Welcome to Wolfson
Wolfson College are home to graduate students, researchers and academics from all over the world researching a diverse range of topics that interests them the most. For this guide we have canvassed the city of Oxford for places that highlights it uniqueness and giving you a chance to experience Wolfson customs. We hope that you will enjoy your time at Wolfson and in Oxford.
The Cellar Bar is run by College members, who volunteer on a rota basis – it’s loads of fun, no experience is required so new members are always welcome on the ‘Bar rota’! It's more than a bar; it's a community and the drink prices are rock-bottom low! Visitors and Wolfsonians alike love the Lichtenstein inspired murals.
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.”
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.
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.
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).
Humani nil alienum - Our Latin motto expresses the College’s ideal of intellectual curiosity in humanity, which embraces the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It is part of a well-known line by the Roman playwright Terence: homo sum; humani nil alienum a me puto. ‘I am a human being; in my opinion nothing to do with human beings is foreign to me.’
Nick Rawlins is Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Development and External Affairs and is a Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson. His research spans areas including the neural basis of memory, brain degeneration, pain and anxiety, and he has published widely in these fields.
In addition to the College's unique collection of modern art, Wolfson supports Creative Arts Fellowships in the visual arts, music, or creative writing.
Playwright and screenwriter Nicholas Pierpan is the College’s Creative Arts Fellow. His plays have been performed internationally and he now writes for television, film and radio as well.
We have Student Welfare Officers (Derek and Yuge) 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.
There are many fantastic museums to visit in Oxford, such as the Ashmolean Museum, which houses an internationally-acclaimed collection of archaeological artefacts and works of art. The Natural History Museum has a fantastic glass ceiling (check out the cafe too!) and the Pitt Rivers and Story Museums offer hours of exploration for children and adults alike. Better still, they are FREE!
North Oxford is a leafy, relaxed part of Oxford, with excellent cafes, access to the Cherwell River and the University Parks. J. R. R. Tolkien and T. E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) both lived here and a large part of North Oxford was originally developed by St John's College (who are historically large landowners in Oxford).
Living in Oxford allows you to experience, visit and partake in the quirky side of the city! There is a famous tortoise race, 'Alice Day' in celebration of Alice in Wonderland, and lively Morris dancers fill the city on May Day. It is not uncommon to encounter the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Tom Cruise or even Prince William - if you are brave enough you might ask for a selfie!
Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) organises a Freshers’ Fair in 0th Week to introduce new students to the wealth of Oxford clubs and societies. This is held at the Examination Schools on the High Street. The Academic Office will distribute tickets to the fair once they becomes available.
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.
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.
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.
A warm welcome to those new to Wolfson, and a warm welcome back to those who have been travelling during the summer or hiding away in libraries or laboratories.
I will be standing in as Acting President for the next few months, between the presidencies of two remarkable people: Hermione Lee, who retired at the end of September, and Tim Hitchens, whom we look forward to welcoming this summer.
Oxford has hundreds of pubs and they are incredibly popular places to meet, eat and enjoy a night out. British pub culture is strong in Oxford but you don't have to be a big drinker to enjoy it. There are pubs by rivers, pubs in town, tiny pubs, huge pubs, and pubs which have served US Presidents, famous authors and many a thirsty Oxford student.
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.
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.
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.
Lyndsey is completing a DPhil in History at the Faculty of History.
Lyndsey's book Lady Constance Lytton; Aristocrat, Sufragette, Martyr was written while she was working as a government speech writer and looking after a one-year-old daughter. It was a Sunday Times Biography of the Year, shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2015, and widely reviewed. Wolfson, with its outstanding international reputation for life-writing, was the obvious place to continue her studies in biography and women's history.
London is only a skip, hop and a jump away from Oxford.
To get to London, there are two regular coach services run by The Oxford Bus Company (the X90 coach) and Stagecoach (Oxford Tube). The journey takes between 90 and 120 minutes depending on the traffic and discounted tickets are available, especially if booked in advance and in bulk. Both leave from Gloucester Green Bus Station, Queen’s Lane on the High Street, St Clement’s and numerous other stops.
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.