Red, white and black baloons tied to the railings of the library. In the distance, a family is shown around the College by a student helper.

Our doors are always open to schools and pupils interested in studying at Somerville.

Unfortunately, we are currently closed to visitors due to the situation with Covid-19. While we can't welcome schools in person at the moment, we would love to host you for a virtual 'visit' instead. You can book through this form.

In more normal times, we host several open days throughout the year; visits from schools every Wednesday and Thursday of term; an annual Year 12 Study Day and an event aimed at 'Demystifying Interviews' for state school pupils. Members of the general public can visit us free of charge on most days during the University's terms.

Virtual Open Days

The University hosted Virtual Open Days on 1st & 2nd July and 18th September 2020. These included opportunities to virtually attend live Q&As with students and tutors across the university, general information sessions about life at Oxford as well as subject- and college-specific information sessions.

Visit Somerville's page here!

Somerville’s offering included 3 day-long live-streamed Q&A sessions with a range of subject tutors and some of our students:

  • Click this link for English, Physics, Biochemistry, PPE, Biology, Classics/Ancient History, Linguistics, Chemistry, Law, History, Engineering, and Maths.
  • Click this link for Psychology, Music, Maths, Computer Science, Medicine, French, Biology, and Philosophy.
  • Click this link for Maths, Physics, History English, Computer Science, Psychology and Medicine.

We hope to be able to return to in-person Open Days next summer, but watch this space for future updates.

School Visits

Hannah and Nuala, our Access & Outreach Team, host day visits from school groups every week during Oxford term time, offered free of charge.

Students in year 7 and above are welcome to come to Somerville and get a flavour of what studying at Oxford, and University more broadly, is like. Our researchers are experienced in capturing the imagination of young people through taster sessions on subjects ranging from the headaches of translating Harry Potter into French, to the Ancient world, to much more. The day also includes a tour of the College buildings and a free lunch in our beautiful Dining Hall.

We want to work with schools who would like additional support in raising the aspirations and attainment of their pupils regarding Higher Education, including Oxbridge applications. Somerville is linked to schools in Buckinghamshire, Kingston-upon-Thames, Hounslow, Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight and the Forest of Dean through Oxford’s link college outreach system, so we are particularly interested to hear from schools and teachers in those areas.

Our access & outreach work aims to increase the participation of students who are statistically less likely to progress to higher education. We can use our resources to the greatest positive effect if we prioritise schools with higher numbers of disadvantaged students, including those who have been in receipt of or are currently receiving free school meals, as well as care leavers. We're also really keen to help schools with little to no recent history of successful Oxford and Cambridge applications.

We are still very happy to host visits from schools with fewer disadvantaged pupils, if they feel that we can add to the support they already provide to their students. We would encourage such schools to focus opportunities to visit on those of their pupils who are most likely to need extra support, such as those who require financial support, are from less affluent areas (using the ACORN and POLAR metrics), or will be the first in their family to enter Higher Education.

If you're interested in visiting us, please get in touch on or call on 01865 270 592.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

De-Mystifying Oxford

Each year, Somerville gives state school applicants the opportunity to attend a “De-Mystifying Oxford” interview preparation and guidance day. The event features the chance to watch a mock interview between a tutor and one of our current students, as well as a tour of some of the areas of the College used for interviews and an advice session from our Senior Tutor.

The event is held in November following applications but before the invitations to interview are sent out.

More information is available in the email sent to eligible attendees.

Students watch a mock interview during the 2018 Demystifying Interviews day
Students watch a mock interview during the 2018 Demystifying Interviews day


Year 12 Study Day

Each year, Somerville holds a Study Day for Year 12 students from state schools.

The day offers a taste of university study, and includes small-group seminars (with a maximum of 15 students each) run by Oxford University academics in their own specialisms, which will offer a challenging and entertaining introduction to university-level study of the subject.

The seminars are open to all Year 12 students from state schools who are taking a related subject, and/or who are thinking about going on to study a related subject at university. The students also have the opportunity to spend some time with current undergraduates in their subject of interest, and to discuss the courses with the college tutors. The day is entirely free of charge, and includes lunch with current undergraduates in the College Hall, refreshments and a university tour.

More information is available in the email sent to eligible attendees.

Contact our Access team

Schools and prospective applicants can get in touch by emailing or phone us on 01865 270592 to find out more about applying to Somerville and organise a visit.

Schools may also be interested in joining our mailing list in order to find out more about the opportunities offered by Somerville and other parts of the University to help your students discover more about studying at university, regardless of their plans after secondary school. Please email us if you'd like to receive our regular newsletter.

Somerville Tour