Freshers' Information

Welcome to the Freshers' Information page!


Here you'll find lots of details to prepare you for arriving in Oxford, and some information you'll need for when you arrive.

Please ensure you read everything on this page! You can use the buttons below to jump to different sections.

The University also has a page for new students with helpful advice here.

The big essentials


Contracts | Regulations | IT Accounts | University Emails

The day-to-day


Accommodation | What to (not) bring | Insurance | Meals | Post

Money matters


Paying your fees | Financial Support



Freshers' Week | Study Skills | Library Inductions | Academic Dress and Matriculation | Transition Support

Health and Wellbeing


Welfare | College Doctors | Dental information | Vaccinations

General and Misc.


Information for International students | Information for students with disabilities | Maps and Directions | General Information



Richard is happy to help. Contact him via or on 01865 618084.

The big essentials

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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 Richard once you have met all your conditions.


Postgraduates should sign and return the College Contract only which will be emailed separately by Richard (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

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.

You should read the information on the University's website about the University Contract and the Student Handbook.

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.


Once your University Card Form has been processed, you will be sent your IT activation code and login details by email.


You should ensure that your email is correct on UCAS (for undergraduates) or on the Graduate Applicant Self Service (for graduates).


You are required to check your University email at least once every 24 hours.


When you are on course, all communications will be sent to your University email. Under the regulations, you are required to check this every day. Both the College and University will not accept the excuse that you didn't check your email if you miss anything important.


Once you receive your details, you should activate your account (full details can be found here).


Please add your details to the HMC members area. You will need to wait a couple of days after your account is activated before this will become live. Please only chase if your University account details have been live for 48 hours. Click on the ‘About Me’ tab to complete all of your details. Please email when you have done this. (Note, you will need your Oxford ID and login details to log into the members area). Your answers will help the College to support you during your studies.


You should then complete the registration process (which will be available from 1 September). Full details on registration can be found here.

The day-to-day

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The University publishes fixed and provisional dates of term here. Terms are split into weeks (which run from Sunday to Saturday) and numbered. "Full term" is the eight weeks of teaching, so runs from the Sunday at the start of 1st week and runs until the Saturday at the end of 8th week. The week before full term is 0th week, or week zero.

HMC requires full time students to return to Oxford on Wednesday of 0th week and remain in residence until Saturday of 8th week.

The dates of term for 2023-24 are below.


Wednesday of 0th week (when you need to return to Oxford)

Sunday of 1st week (start of term)

Saturday of 8th week (end of term)



4 October (but Freshers need to arrive on Sunday 1 October)

9 October

3 December



10 January

15 January

11 March



17 April

23 April

17 June




Oxford terms are short (only 8 weeks long) so don't over pack!

Undergraduates living in college will be required to vacate their room outside of term time. We have very limited storage space for international students.

What to bring if you're living in college

You'll need to bring your own 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.

What not to bring if you're living in college

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.


If you were not allocated a room in the ballot, you may find the University's guide to Rending Private Accommodation in Oxford helpful.


College serves three meals a day Monday - Friday, breakfast on Saturdays, and brunch on Sundays.

If you're living in College, payment for these is included in your battels (accommodation fee). It is not possible to arrange a room only contract.

If you're living out of College, you are still welcome to come and dine in Hall.

Whether you're living in or out, you need to sign in for meals via the members area (see details above).


All HMC students get a mail slot called a pidge in College. This is true even if you're living out, or a part-time student. You should check this regularly.


To have post delivered to College, please don't put your room number; just use the following address:

(Your full name)

Harris Manchester College

Mansfield Road



Please see this guide for information about IT here at HMC.

Money matters

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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 payment is Friday of 1st week each term.


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 2023-24 academic year.


HMC has several sources of financial support available. You can find full details here.


Students who are being sponsored by parents or others should consider taking out insurance cover against the death or early retirement due to ill health of their sponsor. This is particularly advisable in the case of students from overseas.

Students are also strongly advised to provide themselves with insurance cover for their possessions, including money, computers and bicycles: the College’s insurance does not cover the theft of students’ personal belongings. You should not keep large sums of money in your room.


You can download the University's Finance Guide for undergradautes (tailored to HMC) here.


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College staff and student officers are currently working to develop an enjoyable and informative induction week. Check back here in due course for the full programme.

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 grouping of postgraduate students in the College. All members of the MCR are also automatic members of the JCR.

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.

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 the Bodleian's Getting Started webpage where you can watch a brief welcome video and register to attend short webinar hosted by library staff.


All new students are required to matriculate and attendance is mandatory. The courses which are exempt are listed here. You will need full academic dress (see the next section).

Matriculation will take place on Saturday of 1st week (14 October).

A lunch will also be held in College and full details will be made available soon. We also take a group photo which is also mandatory.

If you have already matriculated for an Oxford degree, you are not able to matriculate again. However, you are welcome to join in for the photo and lunch.

It is not possible to bring guests to the matriculation ceremony.

Visiting students do not matriculate but are very welcome to join the lunch and group photograph.


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 comprised of:

1. one of:

-              dark suit with plain black socks, or

-              dark skirt with plain black tights or stockings, or

-              dark trousers with plain black socks or plain black hosiery

2. dark coat if required - worn underneath the gown

3. plain black shoes

4. plain white collared shirt or blouse

5. white bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon


1. the appropriate academic gown

2. mortar board or soft cap


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, 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. Postgraduates wear an Advanced Student's gown. There is information about gowns and academic dress on the University's website.


Visiting Students should wear a Scholar’s gown.


You may find this flyer from Shepherd and Woodward useful. Other gowners include Walters, the Varsity Shop, and Ede and Ravenscroft.


The University has a webpage dedicated to help you transition into life at Oxford, which can be found here.



Everyone reading for a postgraduate degree is assigned a member of the College as his/her `College Advisor'. The aim is to provide an academic and social link with a senior member of the College, and someone with whom you can discuss matters that you may not wish to raise with your supervisor. The description of College advisors offered by the University states:


College Advisee Guidance:

Every graduate student at Oxford has a College Advisor. This is often a senior academic member of the College such as a Fellow, but in many cases a wide range of staff act as Advisors such as other teaching staff, Junior Research Fellows, Senior Staff Fellows or research members of the Common Room.

Your College Advisor can:

  • monitor your progress, by discussing your University supervision reports and by being available for consultation, either in person or by email;
  • discuss with you any problems or difficulties you may be experiencing in your Department or Faculty, and/or with your supervisor;
  • consult the Tutor for Graduates if there are concerns about your academic progress and if you appear to be experiencing difficulties with your academic work;
  • offer guidance on sources of support available within the College and University.
  • provide pastoral support, for example on health, personal or coping issues, and/or direct you to appropriate persons for assistance;


Your College Advisor is not expected to perform the role of your Department or Faculty Supervisor(s), and is not responsible for directing your academic work or for giving detailed academic guidance. Your College Advisor will not necessarily, therefore, be from your department or subject area.

You will first meet your College Advisor during your first term, and you are encouraged to contact your College Advisor as and when you need advice or help. (You should also feel free to consult other College officers as necessary: see below.)

Your College Advisor may be changed during periods of sabbatical or other academic leave. Should there be reasons for you to seek a change of Advisor, you should contact your Tutor for Graduates


Further information

This guidance focuses specifically on the role of your College Advisor. Your College Advisor will be able to direct you to relevant sources of advice and support, which you should feel free to consult as necessary. These might include (but are not limited to):

  • Welfare Lead
  • MCR President, MCR Welfare Officers, Student Peer Supporters
  • College GP
  • Junior Deans
  • College Tutor for Graduates or Academic Administrator
  • College Bursary

The Tutor for Graduates, Dr Isabel Ruiz, is responsible for the graduate affairs of the College in general, and is always ready to help with any problems that College Advisors may be unable to. Students are encouraged to be pro-active in contacting their College Advisors and in reporting any problems they are experiencing to the Tutor for Graduates

Health and Wellbeing

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Information about the College Doctors, which is the 19 Beaumont Street Surgery. To register with the College Doctors please complete the enrollment 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.

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).

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.



HMC's Welfare Lead is Kerry Minton. You can contact her at

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.

Please see these links for information about the University's Oxford Against Sexual Violence campaign, and the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service.


To find a dentist please see  For urgent appointments please call 111.


We strongly recommend that you read through the University's advice about vaccinations here. It's very important to ensure all your vaccinations are up to date.

Please see a letter from the University about immunisations here.

General and Misc.

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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 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 on the UK Government's website and the University's website. Please note that international students who hold a visa will be required to present their passport for scanning during College registration. This is to satisfy the Home Office regulations.

Non-EU students studying for more than 6 months who apply for a student visa will receive a travel vignette/sticker in their passport valid for 90 days to allow them to travel to the UK. On arrival they will need to collect the BRP at the Post Office (usually in St Aldates unless they choose another Post Office location). The BRP card should be there before their intended date of travel to the UK so they can collect it after they arrive and the Post Office may open late in September if busy i.e. until 6pm and is always open on Saturdays. EU, EEA students who need to apply for a visa (if they do not have settled/pre-settled status) will receive an online eVisa only and will not receive a vignette/sticker or a BRP.

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. Both are based in the University Disability Advisory Service which is located at 3 Worcester Street, Oxford, OX1 2AW.  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.


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

A map of the College can be accessed here.

A map of libraries across the University can be downloaded here.

If you use what3words, the College front door is ///type.craft.congratulations

Please note that we are unable to offer parking in College.


More information for student parents can be found here.


If you are a parent and would like to be put in touch with other parents, please email


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


Station and track improvements are taking place at Oxford Rail Station, so it will be important to plan your journey accordingly if you are coming to Oxford by train.

There are details on the University's website here.


Hunter, the Freshers' Rep, has created a Facebook group for the 2023/24 academic year and another one for this year's freshers specifically. You can access them below.


2023/24 Group

Freshers Group


You may be interested in this flyer from Blackwell's bookshop which includes a 15 % discount.

Please see the Polish Society's Freshers Pack here.

At OxBikes we buy, rent and sell bicycles to students and college staff to create a circular economy in Oxford, reducing bicycle waste and making cycling more affordable. 


We have a promotional code: COLLEGES10. Entering this at checkout will give customers 10% off rentals and sales. If you could please circulate this amongst colleges, it would be really useful for us!


We are also selling a decathlon e-bike (RRP £799) for a reduced price of £719 as it has been used only once. It is like new, ready to ride, and comes with an OxBikes 30-day warranty. 


If interested in this bicycle, please head to and message the OxBikes team through the live chat. 


Thank you for your continued support of OxBikes. We are really working hard to reduce bicycle waste, make cycling more affordable and decrease traffic congestion in Oxford, all whilst promoting green transport!

All the best,
Louis Wright