3 students leaning on each other
Access & Outreach

We are committed to supporting all students in making informed decisions about studying at Merton, and within the University of Oxford. Our aim is to dispel myths and stereotypes about the College and University, in order to draw the best applicants regardless of background.

Merton College is particularly keen to work with state schools and colleges to promote aspiration-raising, fair and informed choices about universities, including Oxford. As part of the University’s regionalisation scheme for outreach, we work closely with all schools and colleges in Bournemouth, Dorset, Poole, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath, Bristol, and North East Somerset, although we also work with schools across the UK.

Visits to Merton

We welcome group visits from UK schools, colleges and other youth organisations.

Our programme can be adapted to your needs but usually includes an introduction to Oxford, a tour of College and a visit to another part of the University such as the museums, departments and other colleges. During University term time we can often offer lunch in Hall and the chance to hear from our student ambassadors. We can usually only host full-day visits from state schools, and priority is given to those in our linked regions. For other schools, we can normally arrange a tour, and sometimes help with facilitated sessions.

Visits can be adjusted to the needs of the school, in terms of content, time, delivery and the age of students attending. They can take the form of presentations, information sessions, Q&As, workshops etc. and can cover a wide range of topics which can be discussed to make sure that schools and students get the most out of every session.

Please note that virtual visits are also available, should this be a more suitable option. 

A visit to Merton from a Year 12 class may look similar to this:

  • 10.30am – Arrive in Oxford
  • 11am – Welcome and Introduction to Oxford
  • 11.30am – Q&A with current students
  • 12pm – Tour of the College
  • 12.30pm – Lunch
  • 1.15pm – Afternoon Workshop (e.g. ‘Big Questions’/Interview Workshop)
  • 2/3pm – Depart Oxford

To book a visit to Merton please use the School visit to Merton College request form.

Individual students may also be interested in visiting Merton, for an Open Day or a self-guided tour.

Visits to schools

The Schools Liaison and Access Officer is very pleased to visit schools and colleges, to speak to groups from Years 7-13 about university in general and Oxford University in particular. We are particularly keen to work collaboratively with groups of schools in a local area.

We can offer:

  • HE Fair presence (only at events open to students from more than one institution)
  • Oxbridge application talk
  • University finance talk
  • Parents' and carers' talk
  • Teachers' application briefings
  • Teachers' workshops on stretching and challenging the most able
  • Personal statement workshop
  • Interview workshop

To book a visit from our Schools Liaison & Access Officer please use the Schools Liaison & Access Officer external visit request form.

The Social Mobility Foundation

Merton is partnered with the Social Mobility Foundation to provide access and outreach events for the pupils it works with. In recent years we have expanded our residentials and in June 2023 we welcomed 36 students and 4 members of staff to Merton for a residential. The programme for the June 2023 residential gave pupils a chance to learn about fees and funding and hear from the university careers service.

They also took part in a personal statement workshop, a confidence building/storytelling workshop by Merton’s Visiting Research Fellow in the Creative Arts, a museum trip and a theatre trip. Feedback from the trip was very positive and we look forward to welcoming the SMF again next year. Throughout the year we also work with the SMF to workshops for and visit days for students on SMF programmes.  

Natural history museum

A visit to the Natural History Museum


For more information on Merton's schools liaison work please email schools@merton.ox.ac.uk.

Answers to many questions about Oxford admissions can be found on the very comprehensive FAQ and 'ask a question' page of the University website.

Merton College