Pembroke is such a friendly college and, although it is small in area, it admits more undergraduate students per year than most of the other colleges (around 105) meaning that it is extremely easy to meet new people and become part of a close-knit community. It is also situated in an ideal, central location of Oxford which makes it much easier to trek to your faculty library, or to night clubs!
What Subjects can be read at Pembroke?
An array of Science and Arts subjects can be read at Pembroke College – ranging from Biochemistry to Theology. Within each subject, if a particular topic you have picked is the research area of a tutor outside of Pembroke, you will be sent to another college to be tutored; in other words, you will be taught be the top specialists in your subject area. For a full list of subjects taught at Pembroke, check out:
How much does it cost to study at Pembroke?
Tuition fees for studying at Pembroke are exactly the same as those charged by all colleges in Oxford. For 2012/13, tuition fees at Oxford University will be £9000 per year for all undergraduate courses. Living costs at Pembroke will also add to
your cost of studying at Oxford. The breakdown of these estimated living costs can be found at:
How do I apply to Pembroke?
To apply to Pembroke College, you must select the College on your UCAS application to Oxford University which must be submitted by the 15th October 2011. After this, you may be required to sit an entrance exam, submit written work and come to an interview around Christmas time. During the interviews process, you will be provided with accommodation and food at Pembroke and usually have at least 2 interviews within College. However, due to the University-wide selection process, you may be invited to interviews at other colleges – meaning you get the best, and fairest, chance of being offered a place at Oxford. For more detail, see: http://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/Students/Admissions/How_to_Apply/index.php
Do undergraduates live in College for the entirety of their course?
At Pembroke, undergraduates are guaranteed accommodation in College-owned property for the entirety of their course. Accommodation ranges from small rooms with a shared bathroom area (Band A) to large rooms with an en-suite (Band E). Bands (A-E) increase in price so Band E is the most expensive, Band C (a large room with a shared bathroom area) is of average expense and band A is the least expensive. Each year, Band B (a middle-sized room with a shared bathroom area) and Band D (a small room with an en-suite) are the most
popular choices and, often, students receive their second or third choices for accommodation. However, the College gives priority for the cheaper rooms to students who receive a whole or partial Maintenance Grant. For the price of rooms, see:
Second year students have the option of living in the New Build, or living out in private accommodation in Oxford which can cost as much as £400 per month in rent alone, as a 12 month contract. Third years may be offered a place in the New Build, or guaranteed accommodation in the Pembroke annexe, the Geoffrey Arthur Building (GAB).
What is it like living in college?
Living in College in your first year creates an ideal environment for you to socialise with, and make friends with, your entire year group. Very quickly, you meet people who live in the same building as you and who are reading the same subject as you which forms the basis of a close-knit community. Because your first year is fully catered (exemption is subject to specific dietary requirements), it gives you more time to focus on study, adapt to university life and relax and socialise. Typically, you pay for all your evening meals at the beginning of each term – lunches are provided by the College but are purchased at additional cost – which costs around £5 per meal, adding up to around £240 per term (8 weeks). At dinner time, in the college’s fabulous hall, you can have a well-deserved break from your study and interact with your peers in a relaxed
environment. To find out more about catering within College, see:
Aside from this, Pembroke has a variety of clubs and societies which students are actively encouraged to take part in. These include: sports teams/clubs, such as rowing and rugby, the College choir and the College’s Christian Union. You can also get
involved within the Junior Common Room (JCR) by participating in College Access events, by mentoring or giving tours around the College to prospective students, or attending the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) meetings with the current OUSU committee member. Similarly, at the end of each academic year, a range of JCR committee positions are husted for which means that you can become an active representative of the College’s student body in an area you are passionate about, as a Treasurer, the President or the Academic Rep, to name but a few. To see more about Pembroke’s clubs and societies, check out: http://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/Students/Clubs_Societies/index.php
If you’d like specific information about University-wide clubs and societies, including the Oxford Union, see: http://www.ousu.org/resources/clubs-and-societies-in-oxford
What happens when I arrive at Pembroke?
You will be sent directions of where to go on arrival but if travelling by car, you will drive onto North Quad (large paved area) and we (freshers helpers) will come to say hi, find out which room you are in (we will have a list don’t worry - you aren’t expected to know!) and then help you to take all your luggage to your room! Since we are tight on space for cars on North Quad, we will ask whoever is driving your car to move on once we have unpacked the car (we are very efficient) and we suggest going to park at Oxpens carpark which is about 5-10 minute walk away, whilst you can start to unpack in your room.
How much are we fed during freshers week (compared to usual)?
During freshers week you will be provided with lunch and dinner on sunday, breakfast lunch and dinner monday through thursday and lunch and dinner again on friday. This will all be clear on the timetable for freshers week dont worry! On saturdays college does not provide dinner (or any other meals) so it’s up to you! People will tend to cook for themselves in shared kitchens, order pizza or go out and buy something (microwave meal is as good as anything).
During the rest of term time you will get 6 dinners a week (everyday excluding saturday). 3 of these are formal (sunday, tuesday, thursday) and 3 informal (monday, wednesday, friday).
~ See next question regarding formal and informal dinners ~
Pembroke does however have its own cafe called Farthings and here you can buy sandwiches, paninis etc. but is known for a great breakfast! Its opening times are here:
Monday - Thursday
8am - 6pm & 7pm - 10pm
8am - 6pm
9am - 2pm
10am - 2pm
What’s the difference between formal and informal hall?
Formal hall is held Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday during term time (weeks 1-8). Informal hall is held Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For formal hall you are required to wear your gown (though what you wear it with is entirely up to you) and your food is served to you (2 courses on tuesdays and 3 on thursday and sunday). Informal hall you can turn up when you want during serving time, choose your meal from a self-service canteen and eat and go as you need.
Do I need to buy tickets for freshers week events/nights out?
No! Our Entz Reps (Libby Munro & Holly Abrahamson) have sorted out a plan of which clubs we are all going to during freshers week and tickets for these will be battelled (added to your end of term bill) depending on if you sign up for them (you’ll be told about all this nearer the time don’t worry). We will also have JCR events both before these nights out and also as alternatives to going out (nights in).
Am I allowed to bring a toaster/kettle etc for my room?
Kettles are allowed, as are mini fridges, but toasters are not unfortunately. There should be a shared kitchen somewhere in your staircase or in a nearby one and that has a toaster in it.
What are the shared kitchen facilities like?
There are 6 kitchens available for use in first year accommodation. They all have a fridge, freezer, microwave, sink and electric hob; 2 also have an oven. These are always available to you so you can choose how much you’d like to cook during term. In terms of bringing pots and pans, these aren’t necessarily provided in the kitchens but don’t overdo it as there isn’t loads of storage and you may end up having to keep it all in your room! If in doubt, there are plenty of shops in oxford where you can buy pots and pans so you can always buy them when you get here.
Do I need to get Subfusc before I get to Oxford?
No! You can easily get it on the day you arrive or in the following few days but you will need your gown for Freshers’ Dinner with your tutors on Tuesday/Wednesday of Freshers Week so it is also an option to order your Sub Fusc online from either http://www.walters-oxford.co.uk/sub-fusc
These shops usually give you the option to get this delivered to home or to be picked up in oxford.
Can I bring my bike and store it in college?
Yes! Bring your bike along when you move in and you just have to visit the porters to register it with them for a small fee (about £3). There is plenty of bike storage around college, including an underground bike shed in North Quad.
What is matriculation?
At the end of week 1 (Saturday 14th October - save the date!) all freshers will matriculate (but not visiting students). It marks your official enrollment in the University of Oxford. You have to wear your Sub Fusc for this event and you will all go to the Sheldonian Theatre for a short ceremony followed by a day to yourself to decide how to celebrate.
Sub fusc is explained on the oxford website (https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/dress?wssl=1)
Here’s a picture of some pembroke students at matriculation last year…
How do I know what accommodation I have?
If you set up your oxford university email account when the information is sent to you then you should receive an email on that from our accommodation office telling you which band room you got (A, B, D, E or F) and therefore how much this will cost. You will most likely not be told specifically which room you have but we will have this information for you when you arrive so don’t worry about it!