Somerville College’s mission is to advance learning through teaching and research. We are committed to removing any barriers, real or perceived, that might deter people of the highest ability from studying or working here.

Somerville aims to assist its students and staff in reaching their full potential, and to provide an inclusive environment which values diversity and maintains a working, social and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff, students and alumni are respected. We offer places to undergraduates in line with the University of Oxford’s agreed code of practice and to graduates admitted to the University of Oxford.

You can read the College’s Equality Policy via the following link.

Somerville College Equality & Diversity Policy

“For any organisation to flourish in 21st century Britain it must reflect the society in which we live, and that is our aim for our College community which embraces students, staff and Fellows, from all backgrounds, cultures and countries. Our values of dignity, fairness, equality and respect underpin everything that we do.”

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, Principal


Equality & Diversity Officers

The Junior and Middle Common Rooms elect equality and diversity representatives to their committees. The Staff Liason Group also appoints an Equal Opportunities Officer. You can find more detail about representation for BAME and ethnic minority background students in the common rooms through the links below:

JCR Committee

MCR Committee

Somerville-Ethox Visiting Scholarship

Somerville College and The Ethox Centre have established two new Annual Visiting Scholarships to provide opportunities to spend time researching at the University of Oxford.

The Scholarships are aimed at supporting early career researchers from Black ethnic backgrounds, ordinarily resident in the UK, to pursue an academic career. Please note that ‘early career’ refers to career path, rather than age or specific qualifications and could, for example, include those who are recently graduated, still studying at post-graduate level, changing careers, returning after a career break or moving from industry to academia.

This initiative aims to tackle the disproportionately low representation of Black researchers in UK academia and at Oxford in particular.

Visiting Scholarships will be awarded each year to researchers with an interest in bioethics (including related disciplines such as philosophy, history, sociology and anthropology). 

The Scholars will spend four weeks based at Somerville College and the Ethox Centre and will conduct research on a topic related to the research programmes of the Ethox Centre. They will benefit from the supervision and feedback of Ethox research staff and will have access to the libraries and research facilities of the University of Oxford. They will also have the opportunity to attend weekly seminars and work in progress meetings, as well as talks and events across the University. During their visit, Scholars will be expected to give a presentation on their research at one of the Ethox Centre’s weekly research seminars.

Each Scholarship includes four weeks’ accommodation, including all meals, at Somerville College and a contribution of up to £2,000 to assist with travel and research costs.

Progress and trans pride flag

The college typically flies the progress flag for the duration of the Pride and LGBTQ+ history months, and trans pride flag on Transgender Day of Remembrance, as an outward public statement of our proactive support for our LGBTQ+ students, staff and alumni.

Gender Expression Fund

The College, JCR and MCR established a gender expression fund in 2020 to assist students with the costs of items that help to express their gender identity such as binders.



Equality Report

Somerville College carries out equal opportunity monitoring for students and staff who form part of our community, and within its recruitment and appointment processes. Equal opportunity data obtained helps to inform our annual action plan, which is published each year in our Equality Report. The most recent Equality Reports can be found below.

Somerville College Equality Report for the year 2020-2021

Somerville College EQuality Report for the Year 2019-2020

Somerville College Equality Report for the Year 2018-19

Somerville College Equality Report for the Year 2017-18

Equality reports from previous years are available on request from human resources.

Gender Pay Gap

Like other colleges, we combine a varied workforce with differing skills and rates of pay. Some of our academics are permanent employees while others are members of the University who are employed to provide teaching as required. Among our non-academic workforce, we have permanent staff and others employed on a casual basis. Our data shows that men and women in the same employment performing equal work receive the same rate of pay at Somerville. In line with the action plan published in our Equality Report, we remain committed to reviewing our working practices to ensure that we work towards an evenly balanced workforce.

Somerville College Gender Pay Gap Report 2020

Somerville College Gender Pay Gap Report 2019

Somerville College Gender Pay Gap Report 2017-18

Other College Policies

Policies that are related to the holding of confidential information can be found below:


Data Protection Act