Freshers' Guides 2021

Undergraduate Freshers' Guide 2021



Letter from the JCR President

Dear Fresher,

Congratulations!! It’s been a strange and unusual year, and you should be so proud of yourself for having made it into Oxford. Christ Church has one of the largest JCRs (the undergraduate student body) in Oxford, made up of students from a variety of backgrounds who share a strong sense of community. This place will feel like home before you know it, and I can’t wait to welcome you!

My name is Anjali, and I’m a second year studying Law. I’m from California, which means even after a year in Oxford, you’ll probably still catch me out in the rain without an umbrella. I am very excited to serve as your JCR president this academic year! My role includes a wide range of responsibilities, but my most important task is to represent you and the rest of the JCR to the College. I am part of the JCR committee, which is made up of representatives who deal with different aspects of college life, such as entertainment (entz), sports, welfare, and several different identity groups. The Welfare reps, Hanya and Gianni, work to ensure the wellbeing of all students. They’re part of the Welfare team, headed by Clare Hayns, our wonderful college Chaplain and Welfare Coordinator. If you need welfare support, you can reach out to them, and they’re able to offer help and direct you towards resources such as trained peer supporters and the University Counselling Team. Yan and Bartek, your freshers’ reps, have put together a wonderful freshers’ week for you. They’ll be your first point of contact if you have questions about anything from laundry to club nights.

Events and updates relating to the JCR will be sent to your Oxford University email address, and we also share information more informally to the Christ Church JCR Facebook group, which we encourage you to join before you arrive. I also highly recommend reading the Freshers’ Guide, which has all kinds of useful information ranging from what you’ll need to pack to how to call the Porters’ Lodge. Please also feel free to add me on Facebook and message me if you have any questions! Older years, especially those on the same course as you, will always be happy to help answer any questions you might have, so please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the JCR.

One piece of advice I’d offer is to get as much of your set reading done as you can before you arrive. I know it can be tough to keep to a schedule during the summer, but I promise it will really pay off to be ahead on reading once you’re surrounded by everything Oxford has to offer. Our terms are particularly short, at only eight weeks, which means you’ll be juggling work, sleep and socialising, and getting as much work (and rest) as you can over the summer will leave you with the most time to have fun once you arrive. There will be a society or club that matches any interest you might have, and joining societies is a wonderful way to meet people outside college. It’s also important to remember, however, that even if you don’t participate in something in Michaelmas, you’ll still have two more terms to try everything out before the end of your first year.

I remember how nervous I felt in the weeks before I came to Oxford. There were so many unknowns, and I could never have imagined myself feeling at home in a place so unfamiliar. Now Christ Church feels like a second home, even though it’s five thousand miles away from where I grew up. I know you’ll feel the same way, and I look forward to watching this beautiful place become a home to you too.

Please reach out to me with absolutely any questions, concerns, or worries (via email or any social media). The JCR committee is here to help, too, and are always available to help you. All our contact details can be found in the freshers guide.

Have a great rest of your summer, and I can’t wait to meet you in October!

Anjali Ramanathan

JCR President

Letter from the Freshers' Reps

Hello, and welcome to Christ Church!

We are Yan and Bartek, your freshers’ reps and we are here to help you transition into your life here at Christ Church (aka ChCh/the House) as well as organising your freshers’ week! Firstly, a massive congratulations! Getting into Oxford is no easy feat especially with the disturbances of the pandemic so please do feel incredibly proud, you have worked hard to be here, and Christ Church is proud to have you!

A little introduction about ourselves:


Hi, my name is Yan and I am a second year Experimental Psychologist. I’m from Suffolk and I went to sixth form in Essex before coming to Oxford. My interests include neuroscience and advances in neurosurgery as well as the effect of socioeconomic status on childhood development. In my spare time I enjoy visiting new places in Oxford with my friends; Oxford is such an amazing city, so I encourage you to explore it as well as ChCh, your new home! I am also involved in college netball and I’m one of the Novice Captains for Christ Church Boat Club. Getting involved in college sports is a super fun way to meet new people and de-stress whether you are a beginner or have been playing for years!


My name is Bartek and I am a second year studying Law with French Law. I originally come from a small town in southern Poland, but before coming to the UK, I spent two years studying in an international IB school in Tel Aviv. I am very much involved in a number of student societies, including the Law Society (strongly recommend joining for fantastic career events and legendary socials!), the Polish Society and the Oxford Strategy Group. So far, they have taken up most of my free time, so I haven’t really had time for sports, but this term, I’m joining rowing, so expect to see me at introductory sessions for novices! Apart from that, I am strongly interested in global politics, European integration, and, increasingly, the start-up environment.

We understand that this transition can be difficult, particularly with the difficulties that we faced and are still facing during the pandemic. But fear not, Christ Church is a wonderful place that you will get to call home for the duration of your degree. You will be surrounded by wonderful friends and knowledgeable tutors that will support you along the way. Christ Church has fantastic welfare support that you can reach out to at any time such as the welfare reps, peer supporters, the Wardens and Clare: the welfare coordinator and chaplain. We are amongst many others who can help you settle in and talk to you about any concerns you have – please do reach out and have a chat (or some tea) with us! In addition, there are lots of welfare events to get involved in to de-stress and take a study break such as Brain Strain Tea (free tea and amazing homemade cakes!) and college sports.

As your freshers’ reps, we have worked together to offer you a fantastic freshers’ week! Before freshers’ week a timetable will be sent to you, please check out and sign up to the events for some good fun! We have planned music performances, sports, orienteering (a great way to explore Oxford) and of course nights out! Although we do not have much experience, we have been told that Oxford’s nightlife is very chilled: jeans and trainers are more than fine to go out in if you do not want to dress up. Christ Church is fantastic at organising cheap tickets in advance that will go on your battels bills, so you can buy your tickets from the college. Clubbing will be great whether you drink or not, if you do drink please do so sensibly and with the safety of you, your peers and the college in mind. However, drinking is entirely a personal choice and there is no pressure to drink at all during freshers’ week or at any time during your time here. We have also planned many other events if clubbing is not your scene, including ice skating and movie nights and maybe even mini golf, which are equally as fun!

We hope that you have a really enjoyable week, but please don’t push yourselves too much! Although you can get club tickets for most nights during freshers’ week, having a movie night and relaxing is also great during the week. You will dive straight into 1st week work and most of you will be set work to do during freshers’ week as well. Please also take the time to get to know Christ Church and Oxford and do your best to stay well! Freshers’ flu is not fun for anyone and we would hate for you to spend the next eight weeks battling with it! We know that your first week can be incredibly overwhelming, but do not worry – things do settle down and you will get into the swing of things here. But if you are struggling, do not struggle in silence, please reach out to us!

If you have any questions or concerns related to university life, academics or just want to have a chat, feel free to reach out. Also follow our Instagram @chchfreshers which is where we will be posting about coming to Oxford and freshers’ week. Lastly, again a huge congratulations, we can’t wait to meet you in October!

MuChCh love,

Yan and Bartek x

Role of the JCR

The JCR (Junior Common Room) is the body responsible for representing the views of all the undergraduates in Christ Church. Every college has a JCR and a GCR (Graduate Common Room for postgraduates) and every student is automatically a member of one of these. Most common rooms are also members of Oxford University Student Union (Oxford SU – see below). Our JCR is run by a committee elected at different points throughout the year at Hustings. There are general meetings of all its members at least three times a term. The JCR is there to serve the undergraduate members of the college, so if there is an issue or action that you would like to be raised, then the best way to do it is to submit a motion. A motion needs to have a Proposer and Seconder and must be submitted by email to the Secretary in good time a few days before the meeting. The motions will then be introduced and debated by the JCR.

These are the roles available on the JCR committee – there will be posters available around college with the current team and you will meet many of them in Freshers’ Week. You can also find out more information about the current reps on the JCR website. Reps and Executive Officers are appointed by democratic vote in hustings.


Executive Officers 

The President

Anjali Ramanathan:

The Vice President

Yun Kei Chow:

The Junior Treasurer

Lily O’Brien:

The Secretary

Eliza Dean:


Elected Representatives

The First Year (Freshers’) Reps

Female Welfare Rep

Male Welfare Rep

Ethnic and Religious Minorities Officers

OUSU (Oxford SU) Rep

Cake, Accommodation, Kitchens and Electricity Rep (CAKE) Rep

Environment and Sustainability Rep

Arts Rep

Bar Rep

Careers Rep

Entertainment (Entz) Reps

Food Rep

Special Diets Rep

RAG (Raising and Giving) Reps

Sports Rep


Appointed Officers


Returning Officer

Access Officers

IT Officer

International Officer

Peer Support Coordinator

Disabled Students Officer

Gender Equality Officer

Inreach Officer

Liddell Rep


Attached Representatives

Space-Time Rep

Sound Engineer

Library Rep

Tortoise Rep

    Subject Representatives

    Subject reps are students who can offer informal advice on work or subject-related concerns. You will meet them during Freshers’ Week, and you will receive a letter from them before you arrive in Oxford.

    College Families

    At Christ Church we operate a ‘Family System’ where incoming students are assigned two second-year students to look out for them, help them settle in and lend their support with work. At least one of your parents will be reading your subject or something similar, so they will be able to provide lots of advice for the first essay or work sheet! You should receive a letter shortly from both your parents giving you a preliminary welcome to Christ Church.

    JCR Facilities

    The JCR is also the rooms in Tom Quad where students can go to relax, watch TV or enjoy our college cafe, and where we hold our twice termly Bops. It is open from 6am-3am and houses the following facilities:

    • Café, serving hot drinks and paninis (to be reviewed depending on status of Covid-19)
    • Drinks and vending machines
    • Pool table
    • Table Football and Table Tennis
    • TV, Video and DVD Player
    • Newspapers and magazines
    • Workstations with internet access

    College Authorities

    Christ Church can at first seem to be governed by a collection of strangely-titled people! Although you will quickly get to know who’s who in the College, below is a brief introduction to all those hardworking people who make sure that Christ Church continues to be a fantastic place to live and work. There will be several meetings in Freshers’ Week where you will get to meet the various authorities. In the meantime, here is a quick run through of the senior figures in the House.

    The Governing Body

    A body made up of all Students (that is Fellows, not undergraduates) and Canons of Christ Church. These are your tutors and they have ultimate authority in Christ Church. The Governing Body is chaired by the Dean, and delegates much of its business to committees. It meets in full three times each term to review and to approve (or not as the case may be) recommendations from the committees

    The Censors (Senior Censor: Professor Dirk Aarts; Junior Censor: Professor Kevin McGerty)

    The Senior Censor and the Junior Censor have wide-reaching responsibilities in College, particularly in academic and disciplinary terms. A new Junior Censor is appointed every two years from amongst the College’s Governing Body, and they then serve a further two years as Senior Censor. The Junior Censor has particular responsibility for discipline in college, authorises room parties and other such events, and has the power to levy fines in cases of rule-breaking. The Senior Censor oversees academic matters such as requests to change subject, entry for examinations, room allocation, the academic budget, and much else. The Censors’ Offices are located on the staircase in the far South East of Tom Quad on Staircase 8. Both Censors are College Tutors with lots of experience with students and the academic problems they may face. They are available to discuss any such problems, and the Junior Censor has ‘drop-in sessions’.

    The Academic Registrar (Ms Helen Etty)

    The Academic Registrar heads the Academic Office team and deals with a number of academic and non-academic matters. The Academic Office should be the first point of contact for students with any academic or general queries.

    The Treasurer (Mr James Lawrie)

    This is not a person you are likely to come across very often, but nevertheless he is an important college officer. He is the smart man with the dog (named Rufus), collapsible bicycle and tuneful whistle. As you would expect, he is in charge of the House’s finances.

    The Steward (Ms Pauline Linières-Hartley)

    The Steward is in charge of domestic affairs within College. She employs all domestic staff (including all the Porters and Scouts) and has ultimate responsibility over accommodation and Hall. She also coordinates Christ Church’s bustling tourist trade and oversees vacation conferences.

    The Manciple (Ms Jacqueline Billington)

    The Manciple works in the Steward’s office, and is in charge of preparing or answering queries about battels (see Finance section).

    The Head Porter (Mr Juan Nogal Velez) and Porters (

    The Head Porter leads the staff at the Lodge (to be found to the north of Tom Tower). The Lodge staff are a knowledgeable bunch who man a 24-hour information centre. They deal with inter-collegiate post, spare room keys, external post and a multitude of other miscellaneous items. They are ready to help in most situations, and should be treated with the courtesy and respect that they thoroughly deserve.

    The Custodians

    The Custodians can be identified by their bowler hats and strategic positioning along the main thoroughfares of College. Their role is to keep the tourists flowing and out of the places they shouldn’t be in! They can seem a little intimidating when ticking off nosy tourists but are absolutely charming to College members and are always good for a friendly chat.

    The Clerk of Works (Mr Steve Brown)

    Christ Church’s remarkable handyman and his department are always on hand to fix things. The office is located on the south side of the lane running between Christ Church and the buildings by the Meadow. If you have any problems with your accommodation, please contact the Lodge who can then contact the Clerk of Works on your behalf.

    The Chapter

    Christ Church, as you may already know, is a joint foundation comprising the Diocesan Headquarters of the Church of England in Oxfordshire and a College of the University of Oxford. Therefore, one of the smallest English Cathedrals also functions as one of the largest college chapels. You won’t necessarily come across the Cathedral’s Chapter very much, but it’s good to know who they are: the Archdeacon, Sub-Dean, Precentor and four resident canons (all holding impressive University Chairs such as the Regius Professorship of Divinity) live within College (mainly in the large houses on Tom Quad) and are very much a part of College life.

    College Welfare

    The welfare of students is taken seriously at Christ Church and there are many different people who are available for advice and support. There is health and welfare information on our webpages for freshers and also on our dedicated page for welfare support in Christ Church. Please note that some of this information will be updated in the coming weeks, so please do check back for the latest information.

    The JCR Female Welfare Rep is Hanya El-Geresy -

    The JCR Male Welfare Rep is Gianni Tam McMillan -

    College Facilities

    Christ Church is fortunate as one of the larger colleges to have a fair amount of space which has been used to provide some really good facilities for students:

    College Libraries

    Christ Church has two libraries; the College Library and the Law Library. The Law Library is only accessible to students studying Law, and has 24-hour access. The main College Library has the advantage (or disadvantage depending on how easily distracted you are) of being a very impressive 18th-century structure. It is well-stocked for most subjects, but requests can be made to tutors if there are any texts noticeably lacking. Undergraduates can borrow up to 20 books at a time for a period of two weeks, and there is also a vacation borrowing scheme in place.

    Both sides of the Library have large tables to work on, power sockets and Ethernet ports (although you can set up your laptop to use the wireless network by registering it at the Computing Office). Generally speaking, the left hand side of the library caters for arts subjects, the right hand side for sciences.

    The College Library is open during Full Term from 09:00-01:00. The library closes for part of the vacation, and vacation opening hours are posted on the college website and at the enquiries desk.

    The college operates an online cataloguing system, SOLO, used across all of Oxford’s libraries, which allows you to search online to see if a book you are looking for is available or on loan.

    The Upper Library can be visited on application to the library staff at most times during the week – it’s a really impressive space, holding many first-edition copies of some of the most famous and influential books published.

    You will have a library induction in your first week to show you the library and how to use the relative systems within it, so you needn’t worry if it seems a little daunting.

    The Cathedral

    The Cathedral (which also doubles as the College chapel) is opposite Tom Gate and it is well worth taking a look around whatever your religious preference. It is the original chapel of the priory on which the College was founded and has some impressive and beautiful architectural features. College services take place regularly in the Cathedral. Details of Cathedral services and events can be found in the Cathedral section on the Christ Church website, and in the Chaplaincy Term Card, distributed to students at the beginning of each term.

    The Meadow

    Just outside Meadow Gate lies Christ Church Meadow, which is used to graze some friendly-looking cows for some of the year. The path around the Meadow is a lovely walk in the summer, and you can also walk down to the river and the Boat Houses. It makes a nice distance for those looking for a small jog in the morning, whilst when the weather improves in Trinity it fast becomes a picnic hubbub.

    The Music Room

    The Music room can be found on the ground floor of Tom Staircase 4 and is available for practice to any student in College. It contains a grand piano (strictly for classical music only) and a harpsichord – you can apply to the Tutor of Music to add your name to the list of people allowed to sign the key out from the Porters’ Lodge. There is a book in the Lodge for booking a time slot.

    The Art Room

    The College Art Room is in Blue Boar and is open for absolutely everyone to use. It has easels, boards, lots of materials and space: the Christ Church Art Tutor supervises the room and organises activities such as workshops and exhibitions during term.

    The Picture Gallery

    You can find the Christ Church Picture Gallery in Canterbury Quad, and it contains an impressive collection of Old Masters and is well worth a visit (especially since it’s free for Christ Church members). The collection was formed through gifts and bequests from Old Members of the House. The paintings are mainly 14th-18th-century Italian, and the drawings cover a wide range with most major artists represented, from Leonardo to Rubens. Due to space constraints, only a selection of these can be displayed at any one time, but they are rotated regularly and anyone who wishes to look at drawings not on display can contact the Curator of the Picture Gallery.

    Sports Facilities

    We are very fortunate at Christ Church to have fantastic sports facilities that our students can use. Please visit our Sports page for more information.

    The Boat House

    Despite owning all of ‘Boat House Island’ (the area just beyond the Meadow which runs alongside the Isis), the college decided to put our Boat House at the far end, as far away from college as possible, and set at a jaunty angle! Christ Church Boat Club also includes the graduate Kellogg College and has enjoyed quite a successful past few years, including M1 coming Head of the River (the title awarded to the boats at the very top of Division 1 in both the men's and women's competitions at the end of racing) in 2017. The Boat House stores all of the College’s boats (named historically pertinent things like ‘Cardinal Wolsey’) and upstairs has a weight training room and the erg machines.

    Even if you feel that getting up horrendously early to row for College is not your thing, the Boat House doubles as a bit of a social arena during the main races (Torpids in Hilary, Summer Eights in Trinity), with College members coming to cheer on the Christ Church boats.

    College Punts

    This quintessential summer pastime is available for Christ Church students during Trinity. We have three punts available to book – there is a small annual charge of £5 added to battels for the maintenance of these and a small charge for using them (but it’s far less than the commercial boats). You can book them online using the Sports booking system. Confirmation from them can take a couple of days so make sure to create an account in advance.

    The Undercroft

    Affectionately known as ‘The Undie’ for short, the College bar can be found in Schools Quad just below the Lee Building. It’s quite small (which means it pretty much always has a buzzing atmosphere...) but the drinks are very reasonably priced and it boasts a juke box, sofas and televisions.

    Lawns and Gardens

    According to the college Blue Book (the book of rules which you will receive electronically) you may not go on the grass in Tom Quad unless you have dined in Formal Hall during Trinity and are still wearing your gown! In Trinity, you are also allowed to sit on the grass in Peck, but no ball games are allowed on any of the lawns in Tom, Peck or Blue Boar.

    During Trinity and the first four weeks of Michaelmas, the Masters’ Garden is open during the day for members of the college to relax free from the burden of tourists. It’s a really lovely space and perfect for whiling away the sunny days. You can also play croquet there.

    College Societies

    There are a number of different student societies at Christ Church, which cater for all sorts of interests. Please visit our College Societies page for more information.

    If you are interested in choral singing, please read this letter from the Choir Director and Choir Manager.

    What to Bring

    We’ve compiled a list of the absolute essentials and commonly used objects that will be good to bring with you – panic not!

    Your room will already contain a sink, fridge, pin board and desk lamp, as well as all the usual pieces of furniture.


    • Duvet and covers
    • Pillows and cases
    • Sheets
    • A set of towels

    Very useful (you can bring these items with you, or they can be purchased in Oxford)

    • Mugs and glasses
    • Plates and cutlery
    • Washing up liquid, sponges and a tea towel
    • Kettle
    • Tea, coffee, snacks
    • Bottle opener/corkscrew
    • Laundry basket
    • Washing powder
    • Laptop
    • Extension lead/multi-socket
    • Alarm clock – crucial for getting up after late nights
    • A mobile phone – pretty essential for Oxford life

    Work and Play

    • Stationery – pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, hole punch, staplers, calculator. Drawing pins are useful as the only place you can put up posters is on your pin board!
    • Files/notebooks.
    • Stuff to decorate your room – photos, pictures, posters, cushions, throws, you want it to be homely!
    • Textbooks/set texts.

    Computers and Internet

    Although the requirements for word processing and internet use vary from course to course, it is strongly recommended that you bring your own computer to make your life as easy as possible. Please look at the IT information on the website.


    You are given an individual email account from the Oxford University Computing Services. For students at Christ Church, the email address will usually be in this format:  

    The email service that Oxford uses is Microsoft Exchange, and the web address is Your username will be the prefix ‘chri’ followed by an individual four-digit number you will receive when you come up.

    There is more information available here:

    You will need to sign your University card form and return it NOW so that your email account can start before you arrive – it’s vitally important that you do this as soon as possible, as Oxford tends to run off email and you don’t want to miss any important information!

    You will automatically be added to the JCR mailing list for Christ Church, and the University-wide one for your faculty – it’s also a really useful point of contact for your friends, and any clubs or societies that you might want to belong to.


    The Computer Room is equipped with computers and several printers and is located at the bottom of Peck Staircase 9. The door is operated by your fob, which will gain you access across college to rooms too.

    In order to activate your account on the college computers and use the printers, you will need to log on to the following web page using your Oxford SSO credentials (the same credentials as your email account) and set the password for your local Christ Church network account. Printing in the Computer Room costs 5p per sheet in black and white and 20p per sheet in colour and use is charged to your battles. If you intend on regularly using the printers, a memory stick to transfer documents will be very useful.

    Bringing your own printer can be very useful, but it can be expensive to run and you may find yourself besieged by requests to print off friends’ essays! Also, wireless printers may cause interference with the wireless network provided within college.


    Oxford is a very bike-friendly city and some of you may wish to bring one up with you. This is especially advisable if you plan on playing a lot of sport (both Christ Church and the University Sports grounds are a 5-minute cycle compared to a 15-minute walk) or if your subject faculty or library are a fair distance from college.

    Don’t worry if you don’t have a bike or don’t feel comfortable cycling on roads – nothing in Oxford is very far away! The most important thing to remember is to be safety-conscious; the roads in the city were not designed for modern traffic. Always wear a helmet, and bring a good quality, strong bike lock to deter all the would-be thieves from pinching your only mode of transport (D-locks are always the safest).

    There are two secure bike sheds in College, one at Tom Gate and one at Canterbury Gate, which are only accessible with a fob. There is CCTV in all bike sheds across college. Before you can store your bike in these, you must register it at the Porters’ Lodge. This is part of a scheme run by Thames Valley Police – for a one-off payment of £2 the Porters will register your bike and give you a sticker to put on the frame so if it’s stolen, it can be traced back to you if found.


    There are two laundry rooms in college – in Blue Boar Quad and the basement of Meadows Staircase 4 and Peck 8. Washes cost £2.70 per load and drying costs £1.30.

    The easiest way to use the machines is to download the circuit app and put money onto a top-up account using your debit card. If this is proving temperamental (which it has been known to do) you can get a laundry card from the JCR (near the vending machines around the corner) and it works as a pay-as-you-go system where you top up online (follow the instructions on the back of the card).

    The facilities can get very busy, so it’s often useful to try and plan your visit at a time when you think no one else will be about (i.e. not Sundays), and to not leave washing until you are literally on your last set of clean clothes!


    Every staircase has a Scout – an Oxford term for the people who clean your rooms and maintain the staircases and their facilities. Your bins (one normal, and one recycling) will be emptied every morning, and your carpet hoovered and sink cleaned once a week. If you don’t want your Scout to come in to your room, then just leave your bins outside your door for them to collect.

    Your scout will probably end up seeing you more than your tutors, and will get to know you (and all your bad habits!) very well, so make sure you introduce yourself when you first see them. They have seen it all before, and very likely worse! It’s important to always remember to treat them with consideration and respect as it’s a tough job tidying up after hordes of students. They are very friendly and more than willing to have a chat or help you if there’s a problem in your room.


    The cheapest and easiest way to get three square meals a day at Christ Church is from Hall (yes, the one from Harry Potter...). Dinner in Hall at Christ Church is the cheapest of all the Oxford colleges at just over £2.00 for three courses each night on the college season ticket scheme. Food in hall is of a high standard, and soon you will all have your favourite dishes. The menu changes each week, and the Food Rep will always try to take on board your suggestions.

    Facilities for cooking in college rooms are quite minimal which, although it can be a little frustrating at times, has the advantage that meal times are always social occasions and a good chance to catch up with friends. In your room, you are only permitted a kettle. Anyone found to be breaking these rules will have the offending appliance confiscated (plus the risk that you will be the hated person who keeps setting off the fire alarm) so it’s not really worth it.


    Dietary Requirements

    Hall is able to cater for all vegetarian and vegan students (and most other diets) at every meal. Students with dietary requirements should go to the Steward’s Office with a passport-sized photo and your Bod Card, explain your dietary needs, and you will be issued with a corresponding card which you present to the servers at the meal.


    All meals in Hall, except dinner, are operated on a card pay-as-you-go system – you choose the food you want and then pay at the till. Prices are very good and a cooked lunch or a full English breakfast will usually only cost around £2.

    You will automatically be registered for a ‘season ticket’ for dinner in Hall, which means you will be automatically charged whether or not you actually eat in Hall. For the most part, this is the most economical way to pay, as the majority of people only dine out of Hall on special occasions. You will be billed for your food (roughly £190, for weeks 1-8) on your termly battels. If you decide that you don’t eat enough in Hall for the season ticket to be worthwhile, then you can opt out of the scheme for the next term and use pay-as-you-go instead.

    The Buttery is located just off the Ante-Hall (the area in front of Hall) and is open before and after dinner for students to buy drinks from. Bottles of wine from the college cellars can be battled, although there is a limit of £60 per term, and all other drinks are paid for by cash.



    These are your termly College bills and include charges for rent, heating and electricity and food, as well as several JCR levies, which are very small and contribute towards the upkeep of college activities and facilities.

    Students who live in College are normally charged for their accommodation in Michaelmas Term from the Sunday night of 0th Week to Friday night of 8th Week (a total of 62 nights). Accommodation for remaining terms for all undergraduates are charged from Thursday of 0th Week to Friday of 8th week (a total of 58 nights). Full details can be found on the Steward's Office Information for Undergraduates (fees and charges) page.

    You must always remember to sign out and hand in your keys at the end of term; otherwise you may find yourself charged for nights when you’re not in residence, and fined for the mistake.

    Battels are paid by direct debit, which you will arrange in advance with a form sent to you by College - your bank account will be charged with the full outstanding battels balance on the Friday of 2nd Week, i.e. ten working days after bills are emailed out. If you have a query with your battels, you must notify the Steward’s Office before Friday of 2nd Week. In such cases the uncontested balance only will be debited pending resolution of the query.

    Student Possessions Insurance

    All graduates and undergraduates who are living in are covered by a Student Possessions Insurance Policy which is administered through Endsleigh Insurance Services. The annual premium of £6.78 will be charged to your first battels bill each Michaelmas term. This insurance is fairly comprehensive, but can be updated if required. However, it’s worth checking what level of cover you get from your family’s Home Insurance before shelling out any more money. The most important thing is to obey what it says on the piece of paper from Endsleigh, and don’t lose it!


    There is useful information about banks in the Financial Guide for Undergraduates, which can be found on the website.

    Grants and Financial Assistance Funds

    There is a range of support and assistance in place to help you manage your finances during your studies at Christ Church. For more information, please visit the Financial Assistance and Support pages on the website.


    Apart from the Christ Church library, the main library in Oxford is the Bodleian; it is huge, extending down below the streets of the city and has one of the best collections of books, periodicals, articles and journals in the world. There will be a library induction at the Bodleian for each subject during Freshers’ Week, and this is probably the most important one to attend, as it can be difficult to find your subject’s section, let alone the books you need, without it!

    The Bod is a non-lending library (with some exceptions) which means you can only use the book within the confines of library walls – this has the advantage that you will never find that someone has checked out the crucial book that you need! The regulations on silence and no food and drink or mobile phones is more strictly observed in the Bod than at other libraries, and a guard may search your bag on entering or leaving each section.

    Your library induction will provide full details of how to use Canvas (the University’s online intranet) and the Online Libraries Catalogue SOLO; this is an invaluable tool for tracking down the books you need, and saves many wasted trips to libraries that don’t have what you need available!

    Due to the obvious problems of space, a lot of the Bodleian’s material is not actually shelved in the libraries; if you find that a book you need is stored in the ‘stacks’ (extensive storage warehouses both in Oxford and around the country) then you will need to order it up. This is best done online through SOLO, as it means you can wait (usually a few hours) for your book to arrive from the comfort of your own room. Confusingly, in order to access the ordering up system, you have to use a username and password that the University will have assigned to you, the format of which is difficult to find out, but ridiculously easy once you know:

    Username: your Bod card number (the one above the bar code)

    Password: your date of birth in the format of the two numbers of the day, the first three letters of the month and the full year in numbers e.g. 19feb1991.

    Another very useful feature of OLIS, the online library service, is that you can access a vast range of journals and periodicals (and some books) online as ‘ejournals’ through SOLO. The list that the University subscribes to is growing each year, so it’s always worth checking to see if what you need is online.

    Of course, each individual faculty will have its own libraries, which you will probably find yourself using on a regular basis. They all have their own regulations on usage and borrowing books, but the important thing to remember is that pretty much all the libraries will levy fines for late or lost books. Therefore, if you don’t want your library trips to become very expensive, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on those due dates!

    Each student will automatically be a member of their subject’s faculty library, however you can register to use other faculty libraries free of charge – just take your Bod Card with you to which ever library you need to use and the staff will be able to help you.

    Photocopying is available at most libraries – to do this you use the self-service machines located near the photocopiers to buy a print and photocopy card which can then be topped up. Black and white printing or photocopying is charged at 7p per sheet of A4 and 10p per sheet of A3.


    Please see the information on the Coming into residence page.


    We hope we’ve been able to provide lots of information in this guide about what to expect from life at Christ Church.

    From our own experience, we can reassure you that although it can seem a little hectic and daunting at first, the College is full of friendly, interesting, active people across all years, and there are some fantastic opportunities available to get involved in at Oxford, both academic and extra-curricular. We are really looking forward to welcoming you all in October, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact any of the people below.


    Accommodation queries – Jackie Folliard –

    House Manager (for housekeeping queries) – Camilla Mirto –

    Porters’ Lodge – 01865 276150

    Christ Church Website


    Oxford has its own obscure and at times, silly language. Hopefully this glossary will make sure that you don’t spend the first week wandering around in total bemusement, and have you spouting Ox-speak like a pro...


    The bill you receive from College consisting of rent, hall charges, heating and electricity bills, JCR levies and many other weird and wonderful expenses. Although it can feel like some fantastic free credit card (especially when batteling wine from the Buttery), it’s always best to err on the side of caution, unless you want to be hit with a staggeringly huge bill next term.


    Oxford’s largest bookshop located in Broad Street opposite the Sheldonian Theatre – it looks tiny from the outside, but in fact it’s huge, and can be relied upon to be pretty comprehensive.


    Sporting accolade won when you play against Cambridge in the Varsity match for the University 1st team in any of the major sports. Some sports award Half Blues instead.


    The University’s principal library, called the ‘Bod’ for short. Operates as a copyright library which means it automatically receives a copy of every book published in the UK. Also, as it is a mainly a non-borrowing library, you can pretty much guarantee that what you need will be there.

    Bod Card

    Your own little “Passport to Paradise” – gets you into colleges, libraries and even clubs. Best to carry it with you at all times, either in a wallet or phone case. You can’t even eat in Hall without it.


    A massive college party held in the JCR, which is like a school disco but so much more fun.


    The bar located outside of the Hall (in the Ante-Hall), where you can buy bottles of wine and other drinks before and after meals.


    A river running through Oxford; also one of the main student newspapers.


    These come in two types:

    1. The test your tutor sets you to be taken when you arrive back at College, usually on the Thursday or Friday of 0th Week. You must wear your gowns.
    2. End-of-term Collections take place at the end of term for the majority of students. You are called in front of the Senior Censor, wearing your gown, where your tutors report to them on your term’s work. There are also the more informal Tutor’s Collections, which is exactly the same thing, minus the gown, and the Senior Censor.

    ‘Come up’, ‘Go down’

    These are expressions still widely used in Oxford to mean arriving at the beginning of term and leaving at the end of it. No matter how far north of Oxford you live, you will always ‘come up’ when term starts, and ‘go down’ when it ends.


    All Freshers (except choral and organ scholars) are commoners and wear a short gown. You can be promoted to a Scholar or Exhibitioner, usually after a good performance in your first exams (Moderations or Preliminaries). Perks include a longer gown and money deducted from your battels. Plus, the unusual experience of reading the Latin grace for formal Hall.

    Crew Date

    Exactly what it says on the tin; societies, teams and clubs (or ‘crews’) of one college or sports club, meet up with the ‘crew’ of another for dinner, drinks and general social hilarity.


    Intercollegiate competitions, usually in sports, but also take place in things like dance and drama. Always fun for promoting college spirit and rekindling ancient college rivalries.


    The Graduate Common Room – located just above the JCR in Tom Quad, but kitted out in much nicer furniture. It is known as the MCR in other colleges (M for Middle).


    You’ll be required to wear one of these on several occasions, especially in the first few weeks and also during exams.Unless you’re a choral or organ scholar, you’ll wear a commoner’s gown, which costs in the region of £20. You’ll also require a mortarboard, which is never worn until you graduate, but is great for a substitute pencil case in exams.


    The second term of the year. Unvaryingly cold and wet.

    The House

    This is Christ Church’s traditional colloquial name, derived from the Latin name Aedes Christi which means “House of Christ”. Often used when cheering on our sports teams or just to be ironic!

    The Isis

    The name for the section of the Thames that runs through Oxford; also a termly student magazine.


    The Junior Common Room, consisting of all the Undergraduates in college.

    Junior Member

    The term used to describe students at Christ Church.

    Liddell (pronounced to rhyme with middle!)

    Self-catering shared flats in the Iffley Road.


    University matriculation is where you formally join the University in an early morning ceremony at the Sheldonian on the Saturday of 1st week. You have a photo with your whole year in sub fusc and then a lazy afternoon spent having a picnic/in the pub in ridiculously formal attire.


    The first term of the year, and over before you know it.

    Mods, Prelims

    These are the first official exams you take. For psychologists, lawyers and theologians they are at the end of Hilary; for others they will be towards the end of Trinity of your first year (except classicists, who take them in Hilary of their second year). In some subjects they are called Honour Moderations, in others they are called Preliminary Examinations.

    Oxford Time

    In Oxford, everything runs 5 minutes behind (according to the city’s exact location compared to the Greenwich Meridian). For example, 6pm Evensong in the Cathedral is actually at 6.05pm, and the same applies to lectures. Be warned – not many tutors accept ‘Oxford Time’ as an excuse for lateness to tutes.


    Short for The Oxford Student, the other student newspaper.


    Short for Peckwater Quad, home of the coveted Peck Sets.


    Short for pigeonhole – where all your post arrives in the plodge. College and tutors will also use it to hand out notices and return work so you should check it at least once a day. Your name label is above your pidge, and you may have to share with another person – you just have to hope they pick up their mail regularly.


    Short for the Porters’ Lodge, your first port of call in many circumstances.


    The University’s principal charity fundraising organisation, which stands for Raising and Giving. They run all sorts of great activities throughout the year, on a University and a college level through the RAG Reps.


    The Senior Common Room - all of the Christ Church teaching staff are members.


    The lovely people who empty your bins and clean your rooms. Always willing to have a friendly chat and a cup of tea – they really have seen it all before.


    A concert hall next to the Bodleian – used for official ceremonies including Matriculation and major concerts.


    For historical and pretty confusing reasons the Fellows are known as Students at Christ Church. We, on the other hand, are called Junior Members.

    Sub Fusc

    This is ceremonial dress, worn for matriculation, exams and graduation. See the University website for full details. Great for impressing tourists, some of whom are under the impression that we wear this every day! It is tradition during exams to wear coloured carnations (delivered to your pidge by your college parents); white for your first exam, red for the last, and pink for the ones in the middle.


    Students from Cambridge.


    Can refer to the gate or the bell on top of it, ‘Great Tom’. It rings 101 times at 9.05pm (once for each of the original college scholars) to mark the curfew in times gone by...


    The last term of the year; filled with punting, Pimm’s and exams.

    Trinity Exchange

    Sporting competition with our sister, Trinity College, Cambridge.


    Short for tutorial – attendance is compulsory.


    The college bar, also known as the ‘Undie’.


    Terms in Oxford are split into numbered weeks. ‘Full Term’ (which is when teaching takes place) runs from 1st-8th week, but there are also 0th week, 9th week and even -1st week! Weeks start on Sundays (confusingly) and Freshers’ Week will start on the Sunday of 0th week.

    Graduate Freshers' Guide 2021


    Foreword from the GCR President

    Welcome to Christ Church: you are now a member of the Graduate Common Room (GCR). The GCR is the community of graduates in Christ Church and our very own space within College for us to enjoy. During your time here, the GCR will serve as a social centre, a place to relax, do work, attend events, and meet new people.

    Christ Church and Oxford can seem daunting at first with so many resources and traditions. We want to help you make the most of college and of your time here. We hope that this guide written for you by the graduates will help prepare you for your arrival and provide you with all the information you need for settling in. In addition to this guide, you will also receive the official rules of Christ Church in the Blue Book.

    Our college is a unique place, where you will be adding to the stories that have been written here. The rooms of the GCR were occupied by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) while writing about Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, and by Albert Einstein while he was a research fellow at the college. Then, of course, you can enjoy three meals a day in the Hogwarts dining hall.

    The current members of the GCR are looking forward to welcoming you all. Having been in your shoes, I am well equipped to answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via email ( either before or after your arrival. Also, if you have Facebook, please join the page for all active GCR Members for the academic year 2021/22 ( to contact existing members and other Freshers. In the week before term begins there will be a number of GCR and College events, as well as those organised by your department or faculty, which will give you a chance to meet new people and be introduced to life at Christ Church and the University. Details regarding the schedule of this Freshers’ Week will be sent out before your arrival, and events will be announced on Facebook, as well as on the GCR mailing list to which you will automatically be subscribed with your new Oxford email address.

    While the past eighteen months have been turbulent, we are slowly but steadily moving towards normality, which we will hopefully have achieved when we welcome you in October! Regardless, every chapter you live through has the power to completely change your life, and no matter what, I am sure you will very much enjoy this one!

    We can’t wait to meet you!

    Best wishes,

    Linnea Drexhage

    GCR President

    Getting Started at Christ Church

    The Graduate Common Room (GCR) refers to both the community of graduates at Christ Church, and its rooms. These are found at the top of the staircase in Tom 7 (see the map at the back of this guide). Most colleges use the term Middle Common Room (MCR) instead of Graduate Common Room but, as with many things, Christ Church does things differently! And awesomely. Hence, GCR it is.

    Membership of the GCR is automatically given to anyone who has completed an undergraduate degree and is studying at Christ Church towards another degree. Associate membership can be granted to other individuals who may then make use of some of the GCR facilities. Partners of GCR Members are often made Associate Members, as are visiting graduates. Guests and visitors of GCR Members are also welcome to make use of the Common Room.

    The GCR Mailing List and Social Media

    Most communication within the GCR is done by email. You will be automatically subscribed to the two GCR mailing lists when you arrive. The main list ( is used by the GCR Committee and College staff to announce social events, GCR meetings, and the like. If you find that you haven’t been added to the list, or if you’d like to subscribe on another email address, please contact the Academic Office.

    Arriving in Christ Church

    The first place you should visit when you arrive at Christ Church is the Porters' Lodge. You'll find the Lodge in the arch of Tom Gate, which is the main entrance to Christ Church, on St. Aldate’s. From the Lodge, you should obtain a Tom Gate electronic fob, which opens all external and many internal doors and gates, as well as your bedroom if you live in College accommodation. Some older rooms may still require a conventional key, which the porters will also provide upon your arrival.

    Finally, you should collect your University Card (“Bod Card”) from the Academic Office on the first floor of Tom 8. This will only be delivered to College once you have completed and returned your University Card Form. You may contact the Academic Office team by email at

    Connecting to the Internet

    Internet connections in College are made through the university wireless networks. There are two networks you can connect to: CHCH and eduroam. Both of these require that you have a remote access account setup with the Oxford University Computing Service. It is advised that you set these up before your arrival in Oxford to make connecting to the network easier. In depth information on how to connect can be found on their website here:

    College Parents

    Before you arrive at Christ Church, you will receive an email introducing you to your college parents. This programme pairs Freshers up with existing members of the GCR who are there to try and make new members feel at home, helping to integrate them into the Common Room's lively social environment. Your parents will be there to answer even the smallest of questions.

    GCR Life

    The Common Room

    The physical GCR consists of a suite of rooms situated in one corner of Tom Quad. The main room of this is where most GCR activities take place. It is steeped in history, having been previously occupied both by Charles Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) and Albert Einstein. It sports some very comfortable leather sofas and, since recently, a baby grand.

    The Common Room contains everything you need to relax after a hard day’s work: tea and coffee, the occasional pop up bar, a widescreen television with a PS4 and FIFA20 if you must... The GCR also subscribes to a few newspapers and magazines for you to enjoy.

    Social Events

    The social life of the GCR is always active, with plenty going on to maintain that important work-life balance. Social Secretaries are elected once a term and are in charge of organising events like bops, pub-crawls, garden parties, and social exchanges with other colleges, and again, bops. We have regular welfare teas, food and drink tastings, movie nights, and board game nights throughout the year. These and many other events are organised for you by the GCR Committee.

    Of course, there are always plenty of unofficial/impromptu events hosted by GCR Members. This space is yours to use as you wish. You can invite friends to the GCR and even book the Les Jones dining room for private events and dinners. If you prefer a quiet night in, then you should have no difficulty in finding somebody with whom to watch a movie in the Common Room.


    GCR sports tend to be mainly on the informal side, although football cuppers against other colleges is pretty hard-fought - one year we suffered four broken legs in our first four games! On top of this, it is impossible to forget the more stereotypical of Oxford sports. Disclaimer: I am not impartial now. Rowing plays an important part in College and goes back a long way. Christ Church is one of the top boat clubs in Oxford, and at that, one of the best equipped. Every year, apart from flooding and COVID-19, we participate with numerous boats in university-wide regattas such as our Novice Regatta, Torpids, and Summer Eights. This, some might say insane, activity is something that has to be tried at least once, if you haven’t before. There will be a novice BBQ not to be missed, races in the first term, and plenty of fun to be had in the spring and summer bumps.

    In the summer months, croquet becomes something of an obsession for some members of the GCR, where I witnessed good friends go tilt. The Masters’ Garden is available for croquet in Trinity Term, and is a lovely place to while away the hours after dinner.

    If you are interested in playing sport in the GCR, or indeed setting up a new team, then let one of the Sports Officers/Committee Members know and they should be able to point you in the right direction. Tennis courts, football or rugby pitches, squash courts in St. Aldate’s, or any other part of the Sports Ground may be booked by using the Christ Church online system (


    There is an active music-making scene at Christ Church, in which many GCR Members are involved. The Christ Church orchestra gives concerts once a term, and there are numerous choirs, orchestras, and other music groups that one can join throughout the University. The College Choir is highly recommended; open to all Members of the House, it is a great way to get involved with the College and Cathedral without having to commit a large amount of time.

    GCR Meetings and Elections

    GCR Ordinary General Meetings (OGMs) are held once or twice a term. They provide an opportunity for you to express your opinions about how the GCR should be run, to vote in Associate GCR Members, and to make sure that your elected representatives on the GCR Committee are doing their jobs well. Come along to these meetings and have your say on some important issues and vote on changes in the GCR. As an extra incentive, there usually are snacks and sometimes even more! Elections to the GCR Committee are held towards the end of each term. The GCR Committee is there to make sure that the Common Room runs smoothly, and that members of the Common Room get the most out of its facilities. Most committee positions are open for nomination at the end of each term and it can be good fun and fulfilling to get involved: you are strongly encouraged!

    GCR Facilities

    The Kitchens

    The GCR has two kitchens: one situated in the turret adjacent to the main Common Room and the other in the passage between the main Common Room and Les Jones Dining Room. The kitchens contain various cooking equipment for the use of GCR Members including refrigerators, a stove with cooking hobs, grill and fan-assisted oven, and a microwave oven. Items placed in the refrigerator must be clearly labelled with your name and an expiry date, otherwise they will be thrown out. The turret kitchen is also home to the tea and coffee facilities of the GCR. These include teapots, cafetières, and a wide selection of teas and biscuits.

    While we have a scout, who is responsible for the overall maintenance of the Common Room, maintaining general levels of tidiness, particularly in the kitchens, is everybody’s responsibility. Fortunately, both kitchens are equipped with a dishwasher to make this easier for everyone.

    The Les Jones Dining Room

    This dining room is named after a fondly remembered GCR butler, now retired. It contains a large and magnificent dining table, and is used by members of the Common Room for a variety of events ranging from teaching to dinner parties. Any GCR Member can book the dining room for such an occasion, by emailing the GCR Vice President.

    The Study Room

    The study room can be found to your left as you come to the top of the stairs in Tom 7. It is set aside for people wishing to read and work. The room contains several desks, and some comfy chairs. There are ample power sockets for laptops and the room has Wi-Fi (Network: CHCH Password: aedeschristi1). The room can become quite busy, particularly in Trinity term when exams and thesis deadlines are looming, so there are plenty of shelves on which to keep personal libraries/work. As it is a shared space, it is important to keep the room as clutter-free as possible for everyone to use.

    The Computer Room

    The Computer Room is on the second floor of Tom 7, above the Les Jones Dining Room. It currently contains PCs, a colour and a black-and-white printer, and a scanner. To use the GCR computers you will need login details, which will be given to you when you arrive. Those wishing to use the College network, either over Wi-Fi in the GCR or over wired connections in St. Aldate’s, will need to register their machines with the Computing Office.

    The Tutorial Room

    The GCR provides space for those members with teaching responsibilities. The room is situated next to the Computer Room and can be booked using the sheet on the door.

    The Noticeboard

    The hallway leading to the main Common Room contains the GCR noticeboard. Here you will find details of some forthcoming events from around the university, and other useful things like Hall menus and information on College and University matters.


    Lockers are in the hallway next to the study room. Keys can be obtained from the Academic Office at the end of 0th week. Details will be sent by email about the procedure.

    College Facilities

    In addition to the facilities provided by the GCR, you can use all the regular College amenities.

    The Library

    The library is in Peckwater Quad and you’ll need your Oxford University Student Card (“Bod Card”) to use it. Even if you don’t use the library much, go in to look at the Upper Library (ask the librarian at the desk to let you upstairs). It is a beautiful room containing many old and rare books, and a set of very comfortable Chippendale stools. Cardinal Wolsey’s hat or galero (which can be seen in the College crest) is also on display. Graduate students may apply to be library clerks in the evenings and on weekends.

    The Picture Gallery

    The Picture Gallery is in Canterbury Quad. It contains an extensive art collection, and frequently changing exhibitions. It is one of the finest collections of its kind in the country and should not be missed. Members of Christ Church and guests can enter for free.

    The Music Room

    The Music Room is on the ground floor of Tom 4. You’ll need to obtain permission from the Music Tutor in order to use it. The music room contains a grand piano, and can be booked at the Porters’ Lodge.

    The Art Room

    The Art Room is in Blue Boar. It is an open access studio, seminar, exhibition, and social space welcoming anyone connected to the College with an interest in the visual arts. One GCR Member recently displayed an exhibition of their art there.

    Sports Facilities

    The Squash Courts

    There are two squash courts located in St. Aldate’s Quad. You can book them via and pick up the key (fob) at the Porters’ Lodge.

    The Gym

    While the College does not have its own gym, the University has an excellent gym and pool, situated on Iffley Road (15 minutes away). College is providing free membership for all Christ Church Members this year. The University Club on Mansfield Road also contains a small gym, which costs £55 per year to join. The club itself offers a host of useful facilities, and should not be missed (membership to the club itself is free) -


    The College owns three punts and a rowboat that are available for all members to hire out at a cheaper rate than commercial punts. Punts can be booked online via, using your College username and password. They are available during Trinity Term and provide an excellent way to spend a lazy afternoon.

    The Undercroft

    The “Undie” is the College bar. It can be found in the cellar of the Lee Building. It is open most nights of the week, from 7.30 pm -11 pm. Drinks are cheap and there is a jukebox. As with all pubs and other “enclosed spaces” in the UK, smoking is prohibited. This is a thoroughly cheap and cheerful place to have a drink or two, as well as mix with undergraduates… if you so wish.

    The Buttery

    The Buttery is the other College bar, situated in the Ante-Hall, just outside the main dining hall. It’s open before dinner in the evening until 8pm. You can buy bottles of the House wine, sherry and port there, as well as beer, spirits, and wine from the College cellars. Each member may battel up to £60 of wine per term.

    The Masters’ Garden

    This garden next to Meadows Building is open during Trinity Term, and is a pleasant place to play croquet, to stroll, or just to sit. It is one of the few places in College where we are allowed to sit on the grass. Legend has it that we won the garden from Corpus Christi College in a game of poker.


    About half of the graduates at Christ Church live in accommodation provided by College.

    Steward’s Accommodation

    St. Aldate’s Quad and 12 Abbey Road, are administered by the Steward of Christ Church and maintained by the House Manager. St. Aldate’s Quad is mainly inhabited by first-year graduates.

    All Steward's accommodation is charged on a termly basis in advance. Although water is included in this charge, electricity and heating are metered quarterly and the cost divided equally between the occupants of the flat or house. All charges are made to battels – your first bill will be for accommodation charged in advance.

    Steward's accommodation is serviced by a College scout who will clean your room and kitchen, and empty the bins either daily or weekly.

    St. Aldate’s Quad

    St. Aldate’s Quad is just across the road from Christ Church (look for the big wooden gate with a round hole). You will need a fob to get in, available from the Porters. Inside the quad there are seven staircases designated in Roman numerals.

    Rooms in St. Aldate’s are split into flats with shared kitchens and bathrooms. The previous occupant may have left the kitchen partially equipped, but you will need to supply your own mugs, crockery, cooking equipment etc. Sainsbury’s (in the Westgate Centre) and Marks and Spencer supermarkets are both nearby, located off Queen Street. There is also a small Tesco situated further down St. Aldate’s.

    As the main gate to the quad is on the main road, and unlike the main site there is not a lodge, it is very important to make sure that the main gate is closed behind you when entering or leaving the quad, and that the code is not given out to others. Additionally, doors to individual rooms and flats should be locked behind you, and you should not leave your window open while you are out.

    Staircase V of St. Aldate’s contains a laundry for the use of all St. Aldate’s residents with three washers and three driers. Laundry cards can be obtained from a machine located in the Junior Common Room (JCR) in Tom 7. There is also an iron and ironing board.

    12 Abbey Road

    This graduate accommodation is about ten minutes from Christ Church by bike. It is a large shared house with a communal kitchen, a garden, and plenty of bathrooms.


    Scouts keep flats and individual rooms clean and habitable. If you live in St. Aldate’s Quad, you will find that a scout cleans the common areas in your staircase every day and that your room is vacuumed and cleaned once a week. Leave your bin out overnight so that it can be emptied in the morning (this is also the unofficial signal that you do not wish to be disturbed the next morning).

    Treasury Accommodation

    Treasury accommodation is administered by the Treasurer of Christ Church. It is mainly for second-, and subsequent, year graduates, but some first-year students may be allocated Treasury accommodation. Most of this housing is located near the railway station, on Botley, Cripley, or Abbey Road. This accommodation is provided on a lease basis (contracts are for 11 months), and is self-servicing (i.e. no scout). Please check with the Treasury office for the most current rent rates, which vary from property to property.

    Guest Accommodation

    The College has a limited supply of guest accommodation that can be booked through the Conference Office. It is advisable to book well in advance, as demand is often high. The nightly charge is made to battels. Breakfast is usually included.

    Private Accommodation

    Many graduates choose to live in private-sector flats and this can often work out cheaper. If you are looking for a flat in Oxford, you may find the following websites useful:


    Christ Church Hall offers a grand venue for dining. From Monday to Friday, breakfast and lunch are served in Hall from 8.00 am to 9.00 am and 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm, respectively. On weekends brunch is served from 11.00 am to 1.30 pm on Saturday and until 2.00 pm on Sunday. Breakfast, lunch, and brunch are served cafeteria style and are paid for using your Bod Card (which you can top up using an online system, or in cash. Payment by Bod Card allows you to take advantage of the cheaper rate for members of the College, whereas food will be charged at guest rates for payment by cash. A wide selection of reasonably priced food is available, and you can bring guests to lunch.

    Three-course dinners are served in the Hall throughout term time (0th Week – 9th Week). There are two sittings: informal, at 6.20pm, and formal, at 7.20pm where the same food is served. Most graduates tend to go to the formal sitting, but the choice is entirely up to you. There is usually one table reserved for graduate members. At the formal dinner, everyone must wear gowns and, in general, "smarter" attire is expected (but not officially required). Before dinner begins, everyone stands for the reading of Grace (in Latin). Make sure that you bring your Bod Card to dinner, as it will be scanned when you enter the Hall.

    A dinner in Hall will cost around £4.17, but you can also purchase a Season Ticket from the Steward’s Office. This will mean that you pay around £2.82 per dinner if you attend every dinner. If you live in St. Aldate’s, you will be automatically signed in for dinner during term (which starts on Monday of 0th week). If you live in St. Aldate’s and do not wish to be on the Season Ticket, this can be arranged at the start of term and you will then be granted the ability to sign out of Hall on a weekly basis but will be charged the higher food rate of around £4.17 per dinner. Please note you will still need to email the Hall ( on a weekly basis to sign out for those days you will not be dining, as by default you are still signed in for all of them but at a higher rate. If you fail to sign out, you will be charged as if you were there. People living out (i.e. not in College or in St. Aldate’s) must sign in for dinner by 10.00 am on the day before they wish to dine (Friday 10.00 am for Sunday) by putting their name on the signing-in sheets just inside the entrance to Hall or by email: Signing in or out of dinner can be done several days in advance, and if necessary, for longer periods by arrangement with one of the Hall Managers.

    If you are a vegetarian, vegan, or have any other dietary requirements, then you should collect the appropriate card from the Steward’s Office as soon as possible upon arrival. Take a passport photograph with you when you go to collect your card. You will have to present this card during all dinners in Hall to make sure that you get the correct food.

    Guests can be accommodated at Hall dinners for a charge of around £9.62. Send an email before 10.00 am on the day you’d like to bring guests (Saturday 10.00 am for Sunday) to Andy Hedges, the hall manager, and his team ( Make sure you note the number of guests you are bringing (up to two), which sitting you would like to attend, and any dietary requirements.

    During the vacations, a dinner service is provided for graduates. This happens on average about twice or three times a week. Vacation dinners are usually served in the Freind Room in the Lee Building.

    In addition to the ordinary provision of food, the GCR regularly arranges special dinners. GCR guest dinners happen on Wednesday evenings during term. At these dinners High Table food is served and (up to one) guests can be invited. Our amazing Executive Head Chef Chris Simms and his fantastic team provide a menu of extraordinary quality for a very reasonable price. Tickets are allocated by ballot and the GCR Food & Dining Officers are responsible for organising both the dinners and the ballot. After dinner, there will be drinks and snacks in the GCR (typically port & cheese). These dinners are a good way to entertain friends by showing off the fine cuisine and splendid surroundings!

    In addition to this, a special GCR Black Tie dinner is typically held at the end of each term in 8th week (usually each member can bring up to one guest). The GCR Food & Dining Officers also try to organise three exchange dinners with other colleges during term time. Furthermore, port & cheese exchanges, Afternoon Tea and wine/whiskey/gin tastings are organised together with the social secretaries.


    There are a number of people in Christ Church to whom you can talk if you are having personal or work -related problems. Your College Adviser should provide pastoral support and academic advice as a complement to your supervisor. Dr Katherine Lebow ( and Professor Alex Vasudevan ( are the two College Welfare Officers, who are tutors within College, and are happy to see any member of the College about problems they might be having. They may be contacted by telephone or by email.

    Rev'd Clare Hayns is the College Chaplain and Welfare Co -Ordinator. She will offer counsel and pastoral support to all members of Christ Church, whatever their religious beliefs. She will also oversee the welfare resources available in college and will work with the GCR and JCR Welfare Officers to do this.

    The College nurse is also available to all members of the College each day in Killcanon 2. Email Office hours will be circulated at the start of term and made available on the College website.

    In addition, the GCR has its own Welfare Officers (see committee members below). They can be consulted at any time and are always happy to have a friendly (and confidential) chat about whatever might be on your mind. They will organise welfare events and will provide additional information about the welfare resources available to you.

    Grants and Hardship Funding

    The College can offer grants to assist with academic travel and with the purchase of textbooks. Facilities also exist to help with unexpected financial difficulties. If you are experiencing financial problems, the College may be able to help, if not with a hardship grant, then with a short-term loan, or with a deferment of your battels bill. More information is contained in the Blue Book.

    GCR Committee

    Committee members usually can be contacted via the standard Christ Church email address, The committee positions are listed below:

    The GCR Executive (Elected Annually):

    President: Linnea Drexhage

    The President makes sure that all is well in the Common Room and also represents the graduate community at Christ Church to the College.

    Vice President: Lucas Hofer

    The Vice President helps keep the committee in check, writes agendas for meetings, takes minutes, and generally makes life easier for everybody at Christ Church.

    Treasurer: Emilė Radytė

    The Treasurer looks after the GCR accounts and budgets, and makes sure our bills are paid on time. She has the power to battel you for huge amounts of money, so treat her nicely.

    The GCR Committee (Elected Termly):

    Arts Officers

    The Arts Officers Jason Waite, Judith Valerie Engel and Sarah Jackman organise and inform us about all things cultural; from art exhibitions and trips to concerts and festivals.

    Disabilities Officer

    Our Disabilities Officer Olly Markeson provides student representation for disabilities within the GCR.

    Environment & Ethics Officer

    The Environment & Ethics Officer, Emilė Radytė keeps everyone informed about all issues green and ethical.

    Food & Dining Officers

    The Food & Dining Officers, Noah Law and Jessie Jiang, organise the guest dinners as well as exchange and black-tie dinners. They also have a say in what goes on the menu for Hall, so any complaints about the ortolan you had last night should go to them.

    LGBTQ+ Officer

    Our LGBTQ+ Officers Alexander De Sina and Fleur MacInnes work with other welfare officers and are especially concerned with the LGBTQ+ issues of members of the college. This also involves liaising with their counterparts in the JCR to organise LGBTQ+ social events together, as well as coordinating upon health and security of the community.

    Photographer and Social Media Officer

    The in-House Photographer and Social Media Officer is Jesse Murray. He will be on hand at our GCR events to take pictures of you at your best.

    Women’s Officer

    The GCR’s Women’s Officer is Olivia Hurton. She supports all those who identify as women, and ensure college is an environment in which they feel comfortable and listened to. Her role entails working to promote discussions about gender, championing women’s research in college, and providing members with free sanitary products.

    Social Secretaries

    Our Social Secs Jenn A. Jimenez and Archie Batra are here to organise outstanding bops and pub trips, and make sure that we are kept happy and entertained.

    Sports Officer

    The Sports Officer Sarah Jackman is in charge of organising GCR sporting events and letting us know about sporting opportunities.

    Welfare Officers

    Alannah Jeune, Kate Friesen and Jagyoseni Mandal are our Welfare Officers and can be spoken to, in confidence, about anything that is troubling you. Also, a large part of the magic behind the scenes can be attributed to them!

    Contact Information

    You will probably need to contact at least some of these people during your time at Christ Church. The telephone extension numbers shown are for the Oxford University internal network (add 01865 first externally). Christ Church Members can be contacted via the standard email address: k . The information here is correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change.

    The Academic Office

    The Academic Office, headed by the Senior and Junior Censors, is responsible for providing administrative support for all areas of the College’s academic functions : e.g. examinations, monitoring of student progress, awards, prizes and scholarships, book and travel grants, and financial assistance. It should be the first port of call for on-course student queries: The office is on the first floor of Tom 8 and is usually open 9am - 1pm and 2pm - 5 pm from Monday to Friday. Further information about the team and FAQs can be found on the College website:

    The Tutor for Graduates is especially concerned with graduate affairs, and they are always happy to hear from Christ Church graduate students. Contact the Tutor for Graduates with any serious academic problems or concerns that cannot be resolved by your College Advisor. The Junior Censor deals with permission for parties and general disciplinary matters.

    The Tutor for Graduates

    Dr Anna Clark: (2)76158

    The Senior Censor

    Professor Dirk Aarts: (2)76157

    The Junior Censor

    Professor Kevin McGerty: (2)76182

    The Academic Registrar

    Ms Helen Etty: (2)76157

    Welfare Contacts

    For full details about the extensive welfare support available at Christ Church, and lots more contact information, visit the college website:

    College Welfare Coordinator & Chaplain

    Rev'd Clare Hayns



    The College Doctors have a surgery at 27 Beaumont Street

    01865 311500 – external number

    College Nurse


    Porters’ Lodge


    Liddell Porters’ Lodge


    Steward's Office

    The Steward’s Office is on the ground floor of Tom 9 and is usually open from 9am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm from Monday to Friday. This office deals with most of the arrangements for College accommodation, food, and bills. All enquiries about charging and fees should be directed in the first instance to the Steward’s staff in the main office: for queries about college charges and regarding course fees.

    The Steward

    Pauline Linières-Hartley

    Contact for College/Steward’s accommodation queries:

    The Treasury

    The Treasurer

    Mr James Lawrie

    Contact for Treasury accommodation queries:

    Additional Information


    All incoming mail will be placed in your pigeonhole, including internal (i.e. University) mail. If you wish to send a message via pigeon-post (internal) to someone in an Oxford University college, department, or office, place it in the letter box in the door to the Porters’ office. If you receive mail that must be signed for, the Porters will sign on your behalf (very handy for those frequent Amazon packages!) and notify you that you have a package via email. Important information may appear in your pidge at any time so we encourage you to check it regularly.

    During the Christmas, Easter, and summer vacations, mail is still placed in your pigeonhole. If you want post to be redirected elsewhere inform the Steward’s Office before you leave Oxford.

    The phone number of the Porters’ Lodge is (2)76150. The porter on duty will be able to take messages and leave them in your pigeonhole.

    A Note on Telephone Numbers

    Telephone numbers in this guide are given as a six-digit number with the first in brackets, e.g. (2)76150 is the number for the Porter’s Lodge. If you are dialling from a University internal phone line, simply dial 76150 (i.e. without the initial 2). If calling from an outside line in Oxford, dial 276150. If the call is from outside Oxford, you will need the area code, so dial 01865 276150.


    You may find useful information on these websites.

    University of Oxford:

    Christ Church:

    Student Funding:

    Oxford University Student Union:

    Immigration and Nationality Directorate:

    Council for International Education:

    Study UK:

    Oxford City Council:

    National Rail Inquiries:

    National Express:

    Megabus (low cost inter city bus travel):

    Guide to Oxford English

    This glossary, lovingly compiled over many years, should help explain some of the confusing jargon used at Christ Church and Oxford.


    The huge bill from College that arrives by email every term when you least expect it.


    A boat that bumps on every day of the Trinity Term races is awarded blades. See Bumps, Spoons.


    Short for the Bodleian Library.

    Bod Card

    An Oxford University Card. Essential for accessing most services offered by the University and, more importantly, for getting into dinner.


    Where we get to put on our dancing shoes and show the younger generation how to really get down. Or not. Good fun regardless.


    Rower. Will talk only about rowing, mostly with his/her rowing friends.


    Boatie-speak, imported from the Other Place; type of race rowed on the river where each boat tries to hit the one in front. See Eights, Torpids.


    College bar in the Ante-Hall (just outside Hall). You can battel wine/sherry/port or buy pre-dinner drinks.


    Abbreviation for Christ Church.


    Not the abbreviation for Christ Church, but for Corpus Christi College, our little neighbour to the east.


    When graduates go and have a chat with the Dean and Tutor for Graduates to explain what you’ve been up to this year.

    Coming up/Going down

    Coming up is when you return, or arrive, in Oxford, and going down is when you leave, be it for a vacation or for good.


    The often imaginative people in bowler hats that can be seen wandering around the College confusing tourists. They are highly skilled at telling the difference between Members of the House and tourists who want to avoid paying the entrance fee. The Custodians are not to be confused with the Porters.


    The Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy is both Dean of the cathedral and of College.


    What Oxford people call a Ph.D.


    Bumps race in Trinity term. Usually involves a lot of Pimms. See Bumps.


    All new members of the College.


    A reunion party for old Members of the House. Some of them are very distinguished.

    GCR Scout

    Our GCR scout steps in where angels fear to tread. They are responsible for the overall maintenance of the GCR (but not the mess we leave behind)!


    Christ Church Great Hall is the largest Tudor Hall in Oxford. It is where we eat all that lovely food College provides for us.

    Harry Potter

    Since they filmed portions of the first two Harry Potter films here and based the Hogwarts Hall on ours, we get plenty of tourists who want to bathe in the glory of the place. Sometimes they wear costumes… Wands may be purchased from the cathedral shop.

    High Table

    Where the fellows and academics of Christ Church eat dinner, at the far end of Hall. Their food is superior to our own. Every graduate should get the chance to go once a year.

    The House

    Christ Church’s nickname. Comes from Christ Church’s Latin name Aedes Christi. Find a classicist to explain.


    Or, indeed, Housewoman. A Member of the House.


    The Junior Common Room, name for all the undergraduates at Christ Church and the rooms below the GCR in Tom 7.

    Junior Censor

    The College Officer in charge of discipline of Junior Members.

    Junior Members

    The collective name for all students at Christ Church, undergraduate and graduate alike.

    Les Jones

    Formerly the GCR butler. Now a dining room.


    The ceremony by which you are formally admitted to the University.


    Green meadows, cows grazing, harmony with nature, peace – a wonderful place for a stroll.


    The statue in the middle of the pond in Tom Quad, guarded by George, the ‘great white’ koi carp (a gift from the Empress of Japan). Mentioned by Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited. Also used to refer to the surrounding pond, dips into which are against the College rules.

    Other Place

    The University of Cambridge. See Tabs.

    Oxford Union

    Debating society / private club – not a student union (see OUSU). The Oxford Union hold many interesting talks and debates, plus a termly ball, and have handsome rooms for the use of members and one of the latest-opening (but most degenerate) bars in Oxford. If you want to get actively involved in Oxford Union politics, then steel yourself for some truly ruthless greasy-pole-climbing…


    Oxford University Student Union. If you’ve been to other British universities, you might expect a large organisation, but OUSU is a very small union, and there is no “union building” as such. They offer a range of services to students (see, which are mostly already offered to you by Christ Church. If you know your Marx and Engels from your Miners Strike and Scargill, then you’ll no doubt be welcome to get actively involved, comrade!


    Verb: to put something in a pigeonhole. Noun: short for pigeonhole. See plodge.


    Where the post comes in College. See plodge.


    Short for Porters’ Lodge, where the pigeonholes and the Porters are.


    Guardians of the keys, protectors of Christ Church. They are around 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Make friends with them. They are very helpful if you make an effort to get to know them. The Porters are not to be confused with the Custodians.


    Probationary Research Student, which is what you’ll initially be if you are reading for a D.Phil.


    Square things, occasionally with grass. Known as a ‘Court’ at the Other Place.

    Senior Censor

    The College Officer in charge of academic matters.


    Chatty cleaners who come and empty your bin as well as look after you. Make friends with them! They are useful allies.


    A boat that is bumped on every day of the Trinity Term races is awarded spoons. See blades.


    Rooms in Oxford colleges are located via their staircase. For instance, St. Aldate’s 3:9 is room number 9 in Staircase 3 of St. Aldate’s Quad.


    People from the Other Place (see above). From the Latin name Cantabrigia.


    There are three terms and each is eight weeks long: Michaelmas (October to December), Hilary (January to March) and Trinity (April to June). Time is kept through the use of weeks, starting with 0th week (the week before term starts), through to 9th week (the week after it ends).


    What you do when you stop being a PRS, and become a proper D.Phil. student. It involves submitting some work and doing a viva.

    Tutor for Graduates

    The Tutor for Graduates oversees all graduate issues in the College, including funding, travel grants, academic and other matters.


    Young people who listen to ghastly music and use too many profanities. They go home during the vacations, at which point the College fills up with conference guests instead.


    Charming slang term for the College bar, the Undercroft. Formerly a crypt...


    Known as a thesis defence in other places. You spend three hours explaining your thesis to a bunch of examiners, and at the end of it, they make you a Doctor (touch wood). Time to party!