Academic Excellence: Subject Prizes

Balliol undergraduates may be awarded prizes for outstanding academic achievement in particular areas.

The following are the main College subject prizes, which are of varying amounts. In addition, the Senior Tutor/Academic Registrar may authorise the award of a special prize from time to time to an undergraduate reading a subject not covered by the following list. Such prizes may be awarded for a variety of different reasons, ranging from performance in Collections to tutorial essays to narrowly missing being awarded a Scholarship or Exhibition.

For prizes awarded for poetry, satire and other pieces of work outside normal academic work, see Prizes.

A list of current prize holders is available on the Prize Holders page of the website. They are also listed each year in the Annual Record.

Type of award
Academic or academic-related
Eligibility or selection criteria


  • Prelims Prize: Good performance in FPE, falling just short of a distinction, £50


  • Greville Smith Prize: Undergraduates studying Chemistry, Part I or Part II, total value of £150


  • Samuel Dubner Prize (Classics): Post-FPE student, awarded for the purpose of purchasing materials relevant to the Final Honour School course and encouraging work towards Finals, £250
  • Jenkyns Prize (Classics): Outstanding performance in mock schools/collections  by 2nd-year undergraduates reading Classical Honour Moderations, £75 (awarded in Hilary term)
  • Jenkyns Exhibition: Outstanding performance by a Finalist in collections at the start of Trinity Term of their final year, £150 (awarded in Trinity Term)


  • Kyriacou and Sherwin-Smith Prize: 3rd-year undergraduates, with a preference for those undertaking Entrepreneurship options within the Engineering degree, £250
  • Lubbock Prize: Engineering undergraduate(s), £75
  • Prosser Prize (Engineering): Engineering undergraduates, £50


  • Elton Prize: Proficiency in English Literature and especially Shakespeare by first- and second-year undergraduates, £75 and £50 (two prizes)
  • Kington Oliphant Prize (English Literature): Proficiency in English Philology, £75 and £50 (two prizes)


  • Edwin George Engleby Wright Prize: Performance in History, £300 altogether between Kington Oliphant, James Gay, and Martin Wright
  • Martin Wright Prize: Distinguished performance in FPE or FHS, £300 altogether between Kington Oliphant, James Gay, and Engleby Wright
  • James Gay Prize: Distinguished performance in FPE or FHS, £300 altogether between Kington Oliphant, Engleby Wright, and Martin Wright
  • Kington Oliphant Prize (History): Distinguished performance in FPE or FHS, £300 altogether between Engleby Wright, James Gay, and Martin Wright
  • Roger Hall Prize (History): Awarded to the student who achieves the highest mark in the FHS for their thesis (awarded in rotation with science), £75
  • William Mazower Prize: Automatically attached to the exhibition that the History tutors award to the best-performing undergraduate at the end of the second year of study, £120


  • A.V. Dicey Prize: Awarded to a graduating Law student who has achieved the best overall performance over the undergraduate law degree, £250
  • Archibald McDougall Law Prize: Best Finals student in Law and proxime accessit, £350 and £150 (two prizes)
  • Lord Rodger of Earlsferry Prize: Best performance in A Roman Introduction to Private Law, £100
  • Younger Prize: Best performance by a final-year student in Law on collections at the start of Michaelmas Term, £75


  • Prosser Prize (Mathematics and Joint School): Performance in Mathematics, £100 and £50 (two prizes)
  • Robin Wilson Prize (Mathematics): Performance in Pure Mathematics, £150 


  • Periam Prize: Performance in Medical Sciences, £100
  • Wurtman Prize: Best oral presentation of a dissertation in the FHS of Medical Sciences, £75 (Hilary Term)


  • Brassey Prize: Best essay written in a modern foreign language on approved subject by a final-year undergraduate returning from their year-abroad, £75


  • Ernest Walker Prize: Outstanding philosophy essays written during first-year long vacation, either one prize of £150, two prizes of £110, or three prizes of £75


  • Ken Allen Prize: Best experimental record (one first-, one second- and one third-year), £100 each (three prizes)
  • Conroy Prize (Physics and PhysPhil): Performance in Physics subjects, £175


  • GDH Cole Prize: Presentations or essays on approved subjects in Economics and Politics, £75
  • James Hall Prize: Presentations or essays on approved subjects in Politics, £100
  • Samuel Dubner Prize (PPE): Students who have worked hard and achieved excellent marks, £250
  • Thomas Balogh Prize: Best set of essays by a 2nd-year undergraduate on Macroeconomics, £75 (awarded in Hilary Term)
  • Jenkyns Prize (PPE): Best performance in mock schools, £75 and £50 (two prizes) (awarded in Trinity Term)


  • Jasper Ridley Prize: For knowledge of and devotion to Music and/or Greek Literature, £70 (awarded by the Master, usually in Hilary Term)
Amount awarded

£50 to £250, depending on the terms of the prize.

How and when to apply

No application is necessary. Prizes will be awarded based on tutor recommendations. If you think you might be eligible, please contact your tutor.

Further information

Rules for all College prizes:

  • Examiners are empowered to divide the prizes. In any year in which there are no candidates of sufficient merit the examiners may decide not to award the prize or to award a prize of lesser value.

For more information about prizes, please contact the Student Finance Officer.