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 of term; and an annual 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's 2020 Open Days on 1st and 2nd of July were held as virtual events due to the situation with Covid-19. Somerville hosted various live video Q&As with our fantastic tutors and students, which can be seen on the University's Virtual Open Days website

The Open Day on 18th September 2020 will also now take place as a virtual event.

At an in-person Open Day, our team of warm and friendly student helpers will be on hand to guide you around the College and give you a first-hand account of life at Somerville. There'll also be talks to help you learn more about the subject you're interested in applying for.

Here is what a typical Open Day here may look like:

College Opening Hours: 08:45-17:00

There will be free drop-in tours led by current Somerville students available from 09:00-16:45


There will be a chance to meet our tutors, and an admissions talk from our Senior Tutor, Steve. We'll put more details up here closer to the day.


There will be a free sandwich lunch from 12:30-14:00 in the Flora Anderson Hall. Tea & coffee will also be available throughout the day.

Accommodation: A small number of rooms in Somerville are available through our online booking system at We will publish an event code here closer to the time, which you should use to book your room. A twin room costs £40 for the night, and a single room is £25.

You can read more about Open Days across the University on their website.

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 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 all 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. Every state school pupil whose application names us as their College is invited to join us for the day.

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


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