Shopping in Oxford

  • There are various areas of the city that you can shop in. These include the city centre, Temple Cowley shopping area, Cowley Road and Headington.

    Pick up a free map at the International Student Meeting Point to locate these.

    Westgate Shopping Centre

  • Most people buy ingredients for cooking at home from a supermarket. Popular cheaper supermarkets include: Aldi, Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Iceland. Others, such as Waitrose, the Co-op, M&S and Sainsbury’s, may be more convenient depending on where you live, as well as Ocado (online). In the Co-op students get 10% discount with their NUS card. In the larger supermarkets, you will usually find a range of gluten-free and lactose-free products and a continental food section.

    Headington is the closest shopping area to Headington Campus. There are also many shops and restaurants on Cowley Road selling food from around the world, including halal products. These shops may sell food from your home country or you may be able to buy things which are not available in the larger supermarkets.

    If you are new to cooking for yourself and want some fun tips and healthy alternatives, visit

    Typical foodstuff costs:


    Milk (2 pints, semi-skimmed green top) 
    Loaf of fresh white bread 
    A dozen eggs
    Chicken breasts (1kg) 
    Rice (1kg own brand) 
    Potatoes (2.5kg) 
    Apples (x6 Golden Delicious)  
    Oranges (x5) 
    Carrots (1kg)  
    Tomatoes (1kg)
    £1 – £2 
    £1.25 – £1.50 


    You may need to buy things for your room or house. If you are living in a hall of residence, your bedding and cooking utensils are not included but bedding and kitchen packs can be pre-ordered on the Accommodation Portal once you have confirmed your room. You can also buy these products locally when you arrive.

    In the Oxford City centre, shops such as Primark, Argos, M&S, Debenhams and Poundland stock household goods. You can order them before you arrive and go and collect them once you are here. In Cowley centre, shops such as Matalan, Wilko, B&M, Asda Living or TK Maxx will sell these things. 

    Most international students use a pay as you go or SIM only card. Mobile phone companies will give these free when you top up with credit for your phone e.g. O2, 3, EE or Vodaphone.  Giff gaff, ID mobile, VOXI and other online only companies can also be good value. You can check prices at MoneySuperMarket or compare different providers at the Carphone Warehouse in Oxford. Talk to our International Student Helpers about what they use and whether they’d recommend it.

    There are some charity shops in Headington which sell second-hand clothes, shoes, furniture and lots of things you might want for a new house. You can also find second-hand things on:

    You can choose to buy a National Union of Student (NUS) Extra card which will give you a discount at lots of places e.g. restaurants, cinema, travel.

    You can also choose to add on International Student Identity card (ISIC) to also include international discounts.

    All students at Brookes are entitled to a BROOKESkey. You can use it for discounted coach tickets to London, Heathrow and Gatwick and £1 trips on local buses if you pay for your bus journeys. Those students who are living in halls are entitled to free travel on Brookes buses using their card. There is an £8 administration fee for the production of a BrookesKey.

    If you plan to travel around the UK on the train, you can get discounted train tickets by buying a 16-25 railcard or Two Together railcard.