Teachers' e-guide

Supporting your Oxford Candidates

Modern Interior


After the Interview

When will the candidates find out whether or not they have been accepted?

Normally, colleges will notify candidates of their decision in early January. The letter the student will receive will explain one of three things:

  • They are made an offer of a place to study their subject at a particular college. If they have already completed all their examinations, this offer will be unconditional. If they have not yet finished their final examinations, the offer will probably be conditional upon their achieving certain grades, usually A*A*A-AAA  at A-level, or equivalent qualifications. The offer may specify that they need to achieve certain grades in particular subjects and may include a requirement for evidence of proficiency in the English language for candidates who have only recently been educated in English.
  • They are made an ‘open offer’, which means that they have an offer from Oxford and are guaranteed a place if they meet the terms of any conditional offer. However, the college they will attend has not yet been specified, and will not be decided until after their final examination results have been published.
  • Their application has, unfortunately, not been successful. For many applicants who have, until now, been one of the most academically successful in their school or college, it can be very dispiriting to not get an offer. In recent years, over 75% of those who applied did not receive an offer; and it is probable, if they have selected their other courses wisely, that they will go on to study at another excellent university. In a few years’ time they may wish to consider applying to Oxford for further study after they have completed their first degree elsewhere. We often see candidates who were unsuccessful in their undergraduate applications here making successful applications for graduate study.

If you wish to investigate the reasons why your student’s application was not successful or you would like further information, you may lodge a request for feedback.

All enquiries about admissions decisions are dealt with on an individual basis between applicants (or their school/college) and the appropriate Oxford college. This will be the college to which they initially applied, or to which they were subsequently assigned, whether as a result of making an open application or through reallocation.

Requests for feedback received before January will be dealt with in the New Year. Colleges will not normally provide feedback where the request is made after 30 April. This means that colleges are unable to provide feedback during the shortlisting and interviewing period.

Feedback may be provided to the author of the school/college reference (the referee) or to the Head or Principal of the school/college, either in general terms or in relation to a specific application. Feedback will only be given in relation to an applicant where the applicant has given permission under the Data Protection Act (normally if they have ticked the relevant box on the online UCAS application).

The full policy of feedback on admissions decisions can be found here.