Why choose Somerville

Somerville is a trailblazer. It was founded for women when they were barred from Oxford University and it refused to tie itself to a religious affiliation. Our open and inclusive ethos has grown even stronger since the admission of male students in 1994.

Our People

Our academics are leaders in their fields, from medieval Europe to the depths of the oceans.

The college is the hub of a vibrant intellectual life, with a busy programme of lectures and panel discussions through the year. Our choir is rated one of the best in Oxford.

Our Place

We are one of only three Oxford colleges to provide on-site accommodation for all undergraduates throughout their course. The College is next to the Mathematical Institute and a number of major departments, including Physics and Engineering.

Somerville boasts one of the biggest library collections in Oxford, with over 100,000 books, so you might never need to buy your own textbooks. The library is open 24 hours a day, which makes an enormous difference during exam revision.

Students on the quad, Somerville College

Our quad is a beautiful green space where open-air tutorials are held on sunny days. At Somerville you can walk on the grass anywhere you like and this reflects an ethos and an atmosphere that are friendly and egalitarian. It’s a community that’s big on openness and small on hierarchy.

We’re next to Jericho, a stylish Oxford neighbourhood with an art house cinema, bustling cafés, pubs and restaurants. If it’s green spaces you’re after, there’s Port Meadow five minutes walk west and the University Parks five minutes walk east.

View of the Darbishire building

Our History

Somervillians work hard and do well – they really do go on to change the world. We educated the first woman prime ministers of both India and the UK, the only British woman to win a Nobel prize for science, the first woman to chair a major UK bank and the first woman to chair a major UK firm of accountants. Just two decades after they were admitted to the College, our men are already making waves too.

Pioneering Somerville Law student Cornelia Sorabji featured on the Google Doodle

Taking part in one of our open days is a good way to find out more about student life at Somerville.

Read our prospectus