Virtual Open Day

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Virtual Open Day

This content has been created by current students to help answer your questions about what it is like to study and live at Magdalene. We have done our best to recreate the experience you would have had attending an open day – though we know that nothing can quite compare to walking around the College on a beautiful sunny day.

To supplement these videos, we would recommend that you also look through the rest of the information we have available online which covers a variety of subjects to help you decide if Magdalene is the place for you.

Accommodation and Food

Courses available

The Application Process

Fees, Funding and Finance

International Undergraduates

Admissions FAQs

Magdalene 360 Photo Tour

Take a look around Magdalene from the comfort of your sofa

First Court

The Village

Cripps Court

The New Library

Magdalene combines beautiful historic buildings and gardens with excellent modern facilities. Our most recent addition is our state-of-the-art New Library , a bright modern study space housing 30,000 books for our students to enjoy. 

The New Library (Level 2)

The New Library (Level 3)

College Tour

This video uses photos taken in college to give you an idea of what Magdalene is like; the voiceover is provided by current students.

Magdalene College Tour

Current student profile: Lauren

For me studying at Cambridge was such a daunting idea. Having come from a very normal background and attended a very average state school, I was convinced that I would never ‘fit in’. Encouraged by those around me to try, that’s exactly what I did and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

You will not find any other College with such a friendly and communal atmosphere. No matter who you see walking through College pretty much everyone will stop and have a chat. And it’s not just in College, I’ve often found myself bumping into people around town or even on nights out - there will always be a big group of Magdalene people there!

Current student profile: Bronwyn

I had never really considered Cambridge, but after visiting on an open day, as cliché as it sounds, I genuinely fell in love with the city and knew that this was where I wanted to be.

Coming from a state school in the West Midlands, my school didn’t really know much at all about the application process, but I found lots online and received help from another local school that was more knowledgeable; so if you’re in a similar position try not to let it stop you! Even though I was apprehensive at first I just tried to remember that at the end of the day I had nothing to lose by just giving it a go.

And I couldn’t be happier that I did!  Magdalene is such a wonderful place and I have met the most amazing people and made the best memories.  People are genuinely so kind and friendly and there is such a family feel to College. There’s always so much on whether you’re into art, music, theatre, sport, or are of a particular religion, there are so many societies and events going on, there is genuinely something for everyone here.

This video uses 360 photos of rooms in three of our accommodation buildings – Basing House, Benson Court and Mallory Court – to give you an idea of the huge variety of rooms available for students. The voiceover is provided by current students.

Magdalene Rooms Tour

Current student profile: Olivia

Since coming to Cambridge I’ve thrown myself into the first few years of medical school, with this third year being a little bit special as medical students in Cambridge do an “Intercalated Degree” in their third year, meaning this year I was able to choose to study psychology.

Beyond my course, I love to spend time with my friends - most of whom are from Magdalene - cooking in whoever has the largest space to do so or working in the library. I’ve also been involved with University Powerlifting this year (of which there is a growing Magd Medic tradition…) and I hope to use my ridiculously long degree length to climb the ranks in the club.

Current student profile: Eva

I originally never wanted to come to Oxbridge, but by chance I took a day trip to Cambridge and had this feeling it was the place I was somehow meant to be (even if I didn’t quite know precisely what to study yet.).

As a somewhat quiet first year coming into Magdalene, I felt part of the College community immediately. Existing students welcomed everyone coming in, which was something I was not necessarily expecting.

Events hosted by my second year ‘family’ in freshers’ week cultivated this atmosphere and also provided a strong support structure for the rest of the year.

Q&A with current students

We asked you for your questions and here are the answers from current students. Topics include the food, finances, societies, fitting in and what is the best thing about Magdalene?

Q&A with current Magdalene students

Current student profile: Alice

I went to a small state school in the North West and when visiting Cambridge when I was younger, instantly fell in love with the city and knew I wanted to apply.

I found the application process quite daunting at first, not knowing anyone who had previously applied but all the students who helped out at the interviews were really lovely and completely understanding of the situation and there to help in any way they could.

Outside of my course, I row with the Magdalene Boat Club which I only picked up as a fresher and I have loved ever since. I also spend a lot of time with friends in College whether that's cooking together, going to the pub or going on nights out. Magdalene is one of the friendliest Colleges I know and you are never more than a 3 minute walk away from any of your friends.

Current student profile: Annabelle

Until a week or so before the UCAS deadline, I had not seriously considered applying to either Cambridge, as I thought it was pointless trying as I would never get in. Last minute I decided to send in an application to Magdalene, based on the information I could gather about the College online: small, friendly, and well-situated. The interview process focused on your passion for the subject and your approach to problem-solving and debate, which I feel accurately reflects the way we learn here.

Outside of law, I am involved in the work of Magdalene Access Committee, and have taken part in various Open Days and Residentials. I also was on the Freshers Committee last year and was the Social Media Officer for The 1988 Club, our FemSoc. When I have the time, I really enjoy attending debates and speakers at the Cambridge Union.

Freshers’ Week and First Term

In this video, Chloe breaks down what usually happens during your first few days at Magdalene and other students then talk about their experiences of Freshers’ Week and the first term at Cambridge.

Current student profile: Niki

I had never thought of applying to Cambridge up until the end of Year 12 when I decided to come to the open day. After visiting the Colleges, the city, and the department, I knew I would regret it in the future if I didn’t give it my best shot.

Outside my degree, I tend to get involved in several societies both within and outside College. At Magdalene, I’m the BME Officer, the Vice President for The 1988 Club (FemSoc) and was part of the Freshers Committee last year – there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the community. Outside of College, I love attending events by HinduSoc or IndiaSoc or taking part in engineering projects. There are so many different opportunities both within and outside College which is what makes the whole experience special.

Chapel and Choir

In this video, Rory and a group of students talk about the opportunities to join the College Choir and become involved in the life of Chapel.

Magdalene Chapel and Choir

Current student profile: Trinny

Coming from a state school in Manchester, I never considered Oxbridge as a serious option for university. I assumed I wouldn’t fit in and couldn’t envision the ‘normal’ university experience. In hindsight applying to Magdalene was the best decision I’ve made.

Before applying, I was worried that with a Cambridge workload I’d have no time for socialising or engaging in anything but work. I was so wrong! History is so flexible, you write one essay a week and there are few lectures so you can really make your own schedule. The style of teaching through supervisions means you receive tailored guidance to your work, which I’ve found invaluable.

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  • the Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, best known for The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest
  • King Edward VIII, who reigned from the 20th January 1936 to the 11th December 1936
  • Thomas Wolsey, an English archbishop and statesman who was sentenced to death by Henry VIII

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Oxford Train Station

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High Street Bus Stop T3, T3, L3, L1, L2, T1, T2

Getting Here By Car

Broad Street Car Park, 52 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BS

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Inside the grounds of Magdalen College.

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Magdalen College

Top choice in Oxford

Guarding access to a breathtaking expanse of private lawns, woodlands, river walks and even its own deer park, Magdalen ('mawd-lin'), founded in 1458, is one of Oxford’s wealthiest and most beautiful colleges. Beyond its elegant Victorian gateway, you come to its medieval chapel and glorious 15th-century tower. From here, move on to the remarkable 15th-century cloisters , where the fantastic grotesques (carved figures) may have inspired CS Lewis’ stone statues in The Chronicles of Narnia .

Behind the cloisters, lovely Addison’s Walk loops for just under a mile around the ravishing Water Meadow , a wedge-shaped island in the River Cherwell that’s renowned for its glorious wildflowers. You can extend that walk by continuing to the Angel and Greyhound Meadow – the lush green tract visible from Magdalen Bridge – smaller Bat Willow Meadow , home to Mark Wallinger’s tree-shaped sculpture Y , and the secluded Fellows’ Garden slightly upstream.

Magdalen’s herd of deer usually browse the bucolic Deer Park , north of the main college buildings, in winter and spring, and spend the summer in the riverside meadows.

Notable Magdalen students have included writers CS Lewis, John Betjeman, Seamus Heaney and Oscar Wilde, while other alumni range from Edward VIII, TE Lawrence ‘of Arabia’ and Cardinal Wolsey to Dudley Moore.

The college also boasts a fine choir, which as part of the annual May Day (1 May) festivities sings Hymnus Eucharisticus at 6am on top of the 44m bell tower.

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A view of Trinity College from Parks Road through the iron entrance gates

Visiting the colleges

Here you will find information on opening times and admission charges, where these apply, for the colleges and permanent private halls of Oxford University, and links to their individual websites.

You will also find links to virtual tours of some of the colleges.

If you are interested in studying at Oxford University, please see our information for prospective students  including  information on colleges for prospective undergraduates

All Souls College

  • Location : High Street (OX1 4AL)
  • Tel : 01865 279379
  • Open : Members of the public are welcome to visit the College Front and Great Quadrangles and Chapel as individual visitors or groups (up to six) 14:00-16:00 on weekdays and Sundays.
  • Charge: Free
  • Website :  All Souls College
  • All Souls College location map

Balliol College

  • Location : Broad Street ( OX1   3BJ)
  • Tel : 01865 277777
  • Open : Usually open 10:00-17:00 or dusk (whichever is earlier)
  • Charge : Adults from £5, concessions and students from £3
  • Note : Groups: 19 plus guide for green/blue badge guided tours; 8 plus guide for all other groups
  • Website : Balliol College
  • Balliol College location map
  • Balliol College Virtual Tour


  • Location : St Giles (OX1 3LY )
  • Tel : 01865 278400
  • Open : Blackfriars Church is open to the public daily in daylight hours.
  • Website : Blackfriars
  • Blackfriars location map

Brasenose College

  • Location : Radcliffe Square (OX1 4AJ)
  • Tel: 01865 277830
  • Open : Mon-Fri: 10:00-11:30 and 14:00-16:30, Sat and Sun: 13:00-16:30
  • Charge : Free, donations welcome 
  • Note : Groups must book in advance. Maximum group size of 20. Only one group allowed into the College at any one time. Individual tourists can be allowed in at the discretion of the duty porter, with a small donation to the College. Full information for tourists and tour groups is available here .
  • Website : Brasenose College
  • Brasenose College location map
  • Brasenose College Virtual Tour

Campion Hall

  • Location : Brewer Street (OX1 1QS)
  • Tel : 01865 286100
  • Open : By appointment only
  • Website :  Campion Hall
  • Campion Hall location map

Christ Church

Christ Church

  • Location : St Aldate's (OX1 1DP)
  • Tel : 01865 276492
  • Open : Mon-Sun. To visit Christ Church please book a timed ticket online via the Christ Church website . Tickets are released on a weekly basis. Please note that as a working academic and religious institution some areas, including the Hall and the Cathedral, may close occasionally without notice. Any known closures will be listed against the relevant time slots on the booking system. Visit the  cathedral website  for a schedule of daily services.
  • Charge : Full details can be found by visiting the  tickets page on the Christ Church website .
  • Note : Book tickets online to guarantee entry. Groups of 12 or more must book in advance. For information on how to visit Christ Church Picture Gallery please see:  Visiting the Gallery at Christ Church .
  • Website :  Christ Church
  • Christ Church location map
  • Christ Church Virtual Tour

Corpus Christi College

  • Location : Merton Street (OX1 4JF)
  • Tel : 01865 276700
  • Open : 13:30-16:30
  • Note : Groups (maximum 20) must book in advance and be accompanied by a Blue Badge Guide
  • Website : Corpus Christi College
  • Corpus Christi College location map
  • Corpus Christi College Virtual Tour

Exeter College

  • Location : Turl Street (OX1 3DP)
  • Tel : 01865 279600
  • Open : Members of the public are very welcome to visit Exeter College at Turl Street, unless the College is closed for a special event. We recommend calling in advance to check the College is open and any restrictions on where you can visit. The College is normally open between 14:00 and 17:00 during term time and between 13:00 and 17:00 outside of term time.
  • Charge : Alumni, prospective students and Bodleian card holders are welcome to visit with up to three guests for free. Organised tour groups can visit for £3 per person (no charge for tour guides) by booking with the Porters’ Lodge.
  • Note : Exeter College Chapel services are open to all and provide everyone the opportunity to reflect and to listen to the College’s outstanding choir, irrespective of religious beliefs. Cohen Quad is open to current members of the University of Oxford and to Exeter College alumni with appropriate identification. Cohen Quad is not generally open to the public, although public events such as musical or dramatic performances, lectures, or open days are sometimes held there and members of the public encouraged to attend.
  • Website : Exeter College
  • Exeter College location map
  • Explore Exeter College: video tours
  • Exeter College Virtual Tour

Green Templeton College

  • Location : Woodstock Road (OX2 6HG)
  • Tel : 01865 274770
  • Open : By appointment only
  • Note : Maximum 20 people in a group. Graduate college
  • Website : Green Templeton College
  • Green Templeton College location map

Harris Manchester College

  • Location : Mansfield Road (OX1 3TD)
  • Tel : 01865 271006
  • Open : Chapel only. Mon-Fri 10:00-17:30, Sat 09:00-12:00
  • Charge : Free, donations welcome
  • Note : Large parties must book in advance
  • Website : Harris Manchester College
  • Harris Manchester College location map
  • Harris Manchester College Virtual Tour

Hertford College

  • Location : Catte Street (OX1 3BW)
  • Tel : 01865 279400
  • Open : Hertford College is only open to prospective students, alumni, members of the University or those with a connection to the college. Members of the public are welcome to attend Evensong (Sunday 17:30 during term time) and advertised music recitals in the Chapel. The college will be closed to all visitors without appointment from 3 July 2023 until further notice for a major rebuilding programme.
  • Website : Hertford College
  • Hertford College location map

Jesus College

  • Location : Turl Street (OX1 3DW)
  • Tel : 01865 279700
  • Open : Blue Badge guided tours only: 14:00-16:30 daily. For all other visitor enquiries contact the College Lodge on the number above. 
  • Charge : Adults £3, seniors and children over 5 £2.
  • Note : Maximum 20 people in a group; groups must book in advance
  • Website : Jesus College
  • Jesus College location map
  • Jesus College Virtual Tour

Keble College

  • Location : Parks Road (OX1 3PG)
  • Tel : 01865 272727
  • Open : Daily 14:00-17:00
  • Note : Members of the public are welcome to visit the College main quad (Liddon quad) and Chapel. Occasionally during the year the College will be closed for College events so it is always best to contact the Porters prior to planning a visit. It is recommended to pre-book in case the College is closed due to events. Alumni, prospective students and offer holders are welcome to visit the College at any time. Please note that visitors to the College are not permitted to bring in any animal, except those specifically trained to provide assistance to their owners (eg guide/assistance dogs). Guided tours and groups of 8 or more must pre-book through the Porters Lodge or they will need to split into smaller groups and take the tour in turns. 
  • Website : Keble College
  • Keble College location map
  • Keble College Virtual Tour

Kellogg College

  • Location : 60-62 Banbury Road (OX2 6PN)
  • Tel : 01865 612000
  • Open : Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00
  • Charge : Free
  • Note : Graduate college committed to flexible learning
  • Website : Kellogg College
  • Kellogg College location map

Lady Margaret Hall

  • Location : Norham Gardens (OX2 6QA)
  • Tel : 01865 274300
  • Open : Daily 10:00-17:00
  • Website : Lady Margaret Hall
  • Lady Margaret Hall location map
  • Lady Margaret Hall Virtual Tour

Linacre College

  • Location : St Cross Road (OX1 3JA)
  • Tel : 01865 271650
  • Note : Graduate college
  • Website : Linacre College
  • Linacre College location map

Lincoln College

  • Location : Turl Street (OX1 3DR)
  • Tel : 01865 279800
  • Open : Mon-Sun 14:00-17:00
  • Website : Lincoln College
  • Lincoln College location map
  • Explore Lincoln College: enjoy virtual tours around the college

Magdalen College

  • Location : High Street (OX1 4AU)
  • Tel : 01865 276000
  • Open:  3 January to 22 December: 10:00 to dusk or 19:00, whichever is the earlier. (These are subject to occasional change which will be advertised on this website , or our noticeboard outside the main entrance. The College will be closed to all visitors on 24 and 25 June, 22 and 23 September, 1 October and 19-31 December, all dates inclusive. Find out more about other special opening times including New Year’s Day 2024 at Visiting Magdalen College .
  • Charges:  Adults £9.50; over 65s, children and students £8.50; family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children aged 7 or over) £28. 
  • Note:  Please see college website for full visitor information.
  • Website : Magdalen College
  • Magdalen College location map
  • Magdalen College Virtual Tour

Mansfield College

  • Location : Mansfield Road (OX1 3TF)
  • Tel : 01865 270999
  • Note : Groups (maximum 12 people) must be accompanied by a guide
  • Website : Mansfield College
  • Mansfield College location map
  • Mansfield College Virtual Tour

Merton College

  • Location : Merton Street (OX1 4JD)
  • Tel : 01865 276310
  • Open : Mon-Fri 14:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30pm), Sat 10:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30), Sun 12:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30pm).
  • Charge : Adults £3. Free to children under 13. There is a reduced fee of £2 for adults aged over 65. Free to University members and alumni (and up to three guests). Guided tours of college and medieval library £5 per person (summer only).
  • Note : Groups of more than 10 must book in advance
  • Website : Merton College
  • Merton College location map
  • Merton College Virtual Tour

New College

  • Location : New College Lane (OX1 3BN)
  • Tel : 01865 271233/01865 279500
  • Open : Easter-Oct 10:00-17:00 (seven days a week); Oct-Easter 13:30-16:30 (Tuesday-Sunday)
  • Charge : Adults £8; seniors, under 16s and full time students £7; family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children aged 7 or over) £25. Free to children under 7 years of age, Oxford residents and old members.
  • Note : Maximum 20 people in a group. Larger groups will need to split.
  • Website : New College
  • New College location map
  • New College Virtual Tour

Nuffield College

  • Location : New Road (OX1 1NF)
  • Tel : 01865 278500
  • Open : Closed until further notice due to building works.
  • Website : Nuffield College
  • Nuffield College location map

Oriel College

  • Location : Oriel Square (OX1 4EW)
  • Tel : 01865 276555
  • Open : Mon-Fri 14:00-17:00 or dusk (whichever is earlier), Sat-Sun 13:00-17:00  
  • Charge : Adults £3; concessions £2. 
  • Note : Access to hall, chapel and first quad only. Maximum 12 people in a group. Closed during events.
  • Website : Oriel College
  • Oriel College location map
  • Oriel College Virtual Tour

Pembroke College

  • Location : Pembroke Square, St Aldate's (OX1 1DW)
  • Tel : 01865 276444
  • Note : Pembroke College is only open to prospective students, alumni, members of the University or those with a connection to the college.
  • Website : Pembroke College
  • Pembroke College location map
  • Pembroke College Virtual Tour

The Queen's College

  • Location : High Street (OX1 4AW)
  • Tel : 01865 279120
  • Open : Pre-arranged tours only, permitted Mon-Fri between 14:00-17:00 during term time.
  • Note : The Queen’s College is only open to prospective students, alumni, members of the University, or those with a connection to the college. Aside from this, entry is only permitted if you are on a pre-arranged tour with the  Oxford Guild of Tour Guides  or attending Evensong.
  • Website : The Queen's College
  • The Queen's College location map
  • The Queen's College Virtual Tour

Regent's Park College

  • Location : Pusey Street (OX1 2LB)
  • Contact : 01865 288120
  • Open : By appointment
  • Website : Regent's Park College
  • Regent's Park College Map

Reuben College

  • Location : Parks Road (OX2 6ED)
  • Contact :  [email protected]
  • Note : The building is currently closed for major refurbishments – please check the College website for updates
  • Website : Reuben College
  • Reuben College location map

Somerville College

  • Location : Woodstock Road (OX2 6HD)
  • Tel : 01865 270600
  • Open : 09:00-12:00, 14:00-16:00. No admission outside term-time except for university members and Alumni card holders.
  • Note : Large groups must book in advance
  • Website : Somerville College
  • Somerville College location map
  • Somerville College Virtual Tour

St Anne's College

  • Location : Woodstock Road (OX2 6HS)
  • Tel : 01865 274800
  • Open : Daily 09:00-17:00
  • Website : St Anne's College
  • St Anne's College location map
  • St Anne's College Virtual Tour

St Antony's College

  • Location : Woodstock Road (OX2 6JF)
  • Tel : 01865 284700
  • Website : St Antony's College
  • St Antony's College location map

St Catherine's College

  • Location : Manor Road (OX1 3UJ)
  • Tel : 01865 271700
  • Note : Advance booking is required for groups of 10 or more
  • Website : St Catherine's College
  • St Catherine's College location map
  • St Catherine's College Virtual Tour

St Cross College

  • Location : St Giles (OX1 3LZ)
  • Tel : 01865 278490
  • Open :  By appointment only
  • Website : St Cross College
  • St Cross College location map (Image: Blackwell Quad, credit David Fisher)

St Edmund Hall

  • Location : Queen's Lane (OX1 4AR)
  • Tel : 01865 279000
  • Open : Daily 10:00-16:00
  • Note : Maximum 12 people in a group. Larger groups by appointment.
  • Website : St Edmund Hall
  • St Edmund Hall location map
  • St Edmund Hall Virtual Tour

St Hilda's College

  • Location : Cowley Place (OX4 1DY)
  • Tel : 01865 276884
  • Website : St Hilda's College
  • St Hilda's College location map
  • St Hilda's College Virtual Tour

St Hugh's College

  • Location : St Margaret's Road (OX2 6LE)
  • Tel : 01865 274900
  • Open : Please check in advance
  • Note :   We welcome visitors but kindly ask that you check in advance. Email [email protected] or telephone ahead.
  • Website :  St Hugh's College
  • St Hugh's College location map
  • St Hugh's College Virtual Tour

St John's College

  • Location : St Giles' (OX1 3JP)
  • Tel : 01865 277300
  • Open : 13:00-17:00 or dusk, whichever is earliest. The chapel is also open daily from 13:30 until close.
  • Note : Maximum 14 people in a group, accompanied by a guide. Larger groups will be split into smaller ones.
  • Website : St John's College
  • St John's College location map
  • St John's College Virtual Tour

St Peter's College

  • Location : New Inn Hall Street (OX1 2DL)
  • Tel : 01865 278900
  • Open : 10:00-17:00
  • Note : Booking is required for groups of five or more
  • Website : St Peter's College
  • St Peter's College location map
  • St Peter's College Virtual Tour

Trinity College

  • Location : Broad Street (OX1 3BH)
  • Tel : 01865 279900
  • Open : Sat-Sun 10:00-16:00
  • Charge : Adults £4, seniors/children £3.
  • Note : No charge for group leaders or teachers accompanying school groups. A call is recommended to avoid disappointment, as the college could close for events during the summer.
  • Website : Trinity College
  • Trinity College location map
  • Trinity College Virtual Tour

University College

  • Location : High Street (OX1 4BH)
  • Tel : 01865 276602
  • Open : 09:00-17:00 (open to the public out of term time only)
  • Charge : £2 per head (children under 5 years free)
  • Note : Maximum 15 people in a group, accompanied by a guide. Advance booking is required. 
  • The Univ VR app offers a virtual tour of parts of the College, with commentary, and is available from both the Apple App Store (search 'Univ VR App') and via Google Play .
  • Website : University College
  • University College location map
  • University College Virtual Tour

Wadham College

  • Location : Parks Road (OX1 3PN)
  • Tel : 01865 277900
  • Open : Term time: 13:00-16:15. Vacation 10:30-11:45 and 13:00-16:15
  • Note : Groups must book in advance and be accompanied by a Blue Badge Guide
  • Website : Wadham College
  • Wadham College location map
  • Wadham College Virtual Tour

Wolfson College

  • Location : Linton Road (OX2 6UD)
  • Tel : 01865 274100
  • Open : Daylight hours
  • Note : Groups should notify the College in advance of their visit. Graduate college. 
  • Website : Wolfson College
  • Wolfson College location map

Worcester College

  • Location : Walton Street (OX1 2HB)
  • Tel : 01865 278300
  • Open : Open to current and Old Members, prospective applicants and residents of OX1 and OX2, daily 12:30-16:00 (book via telephone or [email protected] ). 
  • Website : Worcester College
  • Worcester College location map
  • Worcester College Virtual Tour

Wycliffe Hall

  • Location : Banbury Road (OX2 6PW)
  • Tel : 01865 274200
  • Open : By appointment
  • Charge:  Free
  • Website : Wycliffe Hall
  • Wycliffe Hall location map
  • Wycliffe Hall Virtual Tour


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Visiting Oxford  > Oxford University > Oxford Colleges

Magdalen College

Established in 1458 by William of Waynflete, Magdalen College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford. It is the fourth richest college and one of the strongest academically, setting the Norrington Score record in 2010.

There are several distinguished chairs at the university, such as the Agnelli-Serena Professorship, the Sherardian Professorship, and the four Waynflete Professorships. 

The college stands next to the River Cherwell and the University of Oxford Botanic Garden , and the college choir sings from the top of the large, square Magdalen Tower every May Morning. The tradition dates back to Henry VII’s time.

What's the History of Magdalen College?

Magdalen College was founded in 1458 by  William of Waynflete , Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of England. It’s named after St Mary Magdelene, a woman who according to tot eh four canonical gospels travelled with Jesus and his followers. 

Magdelen College succeeded a university hall called Magdelen Hall, which had been founded by Waynflete in 1448. Most of the college’s earliest scholars came from the hall. The college took over the site of St John the Baptism Hospital, alongside the River Cherwell. It first used the hospital’s buildings and completed a new construction between 1470 and 1480. At the time of its incorporation, MAgdelen College had a president and six scholars. When its Statutes were written, there were also 40 fellows, 30 demies, four chaplain priests, eight clerks, and 16 choristers. 

During the English Civil War, Magdelen College supported the Royalist cause. In 1642, the college donated 296 lbs of plate to fund the war effort. The College actually had tactical significance, as it commanded a position on the banks of the Cherwell overlooking Magdelen Bridge and the road from London. Prince Rupert is said to have quartered in the college. During the 1680s, King James II attempted to install Englishman Anthony Farmer  as president of Magdalen. The fellows rejected this (because of Farmer’s tarnished reputation) and proposed a different person. Samuel Parker, Bishop of Oxford, was admitted by force and the fellows and demies that had defied the king were expelled. This expulsion marked a turning point in the University’s relationship with the Crown. James’ interference with the college fed resentment in Anglicans and his appointments were reversed before the Glorious Revolution. A special banquet each year marks the event, the Restoration Dinner. 

Famous Alumni of Magdalen College

Oxford University Alumni: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

Thomas Wolsey was a statesman and Catholic bishop. He was one of the last English churchmen that played a dominant role in the nation’s political life. He attended Ipswich School and Magdalen College and studied theology at Magdalen College, Oxford. He graduated at age of 15, a fact that earned him the nickname ‘Boy Bachelor’. 

See more Famous Oxford Alumni >

The Buildings of Magdalen College

Magdelen College features a variety of architectural styles. It has been described as “a medieval nucleus with two incomplete additions” (one from the 18th and one from the 19th centuries).

The college is organized around five quads: St John’s Quad (the first on entering the college, and irregularly shaped), Great Quad (richly decorated with carvings and pinnacles), Chaplain’s Quad (with a Chapel and hall), St Swithun’s Quad, and Longwall Quad (which contains the library). 

The Cloister or Great Quad

The Cloister or Great Quad is the medieval nucleus of the college. It was built between 1474 and 1480 and is accessed through the Founder’s Tower or Muniment Tower. The southern side of the quad contains the chapel and the hall. There’s also the old library, and junior, middle and senior common rooms. Allegorical hieroglyphs were added to the Cloister in 1508. These grotesques represent scholarly subjects such as medicine, science, law, and theology, and virtues.

 The Chapel is a High Anglican chapel and was influenced by the Catholic Revival (or Catholic Reformation) in the Church of England. Said and sung services are held daily during term . The Chapel is a grade I listed building and was built between 1474 and 1480. The stained glass windows facing St John’s Quad show a grisaille (painted entirely in shades of greY) depiction of the Last Judgement. 

Magdalen Tower

The construction of this great tower, 144 feet tall, began in 1492 and was possibly intended to replace an existing belfry from the early hospital. By the time it was completed (in 1509), additional buildings had been erected on its sides, creating the triangular Chaplain’s Quad. The tower contains ten bells cast at a number of different foundries. The heaviest was made in 1623. This imposing landmark welcomes visitors to Oxford.

The New Building

The New Building was constructed in 1733 and is built in a Palladian style, derived from and inspired by Venetian architect Andrea Palladio. Edward Holdsworth ‘s full vision was never completed and the idea of incorporating it into a new quad was abandoned. 

The Daubeny Laboratory

This 19th-century laboratory is opposite the main college site and overlooks the Botanic Garden . Established around 1622 by polymath and Magdalen fellow  Charles Daubeny , it was created to be worthy of a great University (as opposed to the previous laboratory in the basement of the Ashmolean Museum ). In 1973, most of Daubeny’s laboratory was turned into graduate student accommodation.

The Libraries

Magdalen College has an Old Library, located in the Cloister and accessed via FOunder’s Tower, that contains a large collection og manuscripts from before the 19th century. The New Library, or Longwall Library, is the main library for students. It was renovated between 2014 and 2016. 

What is it Like to Study at Magdalen College, Oxford?

Undergraduate students at Magdalen College are guaranteed accommodation during term. This is typically done in the Waynflette building and “inside-walls” in the Cloister. Graduate students are guaranteed at least two years of accommodation. The charges are inclusive of heating, power, and internet access. Three cafeteria-style services are held each day in the hall. 

There are several clubs and societies associated with the Oxford University Student Union , which operates at the University level. Some subject-specific ones are the Atkin Society (Law) and the Sherrington Society (Medicine). A number of other societies also put on events throughout the year. For example, the Magdalen Players, a drama society, the Magdalen Music Society, and the Magdalen Film Society.

Students have access to a variety of sports and the college has sports grounds accessible from the main college via Addison’s Walk. There are pitches for soccer, cricket, hockey, and rugby, as well as tennis and squash courts. The college keeps a boathouse on the Isis for the  Magdalen College Boat Club  (MCBC).

Where is Magdalen College?

Magdalen College is located in High Street (OX1 4AU), Oxford. Tel 01865 276000.

Magdalen College Coat of Arms

Can you Visit Magdalen College?

Yes, Magdalen College is open to the public and bookings are not required. 

  • Open : January to late June: 10am to dusk or 7pm, whichever is the earlier (4 January to 26 June inc) late June to early October: 10am to dusk or 7pm, whichever is the earlier. (27 June to 2 October inc). October to December: 10am to dusk or 7pm, whichever is the earlier (4 October to 22 December inc).
  • Charge : Adults £8; Over 65s, children, students £7; Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children aged 7 or over) £25. Children under 7 years of age are admitted free of charge.
  • Groups : Groups of more than 20 may have to split.

Related to Magdalen College

Joint tickets for Magdalen and the Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum are available at either location.

Oxford Botanic Gardens - Image courtesy of Tejvan Pettinger

Oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum

The Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in the UK. It was founded in 1621 and holds unique and important species.

More Oxford University Colleges

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Worcester College

A constituent college of the University of Oxford in England, Worcester College was founded in 1714 by Sir Thomas Cookes.

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Wolfson College

Wolfson College is an all-graduate college affiliated with the University of Oxford in England, located near the River Cherwell.

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Wadham College

Wadham College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. It is located in the centre of Oxford.

Oxford University College

University College

University College (colloquially known as “Univ”) is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England and possibly the oldest.

Oxford University Trinity College. Image courtesy of Dave_S.

Trinity College

Trinity College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. It was founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope.

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Privacy Overview

Home » Open Days

Oxford’s 2024 Open Days will be on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th June, and Friday 20th September.  Detailed information can be found on the  University website . 

Step-free Open Day entrance to Magdalen College, located on Longwall Street. Decorated with an Open Day banner.

Our Open Days provide an opportunity for you to get a feel for the College, ask any questions you may have, and meet our tutors and current undergraduate students. They are designed to help you to decide where you want to study and play no part whatsoever in our selection process.

Our Admissions and Outreach team will also be available to answer questions on the day.

Open Day Schedule

Magdalen’s schedule of events for the Open Days of 26th and 27th June and 20th September is as follows:

None of these events require booking beforehand. We recommend turning up on time for the talks, panels and demonstration interview, in order to get a seat.

Open Day Travel Expenses Reimbursement Scheme

If the cost of travelling to and from Oxford is a problem, then we may be able to reimburse some or all of the costs of travel. In order to be eligible, you must be a UK resident attending a UK state school or college and be travelling from over 70 miles away using public transport. We are only able to reimburse travel costs for students and receipts must be provided for your travel.

To apply for this scheme, students must be:

  • attending a UK state school or college and be travelling by public transport from over 70 miles away;
  • and/or currently eligible for Free School Meals/pupil premium;
  • and/or care-experienced (currently or previously in care).

If you meet the criteria, please complete the Open Days Travel Expenses Reimbursement request form . The deadline for submitting this form is the 19th June for the June Open days and the 12th September for the September Open Day.

We will be opening applications for travel reimbursement a month before each Open Day .

If you are concerned about paying for travel but do not fit this criteria, please ensure you ask your school whether they have schemes or support for you before getting in touch with us.


We will be offering free accommodation on the nights of the 25th and/or 26th June to care-experienced and estranged students only . Please email us by noon on 17 June if you would like to request free accommodation on these grounds. Please note that we can only offer one night of accommodation per student.


All of our Open Day events will be held in the Grove Auditorium, which has step-free access via a ramp. There is also an accessible toilet in the building and a hearing loop. Seating and water will be available.

To try and ensure that our Open Days are accessible to all, we have produced an accessibility map and screen reader-friendly version of our Open Day schedule .

If you are coming to one of our Open Days and have any accessibility needs, please contact us at [email protected] and we will do our best to make adjustments.

Visiting Magdalen

Potential applicants and their families are very welcome to look around Magdalen on any day of the year. Simply tell the porter on duty that you are a prospective applicant and you will be admitted free of charge and given a copy of our student-written Alternative P rospectus .

Please see our general  visitor information , including opening hours.

Outreach to Schools

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Business Insider

College tour season is about to kick off. Here are 10 tips from college tour guides to have a successful campus visit.

  • As spring starts, colleges around the country welcome parents and students to campus for tours. 
  • College tour guides want people to arrive on time, ask the right questions, and have fun.
  • They also recommend students take the tour on their own, without their parents.

Spring break is right around the corner, and for many high school students and their parents, that means many will be hitting the road to tour colleges around the country.

To make the most of your visit, Business Insider spoke with college students and tour guides. They know the campuses like the back of their hands, and they know how to walk backward.

Here are the dos and don'ts of college tours from student guides.

1. Get there with no time to spare, but don't be late

You won't get points for arriving early, so try to arrive on time. But if you do happen to arrive late , there's no need to worry.

"If something comes up and you are late, ask your guide what you missed once the tour finishes," Skyler Kawecki-Muonio, a senior at Sarah Lawrence College, told BI. "They will happily fill you in."

2. Dress to impress, but don't sacrifice comfort

It's important to look nice, but you don't have to don a jacket and tie. Tour-goers should put their best foot forward with a sturdy pair of walking shoes , and don't forget to dress for the weather.

"At Fairleigh Dickinson, tours go out rain or shine, so make sure to wear clothes that will keep you warm," Emily Bone, class of '25, said.

3. Don't forget to sign in, but skip the CV

Most schools have a check-in desk where you'll receive a campus map and other literature. But don't bother furnishing schools with your portfolio.

"Students can leave their resumes at home," Henry Millar, a senior at William & Mary, said. "Tour guides generally do not have any sway in the admissions process whatsoever, so feel free to save the paper."

4. Pay attention on the tour, but do it solo if possible

Some schools offer the option of letting parents and kids take separate tours, which has advantages.

"Get excited about your child's potential future in college, but give them some space to see what they think of that school on their own," Nathan Weisbrod, a junior at Wesleyan University, told BI.

Students can comfortably ask questions without a parent present and compare notes afterward.

5. Ask all your questions, but avoid personal interrogations

This is the time to inquire about any aspect of campus life , and don't feel shy about speaking up.

"Tour guides love getting questions because it allows us to cater the tour, especially in small groups, toward the needs and interests of the families on that specific tour," Halle Spataro, class of '24 at Bucknell University, said.

But some topics are off-limits, so don't ask your tour guide about their SAT/ACT scores or what they wrote about in their essay.

6. Speak up, but let the student take the lead

Parents may be tempted to raise their hand again and again, but this tour is about the student, so there should be space to let them shine.

"Try to take the backseat — or the passenger seat — but refrain from driving all of your child's interactions," Julian Jacklin, class of '25 at Reed College, said. "Students who feel they can own that experience usually ask the most questions and engage with the tour more."

7. Say thanks, but don't leave with questions unanswered

Maybe your guide didn't hear you, or your kid was reluctant to speak up. You can still get the information you want before leaving.

"There's a lot of information students are getting that day and a lot of excitement with being in a new place, which can make people forget to ask certain questions," Lorenzo Mars, a junior at Pepperdine University, said.

Therefore, get your tour guide's email address so that you can follow up afterward.

8. You may know exactly what school is right, but keep an open mind

Don't be surprised if a city-living kid is suddenly intrigued by a small-town setting.

"The college search and college experience are all about getting to know yourself better and growing, so on a tour, students have to trust themselves and their judgment of the 'world' they've just stepped into," Thomas Elias, class of '24 at University of Scranton, said.

9. Take in as much as you can, but remember to have fun

Sure, preparing for the next four years can be scary and stressful. But it's also an exciting milestone, so enjoy the ride.

"These tours serve as great opportunities to learn more about colleges — along with their cities, culture, and people," Connor Gee, a sophomore at the University of Mississippi, said. "Have fun with it!"

10. Weigh the pros and cons of the school, but don't stop there

Your tour may be over, but you can still learn other ways to immerse yourself in college life .

"See if the school offers additional experiences, like eating in the cafeteria or attending a class," Emily Balda, class of '24 at Seton Hall University, said. "Consider it 'food for thought.'"

If you enjoyed this story, be sure to follow Business Insider on Microsoft Start.

College tour season is kicking off. Boston Globe/Getty Images


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