St John's College Oxford
Dr Ruth MacDonald

Dr Ruth MacDonald

Acting Access & Outreach Officer



My role is to support the Access Officer in delivering a range of events and programmes so that St John’s can attract the strongest potential candidates, irrespective of their backgrounds. I also assist the Undergraduate Admissions Officer during the annual undergraduate admissions process. My main duties include:

  • Being a point of contact for schools, colleges and prospective applicants
  • Providing information about all aspects of applying to and studying at St John’s
  • Organizing and delivering visits from school groups

As a first-generation student myself, I am committed to widening access to higher education. I attended The Nicolson Institute, a non-selective state school on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, before going on to read Classics and English Literature (MA Hons) at the University of Glasgow. I then undertook a master’s degree in Classics (also at Glasgow), before joining the Classics Department at Royal Holloway (University of London) for PhD study.

Alongside writing my doctoral thesis, I contributed to undergraduate teaching in a number of areas, including: Introduction to Greek Literature, Literature of the Roman Empire and Gender in Antiquity. I was also given the opportunity to work with The Brilliant Club, a charity which aims to increase the number of pupils from low-participation backgrounds progressing on to highly-selective universities. In my role as a PhD tutor, I worked with a number of different schools, designing and teaching short courses on Classics, history and philosophy. Subsequently, I was invited to lead the Classics Department at Royal Holloway’s participation in the Hackney University Extension Programme, where I developed and taught modules on Classical reception.

Please get in touch if you would like any further information on what we have to offer.