Social Life

Social Life at Hertford College

Hertford is well known for being a friendly college and everyone will do their best to help you to feel at home. Even before you arrive you will receive a letter from your college “Mum” or “Dad” as all visiting students are included in the college “family” system – which is similar to the “buddy” system in American universities, so right from the beginning you have students in college who will look out for you.

Michaelmas term 2014 - Gabrielle Jaques, student from Stonehill College via Arcadia, singing as lead role in an Oxford University production of The Sorcerer by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Student bodies and social events

When you arrive at Hertford College you will be welcomed by students from both the undergraduate body, the JCR and by the students from the graduate body, the MCR.

You will have gathered from the testimonials from previous students that the best way to get to know people is to join in with the many activities on offer.  Both the graduate and undergraduate bodies have friendly Common Rooms and regular social events, such as “bops” (dances), jazz nights and film nights. These are good occasions to have fun and meet people. 


Many visiting students have found that the college sports clubs are a very easy way of becoming a part of college life and keeping fit at the same time.  College has, for both women and men, a rugby club, football club, a rowing club, badminton club, lacrosse team, netball team, tennis club (in summer)  and a volleyball team. We also have our own gym.

You could also join one of the university based sports societies or make use of the beautiful swimming pool in the University sports centre,

If you are musical or like singing Hertford is definitely then place for you as we  have a lively college music society and excellent college choir.

Hertford College chapel has some of the best acoustics in Oxford so it is a real pleasure to sing in the choir.  Everyone is friendly and visiting students find that belonging to the choir is not only uplifting and a way to relax but is also a good way to make new friends.

University Clubs and Societies

There are so many University Societies to choose from – something for everyone.  Just to give you an idea, our past Visiting Students have joined the fencing club, cycling club, golf club, poetry society, boxing club, Socrates society, brass band society, Scottish dancing society, dance sport, and the University Orchestra.   There are many musical and theatre groups and many of our students have joined drama groups and performed in plays and musicals.  Do visit the University Clubs' website to get an idea of the range of activities available. Of course if you enjoy debates check out the famous Oxford Union.

Freshers' Week

Students who start in the autumn or Michaelmas term will be given tickets to the “Freshers' Fair” where each club has a stall to publicise their activities.  There are also lots of college-based activities to help you feel at home.