York) though they are, as I'm told, much more just glorified halls of residence.
(edited 3 years ago)
Original post by artful_lounger
The colleges are individual institutions which are members of the university but are independent in theory otherwise. Undergraduate admissions are handled solely by the colleges, while graduate admissions are handled centrally by the university and department(s) involved. Pastoral support tends to be dealt with by colleges individually, as will all accommodation matters for undergrads (and possibly postgrads as well), although there will (probably) be a central accessibility/wellbeing department/initiative outside the college system. Also for reference, each college is not a single building (usually). They will normally be a collection of buildings, usually on a single (closed) site, although some might have "satellite" sites with accommodation for e.g. later year undergrad students or postgrads.

Teaching departments are separate to the colleges, although colleges arrange teaching internally for undergraduates (which can make up a substantial amount of the teaching for some subjects, notably "arts" subjects such as e.g. history, English etc). However, even for subjects where much of the teaching is done via tutorials in the colleges, you may not necessarily have tutorials in your own college, particularly for specialised options in later years of the course (where the director of studies will arrange the tutorials with whomever has appropriate expertise in that area. That said, I gather this is more common at Cambridge than Oxford

That said, there are often classes, lectures, and labs arranged centrally by the department outside of the colleges for many courses though e.g. any course with language elements will probably have centrally arranged language classes, some "arts" courses with more technical content like economics are likely to have centrally arranged classes and lectures which make up a major part of the teaching Additionally any STEM subject will have centrally arranged labs and the lectures offered by the department for those subjects are usually more core to the teaching for those subjects, and very small subjects may have more centrally arranged tutorials and classes.

However for Oxford (and Cambridge), due to how the tutorial(/supervision) system works there, which is done via the colleges, the colleges are more than just a named building or student accommodation. For other collegiate universities (e.g. Durham, York) though they are, as I'm told, much more just glorified halls of residence

I can answer for the latter part as daughter got into Lancaster (had an interview and got offered at York both collegiate unis (had interview at oxford)). The colleges themselves are the halls of residence, but have their own JCR and executives and study rooms, and inter collegiate sports rivalries such as 'Warriors''. They also have their own bars. The only difference is the tutorials/ admissions. They have them and seminars and supervisions, but is by department, not by college. Did not see a porter lodge at York, but Lancaster has them including their own place their their mail goes (pidges). York and Lancaster has their own sporting competition called 'Roses' each year and includes things like rowing, darts, rugby, dominoes, clay pigeon shooting etc. Not quite Oxford or cambridge and the historic buildings, but its good as they feel part of a college family, similar to how Oxbridge is.
(edited 3 years ago)
Original post by Ghostlady
I can answer for the latter part as daughter got into Lancaster (had an interview and got offered at York both collegiate unis (had interview at oxford)). The colleges themselves are the halls of residence, but have their own JCR and executives and study rooms, and inter collegiate sports rivalries such as 'Warriors''. They also have their own bars. The only difference is the tutorials/ admissions. They have them and seminars and supervisions, but is by department, not by college. Did not see a porter lodge at York, but Lancaster has them including their own place their their mail goes (pidges). York and Lancaster has their own sporting competition called 'Roses' each year and includes things like rowing, darts, rugby, dominoes, clay pigeon shooting etc. Not quite Oxford or cambridge and the historic buildings, but its good as they feel part of a college family, similar to how Oxbridge is.

How big are the colleges there? Similar to Oxford?
Original post by nexttime
How big are the colleges there? Similar to Oxford?

Regarding how big they are, some of them yes. Grizedale hols about 500 sutdents, where as County holds 800 students. Bowland and County have quads, but not as grand as oxfords with the extensive grounds like St Johns or Magdalens. the other colleges do have grounds but not in the shape of typical quad. County Main building reminded me like Somervilles Vaughan building a bit, both built in similar era :smile:. Regarding York, i would say the same size.
Original post by artful_lounger
The colleges are individual institutions ...


Super post, comme d'habitude :smile:

However for Oxford (and Cambridge), due to how the tutorial(/supervision) system works there, which is done via the colleges, the colleges are more than just a named building or student accommodation.


Exactly - I think one thinks of oneself as a member of a college at least equally to being a member of the university.
nope lool theres so many colleges in oxford aha

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