Colleges of Oxford University

Oxford’s most beautiful and historic buildings are undoubtedly the 38 colleges and related institutions that make up the university. They are scattered all over the city and range in date from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Many colleges are open to members of the public, generally in the afternoon. If you are interested in visiting a particular college or other university building please check the university website or ask reception to ring and confirm opening times. Degree ceremonies and other fixtures can cause unscheduled closure.

Colleges we recommend visiting include;

Magdalen – founded in 1458, has some of the most beautiful buildings and grounds in Oxford.

Merton – founded in 1264, one of the oldest colleges in Oxford & with its medieval buildings, one of the most beautiful.

New – located in the desirable position between High Street & Holywell Street & known for its distinguished musical tradition & world famous choir.

Christ Church – one of the largest colleges in the University & the Cathedral Church for the Diocese of Oxford.

Keble – situated between the University’s science buildings Keble is proud of its tradition of extending access to the University as widely as possible as was the wish of its founders in 1870.

St Johns – founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas White, a wealthy London merchant, St Johns occupies extensive grounds in the heart of Oxford with award-winning architecture and some of the most beautiful gardens in Oxford.

A listing of opening times and other information can be found on the university website:


The Divinity School, the beautiful medieval part of the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre, Sir Christopher Wren’s 1669 masterpiece, should be on every visitor’s itinerary. The Bodleian Library runs excellent tours, bookable from 9am, with tickets sold at the Catte St entrance.

Term dates: Michaelmas 2012: 7 October – 1 December, Hilary 2013: 13 January – 9 March, Trinity 2013: 21 April – 15 June