Below, you can find links to useful information about academic and welfare matters for graduate students.

For information about accommodation, food, and other non-academic aspects of student life, see the Life Here page.

Student Handbook and Exam Regulations

Students should familiarise themselves with the handbook and exam regulations available below:


Exam Regulations

Your College Advisor


Academic Dress and Sub Fusc

All members of the University are required to wear academic dress with sub fusc clothing on certain occasions.

They include:

  • Matriculation ceremony
  • University examinations
  • Graduation ceremony

Academic dress consists of a Commoner’s Gown or Scholar’s Gown and mortarboard or soft cap. Gowns and caps may be bought at any Oxford tailor’s shop, and may also be available from Oxford University Student Union. Second-hand gowns are likely to be available. It is unnecessary to buy a gown immediately on arrival in Oxford, although academic dress is required for the Matriculation ceremony.

Sub fusc clothing consists of the following:

  • Commoner’s Gown or Scholar’s Gown and mortarboard or soft cap, and either of a;
    • dark suit with dark socks, or;
    • dark skirt with black tights or stockings, or;
    • dark trousers with dark socks, and;
  • black shoes, and;
  • plain white collared shirt or blouse, and;
  • white bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon
  • plus a dark coat if required

You can find out more about academic dress on the University website

Academic Support for Graduates

There is lots of academic support available for graduate students at Somerville.

If you would like to raise any queries or concerns, or would just like to talk to the Principal about how you are getting on, then you are welcome to make an appointment to see her in private at any point during the year.  You can make an appointment with the Principal by emailing

The Tutor for Graduates is also always happy to meet our graduate students and you can contact him directly to arrange a meeting by emailing The Tutor for Graduates represents the College on the intercollegiate Committee of Tutors for Graduates, which seeks to promote the interests of graduates, especially in academic matters.

You are also welcome to contact any Fellows (academics) in the College whom you think may be able to help you. You can find out more about them and their research interests on our People page.

The Tutorial and Graduate Officer, Saphire Richards, is available to discuss any administrative or urgent issues you may have. You can visit her in House 8 during office hours or contact her at

College Advisers and Supervisors

All graduate students have College advisers. If you are studying on a research degree course, you will also have a supervisor.

College Advisers

Every graduate student has a College Adviser, who is usually an academic member of the College working in a field related to your own – or any academic otherwise especially qualified or willing to help you.

At the start of each term, you will receive an email from the Academic Office telling you who your College Adviser is for that term. While the aim is that you should have the same College Adviser throughout your course, changes may be necessary if, for example, your Adviser goes on leave.

The role of College Advisers is to provide personal support and advice on academic-related matters. They are not, however, expected to perform the academic role of a University Supervisor or Course Director. They may be able to advise on areas including applications for research funding, conferences, and publications. You may also consult them if you are experiencing difficulties with your University Supervisor or Course Director, or having other problems. Your College Adviser will have access to your academic reports.

The University has an agreed Memorandum of Guidance on the role of College Advisers, which is available on the College website. College Advisers will not wish to force themselves on you in any way, so please take the initiative in approaching him or her at any time when you need help or advice.

If you were at the College as an undergraduate, your College Adviser may be your former Tutor.

Somerville organizes a dinner once a year for graduate students, to which you may invite your Supervisor or Course Director, and College Adviser. This dinner is free of charge. It is usually held in the middle of the second term of the year.

More information can be found in the College Advisee Guidance document.


If you are reading for a research degree, you will have a Supervisor who will provide advice and guidance during your course. A graduate Supervisor is responsible for directing a student’s academic work. If you are studying on a taught course, you may have a Supervisor, Course Director, or Course Organiser.

Every term, your Supervisor or Course Director will write a report on your work, and you will also be invited to submit a self-assessment commenting on your progress. Further information about the reporting process is on the University website at

Deans and Junior Deans

The Decanal Team handle non-academic disciplinary matters in the college, and additionally provide a 24/7 source of support to students.

All members of our community have an obligation to their fellow Somervillians to be respectful of each other’s wellbeing and of the spaces that we all share. The Dean is in charge of responding when the College’s Rules (which are set out in the College Handbook, along with our disciplinary procedures) have been breached. In certain circumstances, students might be asked to come and see the Dean during the weekly Dean’s Hour on a Tuesday lunchtime, a meeting we expect to take priority over any academic,s porting or social commitment.

The Student Welfare Advisors assist the Dean by providing crisis welfare support for students who experience pastoral issues outside of office hours, and by being available to respond to urgent disciplinary matters – for example, if someone was having a loud social gathering nearby while you were trying to sleep, the on-call Student Welfare Advisor would be able to help. One of the Student Welfare Advisor is available every night from 7PM until 7AM and over the weekend. The Student Welfare Advisor also sign off student event requests for the Quad, Brittain-Williams Room and Flora Anderson Hall.

You can contact the Deans by emailing , or by calling 07805 784964 between 7pm and 7am or over the weekend.

Graduate Reports

In order to allow both you and those responsible for your studies to monitor your progress and identify and assist with any problems, you will be asked to write a report on your work each term.

While it is not mandatory for you to complete a self-assessment report, it is a useful tool to reflect on your achievements. Your Supervisor or Course Director will also write a report each term on the work you have been doing with them.

Graduate Supervision Reporting (GSR) is used across the collegiate University to capture and store all reports online. The information about you is available only to you, your Supervisor or Course Director, your Director of Graduate Studies, your College Adviser, and College administrators.

Towards the end of each term, you will be invited to log on using your Oxford Single Sign On username and password, to write a self-assessment report. You will also be able to set a flag if you have concerns with your progress, and this will be highlighted to all those who can access your records. Your Supervisor or Course Director will then complete a report on your progress, and this will be available for you to view.

Transcripts and Certificates

You may for future activities need a transcript detailing the course(s) you have taken at Somerville and the results you have obtained.

Students and alumni who began a taught course at Oxford in or after Michaelmas 2007 (for exceptions see below) can order a University transcript via the main University website.

One complete transcript is automatically sent to your home address as listed on Student Self Service once you have completed your course. College transcripts are available for the following groups, with ordering information given below:

Transcripts that need to be ordered through College, and not through the University:

  • students and alumni who began a taught course before Michaelmas 2007
  • BA Medical Sciences
  • BA Physiological Sciences
  • alumni who undertook a research course

College transcripts are usually dispatched within two working weeks of receiving a complete transcript request. If you are eligible for a transcript from the College, please email the information below to

  • your full name
  • your matriculation year
  • the course(s) you studied at Somerville
  • any information needed in your transcript other than your course details and results
  • whether you require your transcript(s) in hard copy, or emailed as an attachment
  • if you need a hard copy, the number of copies needed
  • the name of the person to whom the transcript(s) should be sent
  • postal and/or email address(es) to which the transcript(s) should be sent
  • the deadline by which the recipient(s) must receive the transcript(s)

Lost, Stolen or Broken Bod Cards

Lost, stolen or broken Bod card? Don’t panic – they can easily be replaced.

Broken Bod cards

Email the Academic Office explaining that your Bod card has is damaged, or has stopped working, giving details, and they will order you a new one.

The new card will be sent to the Academic Office, who will email you when it is ready to collect.

You don’t have to pay for a replacement for broken Bod cards. You must, however, hand over your broken card when you collect your replacement, to prove it hasn’t been lost.

Lost Bod cards

Email the Academic Office explaining that you have lost your Bod card as soon as possible.

They will send you a link to the University shop where you will have to pay a charge for the replacement card (currently £15).

Your new card will be sent to the Academic Office, who will email you when it is ready to collect.

Stolen Bod cards

Email the Academic Office explaining that your Bod card has been stolen as soon as possible. If you are able to provide a Crime Reference Number from the Police, then you will not need to pay for a replacement card.

Your new card will be sent to the Academic Office, who will email you when it is ready to collect.


Contact the Academic Office

The Academic Office is responsible for organising and managing the academic life of Somerville’s students, from undergraduate admissions through to graduation ceremonies, alongside our colleagues working in access and outreach, and student funding.

In the first instance, please contact with your enquiries. 

If you need to contact the Student Welfare Lead, Jo Ockwell, email  (work days given below)

Please check our FAQ page first as you may find your question has already been answered.