Why Oxford

We all had our reasons for choosing Oxford. Home to the oldest university in the English speaking world, it’s inevitably steeped in history and tradition. But its student community ensures progressive and forward-looking worldviews. You’re admitted purely on academic credentials by tutors who will challenge and foster your independent thinking and skills much sought after by graduate recruiters. Find out more about applying, studying and living at Oxford by visiting the official undergraduate prospectus pages.

Why Exeter

Located in the heart of the city, we are a relatively small college of 350 undergraduates. A friendly close-nit community emerges as a result consisting of diverse local and international backgrounds. All first years live on the main Turl Street site and with the development of 100 student rooms in a ‘third quad’ on Walton Street, the college will soon be able to provide all undergraduates city-centre accommodation for the first and third years of their degree. For more information about applying to Exeter College, see the official pages here.

Please note that this page is ~3 years out of date at the moment,

but a new set of pages for prospective students is in preparation. This is left here for reference only, and prospective students are advised to check here for more up-to-date information (produced by college).

Key Facts

Full Name The Rector and Scholars of Exeter College in the University of Oxford
Founded 1314
Founder Walter de Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter
Famous Alumni J.R.R. Tolkien, Alan Bennett, Philip Pullman
Undergraduates ~350
Nearest Pub The White Horse: 170m (2 min walk)
Nearest Supermarkets Sainsbury’s Local/Tesco Metro: 270m (3 min walk)


There is a ‘Virtual Tour‘ of Exeter College produced by the Chemistry Department.


Where We Are



If you have questions about making Oxford one of your university choices, about the academic courses or about entry requirements then we advise you to contact our College Undergraduate Admissions Officer, Alice McCallum or by phoning 01865 279661.

What makes Exeter “Exeter”?

  • The Common Room, Bar and Hall are all situated on one quad. This ‘goldilocks quad’ (not too big, not too small) is the focus of all College life, so it is very social.
  • The beautiful Fellows’ Garden with an amazing view over Radcliffe Square and All Souls’ College (voted best view in the city). During the summer there are also ducks.

  • The Rector regularly hosts seminars, which vary widely in theme, with experts in the field from around the world invited to speak on the topic.
  • Generous sports and travel grants, in addition to funds to support students in financial hardship.
  • Exeter is the only College with a dedicated Careers Officer.

  • Small in size, Exeter – like all of the Turl Street colleges – has a reputation for being friendly and for everybody knowing one another, a feeling not easily found in larger colleges.
  • Turl Street is a fabulous location, right in the city centre but with a quiet, secluded feel.
  • An absolutely beautiful chapel, arguably one of the most stunning in the university. It’s twice the size of those found in Lincoln and Jesus Colleges. Has a grand piano.
  • Founded in 1314, it is the fourth oldest college in the university. The place predates the fall of the Byzantine Empire.

  • The Hall is particularly grand. There are four formal Halls per week, but of course attendance is entirely optional. Second Hall on Wednesday is particularly lovely, and wine is served.
  • Exonians are provided with three meals per day, five days a week, with brunch and dinner served on Saturdays and Sundays. *Breakfast in the bar has free drink refills.
  • No catering charge unlike other colleges! In 2013/14 Exeter students started a dynamic campaign to get rid of the £800 catering charge. The campaign was successful and the catering charge was abolished in 2014.

  • Friendly and large LGBT community with weekly socials. Many current LGBT staff and fellows, the only college to have had fellows from every group of LGBT. Also has a feminist magazine and community.
  • Literary fame – Philip Pullman, Alan Bennett and J.R.R Tolkien both studied at Exeter, Morse died in an Exeter quad and Jordan College from Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy is based on Exeter.
  • Fantastic library, especially for historians. It’s also open 24/7 during term time, which is extremely useful. There are over 40,000 books on the shelves and a similar amount in storage.

  • Arguably the best mixed-voice choir in Oxford.
  • Has its very own charity called ExVac (Exeter College Vacation Project) set up by students in 1983. The project runs over the Easter and organises holidays away for deprived backgrounds who live in the Oxford area. A point of real pride for all Exonians!
  • Big nightlife scene – Tuesdays at Lola Lo’s, Park End on Wednesday, and Bridge Thursdays will all have a group of Exonians without fail.
  • Fantastic bops.
  • College balls are always fun with live music, dodgems, helter skelters and are competitively priced.
  • Good college teams for virtually every sport (for ‘good’, read ‘fun and committed’!)
  • Convenient gym onsite. Expansive sports facilities at the University gym only 20 minutes walk away/5 minute cycle.
  • As one of the three Turl Street Colleges, Exeter is part of the annual Turl Street Arts Festival which is always lots of fun.

  • JCR refurbished in 2006. Many staircases now ensuite.
  • All students live out in second year and many choose to live out in third year. This can be a great time living with your friends. You get to cook and you don’t need to move your stuff out at the end of every term, either.
  • A completely new, state-of-the-art quad is being built on Walton Street with the aim of providing almost all undergrads with college accommodation starting in 2016/17.
  • Exeter’s Welfare Reps host what is arguably the best welfare tea in Oxford. Once a week, lasting two hours, (basically) unlimited free food and a warm atmosphere in the JCR. Always packed, a great time to mingle with people.
  • Real focus on academic welfare which won’t be found in all Oxford colleges. Small enough that everyone knows your name and face so you’ll never feel alone 🙂