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Your Applicant Journey

Applying to Oxford is a little different to most UK universities. There is lots of information to support you through every step of the process. Below is an outline of what to expect when applying to Oxford, and some things you can do to prepare for the process.

Do Your Research

Make Your Application

Making an application: Academic Director's Top Tips

Attend An Interview

  • The purpose of Oxford’s interviews is for our tutors to assess whether you would thrive with our way of teaching. They will want to get to know a bit about your love of your subject and to get a feel for how you think.
  • You can find the most up to date interview information here, including advice on how to prepare.
  • We will contact all applicants by email to let them know whether or not they have been shortlisted for interview

Hattie Carter (2019, English)

I was rather apprehensive about remote interviews, but in reality the tutors are really supportive. The main challenge was how different it is to normal interviews; the normal vocal and social cues which you pick up on in conversation are very easy to miss on Skype. I’d recommend doing some ‘mock interviews’ – I had practice sessions where my parents would whatsapp from a different room and ask me questions about things I’d read, parts of my personal statement and even to defend the merits of tomato soup! The questions didn’t really matter as it helped me practice communicating my thoughts effectively. I found that sitting up straight, making eye contact (don’t look directly at the camera), and using my hands as I spoke really helped me feel involved and animated in discussion.

Practice is also important because it allows others the chance to pick up on things you might not notice. Mics are temperamental beings and often words can end up being mumbled or too quiet, so work on speaking clearly and confidently – even if you don’t feel it! We also all know that tech issues invariably happen at the worst possible moment but please feel reassured that Pembroke will deal with anything that comes up – and it certainly won’t count against you! Remember, interviews are supposed to mimic the tutorials you’ll have as an Oxford student and you’ve been picked because the tutors think you’re interesting – be yourself!

Becoming An Offer Holder

  • All interviewed candidates will hear about the outcome of their application in January.
  • If you receive an offer we will invite you to events (online or in Oxford) to learn more about the Pembroke Community. If you ever have questions or concerns about your offer just get in touch!

Joining Our Community

  • Once exam grades are released over Summer, those whose places are confirmed become freshers and we’ll be in regular touch to get you ready for arrival in October.
  • All first year Undergraduate students are guaranteed College accommodation. We’ll contact you over the summer to collect your room preferences. For more information about accommodation at Pembroke see here.
  • For your first term you’ll arrive in College a week before the academic year officially starts so you have time to settle in, find your way around, meet your peers and get to know your tutors. There will be lots of events to get involved in and plenty of current students here to help you.

Kate Bickerton

Hi, I’m Kate, Student Officer: Recruitment, Experience & Events at Pembroke College. I'm here to help you through the admissions process.

I studied History at Oxford from 2014–17 and was generously supported by the Reuben Foundation as a Scholar. I went to a state school in Oxfordshire, and was also a First-Generation student, meaning I was the first person from my family to go to university.

Since graduating, I have gone on to work in the charities sector at an Oxfordshire charity supporting survivors of sexual violence, before joining the team at Pembroke in 2021. I really enjoy supporting students and hope to use my experience of Oxford as a First Gen and state school student to inspire others to think about Oxford.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have questions about life or studying at Oxford, or about the admissions process: you can reach me on