Academic, social and residential life

We aim to ensure that every individual at Reuben is able to benefit from richness of opportunity in all aspects of their academic, professional and personal lives. A Student Handbook will be provided to incoming students before their arrival to detail all aspects of the student experience and facilities and services provided by the college. For the 2021 student cohort, interim arrangements will be in place to provide academic, social and catering and recreational facilities and services for students while the college’s main site undergoes major refurbishments.

Our Graduate (Advisory) President, Lauren Bolz, is also available to provide advice and support to incoming students, and for setting up the student-run committee commonly known in Oxford as the Graduate Common Room (or Middle Common Room).

Reuben College provides students with an academic experience that complements and enhances their departmental activities by facilitating engagement with people across different disciplines, professional career stages and types of expertise. 

Every student will be assigned a College Adviser, who is a senior member of Reuben College, and provides general academic or pastoral advice and assistance throughout the student’s course of study. The College Adviser will meet regularly - at least once a term - with their Advisee, and can help them navigate a wide range of academic-related matters, such as applications for research funding, conferences and seminar attendance, publication and career plans, as well as offer pastoral support for health, financial or personal issues.

In addition to the direct relationship with a College Advisor, students have access to: 

  • a wide range of events - from public lectures and academic seminars to practical workshops and informal reading groups - which are organised throughout the academic year to stimulate intellectual exchange and discovery around the college's key research clusters
  • a rich array of collections and curatorial experience brought in by our close association with the University's Gardens, Libraries and Museums, and offering exciting opportunities for students to enhance their research endeavours and public engagement potential; 
  • skills workshops and ad hoc initiatives that support development of a college culture in which innovation thrives, students experiment with confidence, and everyone learns, communicates and collaborates effectively; and
  • the planned Digital Innovation Studio, which - when the building refurbishments and funding permit - will be equipped with a suite of content creation, video production and virtual reality technologies that allow students and Fellows to engage with complex concepts and undertake digital outreach initiatives.


Accommodation for nearly all first-year students is provided at Farndon Court, a newly-refurbished complex, which is about a 10-minute walk away from the main college buildings. A mix of 100 single, double and studio accommodation units is available, with also some accessible units – please email to enquire about these. All single rooms share bathrooms and kitchens within small clusters, complemented by a number of large communal living and kitchen spaces.

Students who elect not to live in Farndon Court can find help seeking alternative options through the University’s Graduate Accommodation Office. The office manages a wide range of accommodation types, as well as the application process through which graduate students can be considered for University-owned accommodation.

There are a variety of dining and catering options for students to choose from. While our building is undergoing refurbishments, lunches and informal suppers will be offered at dining facilities in a nearby college. Self-catering facilities are provided in shared kitchen-dining areas in the Farndon Court accommodation. We will also have weekly formal dinners held in different venues over the academic term, often involving an informal academic talk or guest speaker. All meals will be priced individually and subsidised for students.

Once our building works are complete, there will be weekday breakfast and lunches, as well as occasional weekend brunches, offered on the main college site throughout the year. We will have a fully equipped kitchen with a large communal dining hall, and Reuben has made a commitment to provide an excellent catering service that will offer delicious, high-quality meals made from locally-produced, ethically-sourced and sustainable food choices whenever possible. An all-day café service to facilitate spontaneous gatherings and discussion over coffee or a meal will also be provided.

Personal circumstances allowing, both students and academic staff will be strongly encouraged to shape the college community through attendance at College meals and dining events. There is no ‘High Table’, and so the Fellows and students present eat lunch and dinner together.

Each graduate student at Reuben College will be warmly welcomed and introduced to college life with a comprehensive induction programme. They will be supported throughout their experience with a range of academic, personal and professional development opportunities.

The College is supported by a linked NHS practice, two linked advisors from the University’s Disability Advisory Service (one specifically supporting mental health), a link University Counselling Service contact, and a dedicated college Welfare Advisor. We also work with the University Childcare Services to sponsor a dedicated College nursery place.

Regular liaison with student representatives, architects and building contractors during the re-development of the main site has ensured that students with specific needs are able to participate fully in College activities and services. The main college buildings will be fully wheelchair accessible and there are specially-adapted rooms in the Farndon Court accommodation site for students with disabilities. Applicants with disabilities or special access requirements are welcome to contact the College to discuss their individual requirements: both the Bursar and Senior Tutor act as ‘Disability Leads’ for the College.

We recognise the importance of equality and diversity in advancing intellectual endeavours. Read our statement on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular student life through access to a full range of sporting, social and recreational activities, either organised by the College or through partnership with other colleges.

A student-run committee (commonly referred to in Oxford as the MCR or GCR - Middle/Graduate Common Room) will lead social events, which may include book clubs, film screenings, days out or other activities that are developed by and for the students, with the support of the college. Students of Reuben College will thus be able to meet, socialise and compete with other students across the University in their sport, music, drama and art. All activities will be organised with sensitivity to diverse cultural backgrounds and encourage full participation by all students.

The College also has close links with the University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums, which students are encouraged to take advantage of for both research endeavours and recreational activities.