New to Wolfson?

We look forward to welcoming all our new students in the autumn.

Before you arrive at Wolfson

Planning your arrival

Planning your arrival

Those of you coming from overseas and who are required to self-isolate on arrival in the UK (see above and consult should arrange to arrive at least 14 days before the start of term on 1st October, so that you can complete the prescribed period of self-isolation before term begins.

At least 14 days before your arrival, you must contact the Accommodation Officer either by email at or by telephone at +44 (0)1865 274071. This is because you will need to agree on a date and time of arrival well in advance to ensure that your accommodation is ready for you when you arrive.

Priority will be given to those required to self-isolate on arrival and, in order to respect the rules on social distancing, it will be necessary to limit the number of people arriving at the College at any one time. You should therefore be prepared to be flexible when arranging the day and time of arrival and, especially if you choose to arrive at a weekend, be prepared to wait at the prescribed social distance and, if necessary, outside the College, before you can get into your room, flat or house.

During your journey and once you arrive, you should be prepared to wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently and regularly apply hand-sanitiser, and disinfect surfaces such as seats, tables and bathrooms, that may have been touched by others. We therefore recommend that you should pack, so as to be easily accessible: a few reusable face coverings; a few days’ supply of paper handkerchiefs and a plastic bag in which to discard them, antibacterial soap, antibacterial spray, and alcohol-based (60%) hand-sanitiser; and also, perhaps, reusable gloves, a personal thermometer and medicine such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) to reduce fever. Such supplies may be difficult to obtain easily and quickly on arrival in the UK. See below “Arriving at Wolfson” for information on food and other support at Wolfson.

You are likely to need a phone during your journey to Wolfson, so we recommend that you purchase a UK SIM card before you depart or at the airport, seaport or station where you arrive in the UK. Your room in Wolfson will not be equipped with a telephone.

Arriving in the UK

Different countries have adopted different methods of dealing with COVID 19. Before you arrive in the UK, you must ensure that you are aware of, and are ready to abide by, the current laws imposed by the UK government. Before departure, it is essential that you establish whether or not you will have to “self-isolate” on arrival — in other words, to stay in your accommodation for the first 14 days after your arrival in the UK.

If you have been allocated accommodation in Wolfson (and have received a licence agreement, signed and returned it to us and paid your rent in advance) you will be able to travel to Wolfson and self-isolate in your accommodation (if required).

If you have not been allocated accommodation at Wolfson and have not received a licence agreement, you should not travel to Wolfson but should instead travel directly to the accommodation you will have arranged to rent privately, or to any interim accommodation (B&B, hotel, etc) you have arranged. If you have not yet arranged for private accommodation, the Wolfson Accommodation Office can provide you with a list of accommodation agents, or you may be able to arrange accommodation via the central University Graduate Accommodation Office here . If you are required by UK law to self-isolate, then you must do so in your private or interim accommodation.

For further information on accommodation, please email the Accommodation Office at or telephone +44 (0)1865 274071 (9:00–17:00 British Summer Time).

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 when you are travelling to the UK, you should tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train or bus. They will tell staff in the airport, port or station, so that they can instruct you what you should do next when you arrive. In that case, you may need to self-isolate elsewhere before you come to Wolfson. Please also immediately email the email account, or call the Lodge on +44 (0)1865 274100 so that Wolfson is aware of your illness and can assist.

Travelling to Wolfson

When travelling to Wolfson during the pandemic, in order to avoid contact with other travellers, the best options are:

Drive yourself (preferably by hire car so that you will not be charged for parking at the College). Be dropped off by a member of your home household or home “support bubble” Use a taxi or private hire company. If you have no option but to take public transport, please follow the UK Government’s guidelines here, which currently require you to wear a face covering and observe social distancing (you should regularly monitor the UK Government’s advice as it may change before your arrival). 

Arriving at Wolfson

Residents who are not required to self-isolate: 

  • Ensure that you arrive at the agreed day and time and go straight to the Lodge.
  • The Lodge (or reception) is open for business daily from 7am–11pm. A porter is on duty out of hours for emergencies.
  • On entering the College, please wash or sanitise your hands immediately. There are bathrooms next to the Lodge, and a hand-sanitising station in the Lodge.
  • If there is a queue, you may need to wait outside to maintain social distance.
  • If you have a car, the receptionist will tell you where you must park.
  • Please go straight to your room, and unload your belongings as quickly and as safely as possible. Please do not go to other parts of the College until you have done so.
  • Instructions on how to use the wifi are in your room. If you need further support, please contact the IT team here

Residents who must self-isolate on arrival in the UK: 

  • Residents who are required by law to self-isolate on arrival in the UK should arrange to arrive at least 14 days before their first scheduled appointment. The date of a student’s first scheduled appointment varies according to the subject studied and, in this exceptional year, not all arrangements for the induction of new students have yet been finalised and timetabled. At this time, we recommend that new students who are required to self-isolate on arrival should arrive at least 14 days before the start of term (1 st October), and on a date agreed with the Accommodation Office.
  • Ensure that you arrive at the agreed day and time; if your transport is delayed, please advise the Lodge as soon as possible by phone on +44 (0)1865 274 100 or by email at
  • You will need a working mobile phone in order to gain access to your room, so you should purchase a UK SIM card either before you depart or at the airport or station where you arrive in the UK. Your room in Wolfson will not be equipped with a telephone.
  • If possible, activate your “Oxford Single Sign-On Account (SSO)” before arriving in Wolfson. You will need it to order food during self-isolation, to access your University email account, to use the libraries remotely and for many other purposes. Go to “Email at Oxford today. 1. Getting started”.
  • Instructions on how to use the College wifi will be in your room. If you need further IT support during self-isolation, please contact the IT team here.
  • On arrival at Wolfson, do not enter the College buildings.
  • From outside the College, telephone the Lodge Receptionist on +44 (0)1865 274 100. (The Lodge, or reception, is open for business daily from 7am–11pm. A night porter is on duty outside these hours for emergencies.)
  • If you have arrived by car, the receptionist will tell you where to park.
  • The receptionist will direct you to your room by phone. Your building will be open and your key will be in your room.
  • Please go straight to your building and your room within it, and deposit your belongings as quickly and as safely as possible. Do not go to any other part of the College. Within your building, do not go anywhere except your room and, if applicable, to the shared bathroom facilities in the unit to which your room belongs.
  • If you need assistance at any time, please contact the Lodge by phone on +44 (0)1865 274 100 or by email at
  • If your room is not an en-suite room — that is, it does not have a private bathroom within the room — the bathroom facilities are shared with the other occupants of your set or unit. Their location is in most cases self-evident; in the few cases where this is not so, you will receive instructions with your keys that will let you know which bathroom to use and how to access it. When using the communal bathroom facilities, you must take the greatest care to touch as few surfaces as possible, and to clean scrupulously with antibacterial spray or disinfectant all the surfaces that you have touched, including door handles, light switches, taps (faucets) and basins, seats, etc. Remove all personal items when you leave, place sanitary products in the bin provided, and remove all other waste (such as empty containers, tissues and wipes) to dispose of in the waste bin in your own room.
  • Do not use the communal kitchen in your unit while you are in self-isolation.
  • We will deliver food to your room during the prescribed period of self-isolation period: a hot meal every lunchtime from Monday to Saturday, and supplies and snacks to see you through breakfast and dinner, and meals on Sunday. Once you have activated your “Oxford SSO” (see above), you can order your delivery online, by following the procedures here. Until you are able to activate your SSO, you may order meals and food packs from Please make sure that you order at least 24 hours in advance.
  • If you plan to arrive in the evening or at night, or over the weekend, you may wish to bring food and other essential supplies with you. You can also use the link above to request a food pack to be placed in your room to await your arrival.
  • You must not leave your room or allocated area at any time during the prescribed period of self-isolation, unless agreed with the College in advance.
  • More detailed information will be provided when you arrive.

Michaelmas term 2020

Oxford University and its Colleges plan to open to students at all levels for the 2020/21 academic year and we look forward to welcoming all new and continuing students from the start of the Michaelmas term. Click here to read the University's plan for the 2020/21 academic year.

What to expect

The health and safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. We and the University will have a range of measures in place including a dedicated testing service, support for students needing to self-isolate, and clear guidance informed by scientific advice. Social distancing measures will be in place, and large gatherings are unlikely to be possible, so we will, like the rest of the country, be operating a more cautious service than normal. 

What life at Oxford is likely to be like

The highly personalised, face-to-face Oxford method of teaching and supervision will continue as normal, and College life will provide the opportunity to mix with those from many different disciplines and backgrounds.

College societies and the Bar committee have been working hard to plan a range of events and initiatives which comply with social distancing guidelines, for example by maximising the use of the College's outdoor space whenever British weather allows! Some events may be hybrid online and in-person, such as some committee meetings.

We hope that moving some college events online will broaden their accessibility, particularly for our students, staff, Fellows, and common room members who live off-site, as well as for those who are undertaking fieldwork and research abroad. Given the nature of social distancing restrictions and the extensive administrative work required to organise digital events, the timetable of the term’s events may differ to normal circumstances, but please be assured that plans for a full timetable of social and academic events are well underway.

While we plan to host as many in-person events as possible, please be assured that contingency plans are in place to move these events online in the event of a lockdown.

Self-isolation support on arrival

New residents can order food supplies to be ready for their arrival through the Catering team

  • Complete the grocery order form and email it to by 11am Monday to Friday. 
  • If you are arriving over the weekend, please make sure you order any groceries you need by Thursday 11am and any other food items by Saturday 9am.
  • The items you have ordered will be placed in your room ready for your arrival.
  • Hot lunch can be booked through the Wolfson Gateway. We can only deliver it during lunchtime Mon-Sat due to food safety.
  • We have limited equipment and resources available for people that must self-isolate, please do not use this service if you are able to leave your room and visit the College's and other local outlets.
More Information
Below are resources and guidance related to new students

The latest from Wolfson College

Aamer Sarfraz portrait photo
7 August 2020
Aamer Sarfraz appointed to the House of Lords

Wolfson congratulates Aamer Sarfraz on his appointment by The Queen as a member of the House of Lords.

George Smith portrait photo
5 August 2020
Professor George Smith Honoured by Royal Society

Congratulations to Professor George Smith, FRS, who has been awarded the Armourers & Brasiers' Company Prize 2020

Balcony view from the Harbour lawn
8 July 2020
Refurbishment of the balcony

This project has been given the go-ahead as part of the Estates Strategy to improve our College buildings and environment.

Our upcoming events

Parties and Dinners
12 - 12
Sep Sep
Degree Day
Saturday 12 September - 11:00am to 3:30pm

Preceding the degree ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre at 14:30, the College hosts the Signing of the Graces and a celebratory reception for our graduands and their family and friends. This event is by invitation only; please see the degree days page on our website for further information. 

Lectures and Seminars
05 - 05
Nov Nov
Margaret Oliphant and Oxford
Thursday 5 November - 1:30pm

Merryn Williams is a poet and critic. Her latest works are The Fragile Bridge: New and Selected Poems (Shoestring Press) and Mansfield Park Revisited (Plas Gwyn Books). At present she is collecting poems about the pandemic and the lockdown. Merryn is a long-standing member of Wolfson's Common Room.