Skip to main content

How to apply - Meeting the offer and starting your course

You will be told whether or not you have an offer of a place in our school by mid-January, and if you do, what the conditions of your offer are. Examples of our standard conditional offers are given here. Colleges, rather than the Department, will inform candidates of their decision by sending a letter or email, or sometimes both. It differs from college to college.

The letter or email you receive will explain one of two things:

Results time

  • You are made an offer of a place to study your subject. The offer will either be at a particular college, or it may be an "open offer". An open offer means that you have an offer from Oxford and are guaranteed a place if you meet the terms of any conditional offer. However, the college you will go to has not yet been specified, and will be decided after your final examination results have been published.

    If you have already completed your examinations, this offer will probably be unconditional. If you have not yet finished your final examinations, the offer will probably be conditional upon your achieving certain grades, usually A*AA, at A-level, or equivalent qualifications. The offer is likely to specify that you need to achieve certain grades in particular subjects and may include a requirement for evidence of proficiency in the English language. See our guidance on standard conditional offers.

    By the end of August you will have completed your qualifications and got your results. Assuming you have met the conditions of your offer, you will join us in Oxford for the start of your course in October - almost a year after you first applied. Congratulations.

    Over the summer it would be useful if you could have a look at our recommended reading for candidates with offers.

  • Your application has, unfortunately, not been successful. For many applicants who have, until now, been the most academically successful in their school or college, it can be very dispiriting to not get an offer. In recent years, over 75% of those who applied did not receive an offer; and it is probable, if you have selected your other courses wisely, that you will go on to study at another excellent university. In a few years’ time you may wish to consider applying to Oxford for further study after you have completed your first degree elsewhere. We often see candidates who were unsuccessful in their undergraduate applications here making successful applications for graduate study.

    If you wish to request feedback, please refer to