Students from many different backgrounds and with a very wide range of interests come to study at Christ Church. With over 400 undergraduates, 260 graduate students, and 100 teaching and research staff, we are one of the larger Oxford colleges and offer places for the majority of undergraduate courses available at the University. As such, our students form part of a diverse, vibrant, and very active academic and social community.
All students can live in college rooms throughout their time at Christ Church. Although our buildings have been built over many centuries, rooms have been modernised and offer spacious, comfortable accommodation. First-year rooms are allocated; in subsequent years, rooms are chosen by ballot. Most accommodation is found on the main college site. Rooms vary from traditional Oxford ‘sets’ (one or two bedrooms and a sitting room or study) to modern single study-bedrooms. All have a bed, wardrobe, desk, armchairs, wash hand-basin, and shaver point. Some have an en-suite shower and toilet; for the rest, bathrooms, showers, and toilets are abundant and conveniently located. A fridge is provided in each room, and students may bring a kettle and toaster. About 60 undergraduates live in the modern Liddell Building, shared with another college and just a short walk or bike ride away. This building consists of three and four bedroom flats with their own kitchens. It is popular with final-year students wanting a more independent lifestyle as they approach their examinations. One flat in the Liddell Building is equipped for up to three disabled residents, and single rooms for disabled students are available on the main site. It is important to recognise that the College was built on different levels over five centuries and so access to some areas might be a problem, though further accessibility measures are being introduced. Applicants with particular requirements are invited to visit the College to see for themselves any potential problems and to discuss with us how these might be overcome.
Although there are no self-catering facilities on the main site where the majority of undergraduates live, most students enjoy eating together in Hall. Self-service breakfast and lunch are available every weekday with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. There are two dinner sittings each evening in Hall – informal at 6.20pm and formal at 7.20pm when academic gowns are worn and tutors attend. Breakfast, lunch, and brunch are on a pay-as-you-eat basis; dinner is charged to termly accounts. Students are welcome to bring one or two guests. There is a good selection of tasty food at reasonable prices, including a range of vegetarian options. Special diets can also be catered for.
We recognise that there may be times when life at university becomes stressful, and so have in place a network of college welfare representatives, comprising fully-trained staff and students, who are available to listen and help with anxieties or problems. The College Chaplain will also lend a sympathetic and confidential ear, whether you are a church-goer or not. The Chaplain makes it a priority to get to know as many members of Christ Church as possible, helping them to adapt to university life. The Chaplain is available daily in College and lives nearby in order to be accessible to students whenever they might need to have a chat. The University also runs a counselling service which Christ Church members may take advantage of if they wish. OUSU (Oxford University Student Union) is among other organisations offering various kinds of support services to undergraduates. We have a college nurse who holds a surgery on weekday mornings and can be contacted at other times. The college doctors provide medical care under the National Health Service. There is also a college dentist who can offer emergency treatment.
The Christ Church sports ground is among the best in the University with excellent pitches and a friendly bar. It is a short distance from the College on Iffley Road. Many different sports are catered for: badminton, basketball, cricket, cross-country, football, hockey, netball, pool, rowing, rugby, squash, table football, and tennis are only some of the options available to all students. Everyone is welcome to participate at a level that suits his or her abilities. There are various intercollegiate competitions, but it is possible to get involved even if you are more enthusiastic and willing than highly skilled or experienced.
Christ Church offers clubs, societies, and activities to satisfy and develop a wide range of interests. The college students’ union, known as the ‘Junior Common Room’ or JCR, coordinates social events and generally looks after the well-being of undergraduates. The common room is furnished with table tennis and pool tables, and next door there is a widescreen TV with satellite channels and a DVD player. A number of subject-specific societies arrange dinners, speakers, and discussions. Discos are held regularly, and other events include band nights (to which you can bring your own band!), quiz nights, trips out, and activities that raise money for charity. The centre for many of these events is the college bar, the Undercroft, which is open from 7pm to 11pm every night. In addition to the extra-curricular opportunities available at Christ Church, all students are eligible to join any of the more than 300 University societies.
Music plays a large part in the life of the College and is enjoyed on many different levels. In addition to the Cathedral Choir, there is also a more relaxed College Choir, open to both women and men. Concerts aregiven regularly in the Cathedral by a wide variety of performers from within the College and beyond, ranging from small chamber groups to full orchestras. The Music Society organises an extremely successful annual Music Festival. Those with more contemporary interests are invited to showcase their talents at the termly ‘open mic’ night. There is also a Music Room which all undergraduates are able to use. It is equipped with one of the College’s fine Steinway grand pianos.
Christ Church undergraduates have a long tradition of writing, acting, and producing, both within the College and in productions organised through University theatrical societies. First-time actors, directors, and playwrights, as well as more experienced theatrehands will find many opportunities to become actively involved in drama during their time at Christ Church.
Whilst enjoying all that is on offer at Christ Church and the University, many students also get involved in helping people in the wider community. They can be found caring for Oxford’s homeless, visiting immigration detainees, and helping in local schools or drama projects. Most popular of all is our Home Learning Scheme, which links Christ Church students to local families with children whom they visit weekly to act as mentors and help with their learning.
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