Teachers and advisers can have an enormous impact on young people’s university decisions, including those about whether to apply to Oxford. This can all seem a little overwhelming with so much information available and so little time in which to digest it. So, here are a few resources which might be helpful in answering some frequently asked questions:
What subjects should my students take at GCSE / A-level if they want to make a competitive application to Oxford?
We do prefer applicants to have studied particular subjects at A-level or equivalent in preparation for certain Oxford courses. In some cases, these subjects are absolutely essential. They can be found the undergraduate prospectus, and are also summarised here.
Looking beyond Oxford, the Russell Group of universities has published Informed Choices, a document that explains how A-level and GCSE choice can affect options at university.
More generally, we encourage students to choose subjects that they find interesting, can achieve highly in, and that best enable them to develop their academic abilities.
My students are looking for ways to explore their chosen subject beyond our curriculum. Any suggestions?
Oxford’s subject departments produce lists of suggested reading, which might be a useful starting point. iTunes U – a free section of the iTunes Store – is an interesting general resource, which includes hundreds of recordings of university lectures. BBC Radio 4 makes their factual content – which includes discussion programmes such as In Our Time and Thinking Allowed – available through BBC iPlayer.
How can I support my students with specific parts of the application process?
Advice on supporting applicants can be found in Oxford’s Teachers’ E-Guide – this includes sections on all aspects of the process. Pre-interview testing is a particularly distinctive feature of Oxford’s application system; more information on the majority of Oxford’s tests, including sample papers and mark schemes, can be found in the relevant sections of the Admissions Testing Service website.
I have a student who I think should make an Oxford application, but their parents are not so keen. Is there any information I can give them?
The University produces a Parents’ and Carers’ Guide, which may be useful. A lot of parental worries about Oxford stem from concerns about the cost, and the impact of moving away from home. Information on Oxford’s generous financial provision, and on welfare and other support, may alleviate some of these fears.
Where can I find more information?
The Oxford website (www.admissions.ox.ac.uk) provides very thorough information on courses and entrance requirements. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help.
Events for teachers and advisers
Occasionally Lincoln College runs events specifically for teachers and advisers, often in partnership with Exeter College. Information about such events will appear here.