Posted by Stuart


Merton College - photo (c) S Norman

Merton College (Wikipedia) is one of the oldest and prettiest of the 39 colleges (see list) making up the University of Oxford. It has a claim to be the oldest college by virtue of being the first to have a ‘Statute’ – a written constitution governing the College – which was set down at the time of the College’s founding in 1264. However, Balliol College and University College also have their own claims to be older.

The Oxbridge (Oxford & Cambridge) system is slightly different from most other universities – students belong to a particular college, where tutorial teaching, meals and accommodation take place; however, university-run departments provide the lectures and examinations which comprise the backbone of any course. Tutors belong to both a college and department, carrying out research when not lecturing or teaching in college.

I spent 8 years at Merton and did both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees there.