Oxford Essay Competitions

Essay competitions are brilliant for a number of reasons!

You can use them to:

- Explore a topic you’re fascinated about beyond the school curriculum
- Develop invaluable research and essay writing experience
- Show evidence of your genuine interest in your subject when writing your personal statement!

Here are some of the essay competitions currently open for submissions. Be sure to check any eligibility criteria, requirements and deadlines. This page will be updated when new competitions are announced, so check back regularly!

‘Prismatic Jane Eyre’: Modern Languages 🔗 A ‘creative translation’ competition where entrants must translate a given passage of Jane Eyre into a language of their choice, thinking creatively to interpret the extract through a different cultural lens. Open to students from Year 7-13, including several different age categories and extracts. Deadline: 1st March 2022.

Christ Church College, Tower Poetry Competition: English 🔗 🌟 This year, students aged 16-18 are invited to submit their original poetry based on the prompt ‘dream’. The competition offers a huge first prize of £3000! Deadline: 2nd March 2022.

St John’s College, Classics and Ancient History 🔗 🌟 Year 12 students may submit an essay of up to 2,000 words on any of the four set questions. All entrants, regardless of whether they win a prize or not, will be invited to St John’s College in April 2022 to attend a study afternoon. The deadline for the essay competition is 3rd March 2022.

‘Quantum on the Clock’: Science and Technology 🔗 Aspiring science or technology students currently in Years 12 and 13 (or equivalent) are invited to submit a three-minute-long video explaining any aspect of quantum science or technology which interests them. Deadline: 31st March 2022.

Oriel College, Lloyd David Philosophy Prize 🔗 Entrants are given a set of philosophical questions from which they will choose one to write an essay on. The judges look for evidence of originality, clarity and critical thinking. Applications will open in Spring 2022.

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