Hiya! I’m Sam, and I’m a History and English student at Corpus.

I’m a non-selective state school student from the North West, near Liverpool, so applying to Oxford (never mind getting in!) always seemed like a bit of a pipe dream for me. But, after participating in multiple access programmes and getting to visit the city and some of the colleges, I mustered the courage to apply - and I am so glad that I did! Corpus is beautiful and I fell in love with it straight away. It’s quite a small college, so it creates a really tight-knit group of friends, not only in your own year but across year groups as well. This is especially due to the college family system, which puts two or three freshers with college “parents” (just two friends!) and makes it really easy and fun to meet people from across the college.

When I applied to Oxford, especially as a joint-schools student, I was worried that I would have to be chained to my desk every day, having to do work constantly, and that I would have no social life, but there are plenty of extra-curricular activities that are available for you to participate in! Whether your interests are in sports, which you can play at college or University level, theatre, music or art, there are clubs and societies for everything, and as long as you organise yourself you can have more than enough time to go out and see your friends! Although work can be challenging at times, it is always engaging and really interesting, and as a History joint-schools student you get the best of both worlds! In my course, History and English, you have a wide choice of course options in first year: in English, you are able to study a choice of literature from Old English (650-1350), Victorian (1830-1910), or Modern Literature (1910-present), alongside a module on language and literary theory. In History, your options are equally broad, as you are able to choose a British history module, with options ranging from 300-1100 to 1830-1951, alongside another optional subject module on a huge range of topics to choose from. Alongside this is an interdisciplinary component, which is what makes History and English really special in my eyes: being able to study not only both subjects in isolation but being able to see how they work together!

Corpus is also the perfect college as it is in the heart of Oxford: less than a two-minute walk from the Radcliffe Camera (the History Faculty Library!) and the Bodleian Library; less than two minutes from the centre of town and Westgate shopping centre; and no more than a fifteen-minute walk away from the St Cross Building, where the English Faculty Library is! Even though it may seem like a daunting experience, if you are really interested and dedicated then Oxford is the perfect environment - you’ll definitely never be bored!

 If you have any questions at all about Oxford, the workload, the social life or about Corpus, and especially about coming to Oxford as a state school student or as a student from the North West, then don’t hesitate to email me! Plus, if you have any questions about applying to any Oxbridge access programmes then I can also point you in the direction of some of the ones that I participated in. I would love to hear from you and try to answer your questions as best as I can!


Resources categorised by subject and by Key Stage, as well as materials for applying to Oxford and finding out more about Corpus, can be found here.