Corpus Christi College Oxford

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One of the best ways to find out about the College is to see feedback from its current and former members. Below are some of the comments we have received.

Current students


Rosa Bloomberg (2011, MSt Legal Research)

Corpus presents a fantastic environment in which to study for the MSt - a relaxed social community that is also intellectually exciting.  The college provides all the support i could wish for as a graduate student, while at the same time giving me the autonomy and freedom to explore the questions and issues which really fascinate me.

Antony Smith (2010, DPhil Classics)

Although Corpus is a small college, its graduate community forms a large proportion of the student body. As a result, graduates have a higher profile in college life than they do in some other colleges, joining up with the JCR for musical, sporting and social activities in addition to running their own events. Just as importantly, the College puts as much effort into looking after its graduate students as it does into looking after its undergraduates. Regular meetings with college advisers allow you to ask for advice from academics in your own discipline, while invitations to dine at High Table and in the SCR and joint MCR/SCR seminars provide opportunities to meet and to share research with those working in other areas. The library is well-stocked and very responsive to graduate needs. On a more practical note, there are well-established structures to provide support for when things don't go according to plan, whether through pastoral care, financial assistance or simply help negotiating university bureaucracy.

Mark Petersen (2010, DPhil History)

As a graduate student at Oxford (pursuing a doctorate in History with a focus on Latin America), I have been extremely fortunate to be a member of Corpus Christi College. The College and its fellows actively encourage a vibrant and stimulating academic environment, hosting weekly seminars on a wide range of subjects, joint MCR and SCR lunches, and several interesting speaker events throughout the year (the Deputy Ambassador of the United States being one example from 2011). Corpus has also offered me a fantastic support system through my college adviser (who has offered invaluable advice on writing and research) and through financial awards. Indeed, without the financial support of Corpus (through the AE Haigh Scholarship and a Travel Award), I would not be able to pursue my research interests that take me to Chile, the US and Argentina. More than a source of academic and financial support, Corpus has also provided me with a wonderful community of graduate students. The Corpus MCR, though relatively small, punches well above its weight in terms of social events, with enough dinners, parties, and teas to keep all of its members busy. This combination of support and stimulation has allowed me to flourish. I have presented two papers in academic seminars at the Rothermere American Institute and contributed a chapter to a forthcoming collection of essays on US-Latin American relations. I am also currently in the process of writing two articles to be submitted to historical journals in Chile.

Jemma Gibbard (2011, DPhil Chemistry)

Sports, music and politics are all popular in Corpus, and provide links between graduates and the wider college community. As a member of the boat club I know students from all years and a range of subjects. The graduate community itself is diverse and welcoming, with the middle common room, or MCR, providing a relaxing environment to socialise. Tea, coffee and the papers are provided for daily sustenance and in the evening subsidised Entz events ranging from wine and cheese evenings, to formal dinners and open mic nights are held in the MCR. As a Chemistry Dphil student I spend a lot of time in labs during the working day, but Corpus provide additional academic support. I have a college academic advisor who takes an active interest in my academic progress through report readings and termly lunch meetings. Additionally the library and computer facilities are excellent. Financially Corpus supports its students through various scholarships, subsidies and hardship grants, along with affordable accommodation and good food. Corpus is a small and friendly college, which I am proud to be a part of.

Adam Levine (2008, DPhil History of Art)

Corpus is not right for everyone, but for the right person there is no better college. Corpus is not large and it is not terribly wealthy, so some of the social and athletic offerings are less glamorous than might be found elsewhere. What the college lacks in these relatively superficial trappings, it more than compensates for through its close-knit culture. The small size of the college, and of the MCR in particular, ensures a communal feel that is hard to replicate. The MCR and SCR are uncharacteristically close, and the fellows do much to foster an open intellectual environment through weekly lunches, term-time seminars, and high table dinners. For those interested in classics Corpus is especially strong, and as a graduate student in that or a related field it is a huge benefit to have dozens more experts to consult as you get on with your research. Corpus' strength is as an academic college, and for this reason I feel privileged to have studied there. For those looking for other things from the college experience, Corpus may not be right; for those looking for an academic experience second-to-none, Corpus is an excellent choice.

Katie Doig (2010, DPhil Physics)

During my time as a graduate student at the college I have been involved in a couple of MCR committee positions. This has been really nice as it has meant that I have had some input to the MCR's social schedule as well as being a great way of getting to know everyone even better. As a scientist it has also been particularly good for me; it has been a great way of getting myself into college, which has allowed be to benefit from enjoying the community of my college as well as that of my lab.

In the first of my roles I organised the joint MCR-SCR seminar series. The series allows members of the college to present their research to a broad audience and provides a fantastic forum bringing together the academic and social aspects of the MCR. Furthermore, I think that this, along with some other activities in college such as the SCR lunches, gives rise to a particularly close and agreeable relationship between the graduate students and the SCR.

I have also been involved in the student welfare aspect of college life through the peer support scheme and as MCR female welfare officer. Peer support is run by the university counselling service and has given me the opportunity to undergo their welfare training, which focuses on the development of listening skills. Involvement in this has been one of my best experiences while being at Corpus. The training has given me foundation of skills that has helped me to support others and that has been tremendously valuable in my day to day life. My role as welfare officer also gives me the opportunity to put on our splendid MCR brunches, which generally seem to contribute greatly to the happiness of the MCR.

Colm Ó Siochrú (2010, DPhil History)

Uninitiated in Oxford's many mysteries, I found the process of choosing a college perplexing: what difference could it make to a graduate student, anyway? As my DPhil zips by, it becomes increasingly clear that the choice can matter a great deal - and that with Corpus, I got lucky. I've made friends for life in the MCR: - wood-panelled, newspaper-rustling, biscuit-stuffed, and coffee-smelling, it resembles at times a polished Enlightenment salon, and feels at others (cf. the wine-tasting, reggae-bopping evenings) a little more dionysiac. But the sense of camaraderie doesn't stop there - or at the doors of the excellently stocked renaissance library. Intellectual communities spring up around college advisors and reading groups, fortify themselves in subject dinners and lunches with the fellows, and both broaden and deepen at weekly MCR-SCR seminars, where members of both bodies present their current research to a friendly, non-specialist audience. And Corpus wasn't just the guinea-pig to whom I nervously delivered my first paper: with travel grants and a senior scholarship, the college has helped me fund research trips to Maynooth and St. Andrews, and to present papers at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, and at the Senate House in London - all essential in making the most of the DPhil, and in the tricky business of getting papers published ('A%20Propert%20Sacred'%20-%20O%20Siocru.pdf)

Former students


Adam Al-Diwani (2005, Medicine)

I'm currently in my second year as a doctor having graduated from Corpus in 2011. Corpus was an excellent college to be based at for my medical studies. There is an extensive medical faculty who have a wide variety of scientific and clinical interests which made for ample provision of inspiring tutorials throughout the 6 year course. Other highlights included the termly medical dinner which was a highlight not only for the opportunity to hear some talks from top speakers but also to meet students and doctors at other stages on the medical ladder. Apart from its medical pedigree Corpus was a fun place because of the interesting bunch who studied there, the welcoming staff and several quirky traditions. While some preferred the tortoise fair, my favourite was 'the Challenge', the annual sporting showdown with Corpus Cambridge where us non-varsity athletes could transiently delude ourselves that we were representing Oxford. I struck lucky getting a place at Corpus, I'd thoroughly recommend the experience.

Sanja Bogojevic (2007, DPhil Law)

I knew that the choice to study at Corpus Christi College for my DPhil in Law was right when, on my first day at Oxford, my mother spotted the quince tree in the College garden.  Native to the country from which I originate, the quince tree was understood by my mother to symbolise that Corpus was an environment in which I would feel right at home.  Having overheard our conversation, David, the college gardener, introduced himself with a story of how, when he in the 60's travelled in Serbia, indeed did see many quince trees.  this sort of affability is typical of Corpus - the college is open, friendly and welcoming.  As a graduate student there are many opportunities to interact with college academics both during weekly lunch arrangements and various dinners and the gradute common room organises many social events throughout the academic year.  The college also has a great boat house with many rowing possibilities, and the library is great too - I wrote most of my doctorate there.  So my mother was right, at Corpus I felt right at home.

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