How to Get Into Oxford University?

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Samir Badawy

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14 May, 2023

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7 mins read

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University Life

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Oxford University is among the most prestigious universities you can be admitted to and is among the most selective universities. This is why, if you wish to apply to this university, you should do your best academically and stand out from other applicants. Oxford University also has a non-discrimination policy ensuring that the student population is diverse and everyone gets equal chances at an education. 

Many of our students at Casita wonder, “How to get into Oxford University?”. Keep reading to learn why to study at Oxford University, the admission requirements, and the steps needed to get there.

Once successfully admitted to Oxford University, we at Casita can help you find your perfect Oxford University accommodation or any Oxford student hall.

Why Study at Oxford University?

As mentioned, Oxford University is one of the most prestigious universities to enter, ranking fourth worldwide based on the QS World University Rankings; it is also highly selective, having an acceptance rate of 17.5%. 

The university currently has a student population of more than 26,000 students, with 45% of the students being international students numbering 11,500 students who come from over 160 different countries.

Oxford University has 62 undergraduate programmes and more than 350 postgraduate programmes, with the university’s top programs being science-related, with its strongest being Medicine. The university’s main divisions are Mathematics, Physics, and Life Sciences, Medicine, Humanities, and Social Sciences.   

This institution has a rich history spanning hundreds of years, with some evidence suggesting that education at Oxford began in 1096. Oxford University, however, flourished when English students were banned from studying at the University of Paris in what’s known as the Paris Ban in the year 1167. 

The university’s first international student was Emo of Friesland, who came to study at the university in the year 1190, which set forth the university’s ambition to attract international scholars. In 1214, the university had its first Chancellor; it was once headed by a “Magister Scholarum”, a title given to a Monastic or Cathedral school head.

 how to get into oxford university

How to Get into Oxford?

To get into Oxford, the application process is similar for both international and domestic students, with a change in admission requirements. Attention to detail and meeting the requirements are necessary as the university only offers 3,250 seats for undergraduate programmes.

To start applying for Oxford University, make sure you have done the following:

  • Having a chosen course and checking the admission requirements.

  • Check the colleges available and decide whether to choose one or have an open UCAS application form.

  • Check the admission deadlines through the admission timeline.

  • Checking the application guide to follow the process.

The following section will provide more details on the application process.

Application Process

Test Registration

Test registration depends on your intended course of study; make sure you check your course requirements and apply. This requirement is based on the course’s overall requirements. To get more details, check the admissions test page, which shows the needed tests per course.

UCAS Application

To start your UCAS application, first start by filling out the UCAS application form, then, as part of the UCAS application process, you’ll be asked to fill out more information which includes the Personal Statement, Academic Reference, Education, and Special Circumstances, as well as reporting any disability.

Personal Statement

In this section of the UCAS application, you’ll talk about yourself and why you have decided to pursue the course. You must focus on this rather than why you decided to apply to the university. It is an important part of the application as it is how the university builds an understanding of who you are as a person. It is also important to include any relevant experience related to the course and display your understanding of the course.

It is important to be yourself and provide accurate information as you will later be interviewed; try to pitch yourself, and don’t list academic qualifications yet, such as grades, as this will be covered in another section of the application. For more details on how to write your UCAS application, check out the UCAS guidance for personal to get into oxford university

Academic reference

An academic reference is provided by any qualified professional that can provide insight into your academic abilities and performance. The reference must be in English or translated into English by certified parties. You or your referrers can check the layout of the UCAS Academic reference.

The reference should be in three sections and have a total of 4,000 characters. To get more details, you can read the previously mentioned UCAS Academic reference requirements and check the UCAS-provided reference example.


Regarding the education section, you should list your academic achievements, including grades and other academic achievements, and standardised test scores.

Special Circumstances and Disability

Special Circumstances include adding any personal circumstances that can be taken into consideration and also include extenuating circumstances which include any factor that may have caused you to underperform academically, to check what to include in that section. You can always refer to the admission office if you’re unsure about what to include.

If you have any disability, you should also include it in the Declaring Disability section so that the university can better support you.

how to get into oxford university

Admissions Tests

Once you have registered for your admission test, then comes the part where you are required to take the test as part of your admission process and as part of the admission requirements.

Written Work

If required by the course, you can be asked to provide samples of your written work which can provide insight into your writing skills, such as language and writing skills, reasoning, and analytical skills.


These are usually conducted by your potential tutors, and their main aim is to assess your knowledge about the course and assess your motivation to study. Interviews also focus on how you engage with various course-related topics and how you can think outside your previous curriculum. 

You are admitted as a result of how good of a fit you will be for the course you plan to undertake. You can check the interview sample timetable to know how the dates and times of the interviews are presented.

Decisions and Results

Once you have completed all the previous admission steps and met all the requirements, you will be given a confirmation or a conditional offer. Check out the New Students Guide on the next steps once you are admitted. You can always contact your college if you have met all the requirements and conditions and still haven’t heard back.

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How to Get into Oxford University as a Domestic Student?

As a domestic student, you must follow through with the previously mentioned application process steps while considering the expected national qualifications, such as the A levels, AS Levels, and GCSEs if you’re from England and Northern Ireland. 

The university also accepts pre-University, programme applicants. For Scotland, the university accepts Scottish Highers and students studying under the YAAS modules.

For Wales, Advanced Welch Baccalaureate students can still take the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate as a qualification. For more information, check out Oxford’s UK qualification for domestic students, including other Baccalaureate options.

How to Get into Oxford University as an International Student?

International students will also have to follow through with the previously mentioned application steps with a difference in the qualifications presented. International applicants must have a qualification that is required by their course or qualification that follows the UK qualifications; if not applicable, you can always take a further study programme before applying to Oxford University. 

Check out the Table of Academic Requirements for more details. You can also check out whether your national qualifications are accepted at Oxford when you scroll down to look at requirements by country.

Note that before preparing your transcript, it is essential that you only list your academic achievements in the UCAS section of Education.

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Bursaries and Scholarships

Many students ask themselves how to get into Oxford University while considering the tuition fees, however, you can use the university’s bursaries and scholarships and other available ones. 

Oxford University offers and accepts many scholarships to help those with financial needs. These bursaries and scholarships will be listed below:

  • Crankstart Scholarships for UK students offers a bursary of £5,800 per year for those whose family income is £32,500 or less. This bursary goes both to university tuition and living costs and is non-refundable.

  • Oxford Bursaries for Students with Home Fee Status: these bursaries are presented by Oxford University based on household income. These bursaries can range from £1,000 to £4000 a year and are non-refundable.

  • Oxford Travel Supplement for UK bursary holders: this applies to applicants who commute from areas more than 80 miles away from Oxford. The bursary depends on the distance travelled and ranges from £200 to £500.

  • UK care experienced and UK estranged undergraduates studying without family support: This bursary is given to students who receive no financial support and emotional support from family members and can reach up to £3000 a year and is non-refundable.

  • Student support fund: this fund is available to Uk students who have difficulties paying tuition fees.

  • Various bursaries and scholarships are also available for international students, often categorised based on region. Read the other Other Oxford scholarships for international students.

At Casita, we wish you the best of luck in applying to the prestigious Oxford University, keep reading and follow the Oxford links for more information. Once you have successfully been admitted to Oxford University, we can help you find your perfect Oxford University accommodation or nearby Oxford student halls.


1. What are the Oxford University courses available?

Oxford University has 62 undergraduate programmes and more than 350 postgraduate programmes, with the university’s top programs being science-related, with its strongest being Medicine. The university’s main divisions are Mathematics, Physics, and Life Sciences, Medicine, Humanities, and Social Sciences.   

2. How hard is it to get into Oxford as an international student?

Oxford University is very selective, with an acceptance rate of 17.5% for domestic students and 9% for international students.

3. What are Oxford University’s requirements for an international student’s master’s?

To apply to the university, the university has requirements based on country. In general, the university will require you to have grades above 85% or above a 3.7 GPA. Check out the International requirements for graduate programs at Oxford University for more details.


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