A day in the life of an English student at Oxford


If you can't quite imagine what a typical day looks like for an English student at Oxford University, take a look at the below examples to find out more. Remember that the details will be different depending on which course you choose, and will vary depending on what you like to do in your spare time. 

Jessie Goetzinger-Hall, 2nd year English student at Christ Church

Image of Jessie Goetzinger-Hall

7am - Wake up, get ready and have breakfast: often in the winter my friends come to my room and we all eat together, and in summer we love to do coffee, croissants and fruit in the quad. 


8.30am - Head to the English Faculty for lectures: English lectures often happen in the morning, and I find them the best way to get lots of new information quickly! They are also the best place to meet people from other colleges!


12pm - Walk back to college and have lunch: this is usually the best time to check emails and maybe look over a few notes. 


1.15pm - Working in the college library: I like to do reading for classes and essays in short bursts, so if I have a spare hour or so I usually head to the college library to look at a few chapters.


2.30pm - Group class or tutorial. 


3.30pm - Time for a quick cup of a tea and a post-class catch up. 


4.00pm - Dog walk: one of my favourite things to do is borrow a member of staff’s dog and take a few laps of the Christ Church meadows, I always figure out my best essay plans on a walk! 


4.45pm - Back to the library!


6.00pm - Dinner in hall.


7.00pm - On a busy week we might head back to the library for a little bit after dinner, work together in someone’s room or even out on the grass to read for an essay if the weather is nice. On quieter weeks I might be rehearsing for a play, going to a poetry reading or just watching a film with friends! 


Ashley Broadhurst, 2nd year History and English student at Regents Park College

Image of student Ashley Broadhurst

9:00am- I am most definitely a morning person so for me my day begins at 9:00am with a walk to the English Faculty Library which is a 10-15minute walk from my college. The walk is quite nice especially on a sunny day whilst listening to music and is a relaxing enough start to my busy day.

9:15am - Arrive at the library to return my books from last week’s essay (this routine works really well for me and means so far I haven’t managed to get any fines). If my tutor has given me this week’s reading list in advance I will also collect my new books whilst I am here to save time later in the week.

10:00am- Arrive back at college where I will probably file some notes away from the last week and tidy my room/do general housework as for me a tidy room most definitely creates a tidy mind.

11:00am - Brew! My college, Regents Park, has a daily brew (Monday - Friday) at 11am and 4pm meaning there is free tea and biscuits in the JCR. This is the perfect time to catch up with friends across college and to see everyone before the busy part of the day begins.

12:30pm- Lunch, sometimes I eat in hall (which is another good way to meet people across college, and is especially useful in first term) but usually I make lunch for myself before getting my things ready to head off to my lecture.

1:30pm- Leave college with some course-mates to head to Exam Schools where the lecture is starting at 2pm. This particular lecture series was to prepare us for the coursework paper so was really important and useful.

3:15pm- Arrive back at college after the lecture. As I have a college tutorial at 4pm I will just get my notes for the tutorial ready and read over the essay the tutorial will be based on. This makes me feel more prepared and reminds me of the argument I made.

4-5:30pm- Tutorial lengths differ depending on the tutor’s preference and timetable for that day/week, most are an hour but sometimes they can be over an hour. This tutorial was based on my reading and essay of Virginia Woolf’s novels particularly focusing on how the consciousness was presented. The tutorial was really useful and helped me further develop and refine my points and meant that I also got some further recommendations on where to take my reading next (which is particularly useful for revision during the vacation).

After my tutorial which marks the end of my ‘contact hours’ for this day I will cook dinner with my friends as our accommodation gives us kitchens. We will usually eat dinner together and have a catch up about our days/what we plan to do in the week.

After dinner I will speak to my family back home, which I try to do pretty often as I love hearing what they are up to whilst I am away.

As this week’s essay was set in the tutorial I will look up any books I need, that I do not already have, on the online system to find which libraries I need to go to.  After this, as the essay has only just been set I will have a shower and try to have an early night (which is only successful if I don’t bump into any of my friends in the hallway for a chat!).