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Difference Between Oxford and Cambridge

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The main difference between Cambridge and Oxford is that Oxford's campus is notably larger and more open, while Cambridge is a somewhat smaller university because it occupies a smaller geographical region.

England is home to some of the world's most prestigious educational institutions, including the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Students submit applications to Oxford and Cambridge almost every year because they aim to receive their higher education from one of the world's most prominent educational institutions.

What is Oxford?


Oxford is a lovely city in England that is well known not just for its incredible laid-back atmosphere but also for being home to Oxford University, which is often regarded as the best educational university in the world. The university does not have a central campus; instead, it is home to 39 colleges and the largest library system in the United Kingdom. There are now over 20,000 students enrolled at the institution, and forty percent are from countries other than the United Kingdom.

In addition to being home to a prestigious educational university, Oxford is a beautiful city replete with historically significant buildings and landmarks. These include the colleges, Bodleian Library, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford Botanical Garden, and various museums and galleries. Students can access many extracurricular activities and social gathering places, and many aesthetically pleasing housing options exist.

What is Cambridge?

cambridge university

Cambridge is the fourth-oldest university in the world. It was established in 1209. A total of 31 independent colleges can be found within the boundaries of the university. These colleges are organized primarily according to one of six academic schools. There are 19,876 students enrolled at the school, and they come not only from the United Kingdom but also nations both within and outside of the European Union.

Similar to Oxford, Cambridge also has several noteworthy attractions of its own. The various colleges, which come as architectural masterworks, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, a theater for the arts, nine famous museums, and King's College Chapel are all included in this list of attractions. Cambridge University is the reason why the city of Cambridge, which is located in England, is so well-known. 

Differences between Oxford and Cambridge


In the first year of study at Oxford, students are assured that they will have a room in their affiliated college. Although many universities and colleges provide students with housing for the duration of their degree programs, most students choose to find their accommodations elsewhere in the city. During their time studying at Cambridge, students must reside in the housing provided by the college to which they have been admitted. The majority of the student accommodation is either located on campus or nearby.


Oxford University's campus is wider and larger than that of other universities. On the other hand, the campus of Cambridge University is far less spacious than that of Oxford University.


It has been determined that Oxford University is the fifth-best university in the world regarding education. On the other hand, according to the latest rankings, Cambridge University is the third finest university in the world for educational programs.


Students are typically evaluated after their first and final years at Oxford, with the final-year examinations as the primary factor in determining degree classification. Students are often evaluated after each academic year at Cambridge, and the outcomes of these evaluations are used to determine the student's final degree classifications.


The weather in Oxford stays the same, with an annual average rainfall of around 660 millimeters. Additionally, it is barely 6 meters above the ground. On the other hand, the climate in Cambridge stays the same, with an annual rainfall of around 576 millimeters on average. Additionally, it is barely 72 meters above the ground.

Comparison Chart: Oxford Vs Cambridge

PopulationThe population density of Oxford is much higher than the national average.When compared to Oxford, Cambridge has a smaller number of people living there.
RegionConsidered as a cityConsidered as a town
Women's EducationIn the 1920s, Oxford began seriously considering female applicants for full membership for the first time.In the 1940s, Cambridge considered admitting women for full membership for the first time.
Social LifeOxford has a more vibrant social scene than Cambridge does. It seems to be bustling at all times.The social scene of Cambridge is rather underdeveloped. It is possible to describe this location as peaceful and free from disturbances.
RankingsOxford University is the fifth-best university in the world regarding education.Cambridge University is the third best university in the world regarding education.


Which Academic Field Does Oxford Excel In The Most?

Oxford came first in the worldwide topic rankings for arts and humanities. It was among the top five universities for natural sciences, medicine, life sciences, social sciences, and management.

How Many Hours Per Week Do Students At Oxford Spend Studying?

Because it only offers full-time undergraduate programs, students spend around 40 hours of study time weekly. Every student will uniquely organize their time, ensuring they can make room in their schedule for all their academic pursuits, interests, and hobbies.

How Competitive Is The Admissions Process At Cambridge?

In the year 2020, the admission rate at the University of Cambridge was 19.6%. During that academic year, the university received 20,426 applications; however, it only admitted 3,997 new students.


The universities of Oxford and Cambridge are two of England's most prestigious educational institutions. They are always in a state of head-to-head rivalry with one another. The lessons, the coursework, the campuses, and everything else are all distinct from one another.

Both of these universities use what is known as the "college system," an alternative kind of housing that enables students to live, eat and interact with one another in an environment with its own distinct culture and history. Cambridge has just 31 colleges, whereas Oxford has a total of 39. Most students will spend at least their first year at college living on campus.

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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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