What is Oxbridge?
Oxbridge is the term used to refer to the UK’s oldest and leading universities Oxford and Cambridge. These universities pride themselves on their world class teaching, academic excellence and rigour, and dynamic collegiate system. They are known for topping university league tables and are tough to get into, but are fantastic educational institutions that allow you to flourish holistically. Experienced Oxbridge Admissions tutors can advise on your degree and college choices.
Why should I apply to Oxbridge?
Oxford and Cambridge are world-renowned for being academically elite and have produced many notable alumni who evidence the high-quality academic and extra-curricular opportunities that both universities provide. Getting a degree from either university positions you well to pursue your chosen career(s) and demonstrates your strong intellectual abilities and academic independence. Your lecturers will be leading researchers in their respective fields, as will the fellows in your college who oversee your academic journey. Additionally, something unique to Oxbridge is their tutorial/supervision setup, whereby you will receive one-to-one or small-group teaching on a regular basis for each of your course’s papers. In these lessons you will have the chance to receive direct constructive feedback, opportunities to discuss your topic at length with a tutor/supervisor who is conducting research in that field, and to interact with and learn from fellow students. Alongside lectures, essay writing and/or laboratory work (depending on your chosen course), tutorials/supervisions give you the chance to thrive academically.
As has been mentioned, at Oxbridge you will be part of a college (hence their branding as “collegiate” universities), or a kind of mini university. Your college is your home for the duration of your degree; it is the place where you eat, sleep, and participate in various societies. Colleges are home to a wide range of students studying various courses at varying academic levels. Each college has a different name and differs in location, size, student body, extra-curriculars, and more. While you actually live in this community, your lectures will usually take place in your course’s faculty or department. You will share your lectures, and sometimes tutorials/supervisions, with members of other colleges studying the same course as you. The beauty of this system is that you will very much be part of multiple different communities, meet a wide range of people, and have a truly unique university experience. All colleges have their strengths, so it is well worth researching them to get a sense of which one might best “fit” you.
Further benefits of studying at Oxbridge include:
- Oxford and Cambridge are both historic towns with beautiful architecture and famous rivers
- Excellent theatre and sporting opportunities; both universities offer an enormous array of extra-curricular activities at both the college and university level
- The quirks of Oxbridge are fantastic – strange traditions, formal dinners, Latin ceremonies, May Balls
- The chance to make lasting connections with a broad range of people
- You become a lifelong member of your college and university- meaning you can retain access to some academic journals, or be invited back for dinners and ceremonies
The stereotypes of Oxbridge as stuffy and pompous are often far from the truth. These are both incredible and diverse universities populated by students who are not only really passionate about their subjects, but who are also interesting, fun, and talented. It is undeniably a challenge to secure a place at Oxbridge, but it is well worth trying all the same as the benefits of studying there are enormous.
What does an Oxbridge application involve?
The nature of your application may vary depending on the university you are applying to, but some aspects remain the same:
- You must submit your application through UCAS by no later than the 15th This includes your personal statement, references, and any admissions tests you have to sit.
- For undergraduate application you usually need to select a college to apply to, since it is admissions tutors from that particular college who will interview you (and, if successful, you will become a member of this college). It is useful therefore to thoroughly research which colleges interest you, and to work out what might “fit” you best. If you do not wish to select a college to apply to, you can make an open application wherein any college can view your application.
- For postgraduate application, you apply first and foremost to the university, and then you have the opportunity to narrow down your college choice should you be offered a place.
- If your initial application is successful, you will usually be invited to interview. These tend to be conducted at the college you applied to initially and are supposed to replicate the experience of tutorials/supervisions.
- You may also be asked to sit an admissions test, the nature of which is decided by the faculty you are applying to.
- If you are successful in your tests/interviews, you will be offered a place. The college you interviewed at may make this offer or, alternatively, they may place your application in what is known as the “pool” where other colleges can access it. One of these other colleges will then make you an offer.
- You need to achieve your entry requirements (which may differ according to the university, college, and course) in order to confirm your place.
- You cannot apply to Oxford and Cambridge at the same time.
Some top tips for applying:
- If you can, try to visit Oxbridge and take a look at their colleges and facilities. Are you drawn to any college in particular? Can you imagine yourself living here for the next 3+ years? Both universities offer open days (both at a university and college level) and attending one of these can be incredibly useful. Devise some questions you’d like answered – for example, what is the accommodation like in this college? Have you enjoyed being a student here? What sorts of societies does this college offer?
- Alternatively, check out the university websites and their prospectuses to find out more about courses and colleges.
- Go on the individual websites/prospectuses of colleges to find out more about what academic support they offer, what is unique about them, etc.
- Remember that choosing a college can be as in-depth a process as you like. Moreover, there are no right or wrong choices; only what you think suits you best.
- Give yourself plenty of time to write a strong application. Prepare yourself well for each stage of the process to maximise your chances of being given an offer.
How Mayfair Consultants can assist you with Oxbridge Application Tutors:
Oxbridge Admissions Tutor
Mayfair Consultants offers at-home, one-on-one private tuition in a wide variety of subjects at University, their entrance exams and specifically Oxbridge Applications in the London area and online, preparing students for their interviews and university. We will help with understanding content outlined in syllabi, gaining specific skills required to effectively tackle the questions and how to score on the examinations. Our fully-qualified Oxbridge admissions tutors are experienced and skilled specialists, with many holding postgraduate degrees (Master’s and PhD) in specific subjects you want to focus on. They offer clear, concise explanations and stimulating approaches, helping to support the needs of every student.
If you would like to arrange Oxbridge admissions tutoring, schools entrance consultancy or enquire about our schools placement service in England as well as independent schools entrance tests please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606 or you can send us an email via our contact form.
Oxbridge Applications Resources:
Applying to Oxbridge:
Admissions Tests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lSs0Le5DGw