Distinguishing Cambridge & Oxford

Cambridge vs Oxford

Cambridge University and Oxford University are two of the most renowned and oldest universities in England, generating a significant global interest in understanding the differences between them. Known collectively as Oxbridge, the history of these universities dates back over 750 years and they have produced many famous politicians and scientists. There are various differences between Cambridge and Oxford in terms of their location, terminology, rules, term names, interview processes, and more.

More about Cambridge University

Cambridge University is located in the smaller, less industrial city of Cambridge. The surrounding areas are home to numerous high-tech manufacturers, which can impact the professions pursued by students. In Cambridge, the term “JCR” stands for Junior Combination Room, and the three academic terms are called Michaelmas, Lent, and Easter. Most Cambridge colleges have large grass areas called courts. Students can join any subject taught by their college, and if they fail to get into their first-choice college, they may be called for a second interview. Cambridge interviews are shorter than those at Oxford, with results typically released in January. The university is not strict about ensuring students wear proper university uniforms.

More about Oxford University

Oxford University is situated in the larger, more industrial city of Oxford, which is associated with the motor industry. This can also impact the professions studied by students. In Oxford, “JCR” refers to an undergraduate student boy, and the three academic terms are named Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity. Large grass areas in Oxford colleges are called quadrangles. The choice of college is important for students, as they can only apply for subjects offered by their chosen college. The interview process differs between the two universities, with Oxford interviewing applicants in more than one college and requiring them to stay in the city longer in case they are called for further interviews. The selection process is quicker at Oxford, with results published before Christmas. Students are required to wear formal academic dress, called “Sub Fusc,” for all examinations.

Key Takeaways

  • Cambridge University is ranked second in the world, while Oxford University is ranked fifth.
  • The universities are located in different cities with distinct characteristics: Oxford is a larger, more industrial city, while Cambridge is smaller and less industrial.
  • There are differences in terminology, term names, and interview processes between the two universities.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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