‘Ey up everyone! I’m Will, history subject ambassador from Chesterfield, Derbyshire. I’m always up for a chat, especially when it comes to access from disadvantaged backgrounds, bursary support or modern history!

Applying from a non-selective state school in one of the lowest areas for social mobility was certainly a challenge – I’m not one of the people that had dreamed of university from a young age, so I had no idea what to expect, especially because none of my teachers knew either! I first became interested in Oxford because my friend went on UNIQ: one of our Y12 summer schools. She loved it, and its due to her enthusiasm that I looked at Oxford and decided to apply.

Corpus’ reputation as a small and friendly college drew me in, and has definitely kept me now I’m here! No matter what has happened while I’ve been here, there’s always been someone in the community to chat to, listen to and lend a hand if you need any help.

College parents are assigned by the JCR to help you with settling into uni life, and there are specially trained peer supporters to help you with any deeper issues. Life at Oxford can be challenging, so please don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

I had no idea what the work would be like when I came to Corpus, but tutors are incredibly helpful in making their expectations clear, giving tips on how to work, and how to tell them if you need some help. Other history students, as well as your college parents are always there to help too – we’ve all been there! Most history courses have 3 tutorials every two weeks, with additional lectures to complement your work throughout the term. They’re usually formatted as a chat between an academic and 2-4 students, and are a fantastic way to learn to really get to grips with a subject – similar to interviews, but slightly less scary.

Learning how to take a break is key to surviving Oxford, and there are plenty of events, societies and groups to help you do this. No matter what you enjoy doing, from sports to music to partying, there’s a society for you! I’m a keen member of the LGBTQ+ society, play badminton, and I’m currently getting involved in the Oxford Diplomatic Society.

If you have any questions about life, work or coming to Oxford from a state school background please get in touch! I’m always here for a chat about clubs, societies or general life too.


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.