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What is an Oxbridge student?

Oxbridge studentsThere are lots of different types of people who become Oxbridge students and they come from around the world studying a huge variety of subjects.

Where do they study?

Oxbridge students are studying at one of the colleges that make up the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford. The University of Cambridge has 31 colleges and the University of Oxford has 39, however, this number has changed over time as colleges are occasionally withdrawn from either university and new ones are also established. Parks College at the University of Oxford was established in 2019 and is one of three colleges at the University of Oxford that only accepts graduate students. The University of Cambridge has two colleges for postgraduate students only, and at both universities, some colleges only accept women or undergraduate students as well.

How many Oxbridge students are there?

In 2018-2019 there were 20,890 students at the University of Cambridge and 25,390 students at the University of Oxford. Of these 14,905 were undergraduates at the University of Oxford and 12,615 undergraduates were at the University of Cambridge.

What are they studying?

Oxbridge students are studying a whole range of subjects at every level. Many postgraduate students focus on research at both universities, but there is a wealth of taught postgraduate courses as well. The two universities are well respected in many of the arts and humanities along with medicine, sciences and engineering. Many postgraduate students are planning a career in academia and that is why they have chosen to be an Oxbridge student. This means that many students go on from a masters course to undertake a PhD at either Oxford or Cambridge.

How do they study?

Most Oxbridge students are studying on-campus and full time. However, both universities offer part-time options along with distance learning courses. These courses are usually designed for professionals who are working at the same time and usually involve a block of residential sessions at the university.

Where do they live?

Some undergraduate and postgraduate students live in rooms in their college and all first-year students are accommodated at their college. Otherwise, there is private accommodation around the cities of Oxford and Cambridge designed for students, and this offers a chance to mix with students who are studying in Oxford and Cambridge but are at other institutions.

What is the postgraduate application process?

To apply for postgraduate courses at both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge involves applying both to a college and to the course. In helps to contact the university first so that the department, school or faculty is expecting an application from you and can advise if you have the right mix of experience and qualifications. For both universities at the postgraduate level, the application process is online and there are strict deadlines for the courses. Both universities also publish how many applicants there are and how many places are available for each course.

What do they do outside of their studies?

There are a range of clubs and societies for students to take part in at both the Univeristy of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Both the Oxford and Cambridge Unions offer many activities that can help you with transferable skills such as the law societies, debating clubs, drama societies and sports clubs. The cities of Oxford and Cambridge are both within easy travelling distance of London, so many students take time out of their studies to visit London especially if they are international students in the UK for the first time.


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