Skip to main content

Choose Exeter

Exeter College is an inclusive and friendly community of staff, students and fellows at the heart of Oxford. Home to students and fellows from across the world, Exeter looks for applicants with potential for academic excellence. In addition, the college has excellent accommodation and study facilities in beautiful surroundings built up over the centuries.

Notable highlights of life at Exeter include:

Excellent Locations

Exeter is privileged to have two city centre sites: its historic core on Turl Street, and the award-winning Cohen Quad, opened in 2017. Both are within a few minutes’ walk of city centre amenities such as cafés, pubs, and shops.  The University Science Area, and other faculty buildings, are around 10 minutes’ walk away.

The college’s Library, Hall and beautiful Chapel, are all located on Turl Street, within sight of Oxford’s dreaming spires, and the historic Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Libraries. The Fellows’ Garden (which is open to students) provides an oasis of tranquillity from the bustle of the city, and in the summer months is used by students to relax in. A terrace at the back of the college affords a panoramic view of the famous Radcliffe Square.

Cohen Quadrangle (Cohen Quad for short) opened in 2017, is an inspiring modern building with a spacious auditorium, café and bedrooms for students on the edge of the popular Jericho district of the city.

Food and Drink

Exeter’s diverse range of places to eat, and the food and drink on offer gives students plenty of choice. Students can eat in the traditional Hall, the more relaxed college bar, or the modern Dakota Café at Cohen Quad. Students can choose to attend any of the Formal Halls and enjoy a three-course meal in the company of friends in the main Hall. Students also have access to kitchens if they wish to cook for themselves.

A Welcoming Community

Exeter has an international atmosphere, with undergraduates, graduates and fellows from across the world. The college hosts visiting students from Williams College, USA as part of the Williams at Exeter Programme in Oxford. As a mid-sized college, Exeter has a warm environment where people quickly get to know each other.

Exeter’s community spirit is also fostered by social events such as celebrations to mark Thanksgiving, Diwali, Hanukkah, and Burns Night, screenings of election night TV coverage in Exeter’s stunning Hall, and regular ‘subject family dinners’, when students studying similar subjects have a formal meal together and share ideas.

Academic Rigour

Exeter offers world-class teaching in small groups from tutors who are experts in their fields, giving Exeter students the chance to learn from the best and develop intellectually. The College Library is home to 50,000 volumes on open access shelves, and is open 24/7 for students to use. If students need a book that isn’t currently in the library, they can request its purchase, or visit the vast legal deposit Bodleian Library just next door.

Exeter’s programme of Rector’s Seminars, where prominent experts speak about a range of topics, lets students engage with ideas and concepts from beyond their own subject. Guest speakers have included Olympic medal-winning athletes, an England footballer, a former member of the Cabinet, ambassadors, entrepreneurs, an actor and comedian, historians, political scientists and many other leading figures.

The College has also hosted a number of larger events – free to its students and alumni – which have included talks from JK Rowling, Peter Jackson, Kofi Annan, Rowan Williams, and Philip Pullman.


Exeter College distinguishes itself by providing at least three years’ accommodation to its undergraduates, either on Turl Street, at Cohen Quad, or a mile away in fashionable East Oxford. First year undergraduates are all accommodated on Turl Street, at the heart of the college. In later years undergraduates have more choice of accommodation, and the option of living in privately rented accommodation if they wish.

First year graduate students can normally all be accommodated at the College’s graduate accommodation centre on Iffley Road. This includes flats of various sizes, which are ideal for graduate students with family or partners.

Exeter’s History

Exeter College has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1314 by Walter de Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter, the College has produced many distinguished alumni over the years. J. R. R. Tolkien studied at Exeter, as did William Morris, Richard Burton and Roger Bannister. The fictitious Inspector Morse collapsed on the lawn in our front quad. More recent Exonians include the BBC journalist Reeta Chakrabarti, and the novelist Philip Pullman, who based his Jordan College on Exeter.

Financial and Careers Support

Exeter College offers a range of grants to help cover the cost its students’ academic and extra-curricular activities, including academic awards towards the cost of equipment and accommodation, and travel grants. For example, the North American Travel Scholarship gives students the opportunity to travel across North America meeting, and staying with, Exeter alumni.

The college can also provide emergency financial aid to students should they have unexpected financial difficulties.

A number of scholarships are available to graduate students as well.

Exeter also has a dedicated careers and internship programme, which includes events for students such as mentoring, advice sessions on CV writing and talks. The careers programme sometimes also includes paid internships for students.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Musics, Arts and Drama

Exeter is home to a vibrant music, arts and drama scene. From the dedicated music practice room, to the Junior Common Room’s art collection which is lent out to undergraduates, to the annual Turl Street Arts Festival (which the College co-hosts with our neighbouring colleges), there’s something for everyone. You can also join the Exeter College Choir, widely regarded as one of the finest student ensembles in the country.


Students at Exeter have plenty of opportunities to play sport and this helps to foster the College’s community spirit. The College has great facilities, and students get subsidised membership of the University sports complex. There are also a number of student-run sports teams for both genders, including rowing, football and lacrosse ­– and students are always encouraged to set up their own clubs.


Exeter College’s student-run charity ExVac runs two holiday trips a year for disadvantaged children in the Oxford area.

As a small, welcoming, college with an inclusive and diverse community, student life at Exeter is hugely fun ­and busy, making Exeter a great place to live and study while at Oxford.