dyunsi
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Hi,

I am old (53) and applying for a part time PG course at Oxford, and can pick St Catherines, Kellog or Harris-Manchester - can't decide which to apply for. Any thoughts or experiences welcome! thx
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Oxford Mum
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Hi there dyunsi

I have helped to write a chapter in my book "Oxford Demystified" about colleges, but these are undergraduate colleges. The vast majority of people who apply here (even post graduate) tend to end up in some of the more mainstream colleges, (such as Pembroke).

From the limited amount I know...

Harris Manchester: The college is very beautiful and quite central. It is for students who are 21 and over. Some people on the main Oxford thread who are postgrads, etc get allocated there. It provides students with unusual benefits, such as hot cocoa when studying in the library when it's cold.

Most of the graduates who go there are afraid it is full of "old" people, but the answer always seems to be that the students there are mostly only just above 21! So if you want to study with a younger crowd, quite centrally, and in a very attractive library (and with its own pretty tower), that would be a good choice. It also has the usual Oxford College features, like a chapel (I can remember in a previous year, they had a service where you could bring your pets)

http://www.hmc.ox.ac.uk/

Here is a friendly "coping guide" written by someone about our age (I am 57)

http://www.hmc.ox.ac.uk/current-stud...exed-students/

There isn't very much in the way of youtube videos, but here is a video of a recent ball (do you fancy having a go on that bouncy slide? I'm more a deckchair girl)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytES3QZ1Qoo

Apart from the fact it is for students of 21 and over, it has exactly the same "feel" as the other colleges I know.

I know a student who I think went for an interview there last year

9dobbo1 - any insights?

On to St Catz

https://www.stcatz.ox.ac.uk/

This has a different architectural vibe altogether from the other two:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ASjc83GBBw

There doesn't appear to be a chapel, but there is a gym if you want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I quite fancy the quiz night.

It has a very 1960s vibe, which why it looked superb in an episode of Endeavour featuring a chess match

https://morseandlewisandendeavour.co...veiw-spoilers/

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6l0qa3

This makes me rather homesick, as I used to be a student at Owens Park, Manchester, a large 1960s hall with much the same atmosphere.

Kellogg College is one I have heard of, but don't know much about

https://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/explore/

This is quite an exciting concept: it was set up in the 1990s for students from 20-70 years old.

It is actually a very large college, with 1200 students (some of them part time). It even has it's own bespoke tartan (go on, I know you want to)

Here is the college video:

https://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/study/why-choose-kellogg/

Fellows and students mix together in the dining room and eat the same food. It seems very exciting and progressive. There is this informal vibe, but attractive Victorian building. There are beautiful, tranquil gardens. They are not trying too hard to be "Oxford collegy" and like it that way.

Kellogg accommodation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSO4...ature=youtu.be

Kellogg College magazine:

https://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/latest/connect-magazine/

Freshers events

https://indd.adobe.com/view/73ae644b...9-5102ee114776

Prince Charles, along with many other influential people, is a Bynum Tudor Honorary Fellow:

https://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/news/pr...llogg-college/

As far as Oxford colleges go, you really can't go wrong! All are power houses of learning, with amazing tutors and friendly students. Your academic experience will be similar wherever you go, so it's really down to which "vibe" you feel suits you.

Although I cannot give you specific advice, and you will unfortunately not be able to visit the colleges at this time, I hope this post has given you a bit of an overview of all three.

Do you like the young vibe of St Catherine's, the egality, and tranquility of Kellogg? Or the more traditional, typically "Oxford" Harris Manchester?

If I had to choose out of the three, it would be Harris Manchester (due to location, young-ish but not overly young vibe, traditional).

How about you?

All of them look very exciting, and wherever you go, you will never forget your Oxford experience.
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shoreuss
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Just wanted to add that I second the amazing advice from Oxford Mum

I'm 25 years old and have already done one undergrad degree but want to do a second. I applied for Harris Manchester and attended their Zoom tour for students invited to interview this year. According to the junior common room president, the average age at Harris Manchester is about 24 years old with most students being between 24 and 30 years old. Their oldest student I think she said was in their 60s and the youngest 21. So there's a huge range of ages and people of different backgrounds.

The president and a few other current students also talked about the 'mature' student appeal. Whilst they said you will still likely end up working with younger students from the other colleges at some point, the general vibe is much more focused on the studying aspect rather than the 'freedom and independence from your parents' type of vibe. HMC students still have fun of course, and host a variety of events that cater to different interests, but ultimately; everyone in HMC has some life experience which I really do think changes people a lot and would make the experience more enjoyable for you.

One thing I have heard though I need someone to confirm this, is that if you're a mature student, your application automatically gets sent to HMC regardless of whether or not you apply to them as your first choice. In my eyes, it would make sense to apply for a different college, knowing you'd also be considered for HMC regardless. (However this may not be correct, I will have to find TSR post where I read about this, so take it with a sack of salt!)
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by shoreuss)
Just wanted to add that I second the amazing advice from Oxford Mum

I'm 25 years old and have already done one undergrad degree but want to do a second. I applied for Harris Manchester and attended their Zoom tour for students invited to interview this year. According to the junior common room president, the average age at Harris Manchester is about 24 years old with most students being between 24 and 30 years old. Their oldest student I think she said was in their 60s and the youngest 21. So there's a huge range of ages and people of different backgrounds.

The president and a few other current students also talked about the 'mature' student appeal. Whilst they said you will still likely end up working with younger students from the other colleges at some point, the general vibe is much more focused on the studying aspect rather than the 'freedom and independence from your parents' type of vibe. HMC students still have fun of course, and host a variety of events that cater to different interests, but ultimately; everyone in HMC has some life experience which I really do think changes people a lot and would make the experience more enjoyable for you.

One thing I have heard though I need someone to confirm this, is that if you're a mature student, your application automatically gets sent to HMC regardless of whether or not you apply to them as your first choice. In my eyes, it would make sense to apply for a different college, knowing you'd also be considered for HMC regardless. (However this may not be correct, I will have to find TSR post where I read about this, so take it with a sack of salt!)
Thank you shoreuss for your valuable contribution to this thread. I am very excited that you have been interviewed at Harris Manchester, and have absolute visions of you and 9dobbo1 palling around together (unless he gets to Christchurch, which I would prefer even more).

I will be keenly watching and waiting on the Oxford thread on 12th January, and I pray it's good news for you.

Much love, all the way from the UK.
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dyunsi
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Thanks Oxford Mum and @shoreuss, i love the look of HM, but just worry that as a part-time student at my advanced age, I will feel a bit like the odd one out. I will only be in Oxford once a week.....I think most people on my course go to kellogg, but tutor says it really doesn't matter.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by dyunsi)
Thanks Oxford Mum and @shoreuss, i love the look of HM, but just worry that as a part-time student at my advanced age, I will feel a bit like the odd one out. I will only be in Oxford once a week.....I think most people on my course go to kellogg, but tutor says it really doesn't matter.
At 53, you seem like a spring chicken to me! Age is a relative concept. Learning is great, and the great never stop learning. Education is for everyone with the drive to do it.

When I look at the Kellogg video, and I see your concerns, as above, I would be inclined to go there. I mean, look at all the students juggling children, and part time work! And the mixing of fellows and students! It has such a great atmosphere, and I think you will feel at home - I am sure I would.

It doesn't matter (all Oxford colleges are fantastic) but you need to feel comfortable.

Hope we have helped you come to a decision.
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dyunsi
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Yes - very helpful thanks so much. Kellogg looks the most practical and I am sure i would love it. HM has lovely buildings and an fascinating history - so going to have to weigh it up
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Estreth
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(Original post by shoreuss)
Just wanted to add that I second the amazing advice from Oxford Mum

I'm 25 years old and have already done one undergrad degree but want to do a second. I applied for Harris Manchester and attended their Zoom tour for students invited to interview this year. According to the junior common room president, the average age at Harris Manchester is about 24 years old with most students being between 24 and 30 years old. Their oldest student I think she said was in their 60s and the youngest 21. So there's a huge range of ages and people of different backgrounds.

The president and a few other current students also talked about the 'mature' student appeal. Whilst they said you will still likely end up working with younger students from the other colleges at some point, the general vibe is much more focused on the studying aspect rather than the 'freedom and independence from your parents' type of vibe. HMC students still have fun of course, and host a variety of events that cater to different interests, but ultimately; everyone in HMC has some life experience which I really do think changes people a lot and would make the experience more enjoyable for you.

One thing I have heard though I need someone to confirm this, is that if you're a mature student, your application automatically gets sent to HMC regardless of whether or not you apply to them as your first choice. In my eyes, it would make sense to apply for a different college, knowing you'd also be considered for HMC regardless. (However this may not be correct, I will have to find TSR post where I read about this, so take it with a sack of salt!)
That is correct.
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Lidocaine
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(Original post by dyunsi)
Hi,

I am old (53) and applying for a part time PG course at Oxford, and can pick St Catherines, Kellog or Harris-Manchester - can't decide which to apply for. Any thoughts or experiences welcome! thx
If you are part-time, consideration of accommodation may factor in. HM isn't great for that (small college and cannot guarantee accommodation). I cannot comment on St. Catz. However, Kellogg has lots of accommodation for short-term subsidised use for students if you are only in Oxford a week or so each term.
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