This page covers key admissions details specific to Chemistry. The University Undergraduate Admissions website contains a large amount of information and advice on the Oxford Admissions process, including a timeline for the current cycle.

UCAS code F100

Entrance requirements A*A*A (with both A*s in science subjects and/or Maths)

Subject requirements Chemistry and Maths (another science or Further Maths is recommended but not essential)

Admissions test(s) None

Written work None

Academic ability

  • Reasoning ability; aptitude for analysing and solving problems using logical and critical approaches
  • Mathematical ability
  • Capacity to absorb new ideas and to apply familiar ideas to unfamiliar situations
  • Spirit of enquiry: desire to understand the reasons for observations; enthusiasm and curiosity in science
  • An understanding of the chemical concepts covered in courses taken so far

Interest in Chemistry

  • Including an appreciation of some aspects of it outside the confines of the A level syllabus (or equivalent)

Motivation and perseverance

  • An enthusiasm for chemistry and the motivation to pursue an academically demanding four-year course

Independent working and communication

  • Ability to work independently; willingness and ability to express ideas clearly and effectively orally, in writing and numerically; ability to listen

Educational achievement

  • GCE: Good grades at GCSE are expected, especially in science and mathematics. Three A-levels are required, which must include Chemistry and Mathematics. The standard conditional offer at present is A*A*A. Both A* should be in science subjects and/or Maths. If a practical component forms part of any of your science A-levels, we expect you to pass it.
  • SCE: Five Highers plus Advanced Highers (or CSYS) are required. These must include Chemistry. The typical offer at Advanced Higher is AAB or AA.
  • International Baccalaureate: 40 (including core points). For applicants offering HL Mathematics: 766 at HL with 7 in HL Chemistry and 6 in HL Mathematics. For applicants offering SL Mathematics: 776 at HL with 7 in both HL Chemistry and a second HL science subject, and 7 in SL Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches.

Applications are welcomed from those studying for qualifications other than those listed above. The standard minimum entrance requirements do not specify that A-levels, Advanced Highers, IB HL subjects, or equivalents should all have been obtained in the same examination period. However, based on our consideration of all relevant information available to us, such a requirement may form part of a conditional offer for an individual candidate.

The selectors will assess each candidate against the above criteria on the basis of the following information, taking into account the educational background of students and the level of their existing knowledge and experience:

  • UCAS application, including references and personal statement
  • Examination results
  • Interview
  • Deferred Entry

Applications for deferred entry are welcome, and candidates so applying will not be made conditional offers more demanding than candidates for immediate entry. While successful applicants commonly need academic records that are somewhat more distinguished than candidates at the borderline for selection, there has in practice been no significant difference between their success rate and that of candidates not seeking a deferred place.

Candidates (or their referees) will also have the opportunity to present any mitigating circumstances that may have adversely affected their attainment so far.

Shortlisting for interviews takes place in order to provide time, during the interview window, to guarantee that all shortlisted applicants receive at least two interviews. Shortlisting is done by College tutors and the Chemistry Admissions Coordinators, in accordance with the stated admissions criteria and based on all available and relevant data.

All Colleges are given an opportunity to review the proposed list of all applicants not to be shortlisted and to request to interview applicants rejected by other Colleges.

After shortlisting is completed, some candidates may be reallocated by the Admissions Coordinator to a different College from the one to which they applied. The purpose of reallocation is to even out the competition for places across Colleges.

All shortlisted applicants will have at least two interviews at their first-assigned College, and may also be interviewed by their second-assigned College or other Colleges.

The Interviews section of the University’s Guide for undergraduate applicants includes lots of advice on what to expect and how to prepare for Oxford interviews.

The University and its Colleges seek to admit students of high academic merit and potential. All colleges select students for admission without regard to marital status, race, ethnic origins, colour, religion or social background. Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual merits of the candidate and the application of selection criteria appropriate to the course of study.

Entry is competitive and the attainment of minimum standards is no guarantee of a place.