For parents and guardians

Is your child considering studying with us?

Great news! We’d love to help out and suggest some pointers for supporting students in exploring this, even if they aren’t 100% sure yet. We don’t have a blueprint for the ideal Oxford student, and are excited to have students here with hugely varied interests, backgrounds and identities.

Encourage them to find out more about us

Some students (and maybe you too!) may have concerns about fitting in, having a good time, being away from home etc. If possible, it’s great to come and visit together, either on Open Days, or on a trip. This allows you to meet people and really get a sense of a place. Prospective applicants are welcome to look around free of charge. You can find out about visiting hours here, but drop us an email at if this is something you’re planning.

Lots of colleges also have online video tours too. You can see ours below.

If your child attends a state school, it’s worth finding out which Oxford College is your link college as they may be able to offer further opportunities. You can also see the Oxford Outreach calendar.

If you are from Barnsley, Brent, Nottinghamshire, Rotherham, Sheffield or Westminster, then we are your link college! Please see our Outreach pages to find out more.

Students can also ask our current students questions to get a sense of what it’s like to study with us here:

Exploring their subject at home

The more a student can engage with their subject and talk about it with someone, the better. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know much about their subject, but encouraging them to speak about their subject out loud is excellent preparation for an application, and for study here!

One of the best things students can do for themselves at any stage is start exploring their subject outside of the classroom and curriculum. This is both a great way for them to explore their interests, but these activities are also what we want to see a strong application. These activities don’t have to cost anything or be wildly elaborate (see more here).

Find out about extra support

You may want to read about the support we have on offer in the following areas. If you want any more information about any of this, drop the Outreach or Admissions team an email.

Find out more about how we support our students with anything from essay stress to provision for long term mental health conditions, and much more, on our welfare and wellbeing page.

Read about how student loans work, and also about the additional support that is available from both the University and from Magdalen, our funding your course page.

Extenuating circumstances?

We are aware there are a whole host of factors that may pose barriers to candidates putting in a strong application, or meeting their required grades, and we think this is important information for us to have when considering an application. If you or your child feel comfortable and able to, then their teacher may be able to include this information in their academic reference. Alternatively, please email the college’s admissions officer [link] with this information. If you’re unsure if it’s relevant, best to get in contact and check it with us. This information is really important for us in placing a candidates achievements in their context.