A graduate student in OWL library - Photo: © John Cairns - www.johncairns.co.uk

Graduate Study: Admissions FAQs

Can I have a Merton prospectus?

All the information you need as a prospective student is now online. We no longer produce a hard-copy prospectus—only a very basic leaflet which directs readers to this website. Feel free to make use of the search facility to find what you’re looking for. If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Can I come and look round the College before applying?

Prospective graduate applicants are welcome to visit the College - contact the Graduate Officer for further information. For a current graduate student perspective, you can also email the MCR Vice-President.

Is there a separate application form for the College?

No, all applications are made initially to the University and candidates may list one choice of college on the university application form. Information on the process for applying to Oxford for graduate studies may be found on the university website.

Do you consider all programmes of study offered by the University?

No. If you are considering an application to Merton, first check that the College offers your course using the University's College Search Tool

How will Merton make its decision about my application?

When the College receives your application it will be passed on to the College tutor whose interests are closest to your own. The tutor will make a recommendation to the Tutor for Admissions, who will make the final decision in the light of the overall competition for graduate places. Merton aims to take c.84 new graduates per year across the subjects we consider for. Because of our system of targets and the strength of the competition for graduate places at Merton, not all well-qualified candidates can be offered a place at the College. In deciding between candidates, within the constraints imposed by our system of targets, Merton will take account of proven and potential academic excellence, academic ability and commitment, and the fit between particular research projects and the interests of Merton's tutors. Because Merton is a popular college, well-qualified candidates who apply late in the admissions cycle (i.e. after we have filled our places) may not be made an offer at Merton.

How will I hear about the outcome of my application?

If Merton is able to offer you a place, you will hear from us directly. Our letter will explain what you need to do in order to confirm your place. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified directly by the University.

Does the college have scholarships available for graduate students?

Yes. Please refer to our list of scholarships for details on funding opportunities.

Can you offer advice on visa applications?

The University Student Information and Advisory Service is able to handle enquiries about applying for visas.

Do I have to meet any conditions to be admitted to Merton?

Any academic conditions set by the faculty admitting you—such as attaining a particular standard in your undergraduate degree or passing an English language test—will also be required for entry to Merton. In addition, the College will require proof that you have funding in place to cover the university and college fees for Year 1 of your course, and an assurance that you have the ability to meet all other costs for the full duration of your studies.

What sort of proof of funding will the College require?

If you receive the offer of a place you will be asked to complete a financial declaration.

Is it possible to work while on course to finance my full-time graduate studies?

Demand for part-time work in Oxford exceeds supply and there are guidelines for graduates taking on paid work [PDF] which limit the hours they can work.  Applicants should not therefore expect to be able to support themselves through paid work while studying.

Do you offer accommodation to all fresher graduates?

The College is normally able to accommodate graduates for two years and many Merton graduates live in College accommodation for the duration of their studies. We have some flats for couples, but there is generally a waiting list for these.

Please also see information on accommodation offered by the University.