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The terms as lived by the student:

He or she 'comes up' into residence by midnight on the Friday before 'Full Term', which begins on a Sunday, and 'goes down' on the Saturday just over eight weeks later. The student is of course expected to continue studying at home during the vacations.

'Coming up' and 'going down' are also used to indicate the beginning and end of one's total course or courses: "I went up in Michaelmas (ie Autumn) 2007 and came down in Trinity (ie Summer) '10." Or perhaps "I was sent down (ie dismissed for some misdemeanour) in Hilary (ie Easter) '08."

Similarly, one will often hear students, or, more usually, dons, refer to going "down" to London, or "down" to Edinburgh, regardless of the relative geograpical position of these places in relation to Oxford. The general rule is, one comes up to Oxford and goes down to everywhere else. Hence one of the Revd. William Spooner's most delightful (though probably apochryphal) spoonerisms: "You have tasted the whole worm. You will leave Oxford by the town drain"*.

It is usual for students to refer to some event taking place in, say, Tuesday of '3rd week' (of term), which can be unhelpful to those outside the University. If you are trying to communicate with both worlds, it is best to give the date both ways, eg Tuesday of 3rd week; 25th October 2011. The week before term is frequently referred to as 'noughth week'. The week before that is less frequently referred to as 'minus-first week'. The week before that... [that's enough! Ed.]

Dates of Full Terms

2013 - 2014

  • MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 13th October - Saturday 7th December
  • HILARY TERM: Sunday 19th January - Saturday 15th March
  • TRINITY TERM: Sunday 27th April - Saturday 21st June

2014 - 2015

  • MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 12th October - Saturday 6th December
  • HILARY TERM: Sunday 18th January - Saturday 14th March
  • TRINITY TERM: Sunday 26th April - Saturday 20th June

2015 - 2016

  • MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 11th October - Saturday 5th December
  • HILARY TERM: Sunday 17th January - Saturday 12th March
  • TRINITY TERM: Sunday 24th April - Saturday 18th June

2016 - 2017 (provisional)

  • MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 9th October - Saturday 3rd December
  • HILARY TERM: Sunday 15th January - Saturday 11th March
  • TRINITY TERM: Sunday 23 April - Saturday 17th June

2017 - 2018 (provisional)

  • MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 8th October - Saturday 2nd December
  • HILARY TERM: Sunday 14th January - Saturday 10th March
  • TRINITY TERM: Sunday 22nd April - Saturday 16th June

2018 - 2019 (provisional)

  • MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 7th October - Saturday 1st December
  • HILARY TERM: Sunday 13th January - Saturday 9nd March
  • TRINITY TERM: Sunday 28nd April - Saturday 22nd June

2019 - 2020 (provisional)

  • MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 13th October - Saturday 7th December
  • HILARY TERM: Sunday 19th January - Saturday 14th March
  • TRINITY TERM: Sunday 26th April - Saturday 20th June

For further information: click here.

Oxford Year Planner 2012-13Daily Info's Year Planner has all the term dates already marked for Oxford and Oxford Brookes Universities. It's free within Oxfordshire

* Which translates as "You have wasted the whole term; you will leave Oxford by the down train". Presumably to London, but of course, going from Oxford it hardly matters.