2023 sees record numbers of Year 12 students visiting on subject-specific Study Days, as well as a new targeting approach.

St John's Access has had a remarkable year in 2023, welcoming a record-breaking number of Year 12 pupils from non-selective state schools for the Inspire Subject Study Days. These Study Days provided an opportunity for students to engage in higher-level study in their chosen subjects.

Study Days 2023

This year we’ve been delighted to run Study Days in Geography, Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Maths, Computer Sciences, Chemistry and Modern Languages.

Study Days begin with welcome talks introducing the relevant subject course at Oxford before moving into academic sessions. They also offer pupils the chance to explore the College as well as plenty of Q&A opportunities with tutors and current students throughout the day.

Many Study Days have featured innovative approaches to demystifying university study and the application process. During the Geography Study Day, pupils were supported with critical academic reading by student ambassadors ahead of seminars with St John’s Geography Tutors. Both the Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Study Day, and the Modern Languages Study Day incorporated online elements to extend the reach of the sessions. The Chemistry Study Day, meanwhile, incorporated an interactive Chemistry escape room as well as academic talks.

" The lectures given by Dr Josef Boronski and Liam Griffin were simply brilliant! " Inspire Chemistry Study Day student

The Maths and Computer Science Study Day offered pupils the opportunity to attend an interview workshop, including a mock interview session aimed at building skills for the interview process. This proved particularly popular with attendees in the feedback. Pupils were then able to take part in Academic Taster Sessions with tutors Professor Jan Obloj and Professor Stefan Kiefer, as well as current student Wilf Offord to get a taste of studying at Oxford.

" I loved the practice MAT questions, they gave me a much greater understanding of how to approach admissions test and how to engage with new ideas. " Inspire Maths Study Day student

Top 10 University Destinations

The record applicant numbers have allowed the Access Team to implement a new targeting system for many Study Days to ensure that those with the greatest need can access priority places.

The Access Team also gained access to new data about the university destinations of those who attend Inspire Study Days. Whilst participants from recent Study Days have gone on to study at 53 different universities, three universities - Oxford, Cambridge and Durham – account for 40% of destinations. The infographic sets out the top ten of these destinations by number of participants.

Subject Exploration Days

In addition to the Study Days, our Access Team also hosted the Classics and Ancient History Study Exploration Day, in celebration of the Classics and Ancient History Essay Competition, as well as an English Subject Exploration Day.

Classics & Ancient History Essay Competition and Subject Exploration Day

Study Days 2023_3

The College Classics & Ancient History Essay Competition ran for the twelfth time this year. The numbers remained strong with 161 participants, up on last year’s 145. 95 of these attended the Classics & Ancient History subject exploration afternoon, including 28 from the College’s Inspire programme. Participants enjoyed a talk about Classics at Oxford and in St John’s, a range of academic talks united by the theme of ‘Memory’, tours of the College with current Classics students, and a Q&A session with tutors and current students. We had many excellent questions asked about the content of the course as taught at Oxford and the admissions process.

We’re very proud of the success of our events this term. None of it would be possible without the hard work of many teams across the College and wider university, as well as the enthusiasm of our tutors and students. A big thank you to everyone who supported our pupil visits this term – we’re looking forward to an equally successful 2023/24 academic year!