Hertford Shield

PPE at Hertford College

About Hertford College

Hertford College was formed from the amalgamation of two medieval halls, Hart Hall (founded 1282) and Magdalen Hall (founded 1448). Our early alumni include Thomas Hobbes, the first great political theorist of the modern age; William Tyndale, who translated the Bible and was burned at the stake for heresy; and John Donne, the great Jacobean metaphysical poet. Other alumni include Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, the politician Charles James Fox, Evelyn Waugh (whose Brideshead Revisited was televised partly in the College), and the previous Labour Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith (who, like a huge proportion of modern politicians, studied PPE).

     Hertford is located on Catte Street, directly opposite the famous Bodleian Library and next to Radcliffe Square. The site is divided by New College Lane, over which the famous Hertford Bridge, nicknamed the "Bridge of Sighs", links the two parts of the main College. Hertford also owns various student residences, the main ones being located just a few minutes' walk away near Folly Bridge over the Isis (the River Thames). Our students can therefore be housed in central College buildings throughout their studies.

Part of the front quad, with Thomas Jackson's famous spiral staircase up to the Hall

Renowned for its friendly atmosphere, Hertford College has around 40 Fellows (senior academics), plus lecturers and other College staff, around 170 graduate students and 370 undergraduates, plus a variety of academic and student visitors.      Hertford was one of the first Oxford colleges to admit both men and women, and pioneered encouraging applicants from less privileged backgrounds. The student body retains the tradition of being very mixed, relaxed, and integrated.