Freshers' Information

Freshers' Information

To find out more about studying at HMC, please follow the link opposite for our ‘HMC Conversations’ podcasts where our very own Ashley Walters (Director of Governance and Projects and Former Tutor for Admissions) interviews a series of college figures about student life and what you can expect when coming to Harris Manchester in 2021.

To Do Check List – To help you work through the large number of things to sort out in advance of coming up to Oxford, use the appropriate ‘To Do Check List’:

Undergraduate Check List

Postgraduate Check List

University Information for New Students

Please see the University guidance for students who are coming up to Oxford:

You should also familiarise yourself with the University’s Coronavirus guidance page for students and offer-holders.

Please see the Oxford Transition Support page which is a collection of resources for freshers: Oxford Transition Support | University of Oxford


Preparing for Arrival at Harris Manchester

Expand All


Once you have met the conditions of your offer, please complete and return the relevant documents to as soon as possible. Until these are processed you won’t have access to your University Card or Oxford email account which you will need in place in advance of coming up to Oxford.

Undergraduates should sign and return both the College Contract and the University Card Form. These will be emailed to you separately by the Admissions Officer.

Postgraduates should sign and return the College Contract only which will be emailed separately by the Admissions Officer (your department will contact you about the University Card Form).

College Handbook

In signing the College Contract you are agreeing to abide by the rules and regulations of the College Handbook. In 2021-22, the College Handbook will be supplemented by the ‘Domestic and Other Arrangements’ document, which will be updated periodically in response to UK Government, University and College policy in relation to the pandemic. The current version can be found under ‘Domestic and other arrangements’, below.

You can view a static version of the College Handbook here:

View the College Handbook on the College website.

Exam Regulations

In signing the University Contract (in the form of the University Card Form) you are agreeing to abide by the University Exam Regulations.

View the Exam Regulations.

The terms of the University Contract and the Student Handbook contain further information also.

View the terms of the University Contract.

In signing either the College or the University Contract (in the form of the University Card Form) you are agreeing to abide by the other.  Please note that student contracts are only valid once all conditions have been met.

Please note: by accepting your Offer, you agree to the University collecting and using your individual personal data, including, in exceptional circumstances, sensitive personal data. This will be done in accordance with the principles set out in the University Data Sharing Agreement. These include ensuring that your data will only be used in a way which is fair, lawful and secure.

Please complete the Freshers' Survey. Your answers will help the College to support you during your studies.

In advance of arriving please visit the Oxford University IT Services website:  for software and security advice. You are especially encouraged to get set up on the eduroam wifi network before arrival (see 'step 3' of the IT Services guide).

If you have any queries relating to IT then please contact our IT Officers via

Harris Manchester’s data protection policy can be found alongside the college's other regulations and bye-laws.

Information about the College Doctors, which is the 19 Beaumont Street Surgery, please see To register with the College Doctors please complete the enrolment process here:

Please also read this letter from the College Doctors.

For international students who are unfamiliar with the NHS an explanation of services available and how to access them please click here

Vaccinations - For information about the vaccines you are required to have before arriving in Oxford please refer to the immunisations letter. This letter also contains information on the university's Covid-19 vaccination policy.

Dentist  - Oxford University students are eligible to be treated at the Studental Surgery. For further information please see

Medical Induction - Please note that all freshers will be required to attend a medical induction session. This will be in the form of a video and online Q&A session.  For details please see the Freshers' Week timetable (to be issued in due course). There will be drop-in vaccination clinics at the 19 Beaumont Street Surgery for ACWY and flu  - details of the dates and times will follow. Those 25 and under who have not had the vaccination before should attend for Men ACWY and students who have an underlying condition (asthma, diabetes etc) should attend for flu [N.B. as of August 2021 it is not yet confirmed whether there will be drop-in vaccination clinics in October – further updates will be provided].

Immigration Health Charge - please note that for student visa holders here for longer than 6 months there has now been introduced an Immigration Health Charge.  For further information please click here.

The College's insurance does not cover the theft or loss of a student's belongings.  You are strongly advised to insure your personal belongings to cover loss, theft or damage in all circumstances.  Valuables may be deposited in the College safe.  You should never keep large sums of money, either in cash or travellers' cheques in your room.

The Domestic and Other Arrangements document contains important information on arrivals, accommodation, meals and other facilities. It will also outline the measures the College is putting in place to promote the safety of staff and students.

This document will be regularly reviewed in the light of UK Government guidance and University and College policies relating to the pandemic: updates will be circulated to current students and offer holders as and when they are made.

Domestic and Other Arrangements (25th August 2021 version)

For Those Living In

Expand All

Towels, bedding, and linen.

You may bring your own television however you must provide your own license as the college license does not cover student rooms. If you watch TV on your laptop, iPad/tablet or phone you will also need a license. If you only watch iPlayer you will also need a TV license (Netflix/Amazon Prime/other streaming platforms don't require a license).  The Licensing authorities do conduct periodic checks for individual TV, any fines issued are payable by the individual.

You are reminded that you must not bring the following into College: electric blankets, electric fires or heaters, electric guitars, electric irons, refrigerators, microwaves, fairy lights, electric toasters, electric or gas cooking appliances, rice cookers or candles. Electric kettles are permitted, however they will need to be pat tested during the first week of term.  Any unauthorised items found will be confiscated and returned at the end of term.

Financial Information

Expand All

Before the start of term you will each be emailed an invoice for your fees.  For those who are living in this will also include the charge for your rent (battels).  The deadline for paying will be 15 October 2021.

Information on payment of fees can be found here. You will be emailed a fees letter over the summer which will itemise the fees and battels owed for the 2021-22 academic year.

For fuller information on fees, living costs and funding see this helpful guide.



The Undergraduate Finance Guide contains more detailed information and regulations on fees and funding.


Expand All

College staff and student officers are currently working to develop an enjoyable and informative induction week.

The Freshers' Week programme is not yet available but will be posted here in due course.

The Junior Common Room or 'JCR' is the grouping of undergraduate students in the College. They have their own student-run website.

The Middle Common Room or 'MCR' is the groping of postgraduate students in the College. All members of the MCR are also automatic members of the JCR.

You may wish to join the Freshers' Facebook group (for both undergraduates and postgraduates!).

Study Skills

Whether you are returning to studies after a break, or moving directly on to a new and different stage in your academic journey, you may find it helpful to reflect on the study skills you already have, and those you will need to develop on your course. Your tutors or supervisors will work with you on this once you are on course, but there is also a lot of information and ideas on the University's Study Skills pages.

One of our fellows (who is also a former Harris Manchester undergraduate) has written a Guide for Perplexed Students, which you might find interesting - whether you are perplexed or otherwise!


The College and the University consider plagiarism to be a serious matter, and under the regulations for examinations, intentional or reckless plagiarism is a disciplinary offence. It is important therefore that you understand what constitutes plagiarism, and how to avoid it. The University has produced some webpages and an online course on this. Avoiding plagiarism is not simply a matter of regulations, however: it is a key element of academic integrity and good practice, and a 'study skill' in its own right.

Details of College Library Inductions (for both undergraduates and postgraduates) will be included on the Freshers' Week page when available.

Please find the University's information for new readers here: Welcome for new readers.

Postgraduate students may receive information about further, course-specific library inductions through their Department.

Libraries will play a big part during your time at Oxford, whether providing access to online articles on your reading list or helping you find that elusive book. The Bodleian Libraries is the library service supporting the University and can help you get the most out of your course. Find out how the libraries can help you by visiting our Getting Started webpage where you can watch a brief welcome video and register to attend short webinar hosted by friendly library staff.


All new undergraduate and graduate freshers are required to matriculate, that is to be formally admitted to the University at a Matriculation Ceremony.

This year's Matriculation Ceremony is scheduled to take place on Saturday October 16. More details of how the College will celebrate this important landmark in your Oxford career will be confirmed nearer the time.

Academic Dress

Full academic dress (sub fusc) and gowns are worn for Matriculation and Graduation ceremonies, formal University examinations, and other very important occasions.
Sub fusc is: The required dress for matriculation is known as sub fusc: for men, dark suit, dark socks and black footwear, a white shirt, white collar and white bow tie, a mortar board and gown; for women, a white blouse, black tie, dark skirt or trousers, dark stockings, black footwear and dark coat (if desired), mortar board (or cap) and gown. Candidates serving in HM Forces are permitted to wear uniform together with a gown.  Please note that men are welcome to wear women's sub fusc and vice versa.

Gowns are worn at formal dinners in College and some other occasions such as College Collections (formal progress tests).

All Oxford undergraduates wear a Commoner’s gown (or where appropriate an advanced Student’s Gown), except for those who have been awarded a Scholarship, who may wear a long Scholar’s gown. Graduates of other universities reading for an advanced degree (or a diploma or certificate) may wear the gowns to which they are entitled in their own university, except if they are reading for the Oxford BA, when a Commoner’s gown must be worn.

Visiting Students should wear a Scholar’s gown.

Please find below links to order forms for companies which sell academic gowns and sub fusc.:

Varsity Shop
Shepherd and Woodward
Walters of Oxford

Other Key Information

Expand All

For information on the welfare provision available through the College and the University and for links to some useful welfare related resources please see our Welfare section.

This page includes advice for freshers and also help with time management, procrastination, perfectionism, study skills, writing, research and passing exams:

Counselling Service Podcasts  - this includes advice specific to freshers and to mature students

Electrical equipment - the voltage here is 240v and adapters purchased overseas have sometimes been unsatisfactory; it is suggested that you wait until you arrive and make your purchases locally. It is generally the case that American appliances with a motor – hair-dryers etc are not usable. Adapters cannot cope with this kind of load.

You may find the University's advice pages for new international students helpful.

Details of coach services to Oxford from London Heathrow and London Gatwick can be found here.

Details of rail links can be found here.

Information about Registering with the Police can be found here.

Information about the Immigration Health Charge can be found here.

Information about Pre-Sessional English Language courses can be found here.

Visa information for freshers can be found here and here. Please note that international students who hold a Tier 4 Visa will be required to present their passport for scanning during College registration.  This is to satsify the Home Office regulations.

Please take note of the possible need to self-isolate and test on and before arrival into the UK. To check the latest requirements please see:

Please note that to undertake paid employment in the UK a National Insurance Number is required. Please make sure you adhere to any employment restrictions imposed by your visa.


If you have a disability or long-term illness and did not record this on your application form, then please submit a Disclosure Form. Please send a copy to the Disability Officer, Victoria Lill ( as well as to the Disability Advisory Service.  Students are encouraged to contact Victoria Lill with any questions or concerns they may have relating to disability in College.

Harris Manchester has two contacts at the University Disability Advisory Service: Sarah Jones, who manages mental health disabilities (, and Michelle Jenkin ( who manages all other disabilites. Both are based in the University Disability Advisory which is located at 3 Worcester Street.  For further information about the University Disability Advisory Service please see

All disclosures will be treated as confidential and will be communicated to relevant College and University staff on a need to know basis only.  If you have any concerns regarding confidentiality then please contact the Disability Officer.

For information on which venues are accessible please download the Sociability App here.

In addition to a Supervisor each postgraduate student is allocated a College Adviser.  For further information about the College Adviser role please click here.

The University Newcomers' Club welcomes the partners of graduates who have newly arrived in Oxford.

Maps and Directions

A map with directions to Harris Manchester can be accessed here.
A map of the College can be accessed here.

Please note that we are unable to offer parking.

General Information

Oxford University Language Centre
Information about volunteering opportunities
Oxford SU (Oxford University Students Union)

Know Your Oxford: guided audio tour for new and prospective students | University of Oxford

Information for support given to student parents can be found here.