Hi! I’m Nelli, the Schools Liaison and Access Officer at University College. Univ is one of the 38 independent colleges of the University of Oxford, and it’s my job to encourage students to think about applying and support them to make their best application.

What’s this site all about then?

To get into a top uni, it’s not enough just to do well at school: universities want students who are passionate about their subject, who think for themselves and who are independent learners. That means that if you’re thinking about university, finding out what you’re really interested in and developing that interest is a top priority. This is where super-curricular activites come in - go through the Prezi below to explore what super-curricualr activites are and our top tips for making the most out of them!

Reading Bank

You might well have been told you need to ‘read around the subject’, but not be sure where to start (or just think reading is really boring). If that’s the case, our Reading Bank is for you- it’s full of reviews by current Univ students of books that they had read before they came to Oxford that got them really into their subject. It’s the perfect place to find inspiration. We’ve also got some videos of tutors reviewing books: these are well worth a watch as they also include some handy tips on what tutors are looking for in Oxford applicants.


It’s never been easier or cheaper to find out about new things and learn by yourself: as well as old-school book reading, there’s more than you could ever hope to learn online in the form of videos, radio programmes, lectures, online courses and more. However, lots of people don’t know what’s available, and when they do they don’t know where to start.

That’s where this website comes in. I’m gathering together all the amazing resources I’m finding into one place to save the hassle for you. You can navigate your way to resources relevant to a particular subject, or just browse a multi-disciplinary selection.

Top Tips

You’ve probably got some questions that aren't answered by Staircase12, whether they’re about Oxford University or about higher education more generally. Luckily, there’s already loads of useful information online- it’s just a matter of finding it. I’ve put links to some of the most useful pages in the ‘Top Tips’ section, and I’ll add more as I come across them.

Univ Life

I can't tell you what life at every university is like, but I can show you what it's like at University College. In the Univ life section you can meet some of our tutors in their video interviews, get a guided tour of the college, and get a glimpse of student life through the student photo galleries.

Err…so why is it called Staircase12?

My office is based on Staircase 12 in one of Univ’s lovely quads. It’s not possible for me to see as many students as I would like to, so this is a kind of virtual office where you can get all the tips and advice I’d be giving you if we met in person.