1 How do I apply?
Whether or not you decide on a first preference College, you will also be assigned a second College. This will determine which two colleges will interview you. The important thing to remember is that the system that the Department of Biochemistry operates, explained in section 5, is designed to ensure that your chances of being accepted for Oxford are equal whatever College you or the computer have chosen.
The current University interview timetable can be found at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/interviews/interview-timetable.
In addition to these ‘designated’ offers, we also operate an ‘Open’ offer system. A further limited number of candidates will receive a special conditional offer from a ‘pool’ comprising about half the Colleges. If you accept one of these ‘Open’ offers, you are guaranteed a place at Oxford providing you meet the conditions. However, the particular College you will attend will not be decided until after the A level results are known in August.
Information from the UCAS forms – general educational background, GCSE results, obtained and predicted AS and A2 results, school report and your personal statement – is reviewed by a small group of experienced Tutors in the Department who grade all candidates, giving an initial rank order. This information is then shared between Tutors from all Colleges. Tutors then identify any candidates who they feel would not be suitable for the course we offer here. The candidates in this second group are discussed by all Tutors, and they are not shortlisted for interview only if everyone is in agreement. All other candidates (last year about 85%) are invited for interview in Oxford.
UK and European candidates are expected to attend for interview in Oxford if invited. Other overseas candidates can choose to attend (and are encouraged to do so) but can also be interviewed by Skype or telephone, in a very few cases interviewed locally, or assessed without interview. If you come to Oxford, you will be interviewed by Tutors from two different Colleges. You will stay at your first preference College (chosen by you or our computer), who will inform you of the time and place of all your interviews. Typically, interviews in your first preference College will be the first day of the interview period (normally Monday), while your interview with a second college will normally be the following day. You should be prepared to stay in Oxford until after the time of your final interview.
All candidates are graded on their interviews by both Colleges, and these two grades are combined with the initial UCAS grade from the Department to give an overall grade for each candidate and thus a final rank order. After this final grading, Tutors meet again to discuss all the candidates and decide which candidates should receive offers. A candidate may get an offer from their first preference College, the other College that interviewed them, or indeed from any other College. Because all candidates are centrally ranked and decision are subsequently made together by all College Tutors, we can be as confident as possible that the best candidates receive offers regardless of which Colleges they have been interviewed by.
After the interviews, each College writes formal letters offering places to its successful applicants, stating the conditions of the offer. We aim to get those letters to candidates on 11th January at the earliest.