Oriel College

| University of Oxford

Oriel College, Oxford

Oriel College, Oxford was founded in 1326. It teaches in the region of 288 undergraduate students and 158 graduates. The college is ranked in position 23 of 30 in the Norrington Table of academic results for the year 2014 (where 1 is the top possible score). It is located around 0.23 km from the centre of town.

Courses offered [ + ] Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular | Biomedical Sciences | Chemistry | Classical Archaeology and Ancient History | Classics | Classics and English | Computer Science | Computer Science and Philosophy | Engineering Science | English | History | History (Ancient and Modern) | History and Economics | History and Politics | Law | Mathematics | Mathematics and Computer Science | Mathematics and Philosophy | Medicine (A100) | Philosophy and Theology | Philosopy, Politics and Economics (PPE) | Physics | Physics and Philosophy | Theology and Religion | (additional courses are often available to post-graduate students and many colleges offer complex arrangements of modern languages - please see our courses page for details )

College Scorecard (averages out of five calculated from 6 impressions)
Study (3), Music (3), Sport (3), Smugness (3), Artiness (3) Facilities (3), Accommodation (3)

http://www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/ | locate on map

Stayed at Oriel while applying for place '09, seemed friendly enough. Bed kept collapsing so perhaps facilities a little 'tired'. Wasn't sure what 'smugness' 5 rating meant but understand now that Oriel is 'twinned' with Clare at Cambridge - so that might have informed me that it thinks itself pretty trendy. Had I known this I would have applied elsewhere.....

Study (3), Artiness (3), Sport (4), Music (3), Facilities (3), Accommodation (3), Smugness (5)

Review by Undisclosed - Previous applicant (August 1, 2010) - add your impression

While we have a bit of a reputation as being a slightly 'right wing' college, it is quite often exaggerated - our student union meetings actually have a healthy level of apathy/jokes.

The sports performance is very strong on the river, on the football, rugby and cricket pitches.

There's a bar under the hall (formals here take place much more than other colleges - all days except sat), where you can play fusball, darts, pool, arcade games. And we do legendary bops!

Study (3), Artiness (2), Sport (5), Music (3), Facilities (4), Accommodation (4), Smugness (5)

Review by Andrew - ex student (August 26, 2009) - add your impression

I didn't get chance to look round Oxford on an open day and I chose Oriel out of the prospectus. I got a place at another college. Oriel is pretty but seems to me to keep itself to itself

Study (3), Artiness (3), Sport (3), Music (3), Facilities (3), Accommodation (3), Smugness (3)

Review by Undisclosed - had interviews here (August 5, 2009) - add your impression

I looked around Oriel when I was thinking of applying to Oxford and although the college really is beautiful I got the impression that it is more of a conservative college, which doesn't have the best track record for taking in state school students.

Study (3), Artiness (3), Sport (3), Music (3), Facilities (3), Accommodation (3), Smugness (3)

Review by Laura-Jane - Visitor on open day - add your impression

Oriel gets a fairly bad press from some quarters but from my experience it really doesn't live up to past stereotypes of being particulary conservative. I have loved my time here so far.

Artiness: there's a fair amount of diversity amongst the student body but I wouldn't describe it as being particularly 'arty'.

Smugness: not exactly sure what this is supposed to mean, but people generally seem to be quite down to earth. Proud to be a member of Oriel but I know that most people end up loving their college, wherever they end up.

Study: tutors want you to do well and will support you in doing so and the current deans are keen to improve the college's academic standing within Oxford. However, the emphasis amongst majority of the students is very much on getting the work done so there's time for the myriad of other things that are going on, both in college and within Oxford as a whole.

Sport: lots of sports team for a wide variety of levels. Quite a small college in comparison to some, so everybody is encouraged to get involved in something. Sports teams compete in most inter-collegiate competitions i.e. recently won rugby 'cuppers' competition. Rowing is popular and competitive in university competitions, but not as obsessive as it used to be by any means.

Music: college choir, music society which puts on regular recitals at St. Mary's Church, music room on site open to all students for practising.

Facilities: fantastic library, with over 100'000 books and very well-funded for the purchase of new books. Open 24 hours a day, with term-long lending. College sports ground outside city centre (similar to most colleges), gym on-site (mainly weights and ergs for rowers) and close proximity to Christ Church meadows where lots of people go running. College generally very well located within the heart of Oxford, very close to the Bodleian and the exam schools for Arts subjects and an easy walk/short cycle to the science departments. Several kitchens scattered around the site and comparatively high standard of food in hall, particularly at formal hall (available every night apart from Saturdays). Most importantly: good bar and great 'bops'.

Accommodation: provided for the entirety of your course and generally of a high standard, particularly in the Island site (attached to the main site by tunnel under Oriel Street). Rooms graded and priced accordingly, with ensuites available in the first year to a large proportion of freshers.

Study (3), Artiness (3), Sport (4), Music (3), Facilities (4), Accommodation (4), Smugness (3)

Review by Undisclosed - Current undergraduate (September 1, 2009) - add your impression

Oriel is a lovely college. Not sure what 'artiness' means precisely - seems here to refer to the clothes people wear, but in terms of the artistic qualities of the college, there's a thriving drama community here. I give 3 because that doesn't really take place at college level (although there is the annual 24 hour play); but some of Oxford's most talented actors and directors are from Oriel.

There's not really any smugness left at Oriel, although it still has a lingering reputation for posh conservativism, this really isn't any longer the case. On the other hand, most people are fiercely proud of the college, so in the 'my-college-is-better-than-your's' states, perhaps we are smug.

Facilities - the library is truly great, you can order in almost any book you need and the librarian will get it for you within a day sometimes. The gym is OK, the sports field is very good, and the bar is fun and lively. Rooms are hit and miss - some fantastic accommodation, mixed with the infamous 'staircase 14.'

Oriel seems to be getting better and better at music. Every term now there's a champagne concert with a world-class musician playing in the library for students current and past, and there's also a termly concert in the University Church, which the college owns. We also now have a very plush music room with a fantastic piano.

Overall I'd recommend Oriel if you're looking for a small college with a very tight community and good facilities. Such small communities can be good and bad - it can mean the presence of 'in groups', but it can also mean genuine friendliness and warmth, and the nice ability to sit anywhere in hall and know someone, or to bump into people you know on any visit to the lodge. Oriel is definitely one of the top Oxford colleges.

Study (4), Artiness (3), Sport (4), Music (4), Facilities (4), Accommodation (4), Smugness (3)

Review by Undisclosed - Historian (December 26, 2010) - add your impression