Student Advice

The Student Advice is the only independent advice and information service exclusively available to Oxford University Students.

Open Drop In at 4 Worcester St, OX1 2BX

Weeks 1 - 8

Wednesday 2 - 4pm

Appointment booking (in person or telephone)

Weeks 1 - 8

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 2 - 4pm

Wednesdays 9 - 11am

 

Student Advice at your library
24th October 11am - 1pm
Social Sciences Library
Your SU's Advisors are here to help you find answers to problems you may face at Oxford
Student Advice Wellbeing Wednesdays Dog Walk
25th October noon - 1pm
Keble Gate, University Parks
Student Advice at your library
26th October 11am - 1pm
Law Library
Your SU's Advisors are here to help you find answers to problems you may face at Oxford
Student Advice at your library
30th October 11am - 1pm
Radcliffe Science Library
Your SU's Advisors are here to help you find answers to problems you may face at Oxford


Student Help

 

I’m finding it hard to make ends meet in Oxford. How do I budget?

It’s difficult to manage money, particularly if this is your first time away from home. There are many budgeting tools online. You can find an example here 

 

What is something simple I can do to start budgeting?

Just get a sheet of paper and a pen. Then, draw a line down the middle, across the top and follow the instructions below. The aim is to make your money coming in (income) equal, or ideally even greater than, your money going out (expenditure).

 

  1. Make two headings on each side of the sheet: one for income and the other for expenditure
  2. Write all your sources of income under that heading and total them. Do exactly the same for expenditure.
  3. For an example graph, check out the Money Matters Guide 

 

Before you draw up your budget, spend two or three days collecting receipts for everything you spend or note it down in a notepad. Make sure you record everything, from extra coffees to public transport fares.

 

I’m still finding it difficult to make a budget. Who can I contact for help?

If you would like some help, come and see us at The Student Advice you can Book an appoinment here  Our Advisors can help draw up a budget that works for you.

You shouldn’t be scared to look up your bank balance. Find more tips and practical financial advice in our Money Matters Guide 

If your student loan or postgraduate grant doesn’t cover everything, there’s other bursaries and finding available.

 

What’s accessible through college?

  • Bursaries and loans
  • Hardship grants for students who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulty
  • Specific purpose grants for equiptment or course related expenses

 

Are any funds available through the university?

The University offers fee reduction schemes:

  • Oxford Bursary Scheme 
  • Oxford Opportunity Bursary scheme (home students from lower-income households, to cover living costs)
  • The University Hardship Fund helps students who experience unexpected financial hardship
  • The Vice-Chancellors' Fund is available for graduate students in the final stages of a DPhil. Applications must be made via your college office by week three of Hilary Term.
  •  

What about national funding?

The Access to Learning Fund is a hardship fund provided by the UK Government for full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students. These awards are administered centrally by the University at the Student Funding and International Office. Applications may be made throughout the year and application forms are available from your college office.

 

I’m a postgraduate. What charities and volunteering organisations offer funding?

For exploring funding opportunities from charities and voluntary organisations, look at the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. The University has subscribed to the guide, which you can access free of charge by using your email address to register.

The Alternative Guide is published independently by GradFunding, and gives advice about how to apply to funding opportunities from charities and trusts.

 

I’m worried that I’ve been charged a wrong fee by my college. Who should I contact?

If you feel like you may have been over-charged, get in touch with the Fees Clerk 

What should I look for in my bank?

Look out for a bank that offers student accounts. When you’re choosing which bank to set up an account with, look at some of the following offers:

Overdraft limits

  • Incentives 
  • Terms & conditions
  • Eligibility criteria
  • 0% overdraft size
  • Freebies
  • Unauthorised overdraft costs
  • Interest rates

 

How do I compare banks?

You can use a comparison tool for Student Bank Accounts like Money Saving Expert  to find the best deal for you.

Want more tips? Check out the Money Matters Guide 

At any stage during your time at University, you may find yourself in debt. If you are in debt, we can offer you advice and information to talk about your options. We’re here to help you make an informed decision about how you can manage and deal with the situation.

 

What are priority debts?

Priority debts are debts which have a serious consequence if they are not paid.

Here’s a list of some priority debts and what could happen if you don’t pay:

  • Rent/mortgage arrears – you could lose your house
  • Gas and electricity – you could get cut off
  • Council tax arrears – you could face court action and fines
  • Parking fines – you could face court action and fines
  • Debts to the University/college – it may stop you progressing on your course

Priority debts should be paid before other debts.

 

What are non-priority debts?

Non-priority debts are debts such as:

  • Credit card and store debts
  • Overdrafts
  • Most credit debts

 

What happens if I ignore my debt?

Potentially, interest will build up and you could end up facing repayments at far more than you borrowed in the first place. You could also find it hard to get credit in the future as you may have incurred a negative credit rating.

 

Resources

There are also a charity organisation Stepchange  which help deal with consolidating debt and getting you back on track financially. 

Want more financial advice? Check out the Money Matters Guide 

How can I save in terms of travel?

  • Walk or ride your bike instead of getting on the bus
  • Buy a travel card to travel within the city
  • Buy coach and train tickets in advance to save money

 

I’m worried about bills adding up. How do I save money on utilities?

  1. If your living out, check energy suppliers and switch to save money (for example, using YouSwitch 
  2. Consider using a joint account with housemates or a company like Split The Bills  (a National Association of Student Money Advisors rated company)

 

I’ve heard about student discounts. How do I qualify for these?

  • Consider buying an NUS discount card here 
  • Remember to show your Bod card in Oxford shops, as some give discounts

 

How do I save money on food?

  • Don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry
  • Take a packed lunch
  • Look out for supermarket deals to help save money
  • Get a supermarket loyalty card and collect points which can be used to offset food costs
  • Buy own brands. They’re often just as good and half the price.
  • Go food shopping in the evening when food is past its sell-buy date and is reduced (don’t confuse this with the use-by-date)
  • Take a list when food shopping and buy only what’s on the list
  • Use Oxford Markets for fruit and veg (Wednesdays: Gloucester Green)
  • Use BigOven  and Supercook  for recipes to use with food you have in the cupboards.

 

Going out is expensive. Is there any way I can cut costs?

  1. Use www.vouchercodes.co.uk  to find deals on meals out
  2. Use deals from mobile phones to get cut price tickets on things like events and cinema tickets

 

What do if I’m not happy with my exam result and feel my mark is unfair?

When you receive your exam results, hopefully you’ll be happy with the outcome and will get the results you wanted. But if you are dissatisfied with an aspect of the exam process, you may wish to make an appeal.

 

What is exactly an appeal?

The University Appeals Procedure is available to students who want to challenge an exam mark. You cannot challenge a mark on the grounds of academic judgment. In most cases, the appeal process must start within three months of the exam results being published. The Proctors Office administers the appeals process on behalf of the University.

 

What are the grounds for making an appeal?

You can lodge an appeal if you believe:

  • Procedures were not correctly followed in the examination such as invigilators did not adhere to the correct timing during examinations.
  • Your examination was not conducted fairly (for example, there was disruption during the examination)
  • Your examiners did not take account of previously notified special circumstances affecting your performance.
  • Something happened during the exam period that compromised your exam performance, for example you were ill or experienced bereavement. These are known as “extenuating circumstances”.

 

What grounds are excluded?

You cannot make an appeal about the academic judgment of the examiners.

 

Who do I appeal to?

The Proctors oversee the Appeals Process on behalf of the University.

 

What is the procedure?

What is the Appeal about? Contact What happens next? Not happy with the outcome?
Conduct of Examiners in college exams 'Collections' Your Senior Tutor Senior Tutor makes a decision Appeal to the Conference of Colleges Appeal Tribunal (CCAT)
Conduct of University Examiners (Undergraduate and Graduate taught courses) Your Senior Tutor Appeal to the Proctors Take the case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)
Conduct of University Examiners (Graduate research degrees confirmation and transfer of status and Graduate Research final viva Your Director of Graduate Studies or Head of Division Appeal to the Proctors Take the case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)
Alternative Exam Arrangements Your college academic office or the Disability Advisory Service Proctors make the final decision and notify college and the Chair of Examiners Appeal to the Chair of Education Committee within 14 days
Factors affecting Exam performance Your College Academic Office Appeal submitted online to the Exams Assessments Team Appeal to the Chair of Education Committee within 14 days
Procedures correct as of January 2016

 

What is the deadline for making an appeal?

The appeal process for extenuating circumstances must start before you receive your results. All other appeals must start within three months of receiving the exam results or decision.

 

Who can I talk to about my appeal?

Advisors will be happy to speak with you about the appeals process and whether this is the right decision for you.

 

How can the Student Advice help?

The Student Advice can: 

  • Explain the procedures
  • Help you to decide if an appeal is the correct course of action for you
  • Advise you on how to structure your appeal statement and concluding comments
  • Read and comment on draft statements
  • Accompany you to the Committee of Applications

Book an appoinment here  

Procedures for complaints vary but are outlined in your course and college handbooks. For informal complaints and feedback on your course, please see our section on representation, here. If you have cause for concern and want to make a formal complaint, the following information provides guidance on who to contact.

 

I’m an undergraduate. Who do I complain to about teaching, supervision or academic services?

Speak to your college tutor, Senior Tutor or Course Administrator.

 

I’m a postgraduate. Who can I contact to complain?

Speak to the Director of Graduate Studies or course administrator or, in college, your personal tutor or Senior Tutor.

 

Who do I complain to about college examinations?

Contact your Senior Tutor.

 

I have an issue about the Bodleian library facilities. Who can I contact?

You should raise the issue with the senior Librarian at the Library. If you feel that your concerns have not been addressed satisfactorily, you should write to: Bodleian's Librarian, Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

 

I’m an undergraduate who has formally complained, but was not happy with the outcome. What next?

Your complaints about teaching should have been made to your college via the senior tutor. If you are not satisfied with their response, you can appeal to the Conference of Colleges Appeals Tribunal (CCAT).

 

I’m a graduate who is unhappy with the results of my complaints. Who can I contact?

If you feel that your complaint has not been dealt with properly, you can make a complaint in writing to the Proctors. Your complaint should be specific and include:

  • Your name and address
  • Any relevant documentation
  • Relevant dates
  • Specific locations and witnesses if appropriate

You should also state:

  • Any previous attempts to informally resolve the situation
  • Details of how you would like the dispute to be resolved

When your complaint has reached the final stage, the Proctors office will issue a Completion of Procedures Letter. If you wish to take your complaint further, you may be able to bring a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

For further information, support and advice, contact the Student Advice who can guide you through the complaints procedures Book an appoinment here  

What is suspension? Is it the same as ‘rustication’?

Suspension of status at Oxford effectively enables you to pause all elements of your degree, including residence, academic work and fees.

You may also have heard suspension referred to as ‘interlocation’, ‘intermission’, or ‘rustication’. The latter term has, historically, had negative connotations and ‘suspension’ is the preferred term currently used by the University and Oxford SU.

Around 1,000 Oxford students suspend their studies each year. Most suspensions are a result of short or long term health problems, including mental health difficulties. Other common reasons include bereavement and financial difficulties.

Suspension is sometimes used by colleges in disciplinary cases or to address academic concerns. However, for whatever reason suspension is initiated the process is generally the same.

 

Is suspension optional?

The vast majority of suspensions are decided jointly by the student in consultation with their college and tutors.

However, it is possible for a college to deny a student’s request to suspend or to enforce suspension against a student’s will. Enforced suspension can happen on academic, disciplinary, or medical grounds.

The term ‘Fitness to Study’ is often brought up in relation to suspension decisions. It is defined by the University as a student’s ability to meet:

  • the reasonable academic requirements of the course or programme, and
  • the reasonable social and behavioural requirements of a student member (whether resident in College or not) without their physical, mental, emotional or psychological health or state having an unacceptably deleterious impact upon the health, safety and/or welfare of the student and/or other students and/or University or College staff.

The University is able to enforce suspension where the above conditions are not being met. This will usually be determined after consultation with medical professionals.

You have the right to appeal if you feel you are being forced to, or prevented from, suspending. The Student Advice can assist you through this process:

Email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk  or Book an appoinment here 

 

Are there alternatives to suspension?

Suspension is a serious step, often contemplated only after a range of other measures have already been tried.

If your ability to fulfil academic obligations is being affected by health, personal, or financial problems, you are strongly advised to disclose this your college and tutors as early as possible so that appropriate support can be put in place.

For stories from suspended students themselves and an outline of process specifics (from finance to initiating the process), check out the Suspension Information Booklet 
from SusCam Suspended Students’ Campaign 

 

Who is SusCam, and how can they help me decide if I want to suspend?

SusCam is Oxford SU’s campaign for suspended students. We lobby for University policy changes to improve the process of suspension and equip students to campaign for change in their college. SusCam also organizes and provides a supportive social network for suspended students, and students considering or returning from suspension.

Find us on Facebook   Twitter   email  suscam@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk or blog 

Still have questions? The Suspension Information Booklet  and podcast  will help you find out more.

Can I change my tutor?

It is relatively common for students to want to change their tutor. This can be for any number of reasons from a personality clash or a perceived lack of support by a tutor. To be successful, it’s best to make sure you have a good reason for asking to change.

The procedure for changing tutors varies considerably between colleges. If you would like to change your tutor, check your college handbook for any regulations. Some colleges specify in their regulations that students have the right to request a different tutor, and if this right exists in your college, you should simply follow the college procedure.

If not, you should talk to your pastoral/personal tutor and your senior tutor. You can request that someone from the Student Advice attends these meetings with you.

If you are concerned about this process, you may wish to consider speaking to an advisor at the Student Advice Service. Book an appoinment here 

 

Can I change my course?

In theory this is possible, but there are potential difficulties in practice. Chiefly, colleges need to match the numbers of undergraduates to the teaching resources available. Often the numbers will be large enough to allow a degree of flexibility, but this is not always the case. 

On changing course, your college will expect that you are good enough to have been admitted for that subject in open competition. The new course may also have admission requirements, such as certain subjects studied at school that you are likely to need.

In addition, your college will consider whether you have covered enough of the new subject by the time of the change to avoid having to start from the very beginning.

A change of subject can sometimes mean an extra year as an undergraduate, which will have financial and other implications.

If you are concerned about your course, you may wish to consider speaking to an Advisor at the Student Advice. Book an appoinment here  

 

Can I move college?

Moving college is known as ‘migration’ and is rare at Oxford. If you wish to change college you will need:

  • Written permission from your current college.  
  • A certificate from the Proctors saying that they have seen the above documents and know of no reason why you should not be allowed to change college.  
  • The Proctors will also ask for a letter from the Senior Tutor of the receiving or ‘new' college confirming that they are willing to accept you as a student.

Once these documents have been supplied, the Proctors will issue the certificate of migration. If you are concerned about your college, you may wish to consider speaking to an Advisor at the Student Advice. Book an appoinment here  

BEFORE EXAMS

When are the deadlines to apply for alternative exam arrangements?

The deadline for applying for alternative arrangements is week 4 of the term, before the examination is due to take place. Whether you require extra time or use of a computer, colleges are asked to ensure that applications for students are submitted in good time, with full supporting evidence, so they can be processed promptly. These applications should be made via your college's academic office.

More information about alternative arrangements is available on the Oxford University website or on WebLearn under 'Quick Links/Exams'. Please direct any queries to the exams team at eap@admin.ox.ac.uk 

 

My exam dates clash with a religious holiday or observances. What do I do?

If you have a clash between exams and specific religious observances, you can apply for adjustments under the Exam Regulations, Part 12.

Applications should be made through your college office as early as possible, so that timetables can be adjusted to avoid the clash. If this is not possible, alternative arrangements will need to be requested, which might include sitting papers at a different time.

You can check your exam entry deadlines and provisional dates by downloading the 'Exam Entry and Provisional Start Dates’ under useful documents on the Examinations Entry page of the Oxford University website.

 

DURING EXAMS

What do I do if I’m not coping with exams?

Try to speak to your tutor and let him/her know how you are feeling. Go to the doctor if you feel unwell. Your doctor's letter can be submitted to the Exam Board before the exam and may be used as evidence of extenuating circumstances. Exam counselling with an Advisor from Oxford SU's Student Advice can provide support and suggestions to alleviate some of the stress.

 

My exam is tomorrow. What should I do tonight?

Do not attempt anything new. Revise as normally as possible. Get all the necessary equipment together, and go to bed early.

 

What happens if I’m ill, or experience a difficulty in my personal life?

If you are experiencing something which is likely to affect or has affected your exam performance, you should speak to your college's admin office. They will help you complete the necessary online forms and you will be asked to provide relevant information and supporting documents, such as a medical certificate. This process needs to be completed as soon as possible, and no later than noon of the day before the final exam board meeting. Your college will advise you of this date.

If you require help with this process, speak to an advisor at the Student Advice who will be able to guide you through the system. Book an appoinment here 

 

I feel like I need to withdraw from exams. Is this possible?

There are provisions in the exam regulations that, under certain conditions, allow students to withdraw from exams and re-sit them at a later date. The application process is complicated, and time specific so it may be best to speak to the Student Advice to help you explore the options available to you. Book an appoinment here 

 

AFTER EXAMS

I don’t think my results are right. What should I do?

If you think your exam results do not match your exam performance you may be able to lodge an appeal. Grounds for making an appeal are listed on our Exam Appeals page. [HYPERLINK to section in new website]

Taking exams and appealing examination decisions is stressful, and you may feel uncertain of how to proceed. If you have concerns or want more information, contact the Student Advice. Book an appoinment here  or emil advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

What are Finals Forums?

Oxford SU Finals Forums are designed for students preparing for Finals Honour School examinations. They have run since 1999 with the aim to close gender gaps and build confidence. There are also tailored sessions on:

  • Study skills
  • Exam tips
  • Stress management

Usually, these sessions are held at the end of Hilary term and beginning of Trinity term. Contact Katy Haigh (VP Women)  for more information.

 

What accommodation is available to me?

The University has five sites around the city providing accommodation for student parents (for both undergraduate/mature and graduate parents) and student couples.

Find out if you qualify 

 

What funding is there to support me?

A Childcare Grant is available to help with childcare costs and the Parents' Learning Allowance to help with your learning costs. You might also be eligible for the Access to Learning Fund, which you can find out more about on the Direct Gov website. You may also be eligible for Child Tax Credits from HM Revenue & Customs 

 

I have a pre-school child/children. What child care is available?

Once you have accepted an offer of a place to study at Oxford and have a start date, one of your first priorities may be to get your child on the waiting list for a nursery place.

Some colleges (St Anne's, Wolfson, Balliol, St John’s and Somerville) have their own nurseries. They are long waiting lists so the sooner you can do this the better.

The university’s childcare services website contains detailed and up-to date information about University nurseries and independent nurseries, with whom the university co-operates. Fees at the University nurseries are generally lower than average in Oxford, and therefore places are in high demand. For more information on University childcare, please click here 

Of course, other childcare is available (e.g. nannies and childminders). Oxfordshire County Council can advise:

 

My child is at school, but what if I need childcare before the start or after the end of the school day?

If you require information about childcare services, you can find out more on Oxfordshire County Council webiste here, or here 

 

Do any holiday play schemes exist?

If you have school aged children, you may need to organise childcare in the school holiday periods. Information on when Oxford City Council school holidays dates can be found

here 

Additional information on holiday play schemes can be found on the Oxford University website here and here 

 

What if my college or department wants to provide childcare for staff or students outside of working hours?

Contact your college about “pop-up childcare”, and find out more information about these arrangements can be founf on the Oxford University website here 

 

Where can I apply for help with childcare costs?

You may be able to apply for help towards the cost of childcare. Find out here  and whether you can access discounts on holiday play-schemes here

 

I’m an international student. How does school work in the UK?

In Britain, children begin school aged 4 or 5 and attend until the age of 18.  In Oxford, state-schools are run by Oxfordshire County Council.

To find a free school place for your child when you arrive, apply to Oxfordshire County Council with a "Transfer application form for in year transfers". Remember you will have to include photocopies of your children's passports and visas, if applicable.

Find a list of schools in the Oxford area in which you live here  and how to transfer between different Oxfordshire schools here  The City Council recommend putting down at least three schools of preference (i.e. those nearest to where you live and work). To find information on Oxford City Council school term dates look here 

All UK state schools and every childcare provider (nursery, nanny or child-minder) must be registered and inspected by OSFSTED. The reports can be found on: W OFSTED 

 

I’m an international student, and I am concerned that many state primary schools have a Church of England foundation. Does my child have to be Christian to attend?

No, not at all. These schools are open to and attended by children of all faiths or none. The schools respect the faith background of the children who attend. The jargon for these types of schools is "voluntary aided" or "foundation schools". They are however free to attend, and run by the state.

 

What benefits and funding are available?

Information about benefits can be found here  and content about funding can be found here 

Is there any financial support available? What about support groups?

Information for those with caring responsibilities from the UK government can be found here 

 

What about information specific to Oxford?

You can find relevant resources from the Oxford City Council here  and other support materials here 

 

How do I balance the joint roles of student and carer?

An increasing number of students are responsible for the care of someone (other than children) in their family or community. Balancing the role of carer and studying can be difficult and isolating, so it is important to make sure you get all the help and support you can. Find advice from the National Union of Students here 

 

Are there any charities or organisations which can support me?

Yes. In particular, both Carers UK  and Prince’s Trust for carers  help carers face the demands of looking after someone else.

Staying safe in and around Oxford is an important part of student life. Here are a few helpful resources, services, and tips that will keep you safe.

 

KEEPING YOURSELF SAFE

How can I make sure I get home safely after a night out?

Before you go out, it’s a good idea to think how you will get home. Taxis are plentiful in Oxford: make sure you have the phone number for one or two taxi companies in your mobile phone.

If you walk home, stay where it is lit and where plenty of people or cars will be passing. If you're wearing headphones, only wear one as this will keep you alert to your surroundings.

Personal alarms are available at cost price from Oxford SU. They can fit in the palm of your hand and will sound a deafening shriek when the pin is pulled. You can obtain one from your college Welfare Officer, or contact Oxford SU's Reception & Services Administrator  (Monday-Friday, 9:30am to 6:00pm).

 

EATING DISORDERS

There are a number of resources in Oxford providing information and support for students worried about eating disorders. Certain services will need you to speak with a GP or counsellor and be referred by them, others you can approach directly.

 

Who can I contact in college?

Your GP or college nurse is the best place to begin, since they will have access to your medical records and you can get an appointment quickly. Many GPs will have emergency appointments so if you feel you need to speak with someone urgently, ask for an emergency time slot. They may refer you to a counsellor, or direct you toward a support group.

Your college welfare officers are available if you do not wish to contact medical services or the Counselling Service. Anyone you initially approach should refer you to the most appropriate type of care.

If you are concerned, you may wish to consider speaking to an Advisor at the Student Advice.

 

What resources are available through the university?

  • The University Counselling Service can arrange appointments and see students generally within ten working days. 
  • Nightline is an independent student-run listening service that provides support and information for students from 20.00 to 08.00 from 0th week to 9th week. It is a confidential service through the telephone.
  • Student Peer Supporters are undergraduates and graduates selected and trained by the University, who are available to listen about any concerns you may have. Call 01865 270270.
  • Enough! is part of Student-Run Self Help (SRSH) and is a self-help group providing support for students with eating disorders. The group meets every Thursday from 7:30 – 9.30pm during term time, and a small team of trained volunteers run the meeting. For more information, please visit the SRSH website  or email  All emails are confidential.

 

Where can I can confidential advice?

The Student Advice is the only free, independent and confidential advice, information and advocacy service exclusively available to Oxford University Students.

 

Who can I contact at Oxford SU?

The Vice President Welfare and Equal Opportunities  is available to speak with anyone wanting to campaign in college on issues connected with eating disorders.

 

What other resources can I access?

 

HARASSMENT & ABUSE

Harassment can take many forms including bullying, stalking, and sexual and relationship abuse. It can affect you deeply, and should be taken very seriously. There are many resources throughout the University and city to support you. You will have a Harassment Advisor in your college or department. For further information, please contact Oxford SU's Student Advice, who can guide you through the process.

Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Stalking are crimes and can be reported to the police. Call 999 for emergencies, or 101 for non-emergencies. If you are frightened, the police can help you.

 

I need to speak to someone about an incident. Where can I go?

If you need to speak with someone urgently, ask to be directed to the Solace centre  Solace centres are sexual assault referral centres staffed by a range of specialist and experienced professionals including doctors and counsellors who will offer you crisis support and advice.

 

What resources are offered by the university?

You can read the University's Harassment Policy on their website. Most colleges and departments have a Harassment Advisor who will be able to advise you on the range of options available to you. If you prefer you can contact the network administrator here:

  •  Harassment Advisors tel: 01865270760 or email 
     

These services may also be useful to you:

  •  Counselling Service tel: 01865 270300 or email 
     
  •  Nightline tel: 01865 27027016 (8pm-8am in term) 

 

Independent Advice

If you have concerns or want more information contact the Student Advice. Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

Who can I talk to at Oxford SU?

The Vice President Women  is available to speak with anyone wanting to campaign in College on issues connected with harassment. It Happens Here is an Oxford SU campaign raising awareness of sexual abuse and violence.

 

What local resources can help me?

  •  Domestic Abuse Oxfordshire
     
  •  Oxford Sexual Assault and Rape Crisis Centre tel: 01865 726295 (Monday & Thursday: 6.30pm-9.00pm; Friday, 11.00am - 2.00pm; Sunday, 6.00pm - 8.30pm)
    or email 
     
  •  Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline - tel: 0800 731 055 (Monday-Friday, 8.00am - 6.00pm; Saturday, 10.00am - 4.00pm. This is free and will not show on your telephone bill)

 

What national resources can help?

  • Protection Against Stalking - email 
     
  •  Rape Crisis England and Wales - tel: 0808 802 9999 (12.00pm - 2.30pm; 7.00pm - 9.30pm)
     
  •  National Stalking Helpline - tel: 0808 802 0300 or email 

 

Alcohol and drugs

Alcohol plays a big part of student life. From college bops to traditions like 'pennying', whether you chose to drink or not, drinking culture is everywhere. If you feel you want to speak with someone about your drinking or any concerns, contact the Student Advice. Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

I’m worried my relationship with alcohol is unhealthy. Who should I contact?

If alcohol is affecting your health, make an appointment with your College GP. They will be able to go through the options available to you.

 

I think I might drink too much because of other reasons. What can I do?

If there is a reason behind why you are consuming too much alcohol and you wish to speak with a counselor, make an appointment with the University Counselling Service  
A trained counselor may be able to help you consider the next step to resolve what’s affecting you.

 

Drugs

If you would like to find out more about drugs and the law in the UK, visit Home office information on different drugs and legal sanctions. Release is a national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law, which provides free and confidential specialist advice to the public and professionals.

As well as the illegal drugs we all hear about in the press, you may be faced with offers of "legal highs" and "smart drugs".

 

What are study drugs?

The term "study drugs" or "smart drugs" refers to prescription drugs used to increase concentration and stamina for the purpose of studying or cramming. Using or buying these medications without a prescription is illegal. Selling your own prescription is also illegal. There are potential health risks associated with taking drugs not prescribed for you. Users of study drugs can never be certain what the effects might be.

The Student Advice have a new project called BeSMART which offers a stand-alone workshop for college common rooms to inform and raise awareness about study drugs. To book a BeSMARTworkshop for your college or department, ask your welfare officer to get in touch with the Student Adviceon advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

What are legal highs?

"Legal highs" are substances used like illegal drugs but which are not covered by current misuse of drugs legislation. Although these drugs are marketed as legal substances, this doesn’t mean that they are safe or approved for people to use. It just means that they’ve not been declared illegal to use and possess.

 

Who can I talk to about my concerns?

The Student Advice  is the only free, independent and confidential advice, information and advocacy service exclusively available to Oxford University Students. If you have concerns or want more information please get in touch by either Booking an appoinment here  or emailing advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

I want to campaign about drugs and/or alcohol. Who should I contact?

The Vice President Welfare and Equal Opportunities  is available to speak with anyone wanting to campaign in college on issues connected with drugs and alcohol.

 

What local resources can help inform me about drugs and alcohol?

 

What national resources can help me with drugs, and give me more information about addiction?

 

Pregnancy

Becoming pregnant when you want to be can be a wonderful time. It’s important to make sure you access the right services to help you and your baby be happy and healthy. Equally, finding out you or your partner is pregnant when you or they don’t want to be can be frightening and stressful. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and remember – you are not alone.

 

Who should I contact in college?

The first thing to do is to contact your GP or College nurse. They will help you access the right healthcare services.

 

Can I speak to anyone at Oxford SU?

Oxford SU runs the Student Advice, a free and confidential information, advice and advocacy service for students. An Advisor can speak with you about the range of options open to you. An advisor can also help guide you through how best to approach being a student parent and discuss any issues you may have regarding maternity or paternity leave.

Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

Where can I access pregnancy tests?

Oxford SU provides pregnancy tests at cost price Common Rooms. Contact your Welfare Officer if you would like a pregnancy test.

 

What resources are available through the university?

The University allows students to suspend up to three terms for parental leave. You will need to speak with your college administrators to submit the appropriate paperwork, but tutors, supervisors, and/or funding bodies will also need to know, so provisions for time of leaving and return can be arranged. If you require any advice or support regarding University Maternity/Paternity/Parental Leave policy contact the Student Advice. The University Childcare Services has information for student parents. Including information on funding and nursery places.

 

How could Oxford County council support me?

Oxford County council has information on a range of services, and offers information on healthcare child-minders, nurseries and the practical aspects of starting a family.

 

How can I get an abortion?

You can access abortion free on the NHS.
To do so, you can get in contact directly with an abortion provider, your GP, or a GUM/sexual health clinic. Information on sexual health services in Oxford can be viewed here 

Most abortions in England and Wales are carried out before 24 weeks. Abortions after 24 weeks may be carried out under certain circumstances.

 See the NHS advice on abortion for more details

 

CYCLING

I’m considering cycling. How do I cycle safely?

Oxford is a cycle friendly city, so make use of cycle routes. To keep safe, make sure you wear a helmet, as well as reflective clothing and fit your bike with lights (a white front light and red rear light). Regularly check your bike is in good working order, especially the brakes. Be mindful of pedestrians and don’t go through pedestrian crossings when the lights are on red.

  • If you would like to take a bike training course, Broken Spoke Bike Co-op offer courses for adults.
  • Here are some top tips to remember for first time cyclists:
  • Wear a helmet, as well as reflective clothing and accessories. Avoid clothing that may get tangled in the chain/wheel, or that will obscure the lights.
  • Plan your route in advance, and check your bike is in good working order before you leave.
  • It is illegal to cycle on a footway (pavement). If possible, use cycle lanes.
  • Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings.
  • Be mindful of pedestrians, especially children, the elderly, and disabled people. Ring your bell if appropriate, allow plenty of room, and always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary.
  • Be considerate of other road users, including pedestrians. Take care when overtaking, and look out for traffic coming up behind you.
  • Do not ride your bike under the influence of drink or drugs, including medicine. It is illegal.
  • Have your bike security marked, or engraved, which you can find out more about from the Thames Valley Police.

 

What other resources are there online about cycling?

 

YOUR POSSESSIONS

How do I make sure my bike isn’t stolen?

Unfortunately, cycle crime does happen. It’s best to use a D Lock (you can buy one at cost price from Oxford SU) and always lock your bike to cycle hoops or in a secure cycle storage area. Remove any lights, use locking wheel nuts on your wheels and remove the saddle if portable. The University security service will mark your bike with a unique code so that the police can trace your bike back to you if it is stolen and recovered.

 

How do I keep other property safe?

Don't leave laptops or mobile phones in view of open windows. It only takes seconds to reach in from the street to grab something. Back up your work to an external drive which is ßkept separately to your computer so if the worst happens, at least your work is saved.

We recommend you register laptops and phones at Immobilize so that the police can trace your items back to you.

Never let people know passwords to your computers or online services and don't divulge your banking PIN numbers to anyone.

 

Should I insure my property?

Insure your goods. The NUS recommend Endesleigh Insurance who have insurance policies designed for students’ needs.

 

Who are the Community Wardens?

Oxford SU employs Student Community Wardens in sites around the city. Community Wardens liaise with local communities and help make students and the city safer. If you would like to how to become a Community Warden, contact the Oxford SU VP Charities & Community rep 

 

I’m still concerned about my safety. Who can I contact?

  •  Police (non-emergency): 101
     
  •  Police (emergency): 999
     
  •  University security (non-emergency): 01865 (2) 72944
     
  •  University security (emergency): 01865 (2) 89999
     
  •  Student Advice: 01865 288466

If you are concerned about any aspect of your physical, emotional or mental health, it’s best to seek advice from a member of the medical profession. You can also contact the Student Advice for further guidance. Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

Medical Care

How can I find a doctor?

Each college will have a nominated college doctor with whom they encourage students to register. It’s a good idea to register with a GP in Oxford because your medical records will be available if they are needed in an emergency.

Most college doctors will hold surgeries in college, where you can sign up for an appointment.

If you do not want to register with your college GP, then you can find a list of alternative doctors by searching on NHS Choices. The website will show you their contact details, let you know whether they are accepting new patients and provide you with a registration form.

Most colleges also have a college nurse who runs a general health care surgery during specified hours where you can sign up for an appointment.

 

How can I access dental care?

Many colleges have a nominated dentist. Ask your Welfare Officer for their name and address. For details of local dentists offering NHS treatment you can consult the British Dental Association website.

 

Do I have to pay for my healthcare?

Students in full-time education under the age of 19 are exempt from most NHS charges, e.g. prescriptions. Other students may be entitled to help with charges on the grounds of low income, if they’re on benefits. Further information is available from the NHS leaflet HC11 - "Help with Health Costs".

If you are not entitled to help with your health costs and you require regular prescriptions, you may find that you could save money by purchasing an NHS Pre-Payment Certificate.

 

What if I am an international student?

If you are on a full-time course that lasts for six months or more, or one that is substantially funded by the UK Government, then you’re eligible for the same treatment from the National Health Service (NHS, the UK's public healthcare provision service) as an ordinary UK resident. However, you may not be covered if you come here with a pre-existing health condition. Your spouse, civil partner and children will also be covered if they are living permanently with you for the length of your course.

If you are here for less than six months, you will not be eligible for free healthcare, so you should ensure that you have private health insurance which covers your time in the UK.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs  has a helpful website that can tell you more about healthcare in the UK.

If you have concerns about any of the above you may wish to consider speaking to an Advisor at the Student Advice. 

Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

What is the difference between a pharmacist and a doctor?

Pharmacies sell a wide range of medicines which do not need to be prescribed by a GP. Pharmacists may also be able to give you general medical advice on a range of minor health conditions.

 

MENTAL HEALTH

Oxford is a great place to realise your full academic and personal potential. However, it can also be quite stressful adjusting to new surroundings, new people and a new lifestyle. It's not uncommon for students to develop mental health issues or to exacerbate pre-existing conditions.

 

Where can I find information about the counselling service?

You can find out about the counselling service here 

 

What is the Student Advice, and how can it help me?

The Student Advice is the only free, independent and confidential advice, information and advocacy service exclusively available to Oxford University Students. If you have concerns or want more information get in touch.

Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

I want to reach out to someone specifically at Oxford SU about mental health. Who can I contact?

The VP Welfare and Equal Opportunities  is available to speak with anyone wanting to campaign in college on issues connected to mental health.

 

What does the ‘Mind Your Head’ Campaign do?

Oxford SU's 'Mind Your Head Campaign  aims to increase awareness of mental health issues among students, and to reduce the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental illness. MYH work to empower students to look after their mental wellbeing, to encourage them to seek help when needed, and to look out for others in need of support.

 

What national campaigns are resources can help me?

 

Are there any Oxord specific resources about mental health?

Find out more from Oxfordshire county mental health services and Oxfordshire Mind Guide 

 

SEXUAL HEALTH

I’m worried about my sexual health. How do I avoid infections like STIs?

In terms of physical health, you'll want to keep yourself safe from sexually transmitted infections and the chance of an unplanned pregnancy. The best way to do this is by using contraception.

 

Should I book a GP appointment to test for STIs?

If you are having sex, then it’s worth getting regular testing to check that you haven't picked up an STI and to treat any infection before it causes long-term damage.

GUM Clinics offer testing, treatment, screening for chlamydia and advice on all aspects of sexual health and family planning.

If you think you have an STI, you can visit your GP or the GUM clinic in Oxford. The Student Advice in partnership with Oxfordshire Heath Services are holding events this term offering free HIV and Chlamydia tests, contact an Advisor for more information.

Your college doctor or nurse will also be able to supply you with chlamydia testing kit. Your Common Room Officers run testing session within your college, in association with Oxfordshire Sexual Health Services and Oxford SU.

 

Where can I access contraceptive supplies?

The C card scheme allows you to get free condoms pidged to you in college. Ask your college Welfare Officer or sign up with the Student Advice.

Oxford SU also supply Welfare Officers with cost-priced condoms, dental dams and pregnancy tests to distribute to Common Rooms.

Contraception is also available from Oxford's family planning clinic.

 

Are contraceptive supplies available through Oxford SU?

Oxford SU Common Room Welfare Officers can supply your common room with a variety of items. Please email Oxford SU Reception  for more information.

We order a range of condoms, dental dams, lubricant (in individual sachets) and pregnancy tests.

Email enquiries@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk  for a list of supplies and an order form to be emailed to you. Return the form via email, give us a day, and then come to Oxford SU’s offices
(4 Worcester St, Oxford OX1 2AW) to pay for and collect your supplies.

 

CONSENT

Students arrive at university with different ideas and experiences about sex. For many, it's an exciting time of personal development, experimentation, and forming new and intimate relationships.

It’s a time for finding out who you are and feeling good about yourself, for being able to choose to have sex, or not to have sex, and feeling comfortable and accepted about your sexual orientation. It's also a time when you have to take responsibility for your sexual health and safety.

 

What is relationship abuse?

Relationship abuse involves the misuse of power within a relationship, and is sometimes known as domestic abuse. It can involve physical or sexual violence, but does not always do so, and it is not confined to people in a romantic or sexual relationship.

It is defined by the Home Office as threatening behaviour, violence, or psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality (Home Office, 2004).

 

What are some signs of an abusive relationship?

  • Threats
  • Controlling money
  • Obsessive jealousy
  • Isolation from friends/family
  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse, slapping, punching.

 

What exactly is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is a sexual act or acts upon or directed to another, which is unwanted and non-consensual by one of the partners. It can be non-violent or violent. Attempted rape, non-consensual touching of genitalia, penetration with body parts or objects, and non-consensual participation in sexual acts characterize sexual violence.

 

What is consent?

For an act to be consensual, consent must be given – not assumed.

  • Consent requires having the freedom and capacity to take part in any aspect of the act (agreeing to one act does not imply consent to another).
  • Consensual sexual acts involve all individuals understanding and believing that all parties agree to the act.
  • Heavy intoxication and/or unconsciousness inhibiting an individual’s ability to consent does not amount to consent.

The National Union of Students report Hidden Marks shows that one in seven university-age women will experience serious physical or sexual assault while at university. These numbers are staggering, and mean that we all know someone who has survived rape and sexual assault. This section has useful information for reporting, finding support for survivors and those supporting survivors.

 

What is a sexual crime?

Serious Sexual Assault includes:

  • Rape (penetration with penis)
  • Sexual Assault by Penetration
  • Sexual Assault where the assault is particularly serious or features of the offence are aggravated
  • Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.
  • An attempt to commit any of the above offences.

 

Sexual Assault includes:

  • Forcing a sexual act upon a person without consent.
  • Any act deemed as sexual by the person who experiences it.
  • Consent means having the freedom and capacity to make a decision to take part in any act, and having a true belief that consent has been given.

 

How do I report a sexual assault?

Find out how to report an assault here  and more about your options after being affected by sexual violence here 

 

What resources are available?

 

What does Oxford SU offer to educate about consent?

We run Consent Workshops for common rooms, clubs, and societies. If your community would like to hold a consent workshop, please contact the VP Women, Katy Haigh

Check out the Consent Workshop Report 2017 

 

DRUGS/ALCOHOL

Alcohol plays a big part of student life. From college bops to traditions like 'pennying', whether you drink or not, drinking culture is everywhere. If you feel you want to speak with someone about your drinking or any concerns, contact the Student Advice.

 

I’m worried my relationship with alcohol is unhealthy. Who should I contact?

If alcohol is affecting your health, make an appointment with your College GP. They will be able to go through the options available to you.

 

I think I might drink too much because of other reasons. What can I do?

If there is a reason behind why you are consuming too much alcohol and you wish to speak with a counselor, make an appointment with the  A trained counselor may be able to help you consider the next step to resolve what’s affecting you.

 

Drugs

If you would like to find out more about drugs and the law in the UK, visit Home office information on different drugs and legal sanctions. Release is a national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law, which provides free and confidential specialist advice to the public and professionals.

As well as the illegal drugs we all hear about in the press, you may be faced with offers of "legal highs" and "smart drugs".

 

What are study drugs?

The term "study drugs" or "smart drugs" refers to prescription drugs used to increase concentration and stamina for the purpose of studying or cramming. Using or buying these medications without a prescription is illegal. Selling your own prescription is also illegal. There are potential health risks associated with taking drugs not prescribed for you. Users of study drugs can never be certain what the effects might be.

The Student Advice have a new project called BeSMART which offers a stand-alone workshop for college common rooms to inform and raise awareness about study drugs. To book a BeSMARTworkshop for your college or department, ask your welfare officer to get in touch with the Student Advice by 

Booking an appoinment here  or emailing advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

What are legal highs?

"Legal highs" are substances used like illegal drugs but which are not covered by current misuse of drugs legislation. Although these drugs are marketed as legal substances, this doesn’t mean that they are safe or approved for people to use. It just means that they’ve not been declared illegal to use and possess.

 

Who can I talk to about my concerns?

The Student Advice is the only free, independent and confidential advice, information and advocacy service exclusively available to Oxford University Students. If you have concerns or want more information please Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

I want to campaign about drugs and/or alcohol. Who should I contact?

The Vice President Welfare and Equal Opportunities  is available to speak with anyone wanting to campaign in college on issues connected with drugs and alcohol.

 

What local resources can help inform me about drugs and alcohol?

 

What national resources can help me with drugs, and give me more information about addiction?

 

How can my college help?

If you feel as though alcohol is affecting your health and you need support, make an appointment with your College GP. They will be able to go through the options available to you.

 

I think there might be an underlying reason which means I’m consuming too much alcohol. Who can I talk to?

If you wish to speak with a counsellor about this, make an appointment with the University Counselling Service. A trained counsellor may be able to help you consider the options available in order to resolve the issues affecting you.

If you are concerned you may wish to consider speaking to an Advisor at the Student Advice.

INFORMATION COMING SOON

Our guide aims to give an overview of the services at Oxford University that can support you as a disabled student, and to give you a sense of what it’s like to live and study here. You can download our PDF here 

 

What should I do before applying to Oxford?

Before submitting your application to Oxford, we advise you to consider the requirements of your chosen course, identifying any elements that might present particular difficulties. We recommend that you visit your college and department to explore facilities and discuss specific needs.

 

What is the Disability Advisory Service (DAS) and how can they help me?

The University has a department whose job it is to clear the barriers for students with disabilities called the Disability Advisory Service. Staff at The Disability Advisory Service will be happy to help with your pre-application visit: tell them in advance so they can make the necessary plans for you. It is really important to contact your chosen Department and Disability Advisory Service as early as possible in the application process, in order to give them time to arrange adjustments and organise support. 

 

Will the DAS help with study needs and financial assessments?

Yes, absolutely. The Disability Advisory Service can also be contacted to discuss a study-related needs assessment and to advise on financial assistance that may be available, such as welfare grants or the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) provides funding for extra costs arising during study as a direct result of disability. The amount awarded is determined by an assessment of need, not income.

UK students can also apply to the Access to Learning Fund (see above) for disability-related costs not covered by DAS. The Disability Advisory Service(DAS) provides information regarding funding available for students.

 

What should I do before I arrive at Oxford?

We recommend that all students with disabilities make an appointment with the Disability Advisor. The Advisor will speak with you about your needs and help you to negotiate any special requirements you may have, for example, by submitting an application to the University to have more time when sitting your exams. The Advisor will also be able to help you acquire any special equipment you need or additional support services.

 

What other resources are avaliable?

 

University Resources

 

College & Department Resources

 

Finding private accommodation is daunting. If you’re spending part of your time at Oxford in private accommodation and need to find a house, we have the resources you need to help you make informed decisions.

 

What university owned accommodation is available?

The Student Pad  is a free to use property finder managed by the University of Oxford's Accommodation Office 

 

Is it a good idea to rent with an independent letting agency?

Letting agencies are another popular option. Just be aware that these agents:

  • will charge you administration fees of around £150 per person
  • might also charge you for credit checks.

The main thing to remember when thinking about living out is to take your time when choosing your housemates and your house: don’t be rushed or pressured into a decision.

Our Living Out Guide  (pidged to all Freshers) takes the mystery out of house buying with practical advice for first time renters.  Our Living Out podcasts  also offer further advice if you want more pointers.

Remember: only sign when you’re sure.

 

What’s a tenancy?

Once you have chosen a property, you will need to sign a contract in order to secure the tenancy. Most student tenancies have specific clauses related to the length of the contract and the liability of each person living in the house. These clauses will relate to things like non-payment of rent and any damage caused. Tenancy agreements are legally binding, which can seem complicated and daunting. If you would like help to understand your responsibilities before you sign your contract, please contact the Student Advice who will be happy to help.

 

I’m a graduate. What accommodation is around?

Full-time graduate hunting for accommodation next year? You could be eligible for housing in one of the seven sites of University owned property around the city. Check here 

 

I’m a student parent. Is there any accommodation for me?

The University has five sites around the city providing accommodation for student parents (for both undergraduate/mature and graduate parents) and student couples. Find out if you qualify 

Hopefully, you will have no problems with your accommodation during your time in Oxford. If you do, either within college or with external agencies you can contact the Student Advice.Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

How many properties should I view before choosing one?

This is entirely up to you, but it’s good practice to see at least a few properties in order to get a good idea of the quality level between properties and a feel for the area. It’s a good idea when viewing them to take photographs with your phone to remind you of which property is which. Whatever you do, don’t rent somewhere or from someone that makes you feel uncomfortable.

 

I’m being asked for a guarantor. What is this?

A guarantor is someone who does not live in the house but is legally responsible for paying your rent if you fail to do so.

 

Where should I live?

This depends on what kind of person you are! If you want to be in the thick of it, then the City Centre might be the area for you, although you’ll have to deal with higher rents and more noise. Cowley Road and Iffley Road can also be noisy, but generally have lower rents and still have pubs and shopping nearby. Quieter areas include Jericho and Summertown (both a bit pricey), and also Abingdon Road and Botley Road (lower rents but fewer entertainment options). Make sure you visit each area you’re considering before agreeing to live there. You never know whether you’ll like it until you get a feel for it yourself.

Found this useful? Check out our Living Out Guide  (pidged to all Freshers) and Living Out podcasts  for further advice.

 

I’m living in college, but I have special requirements. Is this a problem? Who can I talk to?

You should be comfortable wherever you live. If you have special requirements as a result of health or disability, let your Domestic Bursar know what reasonable adjustments your college needs to make.

This information here concerns the process of living with your new housemates. These questions are based on our experience helping students navigate problems with housemates and on the suggestions students themselves want to pass on to you.

Remember, you can always consult the Living Out Guide  and contact an advisor if you are unsure or have any specific questions.

Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

What does the process of moving in require?

Firstly, make sure you get the keys from the landlord and agent, either at the agency or by arranging for them to meet you at your property.

The landlord or agent should give you an inventory: a list of all the items in the property. Check all the items on the inventory are actually in the property. If there are items missing or damaged. Note all these and email the landlord or agent immediately with photographs (you may lose some of your deposit if they think missing/damaged items are your fault).

Check any items or adjustments you requested and are listed in your contract are provided. If not contact your landlord or agent immediately in writing.

Read the utility meters and inform the energy company of the readings and your change of name on the account. If you need a T.V licence (which you will even if you stream items via your hand-held devices, phone, computer console etc) buy one online.

Find out which day refuse is collected on the Oxford City Council website: (blue: recycling, green: landfill, brown: garden waste)

Ensure you have insurance for your belongings.

Remember to secure the property when you go out. Lock doors and windows, don’t leave notes on the door, don’t leave keys under the mat.

 

What are some tips for living with other people?

You must make sure you all decide how you will split the rent. Will the person with the biggest room pay more? Will you split the rent equally?

The same applies to bills. Will you set up a separate or joint bank account? Will one of you take responsibility for this?

Male sure you plan how you will pay for communal things such as loo rolls, and decide how you will share household chores such as cleaning. Will certain people keep the same tasks or will you have a changing rota system?

Think about establishing some house rules, however basic they are, as at least you will all have agreed some basic principles

Regular house meetings might also be a good idea, as this will give everyone an opportunity to raise any issues and make decisions as a team. Some students have a regular “house-family” meal evening when housemates cook and share a meal together. This is an ideal time to keep in touch with one-another and can help avoid arguments.

Decide what you will do about overnight guests. What you will do if a housemate asks for a partner to share their room on a permanent basis: will you allow this? Will you charge rent?

Decide what you will do about entertaining your friends and hosting parties: will you have a friend-free night to concentrate on your work? This may be particularly important at exam time.

 

What happens if something breaks and needs to be repaired?

If the issue concerns gas or carbon monoxide, inform emergency services and 0800 111 999 immediately.

Otherwise, landlords are responsible for the structure of the building (walls, roof etc); window frames, gutters, water and gas pipes, electric wring, baths, showers, sinks and toilets, boilers, fixed heaters and radiators. If you notice any disrepair such as mould, damp or break anything inform the landlord or agent as soon as you can. Do this via email and attach photographs.

Give the landlord or agent a reasonable amount of time to respond to your email. If your landlord or age do not respond to your request or refuse to make repairs, seek help from an advisor.

Remember that after 24 hours, the landlord or agent has the right to access the property to inspect the damage/repair needs.

Contact Oxford SU’s Student Advice if you have any problems or need further advice. Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

 

Found this useful? Check out our Living Out Guide  (pidged to all Freshers) and Living Out podcasts  for further advice.

 

What should I do before I move out?

Confirm in writing (e.g. via email) with your landlord or agent the date you intend to move out.  Remember that this should be before the end of your contract date. If you miss this deadline even by a day, you may be charged rent for the whole month.

Arrange a time to meet the on the day you leave the property to hand over the keys and check the property over together.

Get organised! Plan the jobs that need to be done well in advance of your moving out date to avoid any last minute stress. Make a list and share out the tasks.

Check your contract to make sure there are no specific requirements agreed before you leave the house: for example having the garden professionally tended or the house professionally cleaned. If you are required to do this do remember to keep the receipt as proof.

Overall, you will have a much better chance of getting all your deposit back if the house is left in the condition it was in when you moved in, to avoid the landlord or agent making unnecessary deductions for cleaning or rubbish disposal.  Make sure that you clean the bathroom, kitchen and communal areas of the house, including the windows, fridge and the oven. It might be helpful to get on top of this as early as possible by having a deep clean, then you can top it up before you leave.

Some students prefer to share the cost and employ professional cleaners. If you do remember to keep the receipt as proof.

Think about recycling or donating your unwanted items to charity. Oxford SU has a collection scheme contact VPCandC@oxford.ox.ac.uk

Remember to change your address details. Go to www.royalmail.com to arrange for your mail to be redirected to an alternative address and change your address with your bank etc.

 

On the last day 

Make sure everywhere is clean, that the furniture is put back in the place it was when you moved in, and that you have disposed of any rubbish.

Take time stamped photographs of the condition of the property before leaving. Check off the contents against the inventory, preferably in the presence of the landlord or agent.

Lock all windows and doors and switch everything off before you leave.

It might sound basic, but make sure you lock the car doors whilst moving things in and out, especially if you’ve got valuables in there!

Contact the Utilities companies to give them a final meter reading and a forwarding address for any outstanding bills.

Make sure your landlord or agent also has a forwarding address, email or telephone number for you in case they need to contact you regarding the deposit.

 

Afterwards

Your letting agent or landlord should return your deposit within ten working days, as long as you both agree how much you should get back.

Your deposit should have been protected with a government authorised deposit protection scheme when you moved in, so check you have a certificate confirming which deposit scheme was used.

If your landlord or agent makes deductions from your deposit that you don’t agree with, you can dispute this decision. Your deposit protection scheme will have an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure. You should be able to find more information about this and the steps you need to take on your scheme’s website. Remember, there is a deadline of 3 months from the end of your tenancy to appeal a decision.

 

Contact Oxford SU’s Student Advice if you have any problems with this or need further advice. Book an appoinment here  or email advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

Found this useful? Check out our Living Out Guide  (pidged to all Freshers) and Living Out podcasts  for further advice.

What should I do before I move out?

Confirm in writing (e.g. via email) with your landlord or agent the date you intend to move out.  Remember that this should be before the end of your contract date. If you miss this deadline even by a day, you may be charged rent for the whole month.

Arrange a time to meet the on the day you leave the property to hand over the keys and check the property over together.

Get organised! Plan the jobs that need to be done well in advance of your moving out date to avoid any last minute stress. Make a list and share out the tasks.

Check your contract to make sure there are no specific requirements agreed before you leave the house: for example having the garden professionally tended or the house professionally cleaned. If you are required to do this do remember to keep the receipt as proof.

Overall, you will have a much better chance of getting all your deposit back if the house is left in the condition it was in when you moved in, to avoid the landlord or agent making unnecessary deductions for cleaning or rubbish disposal.  Make sure that you clean the bathroom, kitchen and communal areas of the house, including the windows, fridge and the oven. It might be helpful to get on top of this as early as possible by having a deep clean, then you can top it up before you leave.

Some students prefer to share the cost and employ professional cleaners. If you do remember to keep the receipt as proof.

Think about recycling or donating your unwanted items to charity. Oxford SU has a collection scheme contact VPCandC@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

Remember to change your address details. Go to www.royalmail.com to arrange for your mail to be redirected to an alternative address and change your address with your bank etc. 

 

On the last day 

Make sure everywhere is clean, that the furniture is put back in the place it was when you moved in, and that you have disposed of any rubbish.

Take time stamped photographs of the condition of the property before leaving. Check off the contents against the inventory, preferably in the presence of the landlord or agent.

Lock all windows and doors and switch everything off before you leave.

It might sound basic, but make sure you lock the car doors whilst moving things in and out, especially if you’ve got valuables in there!

Contact the Utilities companies to give them a final meter reading and a forwarding address for any outstanding bills.

Make sure your landlord or agent also has a forwarding address, email or telephone number for you in case they need to contact you regarding the deposit.

 

Afterwards

Your letting agent or landlord should return your deposit within ten working days, as long as you both agree how much you should get back.

Your deposit should have been protected with a government authorised deposit protection scheme when you moved in, so check you have a certificate confirming which deposit scheme was used.

If your landlord or agent makes deductions from your deposit that you don’t agree with, you can dispute this decision. Your deposit protection scheme will have an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure. You should be able to find more information about this and the steps you need to take on your scheme’s website. Remember, there is a deadline of 3 months from the end of your tenancy to appeal a decision.

 

Contact Oxford SU’s Student Advice if you have any problems with this or need further advice, by emailing advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk  

Found this useful? Check out our Living Out Guide  (pidged to all Freshers) and Living Out podcasts  for further advice.

Got another question? Find more answers and FAQS here 

What are Living Out talks?

Living in private accommodation, or ‘living out’, can be a great opportunity to get a feel for what it’s like to live independently, and to experience the City in a different way.  If you have never lived out in Oxford before, it might feel difficult to know where to start.  The Living Out talks will cover some of the main points and questions that students often ask us when looking for accommodation. The key message is: stay calm, take your time and explore the options available to you.

Living Out talks will be arranged by your college in order to inform you about the general process of living out and tips for the house hunt which are Oxford specific.

 

I’m a Common Room officer. How do I arrange a Living Out Talk?

To arrange a Living Out talk, contact advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk  

 


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