St Hugh’s offers all the extraordinary benefits of studying at an Oxford college. Students receive tutorial teaching from world –class academics, working with their tutors in pairs or very small groups. The tutorial system allows students to learn a huge amount about their subject in a very short space of time, and it also teaches them to become intellectually confident and independent.
All colleges offer the tutorial system. St Hugh’s is fortunate to have a very good range of tutors in all subjects, both Fellows of the College and Lecturers, and this means that a good deal of our teaching in many subjects is done within the College (especially in the first year). Our tutors also arrange to send tutors at other colleges when required, to ensure that students are always taught by experts in the particular field they are working on at that point.
Colleges are more similar than they are different. All offer excellent teaching and good facilities. At St Hugh’s, our particular strengths are in our range and number of tutors, in our superb library (one of the largest college libraries in Oxford) and in our beautiful setting. Among other things, we are able to offer accommodation on site to all undergraduates for all years of their course.
Applicants sometimes worry about whether they should choose a particular college or make an open application to Oxford (by leaving the college selection box blank). If you make an open application, you will be allocated a college (usually one that, for that year, has a slightly lower than average number of applicants per place). Once an open applicant has been allocated a college, he or she is treated in exactly the same way by that college as applicants who chose that college. In fact, a college cannot tell from the application which route a candidate has followed, and both routes are equally valid. We advise applicants to choose a college if they have a strong preference, but if they feel they cannot easily choose between colleges, an open application is the best solution. At several stages in the admissions process, applicants may anyway be moved between colleges, to ensure that an applicant’s choice of college does not affect his or her chances of gaining a place at Oxford. At St Hugh’s, we regularly accept candidates through both routes, and our primary interest is in your motivation for studying your course of choice. Our tutors have often worked in a number of different colleges and universities during their academic career, and they will be looking for your interest in and aptitude for the subject you have chosen, rather than examining why you did or did not choose a particular college.
Our students and tutors come from all sorts of backgrounds. We are certainly not looking for just one sort of student, or for some stereotype of the 'Oxford student'. At St Hugh's, we ask that you are intelligent, that you work hard and that you share our passion for learning. Beyond that, there is no St Hugh's 'type'.
You need to show that you have the very highest academic ability and potential. Your IB scores, A levels, Advanced Highers and a host of other qualifications can show this (and we do expect you to have excellent grades), but we don’t just look at your marks so far.
Your motivation for study is vital: we want to know that you are going to make the most of the academic experience that Oxford offers. In practice, that means good grades, a strong reference and a clear personal statement about why you want to follow your chosen degree course. It does not mean that you have to know about Oxford or be specially prepared by people who know the system. Some of the tutors here have themselves studied at Oxford, some have not, and we don’t mind whether you come from a background where people already know Oxford or from one where university is an unusual choice: your ability and potential are what matter.
Meet our students
If you want to know what it is really like to be a part of the St Hugh's community then the best people to ask are our current students. So we did! Read our student profiles.