Studying at Oxford UniversityI

 At Oxford most teaching is done in tutorials with College professors. Usually the tutorials are 1 or 2 students per 1 tutor. This gives a unique opportunity to discuss essays and topics with your tutor. Often the tutor can be an expert in their particular field. I was quite fortunate in having many very good tutors sometimes your reading list had books by your own tutor. This was the case with Brian Harrison who taught me British social history since 1870.
Studied PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. I was fortunate to have a very good experience being taught by several of the top authorities. Some tutors were post graduates but they were also very helpful 

The tutorials tend to last only 1 hour and you may only have 3 per week. So you are given a reading list the week before. It is then upto you to go and read the relevant books before preparing an essay. The tutorial is an opportunity to refine your arguments and understanding rather than be taught the material. It can be hard work getting through a long reading list. The trick is to be able to find the most relevant books. I used to read the introduction and conclusion before reading anything in between. It is good to learn the art of skim reading. Often you can find most of the answer in a small part of the book. In my first year I was using some A level textbooks to get a good overall standing before reading more complex books.


The tutorials may take place in your college but equally they may take place in other colleges, especially if your subject is specialised. I always enjoyed going to other colleges, especially colleges like Corpus Christi and St Johns.

In addition to tutorials the university also provides lectures usually during the morning. The standard of lectures in PPE were particularly good. But to be honest in my first year I never went to any lectures and I don’t think I missed out on anything, (although I did only just scrap through Philosophy prelims). In the 2nd and 3rd year I do remember going to more lectures but only if they were good. The main thing with such a system of studying is that it requires a degree of self motivation.


The tutorial system at Oxford University may have to change in the future because of problems of receiving sufficient government funding (and other issues). This would be a shame.

Richard is an economics teacher in Oxford and is a member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre. Richard gives free meditation classes on behalf of the Sri Chinmoy Centre and enjoys writing articles on various topics which get published on his



Studying at Oxford UniversityI Studying at Oxford UniversityI Reviewed by Kelly Miller on March 31, 2015 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.