How to Apply

Entry Requirements

Harris Manchester College only considers applications from mature applicants, who will be 21 years old or above by 1 October of the year of entry.

We accept a wide variety of qualifications but would expect applicants to have the equivalent of 3 A grades at A level and as far as possible to match the standard entry requirements for each course which in some cases varies from a three A offer. Alternative qualifications to A Levels include the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Open University credits, previous or current University level study. Applicants are advised to contact the Harris Manchester Admissions Office to seek advice about their qualifications to ensure that they would be sufficient to meet the entry requirements of the particular course they are considering applying to. The Tutor for Admissions can be reached on 01865 271009 or


All applicants are required to submit an application through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The deadline for applying for entry in October 2023 will be 6.00pm on 15th October 2022. Please make allowance for the length of time an application takes to be completed to avoid narrowly missing the deadline which is one UCAS strictly adheres to.

How to apply as a Mature Applicant

To apply directly to Harris Manchester, you should use Campus Code 6 on your UCAS form.

All applicants are strongly advised to consult a copy of the Oxford University Prospectus which gives more details of the content of courses.  It is crucially important that applicants look carefully at the content and structure of their prospective course, to be sure that it is likely to suit them. Oxford syllabi and course structures are singular: it is not possible to study part-time, nor is it easy to take time off from a course. There are no modular courses, and most courses are still largely assessed by three-hour examinations taken at the end of three years.

Written Tests

Most courses require applicants to sit a written test as part of the application process. See for a full list. Written tests take place in early November, with the exception of Law, for which candidates may take the LNAT between 1st September and 15th October. Note that the deadline for registering to take admissions tests is 15th October (15th September for the LNAT) Tests can be taken at one of a large choice of test centres across the UK and abroad.  Past papers can be downloaded from the website given above.

Written Work

Where written work is required as part of the application, it should be sent direct to the College by 10 November. Applicants who do not have suitable work from a relevant course may choose to write on any topic they deem to be interesting for their prospective course. Further details of the requirements can be found at The Tutor for Admissions is happy to advise applicants who are uncertain of what work to submit.  Harris Manchester will accept unmarked written work which has been produced specifically for the purpose of an Oxford application.


For information about interviews please see Interviews are generally held in early-mid December.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Expand All

Yes, we accept a wide range of UK and overseas qualifications. For information about UK qualifications please see UK qualifications | University of Oxford and for information about international qualifications please see International qualifications | University of Oxford.  If in doubt please call HMC’s Admissions Office for further advice (

No. We recognise that there are plenty of legitimate reasons why people abandon a degree course. It may be that they haven’t enjoyed the subject as much as they had expected they would or they may have been required to discontinue a course because of circumstances beyond their control. We are happy to consider applications from those who have started but not completed a degree course previously.

It is not possible to transfer to an Oxford degree and Oxford does not accept credit accumulated elsewhere to be transferred to towards a degree.  However, undergraduate study undertaken at another university can be used as evidence that you meet our academic standards for entry and may in some circumstances serve as an entrance qualification in itself.

Yes - for non-native English-speaking applicants the University sets an English language condition. For further details please click here.

We always advise that applicants have the best chance of gaining a place if they have undertaken some form of academic study within three years of applying. We find that those who have been out of education for a longer period sometimes struggle to get back into study, and as the course workloads at Oxford are intense there is little time to adapt to its demands. It is better to be in a position to hit the ground running at the start of the course. However, this is not a strict rule and we do make some exceptions.

As most courses require candidates to sit a written test and/or supply written work we have a reasonable idea of applicants’ potential in the absence of predicted grades. We will therefore still happy to consider applicants in the absence of predicted grades.

Though the guidance on the University website states that written work must have been conducted during the normal course of school work and must be marked by a teacher we appreciate that often mature applicants won’t have any appropriate coursework to hand. We are therefore happy to accept written work which has been produced specifically for the purpose of the application and which is unmarked.

Yes, there are a large number of ‘open’ test centres across the UK and overseas which applicants may book into. We recommend booking early.  If you have any difficulty in finding an available test centre please contact the HMC Admissions Office for advice.

No, the application procedure and entrance requirements are the same as for school leavers.

We are happy to accept resit grades and recognise that people’s capacity to achieve grades that show their full potential can change over time. However, would be concerned a about student’s potential to be successful at Oxford if they had to resit numerous exams, in successive years, particularly where only marginal improvement has been achieved. Please note that it is possible that some Faculties and Departments may decide to take into account whether grades were achieved in one go as part of their shortlisting procedures.

For school leavers their household income is based on that of their parents’ combined wages. If applicants are 25 or over, or have been financially independent for their parents for 3 years or more, household income is based on their own rather than that of their parents. For mature students who meet the criteria for their own income to be judged, if they have given up work to study fulltime they are deemed to have a household income of £0. For further information on financial support available to those from low income households please click here.

Those who are reading for a Second Undergraduate Degree are not eligible for Crankstart or Oxford Bursaries but you may be awarded a scholarship. These are awarded on the basis of academic merit and all those reading for a 2nd BA are eligible, including overseas students from outside the UK or Republic of Ireland. There is no requirement to apply for these scholarships as all those admitted to Harris Manchester who are reading for a Second Undergraduate Degree are automatically considered.

Whether you need inspiration for your personal statement, something to think about before your interview or simply because you are intellectually curious, you might find the following suggested reading and resources useful. They are intended to give you an idea of the kind of material you might engage with during a course at Oxford.  For further information click here.

Information for student parents can be found here.