The information on this page is intended for people who have received an offer of a place at Balliol (offer-holders) and for current students. In addition, it is important that you read the following:
- the terms and conditions of the Student Tenancy for Residential Premises, which you will be asked to sign once you have been allocated a room;
- further information about accommodation in the College Handbook, which forms part of your contract with the College.
Offer-holders: Balliol offers accommodation to the majority of first-year postgraduates, usually in the Graduate Centre (see below). First-year students whom we cannot initially accommodate are placed on a waiting list and allocated rooms if they become available.
Once your Financial Declaration has been approved, and if you are then allocated a room, we will send you an Accommodation Preference Form to be completed and returned to the Domestic Manager. Those who are placed on the waiting list will be notified if and when a room becomes available. Bedrooms for Freshers are allocated in August each year, and if you do not return the form by August, you will be allocated a room at the discretion of the Domestic Manager.
Current students: All graduate students in the second or later years of their course can participate in a ballot for accommodation in the Graduate Centre in Hilary Term each year.
Rooms in the Graduate Centre
There are three main buildings which make up the Graduate Centre: Holywell Manor (which includes James Fairfax Yard, known as JFY), Block A at the Master’s Field, a new development (see below), and some rooms in Jowett Walk. The majority of Freshers are allocated a room in JFY; rooms in the Manor itself are typically not available to Freshers.
All bedrooms are single study-bedrooms for sole occupancy only. Bedrooms contain basic furniture such as a bed (typically a single bed, although double beds are being introduced in the Manor), wardrobe, drawers, bedside table, desk and sink. The majority of rooms have shared bathroom facilities; however, there are a small number of en suite rooms at Jowett Walk. Students will need to bring their own bedding, bedlinen and towels. If you are travelling to Oxford from a distance, you may prefer to buy these articles on arrival: Boswell’s department store, diagonally across from the Balliol main site on Broad Street, is a useful supplier.
Master’s Field Project
As part of the Master’s Field Project, scheduled to be completed by June 2020, some existing graduate accommodation will be replaced with modern accommodation, which will add some 60 rooms to the total available for postgraduates. The development is in the area along the edge of the Master’s Field, facing Jowett Walk and St Cross Road; there is more information about it here. There are photographs of some of the rooms here.
Offer-holders and current students should be aware that:
- Construction work, which began in February 2018, will affect the Master’s Field and, in particular, the east end of Jowett Walk. Disruption and noise will be kept as low as possible, and the College has chosen a construction method designed to do just that, but we ask for the forbearance of those affected as the project proceeds.
- All Master’s Field residents will receive updates on the progress of the work, as information becomes available; see also the latest updates on the Master’s Field Project page.
Rooms in Holywell Manor are available on a 44-week room contract. These contracts start on Sunday of 0th week of Michaelmas Term, i.e. two weeks prior to the first Sunday of full term. Students who wish to take up their rooms earlier or stay longer may be able to do so, depending on availability and by arrangement with the Domestic Manager.
Because of conference commitments, rooms in Jowett Walk are available on a 36.5-week room contract, which starts on Monday of 0th week of Michaelmas Term, i.e. one week prior to the first Sunday of full term, and ends on Friday of 9th week of Trinity Term.
Graduate room rents for 2018-2019 are banded as follows:
TERM WEEK DAY BAND
2582.07 176.05 25.15 A*
2422.93 165.20 23.60 A
2310.00 157.50 22.50 B
2207.33 150.50 21.50 C
2079.00 141.75 20.25 D
1971.20 134.40 19.20 E
1796.67 122.50 17.50 F
1642.67 112.00 16.00 G
Here is a full list of room rents for 2019-2020.
The College has very few high-banded rooms, so it is unlikely that a Fresher would be allocated a Band A room; the majority of our rooms are banded at D.
If you are at all concerned about your ability to afford the rents in College, the College has excellent financial aid provisions and you may be eligible for support: please see the Financial Support page.
There are several small self-catering kitchenettes across the Graduate Centre, for which graduate students will need to bring their own crockery and cutlery.
Refrigerators: with the exception of Jowett Walk, where kitchens are provided per flat, small refrigerators (i.e. 4 cubic feet/0.11 cubic metres) are permitted in College bedrooms, provided they are removed by you every vacation. Fridge-freezers are not permitted. In all cases, permission must be sought from the Domestic Manager.
Microwave ovens are not permitted in College bedrooms unless there are certified medical or other special dietary reasons, in which case a letter must be sent to the Domestic Manager in advance of arrival together with a letter from your doctor.
Televisions: Any student who wishes to use a television in their room, or who watches or records live television on any device, must have a TV licence specifically for the room, irrespective of the ownership of the television set or device. The fine imposed by the licensing authorities for not having a licence is currently £1,000. The authorities have the right to call and inspect without warning, and do so from time to time.
All electrical equipment must have the appropriate British Standard Number or Kitemark; plugs must carry the BS Number 1363, be of the safety sleeve type and be correctly fused for the appliance; flexible cables must be in good condition and not worn, perished, split, stretched or twisted. All electrical equipment must be under one year of age, or must be PAT tested by the College Electrician before use on site.
There are laundry rooms with washing machines, dryers, irons and ironing boards in Holywell Manor and Jowett Walk. A booking system operates for hourly slots in the Manor laundry rooms. Sign-up sheets can be found outside the Lodge in Holywell Manor. A slot lasts two hours. You may sign up for up to two slots on a given day and if you are more than 15 minutes late you forfeit your slot.
Damage, alteration and repairs
The furniture and furnishings in rooms are the property of the College and the occupant is responsible for any damage or losses. All posters etc. must be affixed to pin boards only. If the use of substances such as Blu-Tack, White Tack, drawing-pins or Sellotape causes damage to the walls, the costs of repair and/or redecoration will be charged to the student. All alterations and repairs require the permission of the Domestic Bursar: see the College Handbook.
The Maintenance Department rectifies all maintenance problems. Heating, hot water breakdowns and all small or serious maintenance problems should be reported via the Balliol Maintenance Department ticketing system, or, only in emergencies if they occur out of office hours, to the Porters’ Lodge.
If on arrival in your room you find any damage or defect, please report it to your Scout (housekeeper), the Lodge, or the Domestic Manager, who will inform the Maintenance Department.
Vacation store rooms
There is a small provision of storage space for graduate students at Holywell Manor which is managed by the Lodge Manager, Mark Howe, whom you should email if you wish to use it.