The following sections provide access information for prospective students, schools and teachers:

The Team
Access Initiatives
Improving Information
Working with Teachers
Student Outreach
University Access Projects


"Being from a state school makes no difference at all to anyone. Don't treat Oxford as an unassailable ivory tower, treat it as it is: an entry on your UCAS form, like York or Manchester. You wouldn't be reading this if you weren't already curious, so take the next step and come and see it for yourself, but leave your preconceptions at home - they're wrong, I know, I had the same ones. Take the challenge. Choose world-class education. Choose the time of your life. Choose Oxford!"

(Ross Manning, former student of Jesus College, quoted on the Target Schools web page.)

The Team

The Academic Director (Dr Alexandra Lumbers) has overall responsibility for undergraduate and graduate admissions. Our Access Fellow is happy to answer any queries you may have. He is responsible for organising Open Days and school visits and ensuring that all prospective applicants can make an informed decision about whether to apply. The Admissions Officer is responsible for running the undergraduate and graduate admissions processes, and can answer any queries during the admissions process. 

The JCR committee actively supports the College in its aims to widen access. The JCR Admissions Rep co-ordinates student involvement in events and visits and can supply helpful advice about the College. The JCR President will also be happy to help. 

Access Initiatives

Out and About

We are proud of the contacts we already have with schools and are keen to widen the net to attract more high-calibre applicants. The Academic Director and the Access Fellow are happy to visit schools without a tradition of sending candidates to Oxford. The Academic Director or another tutor, for example a subject specialist, will usually make visits, sometimes accompanied by undergraduates. Where possible, we try to send an undergraduate from the same area or with a similar background. We aim to meet the needs of our audience by adapting the format of the visit - it may include presentations, question and answer sessions, group discussions and informal chat. We will also bring supporting literature such as prospectuses with us.

We have visited schools and colleges in: 

Armagh, Belfast, Birmingham, Carmarthen, Coventry, Greenford, High Wycombe, Hounslow, Lewes, Lincoln, Newcastle, Rugby, St Albans, Sutton Coldfield, Tonbridge, Walsall, Wembley, Worcester

and received visits from schools in:

Antrim, Bristol, Clitheroe, Devizes, Ealing, Larne, Leighton Buzzard, Merthyr Tydfil, Sherborne, Twickenham, Walthamstow

If you feel your school or college would benefit from a visit of this kind, please contact the Access Fellow to arrange a mutually convenient date. It may be appropriate for schools and colleges in the same area to join together to host an event. It would be helpful if you could give some indication of the form you would like the visit to take at this initial stage, for example, if a particular subject area is to be featured.

Careers Events 

The College also attends careers and Higher Education fairs. We have visited UCAS Higher Education Conventions at Central London (Business Design Centre, Islington), North London (Middlesex University) and Birmingham (Aston University), and several smaller events in schools and colleges. 

Again, please contact the Access Fellow if you are organising such an event, or want to find out which events we will be attending in your area.

Improving Information 

The Web Site

The admissions section of this web site has been thoroughly revised to make it much more user-friendly. We hope you will find it easier to obtain answers to the many questions you may have. Improved links to Oxford University sites and departmental web pages should allow you to see the whole picture and de-mystify application and admission to Oxford. Any comments or suggestions for improvement are welcome, and should be sent to the Access Fellow.

First Contact 

Jesus College has produced a leaflet dedicated to undergraduate admissions, which gives a brief introduction to Jesus College, its courses and facilities, and details of how to apply. It will be mailed directly to selected schools and will be available at Open Days or for individual visits by prospective applicants. It is hoped that schools that receive this information will be encouraged to come and see what we can offer, even if they have had no previous contact with the College or University. If you would like to order copies of this leaflet, please contact the Access Fellow.

Working with Teachers

We are always willing to speak to teachers and careers staff and advise on the admissions process or to arrange to meet with you in Oxford if you are visiting. 

Applications and References 

Applicants will be considered in the light of their individual qualifications profile, but it will be helpful for us to know the context for their post-16 studies. If you wish to do so, you may include any relevant information in the UCAS reference, or in a separate covering letter. Please note that academic references are no longer confidential. If you have any comments or queries, please contact the Academic Director.

Admissions Conference 

Jesus College hosts an Admissions Conference and dinner in June each year for teachers from all over the UK. This focuses particularly on the admissions process and gives useful tips on how to support applicants at every stage, from initial advice to references and interview preparation. Overnight accommodation will be available for those travelling long distances. Details will be posted on the Open Days page nearer the time, or look out for mailings to schools.

Partnership Opportunities 

All schools are now required to identify and make provision for "Gifted and Talented" pupils. We are able to offer information about higher education and the opportunity to visit Oxford, particularly for pupils in Key Stage 4. We are also happy to support schools in the government's "Aim Higher" initiative to encourage pupils to stay on into Further and Higher Education. We believe strongly that talent should be nurtured and aspirations raised as early as possible in a student's school career. We are working in partnership with several LEAs at present, but would be delighted to develop further links. We are also willing to offer support as a Higher Education partner to Language or Technology Colleges. To discuss partnership opportunities, please contact the Access Fellow.

Student Outreach

Open Days

Jesus' students are the best ambassadors for the College. They are involved at all levels in attracting applicants and making sure that we tell the real story of life as an undergraduate at Jesus College. All undergraduates belong to the Junior Common Room (JCR), the college equivalent of a student union. The JCR publishes the Alternative Prospectus each year which gives an indication of the diversity and friendliness of the College. On Open Days, students act as tour guides, supply invaluable hints and tips on student life, debunk the myths about Oxford's image and generally try to convince visitors that Jesus College is the best place in the world to live and study (perhaps they exaggerate, but only slightly...!).

Parenting Scheme

Second and third year undergraduates volunteer to become "parents" for the new first years (known as "freshers") when they come up to Jesus College This is just one of the provisions made by our students to ease the transition from sixth form to University, which can be particularly difficult for those with no experience of the system. College "parents" are the first point of call for freshers needing inside knowledge of the College. 

This scheme has now been extended to earlier in the admissions process so that applicants will be able to tap into the wisdom of current undergraduates at every stage. A panel of undergraduates has been established who are willing to advise on all aspects of college life and applications. Queries (by telephone or email) will be passed to a student who really knows the answers you need (for example, someone studying your subject, or the appropriate JCR committee member). Please send your initial query to the Access Fellow. Contact made in this way will be informal and have no bearing on the selection process - all formal queries should be directed to the Academic Director.

University Access Projects

  • Target Schools run by the Oxford University Student Union.
  • The University also hosts a variety of UNIQ Summer Schools each year. This gives participants a taste of life as a student through a series of lectures, seminars and visits to departments, plus a packed programme of social and sporting activities.
  • Other Events.