Prospective students

Why Oriel?

There are 38 different colleges at the University of Oxford, and Oriel is but one of many! We of course think that Oriel is by far the best college of the lot, though we may be slightly biased…

Important considerations when picking a college are its size, location and age – if you want a close-knit community, a 10-second walk to the Bodleian and stereotypical Oxford architecture, then Oriel is the place for you. Oriel is also fairly exceptional in guaranteeing to provide accommodation for all the years of your undergraduate course.

Our facilities include a 24-hour library (it may not sound so fun, but it’s pretty useful when a deadline is approaching), in-house gym, chapel, squash court, with further facilities at our offsite accommodation and Bartlemas sports ground. To counterbalance all these noble pursuits, we also have a JCR Wii, table tennis table, tuck shop and college bar.

We also offer one of the best student welfare services in Oxford, with a specified Welfare Dean, who is there to listen to any concerns or problems you may have. Couple this to our hall facilities, offering four meals a day Monday to Friday and service on the weekends, and we feel that Oriel can be one of the kindest places in Oxford.

More importantly, the people which make up Oriel JCR are fantastic. There’s a great sense of community, aided by frequent college events including pub quizzes, pumpkin carving, pizza & pyjama nights and much more. And finally, come to Oriel, if only to experience the joys of the Jackson 5′s “I want you back” being played at a bop…


Every year, Oxford interviews thousands of candidates during December. Around the same time, every newspaper in the country is filled with horror stories about what people have been asked by tutors. Almost every story is over exaggerated, and not synonymous with most students experience of the process. Just relax, and do your best!

Everyone who is short-listed for a place at Oriel will be interviewed, either in Oxford or by Skype or phone (if you live outside Europe). 

Our tutors are genuinely lovely people, they want you to do your best.

The interviews are conducted along the lines of a tutorial. The tutor will go through questions and problems with you, discussing your ideas and responses, and finding out something about how you think. There will always be more than one interviewer in the room, and you will be interviewed at least twice, sometimes at more than one college.

The interviews are designed to test you, but our tutors are genuinely lovely people. They want you to do your best, and will help you as much as they can! You can check out the official Oriel College website for official guidelines and advice. Or you can watch the sample clips below, to see what an Oriel interview is like.

Remember the interview is only one part of the applications process – try to enjoy the experience, and consider it an opportunity to show what you can do.

You may also find the University advice useful, which is located here.

Useful links

How to Apply – Official college information for this years intake of students, about the deadlines for your application to study at Oriel.

Open Days  – Oriel College opens its doors quite regularly, to allow prospective students to have a look around, and see what it’s like studying in what we think is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Virtual Tour – This useful link gives you the chance to have a tour of Oriel, without having to leave the comfort of your house!

Student Survival Guide – All the information you need about what to expect at Oriel: Accommodation, Finance, Food, Wellbeing.