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New College or Trinity College?

I'm planning to apply to Oxford for Classics, and am trying to decide my final college choice! At the moment I'm torn between New College and Trinity College.

I'd be very grateful if someone gave me a bit of an insight into what both, or either, of these colleges are like, as I'm a bit in the dark.

I'm considering them because they have a relatively high number of Classics students, are in a good location, have good tutors (not that all colleges don't) and, because I'm v shallow, are visually pleasing :smile:

Thanks in advance for any replies!

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Reply 1
My daughter is at New College and loves it. The accommodation is great, the food is amazing and despite being a large college, it is a friendly one. Third years usually have to live out, but a new quad is being built so if you were to get in, you'd probably stay in there for third year. The warden is really friendly and supportive too.
Thanks for responding!

I didn't know about the new quad; that sounds promising.

I was wondering how pressurised the environment is, as a pretty academic college (though obviously all relative at Oxford!)? I understand it might vary between subjects.
Trinity is my absolute fave Oxford college. The location is unbeatable, it’s gorgeous and the porters are extremely friendly.

I know someone who does classics there and loves it. She went to state school, has found the tutors to be extremely supportive. Loves the food and accommodation and has made amazing friends.
Original post by mandyelicup
Thanks for responding!

I didn't know about the new quad; that sounds promising.

I was wondering how pressurised the environment is, as a pretty academic college (though obviously all relative at Oxford!)? I understand it might vary between subjects.

More green space at Trinity.
Original post by Scotney
More green space at Trinity.


Agreed! I personally think Trinity has the nicest green space of any Oxford college
Nah I think Magdalen might win for me but love to croquet lawn at Trinity.Also Worcester of course.
Reply 7
Original post by mandyelicup
Thanks for responding!

I didn't know about the new quad; that sounds promising.

I was wondering how pressurised the environment is, as a pretty academic college (though obviously all relative at Oxford!)? I understand it might vary between subjects

New is regarded as one of the more academic colleges, probably due to its consistent placing in the top part of the Norrington Table ( it's currently top). It's no hothouse though and the pressure is no different to what you'd experience in other colleges.The tutors and warden are extremely supportive and excellent performance in collections( termly exams) is rewarded with treats like afternoon tea in the gardens.

One of my daughter's friends really struggled with her mental health in the first term and got behind with her work; the support she received from the tutors was phenomenal. She's now thriving.

My daughter's observation is that most pressure is self - induced as people want to do well.
Original post by mandyelicup
I'm planning to apply to Oxford for Classics, and am trying to decide my final college choice! At the moment I'm torn between New College and Trinity College.

I'd be very grateful if someone gave me a bit of an insight into what both, or either, of these colleges are like, as I'm a bit in the dark.

I'm considering them because they have a relatively high number of Classics students, are in a good location, have good tutors (not that all colleges don't) and, because I'm v shallow, are visually pleasing :smile:

Thanks in advance for any replies!

New College is one of the richest and most academic colleges!!! :smile:

St John's £592.3m
Christ Church £512.9m
All Souls £429.8m
The Queen's College £329.0m
New £287.0m
Magdalen £273.0m
Merton £272.1m
Nuffield £240.8m
Somerville £218.5m
Jesus £209.7m
University £198.4m
Corpus Christi £169.5m
Brasenose £164.7m
Trinity £154.5m
Lincoln £146.6m
Balliol £132.3m
Wadham £131.0m
Keble £124.2m
Exeter £123.1m
St Hilda's £111.3m
St Catherine's £103.4m
Oriel £92.9m
Pembroke £81.6m
Hertford £79.6m
Worcester £78.9m
Wolfson £74.2m
St Edmund Hall £70.6m
St Antony's £70.4m
St Hugh's £65.3m
St Anne's £64.8m
Lady Margaret Hall £64.7m
St Peter's £60.8m
Green Templeton £54.8m
Linacre £29.1m
Mansfield £27.4m
Harris Manchester £24.8m
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 9
My daughter is making the exact same decision. I've done a ton of research on her behalf to help her narrow it down. What I've learned is that New College takes mostly 1A applicants for Classics and almost never a course 2 applicant. There appears to be a strong preference for Greek, so I imagine a 1C applicant would be more attractive than a 1B applicant, all other things being equal. Their academic results, for Classics in particular, are unrivaled among the colleges that publish their individual results, which is most of them, but unfortunately not Trinity, so I wasn't able to make that comparison. I know their primary tutor has stated that very good CAT results trump all in terms of admissions criteria.

Trinity food is supposed to be really great. They accommodate their 3rd and 4th year students at a location similar to St Hugh's, though, which is 20 minutes away from college.

All told, from the perspective of someone with no personal experience but having done a ton of research, I'd say to choose New for 1A or 1C and Trinity for course 2. For 1B I think it's a toss-up, but I'd only try New if I anticipated a very strong CAT result. My reasoning is that I've got to imagine that course 1A applicants have a higher chance of acceptance (to Oxford overall) than course 1B or 1C, and course 2 has the lowest chance. I hypothesize that 1A applicants who get in at all are more likely to get a spot at their first choice than other applicants. This would mean that course 2 has the highest likelihood of getting a spot at a college NOT of their choosing, and therefore probably not a college that is quite popular, and most of the old, pretty colleges are quite popular.

Which course will you be applying for?
Original post by mckmac
My daughter is making the exact same decision. I've done a ton of research on her behalf to help her narrow it down. What I've learned is that New College takes mostly 1A applicants for Classics and almost never a course 2 applicant. There appears to be a strong preference for Greek, so I imagine a 1C applicant would be more attractive than a 1B applicant, all other things being equal. Their academic results, for Classics in particular, are unrivaled among the colleges that publish their individual results, which is most of them, but unfortunately not Trinity, so I wasn't able to make that comparison. I know their primary tutor has stated that very good CAT results trump all in terms of admissions criteria.

Trinity food is supposed to be really great. They accommodate their 3rd and 4th year students at a location similar to St Hugh's, though, which is 20 minutes away from college.

All told, from the perspective of someone with no personal experience but having done a ton of research, I'd say to choose New for 1A or 1C and Trinity for course 2. For 1B I think it's a toss-up, but I'd only try New if I anticipated a very strong CAT result. My reasoning is that I've got to imagine that course 1A applicants have a higher chance of acceptance (to Oxford overall) than course 1B or 1C, and course 2 has the lowest chance. I hypothesize that 1A applicants who get in at all are more likely to get a spot at their first choice than other applicants. This would mean that course 2 has the highest likelihood of getting a spot at a college NOT of their choosing, and therefore probably not a college that is quite popular, and most of the old, pretty colleges are quite popular.

Which course will you be applying for?

A truly informative post and a very helpful one for any Classics applicants.
Original post by mckmac
My daughter is making the exact same decision. I've done a ton of research on her behalf to help her narrow it down. What I've learned is that New College takes mostly 1A applicants for Classics and almost never a course 2 applicant. There appears to be a strong preference for Greek, so I imagine a 1C applicant would be more attractive than a 1B applicant, all other things being equal. Their academic results, for Classics in particular, are unrivaled among the colleges that publish their individual results, which is most of them, but unfortunately not Trinity, so I wasn't able to make that comparison. I know their primary tutor has stated that very good CAT results trump all in terms of admissions criteria.

Trinity food is supposed to be really great. They accommodate their 3rd and 4th year students at a location similar to St Hugh's, though, which is 20 minutes away from college.

All told, from the perspective of someone with no personal experience but having done a ton of research, I'd say to choose New for 1A or 1C and Trinity for course 2. For 1B I think it's a toss-up, but I'd only try New if I anticipated a very strong CAT result. My reasoning is that I've got to imagine that course 1A applicants have a higher chance of acceptance (to Oxford overall) than course 1B or 1C, and course 2 has the lowest chance. I hypothesize that 1A applicants who get in at all are more likely to get a spot at their first choice than other applicants. This would mean that course 2 has the highest likelihood of getting a spot at a college NOT of their choosing, and therefore probably not a college that is quite popular, and most of the old, pretty colleges are quite popular.

Which course will you be applying for?

That's incredibly helpful, thanks!

I would be applying for 1A, so that's certainly given me something to think about.
Reply 12
One thing I forgot to mention is that Trinity claims to have some of the best Classics results, degree classification-wise, at Oxford, so it's worth noting that Trinity could potentially outperform New -- I just have no way of figuring that out and that's not information the Classics department will part with.

Your choice could be based on college size (300 vs. 430 undergraduates), location, (a college exit one minute from the Classics department vs. a 9-minute walk) or food reputation (great vs. very good). I don't think there's much to distinguish them in those areas, so instead I'd personally go for choosing the tutors that appeal to you most. You can look at their interests on the college websites, but those have a tendency to all sound samey. I have instead dug up video clips, podcast episodes, and the like featuring the tutors in question (easy for Trinity since their main tutor was the darling of University Challenge!). It's helped my daughter and me to figure out who appeals to her, whose manner of instruction clicks with her, etc. Given that you're course 1A and are therefore, if my hypothesis holds water, reasonably likely to end up where you apply (assuming you get in), making the best choice of the teachers who appeal to you seems to me like the logical way to decide.
Reply 13
Original post by mandyelicup
I'm planning to apply to Oxford for Classics, and am trying to decide my final college choice! At the moment I'm torn between New College and Trinity College.

I'd be very grateful if someone gave me a bit of an insight into what both, or either, of these colleges are like, as I'm a bit in the dark.

I'm considering them because they have a relatively high number of Classics students, are in a good location, have good tutors (not that all colleges don't) and, because I'm v shallow, are visually pleasing :smile:

Thanks in advance for any replies!


Hi, I'm in the same boat as you applying for Classics at Oxford! I was also torn between Trinity and another college a little while ago and the advice I got from an Oxford tutor was to simply flip a coin! I've heard repeatedly that everyone at Oxford ends up loving their college regardless of whether they originally applied to it or not so I wouldn't stress too much over it. Personally I'm glad to be going with Trinity as I love the green spaces and it has such great food!

Hope this helps + hopefully will see you at Oxford in October haha!
Original post by mckmac
My daughter is making the exact same decision. I've done a ton of research on her behalf to help her narrow it down. What I've learned is that New College takes mostly 1A applicants for Classics and almost never a course 2 applicant. There appears to be a strong preference for Greek, so I imagine a 1C applicant would be more attractive than a 1B applicant, all other things being equal. Their academic results, for Classics in particular, are unrivaled among the colleges that publish their individual results, which is most of them, but unfortunately not Trinity, so I wasn't able to make that comparison. I know their primary tutor has stated that very good CAT results trump all in terms of admissions criteria.

Trinity food is supposed to be really great. They accommodate their 3rd and 4th year students at a location similar to St Hugh's, though, which is 20 minutes away from college.

All told, from the perspective of someone with no personal experience but having done a ton of research, I'd say to choose New for 1A or 1C and Trinity for course 2. For 1B I think it's a toss-up, but I'd only try New if I anticipated a very strong CAT result. My reasoning is that I've got to imagine that course 1A applicants have a higher chance of acceptance (to Oxford overall) than course 1B or 1C, and course 2 has the lowest chance. I hypothesize that 1A applicants who get in at all are more likely to get a spot at their first choice than other applicants. This would mean that course 2 has the highest likelihood of getting a spot at a college NOT of their choosing, and therefore probably not a college that is quite popular, and most of the old, pretty colleges are quite popular.

Which course will you be applying for?


This is a useful post. I don't go to either, but it is true that New is a fairly intense academic college especially for Classics, and the Classics cohort is usually mainly 1A. Some people thrive in that environment but depends on the kind of thing you're looking for. The New Classicists are usually very close and are quite close to Classics students in other years at their college too.

Don't know loads about Trinity, but the people I've met from there are nice and it's pretty...? Sorry I couldn't be more helpful! Both are fairly traditional, pretty & rich colleges so I imagine they would be *fairly* similar in terms of vibes/experience.
Thank you everyone - I think I'm leaning towards New.

The thing is, I went to Oxford a couple of days ago and also saw Exeter and Magdalen, which are obviously lovely too.

Any info on those? Thanks soooo much
Original post by mandyelicup
Thank you everyone - I think I'm leaning towards New.

The thing is, I went to Oxford a couple of days ago and also saw Exeter and Magdalen, which are obviously lovely too.

Any info on those? Thanks soooo much

Both are really nice 😊

Magdalen is a little way out of the centre and the 1st years are over the bridge towards Cowley. I think the food options at Magdalen are supposed to be really good/varied.

Exeter is right next to the rad cam I think well located.
Original post by mandyelicup
Thank you everyone - I think I'm leaning towards New.

The thing is, I went to Oxford a couple of days ago and also saw Exeter and Magdalen, which are obviously lovely too.

Any info on those? Thanks soooo much

https://apply.oxfordsu.org/colleges

What about University College, Oxford University? :smile: https://apply.oxfordsu.org/colleges/univ/ It's the college I would choose, but I am applying for Cambridge. :biggrin: lol
Original post by Oxfordbound
Both are really nice 😊

Magdalen is a little way out of the centre and the 1st years are over the bridge towards Cowley. I think the food options at Magdalen are supposed to be really good/varied.

Exeter is right next to the rad cam I think well located.


Magdalen is only just a few minutes walk from New.Hardly a deal breaker.Massive deer Park by the River makes up for much.
There aren't any Oxford undergraduate colleges which are a long way from the centre - not like Girton is at Cambridge, for instance. They're all less than a mile from Carfax. When the other poster says "over the bridge towards Cowley", the building in question is about 150 yards from the main college entrance - the bridge is the entire distance between them.
(edited 1 year ago)

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