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Exeter College Oxbridge Applicant Success Rate Sets New College Record and Amongst the Best in the Country.

Students at Exeter College are celebrating their university offers to world-renowned institutions, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Exeter College is proud to announce that 24 students hold offers to the most prestigious universities in the UK, commonly referred to as Oxbridge.

This year saw 60 students apply. Nine hold offers for the University of Cambridge and an incredible 15 for the University of Oxford. The College’s new record success rate (40%) of applications to offers studying at Oxbridge puts Exeter College among the best in the country, even eclipsing the rates of many independent schools.

Students hold offers for a wide range of subjects including the highly competitive Computer Science, Fine Art, and Music. In addition, offers have been made in Classics, Law, Biology, History, English Language and Literature, Philosophy, Politics and Economics. This reflects the broad, exciting range of courses on offer at Exeter College.

Sandy Mulcahy, who progressed from St Peters School, holds an offer to study Computer Science at the University of Oxford. He is excited at the prospect of living there next year. Speaking about the application process, he said;

“The process was quite long, with a lot of time spent doing practice MAT papers. However, Martin helped me all the way through with talks and one-to-ones to help with my personal statement.”

Sandy is also a keen musician, with Music as one of his A Level subjects (alongside Double Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science) and playing piano in the College’s big band. He said;

“It’s been nice to have this outlet to balance out the other maths dominated subjects. Big Band is a nice bonus music related activity, and I enjoy the gigs we put on.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Exeter College; I really like the freedom you have to be out and about in town, it’s almost felt like university already.”

Ruby Wallace is studying English Literature, History and Philosophy A Levels and was previously at Cullompton School. She is very excited about her offer to study Philosophy and Theology BA (Hons) at the University of Oxford. Ruby praised the support she has had at College, saying;

“It’s definitely a hard process (to apply to Oxford) but there is so much support from Martin Gilbert and the staff at College to help with it. My advice for anyone thinking about applying to Oxbridge is to make sure you are consistent, work hard but don’t overwork because your wellbeing is also important.

“When it comes to the interview don’t worry about getting things wrong because they are not looking for someone who knows it all already, they want someone who they can help develop and you need to be yourself.”


Martin Gilbert, Biology Lecturer and Reach Academy Co-ordinator for Exeter College, said;

“I am absolutely delighted for all our offer holders. They have worked so hard during the application process; many have taken entrance exams, submitted written work and all have been assessed during the gruelling academic-based interviews.

“To have so many successes across so many academic disciplines in my opinion shows the true breadth of expertise here at Exeter College. I wish all the offer holders the best in the summer exams and hope that we are all celebrating again in August.”

William Bowden-Ritchie is studying the International Baccalaureate (IB) and applied to the University of Oxford.

“I received an offer for Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA (Hons). I wasn’t expecting the offer as I didn’t think my interviews went well, so it was a surprise.

“Exeter College was very supportive with the application process. I had a mock interview and lots of help writing the personal statement to get it just right. Martin Gilbert and my tutor were really helpful and encouraging with the whole process.”

Jade Otty, Vice Principal of Performance, expressed;

“We are immensely proud of the outstanding achievements of our students who have received offers from Oxford and Cambridge this year.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the staff who have provided invaluable support and guidance to these learners. I’m sure our learners would agree that their commitment to providing extra opportunities and personalised support has been greatly appreciated.”

Cressida Tremlett-Williams is studying A Levels in English Literature, Philosophy and Later Modern History and previously studied at The Maynard School. She has an offer to study Philosophy BA (Hons) at the University of Cambridge and says College has prepared her well for the future.

“You have a lot more independence at College and you can choose more freely how you spend your time, which is important to me. At College, I found it really nice being part of the Reach Academy, the Tennis Academy and the Learner Leadership Team. This has given me an active part in College life and helped me to meet new people.

“The College environment has been excellent at preparing me for what it will be like at university. The tutor system is really good here. I found adapting to College life hard at first but my tutor really supported me and built up my confidence and helped me believe I could achieve what I wanted.”

Tallulah Jackson, also previously from The Maynard School, is studying Drama and Theatre, Religious Studies and Economics A Levels, and added;

“I received an offer from the University of Cambridge to study Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion BA (Hons), and I’m elated. Exeter College has been extremely supportive. They do an amazing job of identifying areas where perhaps you are not quite sure and really targeting that to help you achieve the best outcomes.”   

Students with offers to study will find out if they are guaranteed a place after their 2024 exam results.