University of Oxford


What are the worst things about studying at your university?


"The quality of teaching can vary greatly between colleges, which can be a problem if you are struggling in a particular area."
"The cost of living in Oxford is one of the highest in the country (after London). It would be impossible to cope without university/college grants and bursaries."
"Things can be slow and sometimes bureaucratic."
"There's a huge amount of pressure in very short eight-week terms. It can be very difficult to catch up if you fall behind because you will immediately be set more work to complete."
"There is a lot of pressure to do well and a huge workload. We have long holidays but so much work to do in them that you can feel like you don't have any time to relax. The system of exams and modules is quite outdated and everything is organised by your college and not centrally, so things can be a bit confusing."
"I have friends doing humanities degrees at Nottingham and Southampton and it got to the point last term where I was doing more essays a week than they do in a term. It's pretty standard to pull multiple all-nighters a week, which can often come at the expense of students' mental and physical health. It can also mean that you simply don't have enough time to delve into topics as deeply as you would like. Each college has a different character too and it isn't always made clear in the admissions process that they can be quite different, so check out what each individual college is offering, not just the university as a whole."
"The workload is generally more demanding than it apparently is at most other universities, so it can often be difficult to find the time to relax and to know when to switch off."
"At most colleges, you have to move out at the end of every term and move back in at the start of term. This can be annoying as it's not easy to move in and out."


"The atmosphere can get pretty tense, with a lot of weekly deadlines. By the end of term I am often incredibly stressed out."
"Can be really demanding. You need good time management between academic, extra-academic and social balance. Not everyone can take the pressure and not everyone likes the kind of system which leaves all the responsibility to the student."
"The cost by far. The lack of available scholarships or bursaries for graduate students."
"The pressure of short terms, exceedingly high workloads, and expectation can get very overwhelming. I think there needs to be a mid-term break."
"Oxford is a congested city, it is hard for such a small city to accommodate so many students."
"Colleges and departments often do not know what each other are doing, which is a pain if your course is run by both."
"Workload and brevity of terms. Not enough free time to make the most of the opportunities available."
"Organisation can be bad. The university can be expensive at times, eg gowns for formal dinners etc."
"The welfare system has not been up to scratch. When you are putting students under that much stress, the university needs to be held more accountable for students' well-being."
"Many very wealthy and entitled people (can be alienating), very conservative curriculum (for social sciences at least), little flexibility in course of studies, high pressure, achievement and success focused."

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