The Mansfield College Visiting Student Programme aims to replicate as closely as possible the Oxford undergraduate experience. Students, under the tutorial system, study arts, humanities, and social science subjects for one academic year. The College's main library is a wonderful wood-paneled room which contains core texts for all courses. Mansfield occupies a very central location in Oxford, close to all the libraries and shops, yet in a quiet setting near the University Parks and the river Cherwell. The site includes student accommodation, tutors' rooms, offices, the college chapel, the college dining hall, the college library, common rooms, a laundry, bar, and other social facilities.
Education plays a significant role in the economic and social life of the city, as students have been coming to the city of Oxford to study for over 800 years. The city has storied gothic architecture, beautiful cobblestone streets, and a welcoming mindset. Oxford University, as well as the city’s museums and libraries lie side by side with the shops, offices, churches and houses that make up the commercial center. The city is well adapted to student life, with a compact center dominated by cyclists who often outnumber cars. It is well supplied with pubs, cafés and restaurants and the full range of shops are within easy reach. A few minutes' walk takes you to the tranquil greenery of the University Parks, Christ Church Meadow, or the Botanic Garden, while London is only an hour away.
Did you know…?
Mansfield College is among the smallest of Oxford Colleges but admits a large number of visiting students.
Oxford has more published writers per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
The program at Mansfield College is for College credit only.
There are a limited number of spots for Penn students at Mansfield College. All candidates should identify a second choice program.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.7 cumulative GPA, with a 3.3 GPA in your major/concentration
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of three college-level courses in your major by the end of the academic semester prior to departure.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at Mansfield College consists of two classes per term. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
Teaching at Oxford is primarily in tutorials, with one or two students working with one tutor on concentrated study, and writing an essay for each tutorial. The system thus places great emphasis on individual students developing skills of critical evaluation and reasoning, whilst exploring the chosen discipline in depth. Each student will take one primary (eight tutorials) and one secondary tutorial (four tutorials) a term. There may also be additional classes as part of a term's course, and most courses will be supported by lectures in the faculties and departments. Mansfield tries to give students the same experience as second and third year undergraduates. As far as possible, students follow the same course of study as they do, without taking examinations. You have the opportunity to follow a course of study in one subject, progressing through courses to more difficult and specialized work, or to pick from a range of disciplines. This unrivaled opportunity to work closely with leading academics is intellectually demanding but immensely rewarding; the system places great emphasis upon helping students to develop their own independent writing, research and critical thinking skills.
Penn students can choose from a list of subjects to study at Mansfield. Before confirming students’ choice of topics, Pembroke administrators will look at your past qualifications and statement of interests to make sure they are providing the most suitable courses for you.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
Students are given weekly and termly assignments by their tutors. In awarding the grade, tutors are required to provide an assessment, which relates the student's performance to that expected from a matriculated degree student.
Grades are reported to Penn on the Mansfield College grading scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
Mansfield College Grade
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Mansfield College prior to the start of each semester. More information will be distributed upon acceptance.
Penn students studying at Mansfield have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found on the Oxford Students’ Union website.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
All students have their own bedroom, and share kitchen and bathroom facilities. They also have access to the College Dining Hall for meals during term time together with all other College facilities. Visiting students live either in the Ablethorpe Building, just over Magdalen Bridge, or in a house managed by the College on Cowley Road. Visiting Students do not have to move out of their accommodation over the Easter and Christmas vacations, and Oxford can provide an excellent base for exploring the rest of the UK and Europe.
Further information regarding accommodation can be found here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
AASAP/UK Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship awarded to the applicant who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience and who agrees to share how the scholarship helped to fulfil their academic and personal ambitions. The award is £500 for a semester abroad or £1,000 for a full year.
BUTEX offers eight scholarships to North American students studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500 and will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university. Interested students should contact the appropriate Global Programs Manager in the Penn Abroad office.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.
To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.