need to know

Need to Know

Get to grips with the basics. From how to get to Wolfson to getting the most out of your time with us. Learn some of the key Wolfson customs and get good advice to help you fit in seamlessly.

Find us

How to find us

The College is situated at the end of Linton Road, off Banbury Road, about one mile north of the city centre.


The Lodge - Your first port of call

The Lodge’s receptionists are the first point of contact with Wolfson and the College remains open seven days a week from 8am to 11pm. They can help you with information on such matters as opening times and availability of College facilities, handing over keys to the music rooms, squash courts and many other places (and can even let you back into your room if you get locked out!).


Before you arrive

Loads of really useful information about what to expect and what to plan for before your arrival at Oxford is available via the University's new arrivals website. It includes videos from current students, check lists, accommodation advice and links for further information. It's worth checking what you can do to prepare to make your arrival as smooth as possible.


Finding your way around Oxford

Oxford is a busy place with lots to see. Find your bearings with this searchable online map.


IT at Wolfson

The College provides both Windows and Mac workstations for use by members in the Library, as well as printing facilities. The IT staff run a weekly IT surgery or you can seek advice through the online support system.

Old hands, new faces

Welcoming scheme

When you arrive, all ‘New Faces’ are paired with current students, or ‘Old Hands’, already at Wolfson. Your 'Old Hand' provides a friendly face around college who can help you to settle in and provide information about Wolfson, the University and living in Oxford.



All of Wolfson's graduate accommodation is on-site or in a property immediately adjacent to the College grounds, which means all facilities are a step away from your door. This includes accommodation for couples and families.


Wolfson Café

The Wolfson Café serves hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks. It is a great place to catch up with friends or catch up on some work.

Alumni gathering

The Alumni Network

The Development Office looks after relationships with college alumni and raises funds for the College’s future, and particularly to provide additional support for students and Research Clusters at Wolfson.



The College provides a free minibus service to and from the College to the city centre, which runs every 20 minutes in the early morning, lunchtime and late afternoons on Mondays to Fridays.


Oxford University Newcomers Association

The Newcomers’ Club welcomes partners and families of graduate students, newly-appointed academics and visiting academics. The Club has a termly programme of events and outings.


Common Rooms

Students, Fellows and staff are members of a single common room which results in a friendly, informal atmosphere – a distinctive feature of Wolfson. Unlike most Oxford and Cambridge colleges, Wolfson has a single common room organisation where all fellows, graduate students, members of Common Room and staff are welcome, along with their guests.

In the Upper Common Room (UCR), tea, coffee and drinks are served after lunch and dinner, as well as mid-morning coffee/tea. Magazines and newspapers are available to read in the Lower Common Room (LCR). There is also an East Common Room (ECR) (just before the marble steps leading to the Hall) which has a television with DVD player and Sky satellite TV service and board games.


College Nursery

Wolfson College Day Nursery is contained within the College’s buildings and there are two enclosed outside play areas. The Day Nursery prides itself on the supportive and happy environment it provides for children of all abilities who come from a wide range of different cultures and backgrounds.

Getting Involved

Getting involved

All of the various constituencies in the College are represented at all levels of decision-making in the College. In particular, this means that graduate students have a voice on the committees that decide how the College is run and developed.

Flag. Credit (CC-BY-2.0): karendesuyo

LGBTQ+ Oxford

Student, staff and local community groups work hard to promote and higlight LGBTQ+ issues in Oxford. The city's gay nightlife is relatively small but popular with the student and local community. For more information check out the resources from the LGBTQ+ Society, LGBTQ Campaign, Oxford Pride and Equality and Diversity Unit.

Leonard Wolfson Auditorium

Leonard Wolfson Auditorium

Our award winning lecture theatre houses conferences, lectures and music concerts.


Our Founding President: Isaiah Berlin

Wolfson College would not be as it is today had its first President not been Isaiah Berlin. Berlin was a widely respected philosopher and writer and played a significant role in establishing the College’s open and egalitarian character.

Berlin Group Photo

Our History

Wolfson College was founded in 1966 and received a building grant of £1.5 million from the Wolfson Foundation and an endowment grant of £4.5 million from the Ford Foundation. Take our tour into the first 50 years of Wolfson College.

Queen Elizabeth I opening Wolfson College

Wolfson's 50th Anniversary

In 2016 we celebrated the College’s 50th Anniversary with lectures, celebrations, obligatory fireworks and the opening of the new Academic Wing. The Anniversary Website is full of interesting stories, photographs and a timeline of our history - dive into Wolfson's first 50 years!

Annual lectures

Annual Lectures

Our annual lectures have featured the likes of Amartya Sen and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and in other lectures, our very own researchers and students.



The Library is open to members of the college 24/7, every day of the year and includes a fantastic new extension and break out area. Our Librarians Fiona and Chris are available to help you navigate your reading lists and research requirements.

Radcliffe Camera. Credit Tejvan Pettinger CC BY 2.0

Libraries in Oxford

The Radcliffe Camera (pictured) is one of the most distinctive and photographed buildings in Oxford. Yes, it is a library and yes, as a student you can work in it! It is not 'the' library but rather part of a connection of library buildings referred to collectively as the Bodleian Library. Some of the others are listed here and there are plenty of lovely spots to study in throughout the year.

Accommodation green

University Accommodation

In addition to College accommodation, the University offers housing. As College accommodation for graduate students and Junior Research Fellows is not guaranteed, members are strongly advised to put their names on the University accommodation list as soon as possible. OxGradHousing is also a popular source of rooms to rent in sharehouses.


Welfare at Wolfson

We have Student Welfare Officers (Amogh, Catherine, and Ernesto) who are available to provide practical and informed advice, and hold regular welfare events (often with cake!). The Welfare Officers are here to help you get the best out of your time at Wolfson College. Not only are they are here to help with serious problems, they can help you enjoy your time at Wolfson in many different ways.

blue heart

The Student Advice Service

The Student Advice Service is a free, independent and confidential available to all Oxford University students. Independent from the colleges and the University, staff are available to give information and support to students facing difficult situations.

College Advice

College Advisers

Each graduate student is allocated a senior member of the College as a College Adviser who is available as a source of help and advice, and is someone you can speak with about your work other than your academic supervisor(s).

Wolfson Pear


Each student at Wolfson has an account with the College known as ‘battels’. Wolfson runs a cash-free system, where all personal costs incurred at Wolfson are added to this running total. Each month, battels bills for College accommodation, food and other items will be emailed, and must be paid by the due date specified on the battels statement. Members will be able to pay their battels online using their Oxford single-sign-on account log in details. 


Research Clusters

Wolfson encourages your participation in our interdisciplinary Research Clusters, which bring together students and Fellows working in related fields for innovative forms of academic collaboration and thought.

Wolfson College Running Club

Clubs & Societies

Wolfson College boasts a wide range of clubs and societies - from arts to yoga and most things in between. These are open to all College members and many of them are free to join or membership and costs are subsidised by the College. 


The College Gym

The Sports/Weights Room is open from 6.30 am–11 pm. It contains weights machines and free weights, two cross trainers, running machines, bike and an ergometer (‘erg’). You need to complete a gym induction prior to using the gym, after which you can use your University card ('Bod card') for access.

Before being allowed to use the Sports Room members of College and Common Room must attend a one hour induction held by a qualified instructor.

Wolfson College Boat Club

Wolfson College Boat Club (rowing)

Wolfson College Boat Club is one of Oxford’s leading college boat clubs, open to members of Wolfson and St. Cross colleges. For most of Wolfson College Boat Club, racing is why we do what we do. Our long-serving top men’s coach, Paul Kelly, may have put it best: “I don’t know who decided to take nine people from each college, put them in a boat, and see who can go backwards down the river fastest. But we might as well be the best at it.”

The Buttery


Yoga and acroyoga sessions are held during term time. More information can be found on the clubs and societies webpages and on the wolfson event calendar.

The Buttery is used by various clubs and societies including yoga and life drawing, occasionally for informal dinners and can be booked for events or parties.

Event Icon

What's on at Wolfson

During term time there are lectures, social, sporting and all sorts of other events going on at Wolfson. Keep track via our Events Calendar and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. 


Punting and leisure sports

The College owns six punts for the use of College members during the warmer months. There are sports lockers in the boathouse, which contain equipment for croquet, hockey, football, cricket and volleyball.



There are allotments and raised beddings on the south side of the College’s gardens which are available for use by College members for a small rent. 

Our gardens

Our Gardens

Beautiful informal gardens surround the main buildings, including a harbour and riverbank as well as the beautiful ‘Bishop’s Garden’ and wildflower meadow.


Cycling in Oxford

Oxford is a cycling city - most students have a bike to get around and most places are within a 15 minute cycle of Wolfson, including the centre of town. There are many resources for cyclists: have a look at some of the links here and pop into the bike workshop at Wolfson if you need assistance. It is a good idea to register your bike, and you can buy a high quality D-lock at a reduced price from the Oxford University Security Services.

BBQ Credit: The_Studios


There is a barbecue, picnic area and children’s playground beside the north car park. Barbecues can be booked and are a nice way to spend a summer evening.

Dining Hall

Table manners

Lunch and dinner is served in the Dining Hall on weekdays, and brunch on Saturdays. It is a great place to catch up with other students and researchers, and unlike most Oxford Colleges, there is no High Table so everyone dines together. Graduate students receive a 50% reduction in the price of hot cooked items.

Billiard - Natan Forgot

Games Room

The Games Room is adjacent to the Cellar Bar, and equipment is available to play table tennis, pool, darts and table football. College dances, affectionately known as ‘bops’, are run several times a term in the Cellar Bar and adjacent Games Room. You can request the key to the Games Room from the Lodge.

Media Room

Booking a room

The College’s meeting rooms are available for academic and social gatherings; workshops, seminars, conferences and other events; private parties, luncheons, dinners and wedding receptions.



College dances, affectionately known as ‘bops’, are run several times a term in the Cellar Bar and adjacent Games Room. They usually have themes, varying from '90s to ABC-bop! 

Christ Church Dining Hall Credit Chris Brown (CC-BY-2.0)

Visiting Other Oxford Colleges

One of the best parts of studying in Oxford is getting to visit the over 30 different colleges. Using your University (Bod) Card you can visit most colleges for free, and it is common for students to invite friends from other colleges to guest night dinners, bops and to common room events. The Entz Committee at Wolfson organises termly exchange dinners which you can sign up for. 


Academic dress - What you need to know

The full academic dress at Oxford is known as sub fusc and is worn at Matriculation and Graduation ceremonies, exams and vivas. Gowns and caps can be hired or purchased from Castell & Son Ltd, Ede and Ravenscroft, Shepherd and Woodward and Walters of Oxford.

Freshers' guide

Wolfson Fresher's Facebook group

Are you a 2018/19 Fresher? Join this Facebook page for all your questions, tips & tricks, social gatherings, and more! 

Piano - David Jones

Music facilities

The College has two small practice rooms, each containing an upright piano and there is a grand piano in the Dining Hall. The College Music Society owns a selection of piano music, choral works and CDs which you may borrow free of charge from the library.


Guest Rooms

The College has four twin-bed guest bedrooms, each with its own toilet/shower, plus a twin-bed guest suite with toilet/shower, sitting room and kitchen equipped for self-catering. These may be booked for either one or two people, by members of the College or Common Room, for up to one week (guest rooms).

Media room

Media room

Our new sound-proofed media space accommodates a group of about ten people, with a large wall-mounted LCD display screen for group study or presentations.