Undergraduate FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions, which new and current students may find helpful.


What does the Senior Tutor do?

The Senior Tutor (and Tutor for Admissions) is Dr Sarah Norman. Dr Norman's role is to oversee all aspects of academic provision and support in the college, as well as student academic progress and discipline. You can contact her to discuss any issue of concern to you by email.

What does my Personal Tutor do?

Your Personal Tutor, who is likely to be one of your subject tutors or lecturers, is one of your most important contacts in College and is there to help you with any concerns or worries on any matter, personal or academic. They can discuss these with you or direct you to other support in College or the University. Lists of students with their personal tutors are on the noticeboards in the entrance area of South Building.

What is the role of the Dean and Junior Deans?

The current Dean is Dr Lorraine Wild and she is assisted by three Junior Deans who are current graduate students.

The Dean and Junior Deans have a role in both general College discipline (see the Student Handbook) and in welfare. The Dean and Junior Deans have “office hours” when they are available for consultation on welfare issues (see the Dean’s noticeboard in the Foyer of South Building).

What does the JCR do?

The Junior Common Room (both a place and a term meaning all the undergraduate students in College) has a committee which represents the views and interests of undergraduates to the officers and decision-making bodies of the College, promotes the welfare of its members, and organises social activities. Find out more here.

What does the Academic Office do, and when is it open?

The Academic Office (Room 27, South Building) deals with all issues regarding your enrolment and student administration, and is open for enquiries on normal working days from 8.30am to 4.30pm. You can also send enquiries by email.


Advice and Support

Where can I find help with a welfare issue?

The College (and University) have a wide range of services available to assist with any problems. You can discuss this with your Personal Tutor, or go straight to any of the people or services listed in the Student Handbook.

How can I see the college nurse or doctor?

The College Nurse is available in College each day during term for general consultation as well as providing help on specific medical matters. Her times are listed on the Medical Help webpage, which also provides information about the college doctors’ service.

What financial assistance is available?

Always (throughout your time at St Hilda’s) remember that the College has a range of (small) grants available for which you can apply for study purposes or particularly if you face unexpected financial hardship. The range of College schemes are outlined on the Grant Applications webpage. Hardship applications can be made at any time, but study-related grant applications are due by noon on Wednesday of Week 2 of each term and late applications are not accepted (so plan ahead).

What if there is a problem with my room?

All maintenance requests should be directed our Buildings Team, or if it is more urgent, tell the Lodge (in person or ring 01865 (2)76884). All housekeeping and cleaning problems should be directed to the Accommodation Manager, Nicky Charles 

How do I get advice regarding a disability or special arrangements for examinations?

Students may disclose a mental or physical disability at any stage of their time at Oxford, but we urge you to do so as soon as possible so that we can help you to get the support you need. The usual procedure is for students to disclose their disability to the University’s Disability Advisory Service. This service then arranges any necessary assessments, and informs the student's college. Each college also has a Lead Disability Contact, and it is helpful if you make contact with this person as well. At St Hilda's this is Professor Lorna Smith, the Disability Fellow. Rebekah Unwin, the Academic Registrar, is the Disability Coordinator at the College. The College can write to the Proctors to request any adjustments that you may need for your examinations (or arrange these for College Collections) - contact the Academic Registrar. Further information is available in the Student Handbook.

Is there advice on studying and on tutorial work?

See the Freshers' Study Guide. Your tutors will also give you lots of advice, but a good place to start to get ideas is from the “working lives” of students across many subjects at St Hilda’s:

What if I lose my Bod Card? What if I need a form signed? What if I have any other question about my enrolment?

See our University Cards webpage. Also check our page on obtaining official letters.

Where do I find information about having visitors to stay in College, hosting parties in College, security and personal safety in College, fire precautions, and other information about living in College accommodation?      

The Student Handbook states all the rules and your responsibilities in these areas, and how the College seeks to protect all its students and provide a safe living and study environment.


College Facilities

How do I use the Library?

All the information about using the College Library is available on WebLearn here. General information about the University libraries can be found here.

Where and when can I eat in College?

The Buttery (which is like a tuck shop) sells snacks like toasties, bagels, crisps, chocolate, sweets and hot and cold drinks. The bar serves crisps, chocolate and sweets. The Dining Hall provides more substantial meals. Battels include an amount of meal credits per term, which are put on your Bod Card. You can afford to eat at the College dining hall quite often as the food is relatively inexpensive – around £4.00 for a two-course meal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served Monday-Friday, and there are snacks, sandwiches, tea and coffee available all through the day, apart from a few hours a day for cleaning. Detailed meal arrangements, including about Formal Halls and how to book for them, are described in the Student Handbook.

How do I use College laundry facilities?

See the information in the Student Handbook.

How do I use College sports facilities (tennis/netball court, punts etc)?

You need to make a booking on the College Intranet, and then pick up a key (and receive additional information) from the Lodge. See also “College Grounds” in the Student Handbook.


General Questions

How do Collections work?

These are termly formative examinations (which don’t count toward your degree, but are used to monitor your progress). They are usually set for the Friday and Saturday of Week 0. Details of time and place are emailed to you early that week. Collections are normally set on the previous term’s work or may cover specified vacation reading. They are less formal than University examinations (although students are required to wear their gowns), but good performance and evidence of excellent progress may be rewarded with prizes.

Can I leave College before the end of term?

Undergraduates are required to be in Oxford from the Thursday before Full Term until the last Saturday of Full Term. Permission to leave before the last Saturday of Full Term must be sought from your tutors and the College. See Full Term dates here.

How do I find out where things are in Oxford?

You can see a list here of the places students most need to find when they first come to Oxford.