The information set out below applies to the three-year BA in Jurisprudence but also, for the most part to the four-year BA Law with Law Studies in Europe course and two-year Senior Status Law course. However there are some additional Law with Law Studies in Europe FAQs and BA Senior Status FAQs which deal with issues particular to those courses.
If I want to do an undergraduate law degree at Oxford, who do I apply to?
All applications for places on our undergraduate law degrees must be made to a college – not to the Law Faculty. Any offers of a place are made solely by the colleges: the University – and hence the Law Faculty – automatically admits candidates awarded a place by a college. This is because Oxford is a federal University: the University awards degrees, but every undergraduate student must be a member of a college, and each college decides who to admit.
How do I decide which college to apply to?
First, if you don’t want to choose a particular college to apply to, you don’t have to. You can instead make an “open application”. This means that, when your application is received, the Oxford Undergraduate Admissions Office will allocate your application to a particular college. In order to increase your chances of success, your application will be allocated to a college with a relatively low application rate for law. Your application will then be considered in exactly the same way as applications made by those who chose to apply to that college.
Second, if you would rather choose a specific college, you have a lot of choice! Around 30 colleges currently admit students for the standard three and four year undergraduate law degrees. If you have a chance to visit Oxford, colleges will be happy for you to look around; college web-sites also have details of specific Open Days, when tutors will be on hand to answer questions. However, there is no need to worry if you can't visit before making an application. The best way to choose is to read about the colleges in their own words, and in the words of their current students. Each college has a web-site and a prospectus. Some will also have an “Alternative Prospectus” produced by students; in addition, there is a University-wide Alternative Prospectus produced by the Oxford University Student Union.
Who makes the admissions decisions?
Any offers of a place must be made by a college. The main decision is therefore made by the law tutors at the college considering your application. At each college, the law tutors are professional academics who are also lecturers in the Law Faculty. If they admit you, they will also teach you in tutorials (or organise tutorials for you at other colleges in subjects outside their expertise). In making admissions decisions, each college applies exactly the same criteria to its applicants: it is not the case that different colleges look for different types of applicant.
List of Law Faculty members showing their college affiliations: most (except the holders of 'statutory chairs') are also college tutors ...
Will my application be considered by more than one college?
All the colleges make great efforts, separately and together, to make sure that those candidates who should receive offers from Oxford do receive them.
First, your application will be considered by the college to which you apply – or, if you make an open application, by the college to which your application is allocated. That college may select you for interview, in which case it will continue to consider your application, and, at the end of the interview period, will make a decision as to whether to offer you a place.
Alternatively, it may be that the college does not select you for interview (this may happen, for example, if that college has received a large number of excellent applications). Your application will then be considered by a Law Faculty committee. The committee is made up of Faculty members who are also college law tutors. This committee may then decide that your application, assessed against the general field of applications to all colleges, is worth further consideration. In that case, you will be called for interview at a different college. This pre-interview re-allocation process aims to ensure that, as far as possible, strong candidates are selected for interview, no matter which college first considered their applications.
The co-operation between colleges does not end there. If you are invited for interview at a particular college, it may also be the case that, once that college has interviewed you, you will be offered a further interview at another college. That college may then consider your application and make a decision as to whether to offer you a place. This form of re-allocation, taking place during the interview process, aims to ensure that, as far as possible, the best candidates are offered places, no matter which college first interviewed them.
Finally, each year a small number of candidates receive an Open Offer. If you receive an Open Offer, and satisfy any conditions attached to it (such as getting 3 As at A-Level), you are guaranteed a place at Oxford, but the identity of the particular college which will admit you will only be confirmed at the end of August, once all the A-Level results have been received.
Can I apply for deferred entry?
Certainly: applications for deferred entry are welcomed. Applicants who are offered places for deferred entry will generally rank among the strongest of those to whom offers are made. This is because we need to be sure that they would also have been offered a place had they applied the following year, against what might turn out to be stronger competition. For the purposes of deciding whether to invite deferred-entry applicants for interview and whether to offer them a place, the colleges and the Law Faculty will rank them against all the other current law applicants, not only against the other deferred-entry candidates.
Can I visit the University and/or colleges to see what they are like?
Yes, we have open days for prospective students in March and in the summer. College open days run throughout the year. We also host a summer school in July.
What are the fees and other costs?
All students must pay accommodation and food costs, whether you are a UK, EU, or Overseas student, and whether you are studying for a first or later undergraduate degree. College rents and catering charges vary. There are also many options for living out of college. Oxford works out as no more expensive than other popular UK student cities.
Are there any bursaries and scholarships?
If you are a UK or EU student undertaking your first undergraduate degree, you will be eligible to access a loan from the UK government for the full amount of your tuition fee and do not need to pay anything upfront. See Government support for further details.
If you are a UK or EU students from a lower-income background, you will be eligible to receive an annual non-repayable Oxford Bursary to help with living costs. See Oxford support for further details.
For general information about scholarships, including overseas student scholarships, visit the Fees, funding and scholarship search
How do I get the application forms?
You need to fill in the online Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) form. The UCAS form is all that is needed: there is no additional Oxford form.
Do I need to fill in separate application forms for accommodation?
No. First year undergraduates are invariably accommodated by their colleges. If you get a place, your college will be in touch to explain the arrangements and will provide you with any paperwork that needs to be completed.
What is the timetable for applications and decisions?
Your forms have to be submitted in October (for example, October 15 2016 is the deadline for applications to study at Oxford from October 2017 and for deferred applications to study at Oxford from October 2018). You must sit the LNAT (see Question 17 below) before 20 October 2016. Registration for the LNAT starts in August 2016 and to guarantee a test sitting before 20 October 2016, applicants are required to register and book the test by 5 October 2016 (and sit it by 20 October).
Interviews are in December. Decisions are sent out in late December or early January. If you receive a conditional offer your place will either be confirmed or denied when your exam results come out in August.
Are there any special requirements for applicants who are not native English speakers?
Candidates who are not native English speakers and who have not been educated in the medium of the English Language during their two most recent years of study must satisfy our English Language Requirements.
Do you make special provision for mature students?
Yes. All colleges consider applications from mature students (those who will be aged 21 or over when starting their course). In addition, Harris Manchester College exists to serve the specific needs of mature students and admits only mature students.
What academic standards are set for undergraduate admissions in law?
All colleges apply the same admissions criteria. So far as formal academic qualifications are concerned, there is no fixed requirement. Most of those admitted will either hold or be predicted to obtain all As at A-level (or equivalent), and will already have an outstanding group of GCSEs (or equivalent) dominated by A*s and As. However our main interest is in academic promise and sometimes we may admit candidates whose existing qualifications, in our view, do not do justice to their academic abilities or potential. We rely on the UCAS form, on performance in the National Admissions Test for Law (see Question 17 below), and on our interview process to establish whether this is so. We do not rely on any non-academic factors unless they reveal something relevant to academic progress. If we make an offer before A-Level (or equivalent) it will usually be AAA (or equivalent). For applicants applying in 2015, we will not make any offers requiring an A* in A-Level.
Further information about undergraduate requirements (including Scottish Highers)
What if I do not yet have any pre-existing academic qualifications, such as GCSEs or equivalents?
We do accept applications from candidates who have not yet obtained any certified academic qualifications: for example, some candidates who are due to sit IB examinations may not yet have any certified qualifications when they apply to Oxford. However, in order to give your application fair consideration, we do require some evidence of your academic achievements to date. So, if you do not have any certified examination results, it is very important to include on your UCAS form detailed information on your academic achievements. This may take the form, for example, of tests you have taken in school or college. It will also be helpful if your referee can give a detailed account of your academic achievement.
Should I study any particular subjects before applying?
At least a C grade in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent) is normally required. If you are applying for one of the four year Law with Law Studies in Europe courses (other than the Law with European Law course) then you will need to show you have the necessary language skills: for further details see Question 4 of the FAQs on the four year courses. Otherwise your choice of subjects is your own, though please note that General Studies is not accepted. Strictly academic subjects matter most. Both arts and sciences are helpful. Studying A-Level or AS Law confers no particular advantage or disadvantage and we are happy to receive applications from those who are studying for such qualifications in law. When Oxford colleges are comparing A-level results and predictions they may attach reduced importance to General Studies.
What is the 'National Admissions Test for Law'?
The National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) is a test used by a number of leading UK law schools to assist us in making fair comparisons between the very large number of excellent applications we receive each year. Oxford was a founder member of the Consortium which owns and supervises the LNAT and we continue to be closely involved in the development and setting of the test, which is operated by Pearson Vue, and administered in co-operation with UCAS. The LNAT tests candidates’ aptitude for the type of skills necessary on a law degree: for example, a set of multiple choice questions tests reasoning and analytical ability; you are also asked to write a short essay, which tests your written communication skills. Your essay will be seen and marked by Oxford tutors. Further information on the composition of the test, as well as a practice paper, is available on the LNAT website (link below).
All applicants for any of the Oxford undergraduate law degrees are required to sit the LNAT. It is your responsibility to register for and sit the LNAT before Oxford’s deadline of 20 October 2016. If you fail to sit the LNAT test by that deadline, your application will be incomplete. It is your responsibility as an applicant (not anyone else’s) to check the LNAT consortium website for deadlines and instructions as to how to register and sit the test. This applies to UK, EU and overseas applicants: there are LNAT test centres all over the world. If there is no test centre in your country, or no safe transport route to a test centre, you must contact the Oxford college to which you are applying for further instructions.
Why does Oxford hold interviews?
Most of our applicants have or are predicted to obtain all As at A-level (or equivalent) and hold an outstanding group of GCSEs (or equivalent) dominated by A*s and As. Most come with the strong support of their school or sixth-form college and most have very impressive personal statements. Because of this we need to have further mechanisms to reach final decisions among such uniformly excellent applicants. One mechanism is the LNAT (see Question 17 above). Another is the interview process. Our interview process is designed to provide further insight into the academic strengths and weaknesses of our candidates.
It is important to note that we do not interview all applicants. For those being interviewed, interviews are time-consuming and demanding. In addition, we prefer to focus our interviewing efforts on candidates with a reasonable chance of success. As a result , we only interview those who have a realistic chance of being offered a place, judged by their UCAS forms (including their existing academic record) and LNAT scores. This short-listing process means that some of our applicants are turned down without being invited for interview. If a candidate is short-listed, and so invited for interview, we will make reasonable efforts to arrange an interview. In some cases, however, candidates from overseas may have to be considered without interview.
How do interviews work?
Interviews are a useful way for us to test your aptitude for the type of skills necessary on a law degree: for example, interviewers will be testing your reasoning and analytical ability. The purpose of the interview process is thus to give us extra information as to how you perform against our admissions criteria (see Question 18 above). Interviews can take different forms: for example, an interview may include legally related questions as well as more general intellectual puzzles calling for logical analysis of a type similar to legal analysis.Whilst interviews may discuss legal issues, your pre-existing knowledge of the law is not being assessed. For example, you may be given a legal extract to discuss – if so, the only legal knowledge being sought is that which can be learnt from the extract.
A useful way to see what an Oxford undergraduate law interview is like is to watch a mock interview: a video can be downloaded for free from the Oxford University iTunes store (go to http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/) or seen at Undergraduate Admissions
If you come to a particular college for interview in Oxford, you are very likely to receive two interviews at that college. It may then be the case that, as part of our re-allocation process (see Question 4 above), you will also be interviewed by a second college: if so, that interview will take place on Friday of the same week.
Will you look at samples of my school or college work?
No. When you complete the LNAT test, you will write a short essay: this will be read by us when evaluating your application.