Study at Oxbridge

About Oxford and Cambridge Universities

Oxbridge, a ‘portmanteau’ of “Oxford” and “Cambridge”, is the term that brings together two of the most renowned universities in the world. They are also two of the oldest and were both founded in the 13th century (although Oxford’s roots go back to the year 1096). Between them they have educated a large number of the world’s most prominent scientists, writers, and politicians, as well as notable figures in many other fields – the University of Cambridge counting 90 past Nobel Prize winners amongst its Alumni and Teaching Body, and Oxford University a further 58.

Each University has a similar collegiate structure, whereby the university is actually a cooperative of its constituent colleges, each of which is responsible for student supervisions/tutorials (the principal undergraduate teaching method, unique to Oxbridge), accommodation and pastoral care – when you apply successfully for a place at either University you in fact get offered a place at a College, not at the University. Many colleges are often housed in beautiful ancient buildings that convey the spirit of the countless students who have gone before you and can serve to inspire you with their atmosphere as well as entrance you with their beauty. Others are more modern foundations. 

The Universities have also, over the centuries, established similar institutions and facilities surrounding each University such as leading publishing houses (Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press), botanical gardens (University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Cambridge University Botanic Garden), museums (the Ashmolean Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum), university libraries (the Bodleian Library and the Cambridge University Library), debating societies (the Oxford Union and the Cambridge Union), and notable comedy groups (The Oxford Revue and The Cambridge Footlights). Student interests are also represented by the Oxford University Students’ Union and the Cambridge Students’ Union. In addition to this each University also has a myriad of student-organised societies that cover a host of activities which you might want to enjoy in your free time alongside your studies, from Athletics to Allotments, Falconry to First Aid, Rugby Union to Romanticism. The problem is finding the time for them all!

Sky over the Radcliffe Camera

Oxford and Cambridge have common approaches to undergraduate admissions. Until the mid-1980s undergraduate entry was typically by sitting and passing special, proprietary entrance exams. Today applications must be made at least three months earlier than when applying to other UK universities (the deadline for applications to Oxbridge is mid-October whereas the deadline for all other universities, apart from applicants for medicine, is in January). The application process is the same for all undergraduate students, irrespective of whether they are UK-based or international – there are no international quotas for any course. Additionally, candidates may not apply to both Oxford and Cambridge in the same year, apart from a few exceptions (e.g. organ and choral scholars). You can apply for a place at a specific college or submit an ‘open’ application. Most candidates achieve, or are predicted to achieve, outstanding results in their final school exams, and consequently, interviews are usually used to check whether the course is well suited to the applicant’s interests and aptitudes, and to look for evidence of self-motivation, independent thinking, academic potential and ability to learn through the tutorial system. The application process for graduates is slightly different and is best described here for Oxford and here for Cambridge.


Interested in studying at Oxbridge?

Bodleian Library Oxford

Are you or is someone you know interested in studying at Oxford or Cambridge?

OCAS members in the Czech Republic are active in a wide range of professions but all have spent time at Oxford or Cambridge and can advise you on how to apply, the college that might best suit you, how to prepare for your admissions interview, and plenty more. To get help, just send the either of the mentors below an email with your questions and a little about you, and we will try to put you in touch with someone who can advise you.

OCAS Contacts


If you are interested in finding out more about studying at Oxford and Cambridge the best points of contact would be the current Presidents of each University’s Czech and Slovak Society, whose details you can find on the right. Please feel free to write to them about any initial queries which you might have about studying at either University.


Daniela Krouzková

Daniela Kroužková



Jakub Mičkech