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
2020 - 2021
MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 11th October - Saturday 5th December
HILARY TERM: Sunday 17th January - Saturday 13th March
TRINITY TERM: Sunday 25th April - Saturday 19th June
2021 - 2022 (provisional)
MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 10th October - Saturday 4th December
HILARY TERM: Sunday 16th January - Saturday 12th March
TRINITY TERM: Sunday 24th April - Saturday 18th June
2022 - 2023 (provisional)
MICHAELMAS TERM: Sunday 9th October - Saturday 3rd December
HILARY TERM: Sunday 15th January - Saturday 11th March
TRINITY TERM: Sunday 23rd April - Saturday 17th 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 Semester dates (including enrolment periods in Sept and Jan)
2020 - 2021
Monday 14th September - Saturday 19th December
Tuesday 18th January - Friday 26th March
Monday 12th April - Saturday 15th May
2021 - 2022
Monday 13th September - Thursday 17th December
Friday 17th January - Friday 8th April
Monday 25th April - Saturday 14th May
Check here for more details.