- Application Inspector
The "Application Inspector" is a tool provided by Embark to check all online applications before they are submitted. The system helps applicants to complete any fields they may have accidentally missed, and to accurately format the application.
The University’s museum of art and archaeology, founded by Elias Ashmole in 1683. It is the oldest museum in the UK.b
The charges made to a member of a college (student or Fellow) for accommodation, meals, etc.
The Blue is the highest sporting achievement at Oxford and Cambridge, and is awarded only to members of certain sports clubs who have competed in the annual Varsity Match.
- Bodleian Libraries
The collective name for the University's integrated library service, formerly known as Oxford University Library Services (OULS).
- Bodleian Library
Also known as ‘the Bod’. The largest of the University’s many libraries. It is named after Sir Thomas Bodley.
The chief financial officer of a college.c
Elected by Convocation, the Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University. The current Chancellor is Lord Patten of Barnes.
- Coming up/Going down
Arriving at Oxford at the beginning of the term/leaving at the end (c.f. sending down).
Council is the University’s principal executive and policy-making body and is responsible, under the statutes, for the advancement of the University's objectives, for its administration, and for the management of its finances and property. It has five main standing committees: the Education Committee; the General Purposes Committee (GPC); the Personnel Committee; the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (PRAC); and the Research Committee.d
The most senior position at the Blavatnik School of Government.
Also in a college context:
a) the Head of House at Christ Church b) a Fellow responsible for supervising the conduct and discipline of the Junior Members of the College. To be ‘deaned’ is to be sent to the Dean.
- Degree Days
Various days throughout the year on which students may graduate.
- Director of Study
Senior academic with responsibility for a particular course or area of academic endeavour.
There are four academic divisions – Humanities; Mathematical, Physical & Life Sciences; Medical Sciences; and Social Sciences.
- Domestic Bursar
The college officer (often a Fellow of the College) with overall responsibility for domestic aspects of college life, including accommodation, security, catering and housekeeping, external lettings and sometimes sports facilities and administrative non-academic staff.
A professor, a lecturer or a Fellow.
Doctorate of Philosophy. The PhD is known as the DPhil in Oxford.e
Inter-collegiate rowing races, held in Trinity Term.
A title held by retired professors and readers of the University who meet the conditions set out in University regulations. Colleges have their own rules for awarding the title.
- Examination Regulations
The large grey book containing details of syllabuses for all courses, currently issued to all students as they start their course. Also known as The Grey Book, and formerly called the Examination Decrees.f
In colleges, the senior members of college who, together with the college head, constitute the governing body of the college. Colleges may also have other categories of fellow, such as honorary or emeritus fellows, who are not members of the governing body. There are also research fellowships of various kinds in the University.
A student taking, or about to take, their final public exams of their degree.
Final examinations at the end of three or four years as an undergraduate student – the level of degree awarded is largely dependent on performance in these exams.
Highest class of degree.
- Formal Hall
A traditional meal held in college. Depending on the college, formal attire and/or gowns may be worn, and guests from outside the college may be invited.
A first year student.
- Full Term
The main undergraduate teaching period at Oxford. It lasts for eight weeks and runs from Sunday of First Week to Saturday of Eighth Week. The dates of Full Term are prescribed by Council and are published in the Gazette and on the University website.g
Graduate Admissions Office, part of the central University.
- Gathered Field
A method of grouping applications; setting a cut off date whereby all applicants can be considered as a group and ranked accordingly.
The official journal of the University, published weekly in term time and at other intervals in the vacations, in which information on the University’s formal business, including changes to Statutes and Regulations and meetings of Congregation, must be published. It also includes other key information, including general notices, special lecture details, information on prizes and award, appointments, and advertisements.
Graduate Common Room (c.f. MCR).
Someone who already holds a university degree. Strictly speaking, someone taking a course of study after graduation is a postgraduate, but in Oxford the two terms are used interchangeably.
Graduate Studies Assistant
Graduate Studies Office, part of the central University.h
- Head of House
The Head of a College, known variously as the Dean (Christ Church), the Master (Balliol, Pembroke, St Catherine’s, St Cross, St Peter’s and University College), the President (Corpus Christi, Kellogg, Magdalen, St John’s, Trinity and Wolfson); the Principal (Brasenose, Green Templeton, Harris Manchester, Hertford, Jesus, Lady Margaret Hall, Linacre, Mansfield, St Anne’s, St Edmund Hall, St Hilda’s, St Hugh’s and Somerville), the Provost (Oriel, Queen’s and Worcester), the Rector (Exeter and Lincoln), and the Warden (All Souls, Keble, Merton, New, Nuffield, St Antony’s and Wadham).
- High Table
The table in a college dining hall, often on a dais, at which the Head of House and Fellows dine. Guests may sometimes be invited to High Table.
The second of the academic year’s three terms, running from January to mid-March (c.f. Michaelmas, Trinity).i
The part of the River Thames that runs through Oxford.j
- Joint Consultative Committee (JCC)
A committee of students in a Faculty who represent their peers to the Faculty and act as a channel of communication between the two (known in Engineering as an ‘Undergraduate Liaison Committee’).
- Junior Member
A Student Member of the Univeristy, undergraduate or postgraduate.k
Short for the King’s Arms, a very popular student pub in Oxford on the crossroads of Parks Road and Broad Street.l
Lecturers are those who have the responsibility to present lectures, to which all University students in that discipline may go. In Oxford, not all lecturers are Fellows of colleges.
- Long Vac
Long vacation - the name widely used for the period between the end of the Trinity Term and the beginning of the Michaelmas Term each year.m
The Head of House at Balliol College, Pembroke College, St Catherine’s College, St Cross College, St Peter’s College and University College.
- Matriculation ceremony
Ceremony at which students are formally admitted to membership of the University.
- MCR (Middle Common Room)
The self-governing body and social centre for graduate students in a college. Fourth year students are also granted MCR membership. The MCR is also a room located in the college. Also known as the GCR.
The first term of the academic year which begins in October and ends in December (c.f. Hilary, Trinity).
- Moral Tutor
The person in a college who a student can turn to with concerns about their teaching or general welfare; title and scope of role may vary widely.n
- Noughth Week
The week before the beginning of Full Term.o
Oxford’s online library catalogue.
Oxford University Computing Services - offers facilities, training and advice to members of the University in all aspects of academic computing. OUCS is responsible for the core networks reaching all departments and colleges.
Oxford University Student Union.
Oxford and Cambridge Universities.p
Constituent parts of an examination.
- Pigeon Post
Nickname for the University Messenger Service, the free internal mail system.
A student who is studying having already completed (at least) one university degree. Often referred to as a Graduate or Graduate Student.
The study of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
The study of Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology.
The Head of House at Corpus Christi College, Kellogg College, Magdalen College, St John’s College, Trinity College and Wolfson College.
The Head of House at Brasenose College, Green Templeton College, Harris Manchester College, Hertford College, Jesus College, Lady Margaret Hall, Linacre College, Mansfield College, St Anne’s College, St Edmund Hall, St Hilda’s College, St Hugh’s College and Somerville College.
The two Proctors (Senior and Junior) are elected each year by colleges in rotation to serve for one year. The statutes provide that they ‘shall generally ensure that the statutes, regulations, customs, and privileges of the University are observed. They serve on the University’s main committees and where not members of committees may receive their papers and attend meetings but not vote. They have responsibilities under the statutes and regulations for aspects of student discipline, for ensuring the proper conduct of examinations and for dealing with complaints. They also carry out ceremonial duties, e.g. at degree ceremonies.
The Head of House at Oriel College, The Queen’s College and Worcester College.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor. There are five Pro-Vice-Chancellors with specific, functional responsibility for Development and External Affairs; Education; Personnel and Equal Opportunities; Planning and Resources; and Research.q
Rectangular courtyard inside a many Oxford colleges. You must not walk on the grass. This is reserved for the dons.r
The Head of House at Exeter College and Lincoln College.
The Registrar is the senior administrator within the University and is formally Secretary to the Council of the University. She is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor and to Council for the effective organisation of the University’s administration, and is line manager for a large number of senior officers within the administration.s
Various meanings - can refer to Examination Schools, a large building on High Street where some exams are taken and lectures are held; or to Prelims/Mods/Finals in general “to take Schools”; or to a course “Honour School of Philosophy”.
Senior Common Room - the organisation to which all Fellows and College lecturers belong. The SCR is also the name of the room in college which is used by SCR members for a coffee and reading room, as well as for special events hosted by SCR members. (See also the JCR and MCR).
St Edmund Hall.
- Sheldonian Theatre
The main ceremonial hall used by the University for events such as Encaenia, Matriculation and degree ceremonies.
The proprietary name for a software application that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet.
Student Loans Company - administers student financial support to eligible students in higher education in the United Kingdom.
- Split Finals
The idea of taking half of Finals exams at the end of the second or third year, and taking the second half at the end of the third or fourth year, with both counting towards the final degree attained.
The person in charge of certain domestic matters within a college, including accommodation and the booking of dinners and other events. NB. The Steward of Christ Church is the equivalent of Domestic Bursar.
Formal attire worn by students and academics on formal occasions, including matriculation, examinations and graduation. Men wear a dark suit, white shirt and bow tie, a black gown and a mortar-board, whilst women wear a dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse and black tie, a black gown and a mortar-board. The name derives from the Latin subfuscus, meaning dark brown.t
- Teddy Hall
Affectionate name for St Edmund Hall.
- The House
Christ Church is sometimes referred to by its members as the House, after its Latin name Aedes Christi, the House of Christ.
- The Union
The University debating society (NB not to be confused with Oxford University Students Union, or OUSU).
Inter-collegiate rowing races, held in Hilary Term.
The third of the academic year’s three terms, running from April to June (c.f. Hilary, Michaelmas).
Someone who teaches students on an individual basis or in pairs. They may be a Fellow, JRF, or a graduate. They act as both a teacher and an academic guide.u
Abbreviation for University College.v
Abbreviation of vacation - the periods between terms; see also Long Vac.
University, especially when concerned with sport.
- Varsity Match
Sporting fixture between Oxford and Cambridge (c.f. Blue).
The senior officer of the University. The role of the Vice-Chancellor is to provide strategic direction and leadership to the collegiate University, and to position and represent the University internationally, nationally and regionally. The Vice-Chancellor chairs Council and other major University bodies, and nominates deputies to chair others. He or she works closely with the colleges to ensure a coherent vision across all the constituent parts of the University, and with Council, Congregation, the academic divisions, and the Conference of Colleges to ensure that the governance, management and administration of the collegiate University are efficient and effective.
(abbrev. Viva Voce) An oral exam. These are occasionally used in addition to the normal written examination procecess, especially where a candidate is on the border between grades or has exceptional circumstances such as illness on the day of examination.w
The Head of House at All Souls College, Keble College, Merton College, New College, Nuffield College, St Antony’s College and Wadham College.