Life as a Foundation Year student in Oxford

Lauren Charters
Created: 3 years, 2 months ago
Last modified: 3 years ago

What was the application process like?

I had to submit my UCAS personal statement, predicted grades etc. and also had to do some extra things. I filled in a form detailing my parents’ occupations, household income, and wrote an essay about my educational background. I also had to write an essay about someone who inspired me. The deadline for this was about December time.

Then when I got accepted for an interview at LMH, which was in March/April, I was really excited. When we got there, we went to the dining hall to drink some tea and then sat in the JCR with the other interviewees and a few of the current foundation year students. One of them gave me a tour around college and I saw Archie the dog, who looks just like a cloud!

For the interview itself, the interview was 30 minutes long and split into half psychology and half general, so I was asked questions like how would I design a study that measures personality and I think I was asked to talk about areas that I found interesting, and then I was asked general questions like how has my educational background impacted me and if I’m more of a team player or a leader.

How did you find your foundation year?

I think the LMH Foundation Year provides good experience with life as an Oxford student. My favourite part was having tutorials on pretty much anything the tutor wanted to cover, so I wrote some quite niche essays on whether there is a glass ceiling in the workplace and dark triad personality and the use of transcranial direct current stimulation in stroke patients. We also had sessions aimed at preparing us for our undergraduate interviews, one of which involved producing a soundscape and another involved a session with a voice coach. We also had sessions with the college Principal, Alan Rusbridger, on politics, and we also went to a law firm, saw a case at a law court and watched a play at a theatre. There were only 11 of us so we felt like a very tight knit group and it felt like I instantly had people I could relate to. I’d highly recommend it, because it’s free and aimed at improving people’s chances of getting into top universities if you’re from an unrepresented background.

What was the workload like? How different was it to the workload for the rest of your degree?

The workload was pretty low, I only had to do one essay and one problem sheet every week and occasionally write a short article about a political issue from Alan’s sessions, and didn’t have any lectures. In the third term I did an 8-week project as well, which was a lot of fun. When I started my degree, the workload increased a lot (to 2 essays and a problem sheet every week, and about 6 lectures per week, and exams at the end of the second term). Now I have to do 1 essay and 1 presentation a week, and work on practical lab reports, and have about 6 lectures a week.

What was the process for progressing onto the undergraduate degree - did you have to apply or meet any specific requirements?

I had to go through the UCAS process again, so writing my personal statement, completing the admissions test, and having interviews. Once I got my offer, I had to complete the foundation year with an overall score of 6/10 or above.

Do you think it helps with your degree now?

I think it definitely helped with structuring essays and thinking critically about things. We also had sessions on time management which has helped me learn to prioritise tasks. Now that I’ve got a lot more work, I think the high workload of an Oxford degree is what teaches you the most about time management, so I think learning through experience and prioritising the most important tasks is the most important thing.


You can find out more about the Foundation Year at LMH, Oxford here 🔗.
Cambridge is also launching a Foundation Year scheme for 2022 entry - find out more here 🔗 and read our exclusive blog post written by the Foundation Year coordinators 🔗 🌟.