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Oxford Brookes University (UK)

It's an exciting time for Oxford Brookes University, as an abundance of development at its main campus in Headington will bring positive changes for both students and staff alike.

With a number of campuses just a short bus ride from the centre of Oxford, the university announced plans to move all activities from the Wheatley and Harcourt Hill campuses to the main one prior to the 2024/25 academic year.

The move will also see brand new state-of-the-art academic buildings and new and improved student housing coming in, ensuring a more vibrant student life for its 17,000 students.

Here are some of the highlights from my visit to Oxford Brookes in June 2023!

Headington campus
Headington campus


Oxford Brookes is known for several academic areas, including English Literature and Creative Writing, as they even have their own Poetry Centre.

The city of Oxford itself has more than 30 publishers, which is a large number given its size, but this means Oxford Brookes students benefit from the many literary events, speakers and work placement opportunities.

In fact, one of the most interesting classes in this program is called Reading Wonderland and is all about the literature of Oxford.

Headington campus

One benefit Oxford Brookes offers is that all students have access to one free language module per year.

Work placements are also an important part of the degree, as a formal work placement year can be added to most programs.

Oxford is a centre for industry and enterprise, particularly when it comes to motorsport, so there are many opportunities.

Wheatley campus

It's also located just 45 minutes from Silverstone, the headquarters of Formula 1 in the UK, and as such, it has one of the top courses for motorsport and automotive engineering, along with close links to F1 teams.

Motorsport engineering

One student I met hadn't even graduated from his master's program yet but already had a job offer from an F1 team!

This is because students have access to many unique and expansive labs as well as numerous extracurricular activities related to the automotive and racing industries.

Motorsport labs
Automotive machinery
Automotive machinery
Automotive labs
Racing lab
Autonomous driving labs
Formula student car
Wind tunnel
Wind tunnel
Formula cars
Formula cars
The Formula car that will participate in the student competition against other universities
The Formula car that will participate in the student competition against other universities
International team

University of Oxford resources

You may have heard of the other famous university in the city, the University of Oxford.

Another thing that's worth noting is that Oxford Brookes students also benefit from being able to access the Bodleian Library at Oxford Uni as well as the Oxford Union, which is home to student societies and is always putting on interesting events with world-leading speakers.

Radcliffe Camera, part of Oxford's Bodleian Library
Radcliffe Camera, part of Oxford's Bodleian Library

The city of Oxford

An easy hourlong train ride from London (or a quick hour on the Airline bus from Heathrow), Oxford is home to about 150,000 people and two universities.

In fact, one in every four adults in Oxford is a student.

Scattered throughout the city, it's not hard to notice the buildings and colleges from the University of Oxford.

But one of the first things you'll see when you arrive at the station and head toward the city centre is that it has its own castle!

Oxford Castle
Oxford Castle

It's also full of green space and scenic waterways and has the UK's oldest Botanical Gardens.

River Cherwell
River Cherwell

Compared with its rival Cambridge, Oxford is the more lively of the two, particularly for its pubs and restaurants along Cowley Road.

Cowley Road
Cowley Road

I found my favorite coffee shop in Jericho, which has outdoor seating perfect for a glimpse at Brasenose College (part of the University of Oxford).

Jericho coffee outside Brasenose College

Another cool place for a quick and easy meal is Vaults & Garden, located inside University Church of St Mary the Virgin and directly opposite the Radcliffe Camera.

Inside Vaults and Garden
Vaults and Garden cafe

Fortunately, Oxford was not bombed during WWII because it's said that Hitler planned to use it as a communications centre; this means all of its historical buildings and alleyways are well-preserved.

Sunset in Oxford
Shopping street in Oxford

Other Oxford landmarks include its very own Bridge of Sighs, built in 1913 as a replica of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice (and as not to be outdone by Cambridge, who built theirs in 1831).

Oxford Bridge of Sighs
Oxford Bridge of Sighs

But unlike the others, Oxford's Bridge of Sighs is a totally useless bridge over a road!

Oxford Bridge of Sighs

In more recent history, a hidden away pub on the left-hand side of the bridge, the Turf Tavern, became famous when Bill Clinton paid it a visit whilst studying at Oxford.

I'll let you research and read the other things he got up to at this pub on your own!

Turf Tavern in Oxford
Turf Tavern in Oxford
Turf Tavern in Oxford

An even bigger name visited Oxford in 1931 though and gave his famous lecture on the theory of relativity.

Einstein's blackboard and handwriting are still visible today in the History of Science Museum, which also happens to be the first ever public museum in the world -- of course!

Einstein's Blackboard at the History of Science Museum
History of Science Museum

Nearby the museum is Blackwell's Bookshop, which has three miles of shelving underground -- the perfect place for a bookworm to get lost.

Blackwell's Bookshop

Lastly, for better or for worse, Oxford does bring in its fair share of tourists.

But it's no surprise; the place is just incredibly historical, beautiful and buzzing with the energy of hosting the world's leading intellectuals.

Queen's College
Queen's College

Oxford brookes University: Summary

Oxford Brookes is on the smaller side for a UK university, and it's also one of the more modern ones.

Although it began as a school of art in 1865, it wasn't until 1992 that it gained official university status.

Nowadays, its degrees tend to take a more practical approach than its counterpart in the city, with work placements and career readiness being key elements.

And now that students from Wheatley and Harcourt Hill campuses will be moving to Headington's brand new facilities, the student experience is about to get even better.


Interested in applying for college or grad school abroad?

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G'day! My name is Sara, and I'm the founder of College Apps Abroad and a Certified Educational Planner (CEP), one of only 40 CEP's in California and 300 worldwide. I have more than 10 years of experience working in international recruitment and admissions, and I've studied and lived overseas myself in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Brazil for almost a decade. I've also worked for some of the world's top institutions, including The University of Edinburgh, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and The University of Western Australia (UWA)!

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