Look around Oxford’s colleges, vol. 2

Masters’ and DPhil students show you around their own colleges in our new series.


In this volume: Magdalen, Green Templeton, Lincoln, St Anne’s, St Hugh’s and Wadham

(Colleges are pretty unique and there are a few Oxfordisms just for them, like ‘MCR’ and ‘High Table’ — check out College words below if you get lost.)

Magdalen College

“During World War 2 the deer were registered as turnips, because they were going to be co-opted by the military.”

Tour Magdalen with Lucy and other members of the MCR, a college with a relaxed atmosphere but unambiguous ambitions towards academic and extra-curricular success:

Green Templeton College

“You might be wondering what this gong here is, but every week right before formal meals, one of the kitchen staff will come here and hit the gong, to tell us that it’s time to come and eat the best food in Oxford.”

DPhil student Spencer gives a tour of Green Templeton College, a graduate college where students focus on business and management, health and medicine, and social sciences:

Lincoln College

“So Lincoln is known for its amazing library, it’s one of the iconic dreaming spires of Oxford — it actually used to be the city’s church.”

DPhil student Nupur gives a tour of Lincoln College (where she also studied her undergraduate and Masters degrees!), a vibrant, friendly, and international community in the heart of Oxford:

St Anne’s College

“St Anne’s was founded as the Society for Oxford Home Students, and it was founded so that women could come to Oxford more cheaply, before they could actually gain degrees.”

DPhil student Elena gives a tour of St Anne’s College, well-known for its friendly and supportive academic environment, and home to over 300 graduates.

St Hugh’s College

“I think this is actually supposed to be St Hugh… he’s the patron saint of swans.”

MSt student Anwar gives a tour of St Hugh’s College, known for its friendly and informal atmosphere, where graduate students constitute around half of the college’s student body:

Wadham College

“Here at Wadham we take pride in the fact that our JCR and MCR are closely interlinked communities.”

DPhil student Galina gives a tour of Wadham, a college with a thriving graduate community in an informal and progressive atmosphere:

College words

There are a few words and phrases students use to talk about college life you probably won’t hear anywhere else — here are the most common ones:

  • Fellow: A fellow is a member of the college who is also academic staff, like lecturers and professors. They might have an office at the college or live there. They usually belong to an academic department as well, like students.
  • High Table: Sometimes the dining hall will have a different table for academic staff. It might be at the top of the other tables, like at a wedding dinner, and sometimes literally a bit higher than the other tables.
  • MCR: The MCR is the ‘common room’ for grad students. The word is used for both an actual physical space (a big living room, basically) and the actual community of grad students that it represents, collectively.
  • Quad: An open space, usually with a lawn or garden, enclosed in a college. There can be more than quad per college and they come in all sizes and styles, from ‘patch of gravel’ to ‘deer park’.

Ready for more?

If you missed the first part in our series, make sure you catch up on volume 1 for tours of Balliol, LMH, Nuffield, Keble, Linacre and Kellogg:

Even more college tours are on the way (subscribe on YouTube to get notified when they’re ready) but for now, you might be interested in



Graduate Study at Oxford
Applying for graduate study at Oxford

A perspective on masters’, DPhil (PhD) and other graduate courses from Graduate Admissions at the University of Oxford