Glossary

Termly bill for accommodation costs and any other costs incurred during the previous term.

The highest sporting achievement of the University, given to members of certain sports clubs who compete in the annual Varsity match for their sport.

Short for a Bodleian Card, now officially known as a University Card. This is the identification card used throughout the University.

The staff-assisted buffet-like food service area, adjacent to the Dining Hall.

Internal College examinations to test a students’ progress.  The term can also apply to end of term reading of tutors’ reports before the President or subject tutors, see the President’s Collections glossary entry below.

To arrive at Oxford, either for the first time or at the beginning of each term.

Any inter-collegiate competition (sport, music, drama etc.) for a prize.

Fellow responsible for the Chapel and its services. Also responsible for the pastoral care of students, staff and Fellows, in conjunction with other College Officers. See also Deans of Arts.

The University has four Divisions: Humanities, Medical Sciences, Social Sciences and Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS).

Inter-collegiate rowing races held in Trinity Term.

The University’s annual ceremony, held at the end of Trinity Term, in celebration of academic life, at which honorary degrees are conferred on distinguished individuals

A University department administering the examination of each subject.

An academic member of the College who normally also has an appointment within the University.Tutorial Fellows have a primary teaching role in College.

  • Professorial and Supernumerary Fellows are more senior and although not required to teach, often assist with teaching in College.
  • Emeritus Fellows are retired Fellows who continue to play a role in College.
  • Fellows by Examination are normally post-doctoral researchers who may assist with College tutorials. Sometimes referred to as Junior Research Fellows (JRF) at other colleges.
  •  Honorary Fellows are people who have a connection to the College and have distinguished themselves in the wider community.
  • Waynflete Fellows are external people who are major benefactors to the College. The number of Waynflete Fellows is limited.

When a sit-down three course meal is served in Hall. Students can attend Formal Hall three evenings a week (Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays). Gowns are worn to Formal Hall, although smart clothing is only required on Sundays. Alternatively, normal dinner in Hall is served through the Buttery every evening.

Dinner held for past students (Old Members) who are typically invited by Matriculation year.

To leave the University, either for vacation or permanently.

The final examinations for the Classics degree course (which is also known as Literae humaniores).

Spring term, running from mid- January to mid-March. Named after the feast of St Hilary which occurs on 13th January.

Responsible for the direction of the Choir, including the appointment of Choristers from Magdalen College School, and of Academical Clerks, who are students of the College.

Used to describe a physical place and a group of people. As a place, the JCR is a room in Cloisters where students can relax and hold parties. As a group of people, the JCR refers to the body of undergraduate students.

Summer holiday period between end of Trinity Term and the start of Michaelmas Term.

Ceremony which formally admits a student as a member of the University.

The choir sings from the top of the Great Tower at 6am on May Morning (1st May).

Winter term, running from early October to early December. Named after the feast of St Michael, which falls on 29th September.

Used to describe a physical place and a group of people. As a place, the MCR is a room in Cloisters where graduate students can relax. As a group of people, the MCR refers to the body of graduate students

Short for Moderations which are the first public examinations sat by an undergraduate. These are also called Prelims in some subjects.

Everybody who studies at Magdalen is a member of the College for life and once they leave the College are referred to as Old Members. For further information click [Alumni & Friends].

The Oxford Union Society is the University’s debating society, not the Students’ Union.

Members of staff that are based at the entrance of the College (the Porters’ Lodge).  They are available around the clock and are the first point of contact for members of college in the case of problems and emergencies.  They control access and provide security for the College.

The Head of the College (other titles used by Colleges for the same position include Rector, Principal, Head of House, Provost, Master, Warden and Dean).

Short meetings that a student has with the President and a Tutorial Fellow in eighth week to assess progress, pass on congratulations where due, and address problems if any are present.

Domestic staff in the College, responsible for cleaning students’ rooms.

Used to describe a physical place and a group of people. As a place, the SCR is a room in Cloisters where SCR members can eat lunch. As a group of people, the SCR refers to the Fellows, College Lecturers and those elected to Honorary Membership.

Formal attire worn by students and academics on formal occasions, including matriculation, examinations and graduation. It is made up of a dark suit, skirt or trousers, a white shirt or blouse and a white or black bow tie, black full-length tie or black ribbon, worn with a black gown and a mortar-board. The name derives from the Latin subfuscus, meaning dark brown.  Text taken from the University Glossary.

The University academic year is divided into three terms: Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity. The terms are nominally eight weeks long, starting with first week and running through eighth week. These eight weeks are when lectures and tutorials are given but there are normally meetings and events before and after the nominal term. See also Noughth week.

Inter-collegiate rowing races held in Hilary Term.

Summer term, running from late April to late June. It is named after Trinity Sunday which falls in either May or June.