Students asking questions


Information forthcoming.

The School of Geography and the Environment admits approximately eighty students to read geography each year. For candidates offering A levels, we normally expect A* AA. The A* may be in any A level subject. We do not have any preferred A level combinations and there are no required subjects. Taking Geography at A level is not a requirement, although nearly all candidates will have taken Geography. We do not accept General Studies as a qualifying A-level for admission. The School also accepts candidates completing the International Baccalaureate (IB), Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers and internationally-recognised equivalents of A-levels.

In order to gain a place in the School of Geography and the Environment you should be at the top of your geography set at school. We would normally expect anyone applying for geography to have a good string of A grades at GCSE and AS-level, and to be on course for getting A*AA at A2-level. Conditional offers are normally A*AA grades at A-level or AAB at Scottish Advanced Higher level. For the IB the standard offer is 39 points with 7;6;6 at Higher Level. For Pre U examinations the offer will normally be D2;D3;D3.

Where a candidate completes a relevant A-Level before they apply, this will be taken into account in considering the application. Applications will be considered individually to decide whether an A level taken early will be included in the conditional offer.

All courses at Oxford are academically rigorous. Tutors need to be convinced of your ability to manage an intense workload, so that you will be able to cope with the demands of studying here. If any student feels that studying three A-Levels (or equivalent qualifications) at the same time would be too much work for them, we would encourage them to consider whether an Oxford degree is really the best choice.

Applicants who have not achieved the standard offer at the first time of taking A levels will not normally be considered.

No. We have no preference for pre- or post- A-level candidates.

Yes. The School welcomes candidates both for deferred places and for places in the forthcoming year. Colleges will normally only offer a deferred place if the candidate is ranked high in the list of candidates applying to that college.

This is difficult to answer because so many different considerations can go into choosing a college. It's all up to your personal preferences!

Visit our page on Oxford's tutorial system to help you decide which college to apply to.

If, having read the brochures, visited Oxford, and talked it over with your teachers, you are unable to identify a preferred college, you should leave your application form blank and let our computer allocate you to a college where there is a favourable ratio of places to applicants. This then becomes your 'first choice' college. If you have decided which college you prefer, you should put this college down as your college of preference.


Not all candidates who apply to Oxford for geography are interviewed. We interview the equivalent of 3 candidates per place and reallocate candidates before interview to ensure that each college interviews three candidates for each place they have available.

For applicants applying in October 2020, admissions interviews will be held online and are expected to take place in December 2020. See the University's Interviews webpage for further information.

We expect all applicants from the United Kingdom and Europe to make themselves available for interview; this is why we publish our interview timetable so far in advance. Candidates from outside of Europe are not expected to come for interview but may be interviewed by telephone or Skype.

The interview dates for geography are always at the beginning of December and timetables should be available from the University website early in the year. Some colleges may ask candidates to arrive in Oxford a day in advance of the schedule.

For applicants applying in October 2020, admissions interviews will be held online and are expected to take place in December 2020. See the University's Interviews webpage for further information.

You will stay in Oxford probably for two nights and you will be accommodated in a college.

All candidates are interviewed by tutors in their 'first choice' college. In many colleges, candidates are gathered together before the interviews start, to meet their interviewers and to discuss any organisational questions. All colleges give candidates two interviews for geography, usually one in physical and one in human geography. Interviews last from twenty minutes to half an hour. You may be asked to comment upon a variety of pictorial, cartographic and tabulated data which will be given to you in the interview. You will have an opportunity during the interview period to ask any questions you may have about geography at Oxford.

It is unlikely that you will be interviewed by more than one college.


No. Once we have decided which candidates will be called for interview we undertake a process of reallocation to ensure that each college only interviews the equivalent of three candidates per place it has available. You may, therefore, be called for interview by a college other than the college to which you applied. This ensures that all candidates have an equal chance of obtaining a place.

Around 10 'open offers' are made each year. If you receive an open offer you are guaranteed a place at Oxford to read geography if you get your grades, but you will only know at which college after the A-level results are published in August.

We aim to let everyone know the outcome of their application in January. Post- A2-level candidates whose applications are successful will have their place confirmed. Pre-A2-level candidates who have been successful will be told the conditions that they will have to satisfy to take up their place in Oxford. Their place will be confirmed by their college in August, after school exam results are out.

Other questions

Write to:
The Undergraduate Coordinator,
School of Geography and the Environment,
Oxford University Centre for the Environment,
South Parks Road,
Oxford, OX1 3QY, UK.
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 275887
Fax: +44 (0)1865 275885


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