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University of Oxford terms

For Oxford University students, the year is divided into three terms of eight weeks each. Michaelmas (October-December), Hilary (February-March) and Trinity (May-June). Tradition being everything, each term is considered to start on a Sunday, and the week leading up to that Sunday is known as "0th week" (pronounced "Noughth" week, i.e. like "north" but with a hard T before the "th"). Thereafter, each Sunday begins 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th (etc) week. This is useful to know because certain important dates in the University calendar, such as Torpids, whose actual date may change year to year, will (almost) always take place in the 5th week of Trinity term, i.e. late May, thus reducing the need for Oxford academics to pay attention to the Gregorian calendar when planning next year's conferences.

The Oxford University 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

2016 - 2017

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

2017 - 2018

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

2020 - 2021 (provisional)

MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 11th October - Saturday 5th December
HILARY TERM: Sunday 17th January - Saturday 13th March
TRINITY TERM: Sunday 25th April - Saturday 19th June

Click here for more details.

* 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.

Oxford Brookes Undergraduate term dates

2016 - 2017

Monday 26th September - Wednesday 21st December
Monday 30th January - Friday 7th April
Monday 24th April - Friday 19th May

2017 - 2018

Monday 18th September - Monday 18th December
Monday 29th January - Friday 23rd March
Monday 9th April - Saturday 19th May

2018 - 2019

Monday 10th September - Monday 17th December
Monday 28th January - Friday 12th April
Monday 29th April - Saturday 18th May

Check here for more details.

Oxford Year Planner 2014-15
Daily Info's Year Planner has all the term dates already marked for Oxford and Oxford Brookes Universities. It's free within Oxfordshire