oxford vs cambridge

Oxford Vs Cambridge: Which One Is Better

The two popular options for British students who are ready to continue their higher education in the UK are Oxford and Cambridge. However, it is not that easy to decide which one is better.

As we are aware, the United Kingdom is the home of two well-known institutes. And it is the dream of every student to get enrolled in any one of them. But one question that confuses everyone is, “Which one should they pick?”. The fact is both of them possess their own qualities and are considered the top educational universities. But you can’t apply for both of them. This is why people go through a long thought process before choosing their desired one.

So, if you are going through the same phase, we are here to guide you. In this article, we will discuss a few differences between Oxford and Cambridge so you can pick the one that suits your preferences. Keep reading.

Get Education From The Top Universities: A Few Differences Between Oxford And Cambridge

For common people, both of these universities are the top-ranked institutes in the UK. However, students and alumni compare them on the basis of different elements.

Some of the elements are their performances, courses offered, application process, and many more. Personal statement writing service UK will be required if you want your application to be successful. Without an impactful SOP, you might find it hard to get past the admission process.

For your understanding, we are listing a few elements below that showcase some visible differences between them.

Overall View

Firstly, we will discuss Oxford University, which is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It has an unknown founding date; studies have observed that the earliest teaching dates back to 1096. It has no main campus, but this university is home to 44 colleges and has the most extensive library in the UK. Currently, Oxford has over 20,000 students, and 40% of them are from outside of the UK.

On the other hand, Cambridge University is located in Cambridgeshire, England. It was founded in 1209  and is considered the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a collection of 31 autonomous colleges, mainly divided into six academic categories: Arts, Biological Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Physical Sciences. Currently, it possesses 19,876 students from the UK and the rest of the world.


If you are seeking a noticeable difference between these two institutes, then you must check the type of environment they possess.

It is seen that Cambridge has developed in various ways compared to Oxford. Thus, you will get a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere there. Additionally, the nightlife in Cambridge is more student-oriented, as a considerable percentage of them can be seen outside.

On the other hand, Oxford is bigger and livelier. Those students who are more inclined toward an energetic place prefer this institute. Aside from that, both universities possess stunning buildings and memorable views. The architecture of Oxford is more uniform as it is built from the same Headington stone, but Cambridge is made from local stones. You will see the more diverse buildings in Cambridge.

World University Ranking

People consider Oxford and Cambridge to be the top of education in Europe and all around the world.

Thus, they are ranked at the very top of the list. So, these two don’t possess superiority over each other. The clear difference between them can be seen on the basis of three ranking systems.


  • 4th on QS World University 2023
  • 2nd on QS World University 2022
  • 1st on Times Higher Education 2022


  • 2nd on QS World University 2023
  • 3rd on QS World University 2022
  • 4th on World University Rankings 2022

Subjects Strength

In the matter of subject strength, Oxford is known to be strong in the subjects of humanities, with popular courses in Social Sciences, too. However, it does not provide flexible science degrees and courses. However, students are able to apply for a joint degree for their desired courses.

Oxford is considered a leader and is also ranked at the top of English Language and Literature, Modern Languages, Geography, and History. Hiring a business personal statement writer or any other dedicated expert from your field can be a smart option to increase your chances of selection. These professionals will offer you the document that best presents you according to your preferred degree or course.

On the other hand, Cambridge University is known for its natural sciences courses. It also benefits the students by offering joint courses and flexible natural sciences degrees, where you can combine any two degrees to create a personalised program for yourself. However, unlike Oxford, they also offered undergraduate programs. It is currently ranked first in the world for its History, Archaeology, and Mathematics courses.

Courses Offered And Teaching Style

One of the significant elements that make these universities distinct from each other is the courses they offer and the teaching style.

As we are aware, both of these universities are famous for their high-quality education, but some courses are unique from each other. Additionally, some joint courses are also distinctive from each other. Both these institutes offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, but Oxford’s teaching style is more traditional, consisting of lectures and tutorials. On the other hand, Cambridge uses more interactive teaching methods, like seminars and small group discussions.

All in all, these are the few pointers that make them different from each other. Now, it is up to you to opt for the one which suits your choices. We have covered each of them clearly and precisely for your guidance.

Which one has a better ranking, Cambridge or Oxford?

Recent studies have shown that Cambridge is in second place in the world when it comes to academics and employers. On the other hand, Oxford is considered to be the third-ranked institute in the world for these elements. 

Is Oxford a cheaper option than Cambridge?

Both of these educational institutes cost the same, but for international students, Oxford is a bit expensive. Either way, the cost of studying at these universities is cheaper than the colleges in the US.

Why must you opt for Cambridge over Oxford?

Cambridge is more easy-going than Oxford and perhaps prettier, with a river flowing through the center of the city and surrounded by countryside.

Is Oxford bigger in size than Cambridge?

Oxford is larger in size than Cambridge, with a 30% more population.


If you are looking for top-quality education, then Oxford and Cambridge are both excellent institutes with world recognition.

But there are a few factors that make them different in a few ways. We have covered each of them clearly so you can choose the one which suits you. But keep in mind that you must consider academics above all other factors before making a choice. You can visit both of these institutes to examine their environment and courses.

So, don’t delay anymore and start your research work now, or you will miss the admission dates. But while making the decision, keep all the above elements in mind.

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