St John's College, Oxford

(22 Posts)
veraaloe Sun 21-Jan-18 17:52:08

Any one with some insider knowledge/views on the place?
Is there a huge amount of academic pressure?

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Sun 21-Jan-18 20:34:09

It’s the same as anywhere else in Oxford. Study is faculty based so no difference in where you live ie College. Obviously Oxford is academically challenging.

velourvoyageur Mon 22-Jan-18 17:07:59

I know people currently at SJC.
Not heard it be singled out as particularly pushy, more for being stupendously rich and very grand. Means e.g. they're generous when it comes to handouts, and hall is cheaper than at quite a few other colleges (and they have an amazing wine list for formal hall too).
I find it a bit of a world apart, it's so big and sprawling.

BubblesBuddy Mon 22-Jan-18 17:13:09

The faculties teach across colleges so the only difference is students and obviously that varies. The college isn’t enormous but is beautiful. I visited with DD.

goodbyestranger Mon 22-Jan-18 18:37:13

Not quite true Bubbles. Some colleges definitely put more academic pressure on their students than others, indeed some are renowned for it and the reputation seems to be more than a myth.

Dancingdreamer Mon 22-Jan-18 18:51:37

Is this for an existing offer holder or for a new applicant? The reason I ask is that St John's is highly oversubscribed for many subjects so you have a much higgher chance of being pooled to less popular college. That may not be important to you or your DC but it is worth knowing before you apply.

veraaloe Mon 22-Jan-18 19:14:23

Bubbles, not really sorry. I believe that it can vary a heck of a lot from many things I have heard. Each college is slightly different and will provide a different feel. You say that you visited with your DD, what put you off or did she prefer a different college/didn't get into SJC.

Dancingdreamer, this is for an offer holder thankfully, we didn't even realise that it was the 2nd most oversubscribed in raw success rates (!). I thought that would be somewhere like Worcester or Balliol.

OP’s posts: |


BubblesBuddy Mon 22-Jan-18 22:56:48

She just preferred another college. School suggested not to apply there but we never really knew why. They only had negative opinions! Most of which we ignited except this one!

However we noticed for her subjects that the same lecturers taught in a number of the colleges and therefore the standard of teaching and pressure would be similar from the faculty, we thought. However, goodbye knows way more than me but I am surprised other staff put additional pressure into students. Most students put pressure on themselves. Is this the personal tutors who put pressure on? I am not surprised St John’s popular though.

BubblesBuddy Mon 22-Jan-18 22:57:14

ignited??? Ignored.

BeBesideTheSea Mon 22-Jan-18 22:58:18

The bar only gets busy when the library closes ...

OverTheHandlebars Mon 22-Jan-18 23:00:28

I graduated from Oxford within the last few years and all the students from John's I knew were happy and well rounded. It is also very financially generous!

user369060 Tue 23-Jan-18 07:13:00

You would need to give an idea of subject area to get a more informed answer.

Bubbles - not sure why you posted an answer given that your own DDs didn't actually go to Oxford? The whole point of the Oxbridge system is that teaching does happen at college level, via tutorials/supervisions. These do vary quite a lot between colleges. For science subjects more of the teaching takes place at departmental level but, as goodbyestranger writes above, there are varying levels of academic pressure at college level (reflected in how much students are pushed in tutorials etc).

BubblesBuddy Tue 23-Jan-18 18:25:26

Ok user. Sorry to have invaded the space reserved for others.

goodbyestranger Tue 23-Jan-18 18:53:38

It's not a reserved space Bubbles and you've been through the process with your DD emerging with an offer, even if she didn't end up taking her place.

RosaMalvernHills Tue 23-Jan-18 22:25:59

I studied at St Johns, albeit about 10-15 years ago. I enjoyed it, although my impression at the time was that it probably was a bit more academically pressured than some of the other colleges. I don't remember that coming from the tutors, but it was more just a general ethos of the place, with students all working hard (or, at least, feeling they should be working hard!) because everyone else was. When I was there St John's would regularly come top (or near the top) of the league table of Oxford colleges for final degree results which probably contributed to the pressure. As others have said, it's an extremely wealthy college, which has lots of benefits. Inexpensive/subsidised meals in hall, lots of bursary opportunities (travel grants etc), and enough accommodation for all students to live in college (or in a college-owned house) for their whole degree.

RosaMalvernHills Tue 23-Jan-18 22:29:48

Contrary to what others have said, in my experience relatively little tuition happened in college, although this probably varies depending on the subject. There were only a handful of students studying my subject at St Johns, and only one tutor, so I had tutorials with tutors at other colleges for almost all papers. Lectures and seminars were organised by the department, with students from lots of different colleges attending together. But this will be different depending on the subject.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 25-Jan-18 21:01:31

25 years ago it was hugely pressured! If it is anything like it was when I was there I would give it a swerve, and it's definitely not the case that the college makes no difference because some of the teaching is faculty based. But colleges can change on a much shorter timescale than that and it is probably not half as bad now.

NataliaOsipova Thu 25-Jan-18 21:06:12

I didn't go there, but had some tutorials there in my final year. Didn't feel especially pressured (although I went to another college considered to be "academic", I suppose). Great location!

BasiliskStare Fri 26-Jan-18 02:43:15

V quickly and only 1 DC to go on

1 some teaching in his subject early doors did very much take place within the college ( History ) - as he has gone further he has had more tutorials / supervision by other tutors at other colleges. He reckoned his tutors were good - who knows St Johns might have been better - he's lasted this far.

2. As far as I can see most Oxford colleges are pretty good value for money re accommodation , meals etc , but yes if they have more money then the better deal the student might get.

3. A friend of my DS is at Queen's , doing classics - first year he was rather proud they came low ( indeed bottom ? ) in the Norrington table , he is now happy they came a lot further up. I am sure some colleges put more importance on that & it it part of their ethos but I am not sure how much that matters to any individual student if their own tutors are supportive and try to get the best out of their students. ( naive - me ? grin )

3. It's not on Turl St - I'd bin it wink

Bekabeech Fri 26-Jan-18 10:41:58

Ex St John's but as a graduate.
Rich - which helps. Accommodation, food, travel, hardship. Accommodation can be 3 years in college which is very handy, no far flung houses.
Some subjects a lot of teaching "in college" at least Tutorials etc.
The new President is less hung up on the Norrington Table. And both she and other fellows research into learning disabilities which must help.
All Oxford is pressurised.

Randomnumbers53234 Mon 29-Jan-18 21:01:12

DD graduated from there in 2016, so pretty recent.

Didn't seem to be any more pressurised than other colleges...but I'm not sure, as she only experienced John's.

A couple of stunning old quads, plus some truly shocking concrete carbuncles (although these have their fans...)

Comfy accomodation for 3 years. Can choose to live in a college owned house on museum road in second year, these are really nice.

Handy for science departments, and close to university parks and the museum which is awesome. A long way from boathouses if rowing is your thing.

Very, very rich, and generous. Loads of free food, rents are low, financial help we found to be available. Also an academic grant for everybody, every year - this was a couple of hundred quid to spend on books / tech. Might have been a bit more than that, not sure.

High percentage of state school pupils, that's why DD chose it.

The gardens are beautiful.

They have a big commemoration white tie ball every 3 years.

Some construction work has been going on , new library or something. Don't know if that affects quality of life at all.

The college bar isn't great, or so I'm told.

The library is haunted by a headless ghost.

DD just loved her time there.

ktreplo Sun 07-Oct-18 11:04:35

I saw this thread and thought I'd post what I said the other day on another one.

For those last minute deciders, I’d just like to put a plug in for St John’s Oxford. My husband studied there, my son, and now my daughter is.

It is a terrifically wealthy college, and so can afford to be very generous. Accommodation is nice, with some superb finalist rooms. Location wise, it is central for both sciences and arts, yet feels a tad more urban. It is set in around 15 acres; enormous gardens.

It has a high number of state school students, if that is a consideration.

Yes, it is rather academic, meaning that those who get in, tend to be slightly more intelligent/hard working than some other colleges. This year, St John’s finished 1st on the Norrington Table.

Any questions at all about St John’s are welcomed!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in