Social and networking events

The Graduate College organise a number of social events across the academic year for the postgraduate research student community.

If you require any further information regarding the events listed below, please do contact us.

We are always interested in any feedback you may have regarding our social programme, along with any suggestions for future activities. In either case, please contact the Research Degrees Team via

Upcoming events for 2023

New research students induction and welcoming celebration

8 February 2023

This was another great gathering with many students attending the induction and celebration later on at Headington Hill Hall. 

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

21 March 2023

Nine of us arrived at the museum for a guided tour. It was much more that what we expected. The staff at the Museum were very welcoming and knowledgeable. Our tour was all behind the scenes, we all felt very special indeed at seeing the remains of a Dodo, holding a piece of Mars, learning how the displays are conserved and maintained, and so much more.

It was a great tour which we will repeat again!  

Graduate College Annual Research Student Exhibition

19 April 2023

The exhibition was a great success after so many years without running it. There were a total of 36 posters and a couple of presentations. The atmosphere was fantastic and all research students commented how good was to network with peers from other faculties.

All the posters and presentations were of a very high level and the judges had a difficult task in selecting the winners, which this year were Simon McFadden from TDE, Daniel Bardey from HLS and Michael Power from HSS.

Leah Fitzpatrick from HSS and Ali Alsaied from TDE were highly commended.

For the first time, there was also an Open Research prize which was awarded to Leah Fitzpatrick and Robert Williamson from TDE.

Guided Tour - Oxford Botanic Garden

16 May 2023

The Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest in the UK with 5000 different plant species. The gardens have seven display glasshouses with plants from around the world, ranging from tropical to arid plant species. The first greenhouse was built more than 300 years ago to host exotic species such as citrus plants. The oldest part of the gardens is the Walled Garden, dating from 1621, housing Geographic Beds, Medicinal Plants and the Literary Garden. The Lower Garden holds several ornamental collections such as plants that have changed the world and the Gin Border. 

We will be guided through the gardens by Dr Andrew Lack, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Biology at Oxford Brookes. We are very grateful to Dr Lack for giving of his time and for sharing his enthusiasm and extensive botanical knowledge with all of us.   

Entry to the gardens is free for Oxford Brookes staff and students (please bring your ID card). We will meet at the entrance of the gardens at 3pm.

Please register for this event.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

27 June 2023


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008. By 2011 there were more than 900 countries worldwide holding these competitions. In 2020 3MT moved to a temporary virtual format due to COVID-19 and continued to be held around the world in either a virtual or a live format.

At Brookes, we started holding 3MT competitions at Faculty level before COVID-19. In 2022 we held a multi-faculty competition with fourteen research students presenting their thesis in a three minute video.

About the competition  

Basically, you have to present your Doctoral research in just three minutes to a non-specialist audience, using just one static slide. The aim of this event is to help you develop your academic, presentation and research communication skills and to meet and network with students from all faculties.

What are the rules?

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.

Additional help in preparing your presentation

There will be two online sessions on how to use Panopto, click on the date to register:

How to register and deadline for video submissions

If you would like to present your Doctoral research, please register for 3MT competition. 

The deadline for submission of videos will be Tuesday 13 June 2023.


There will be cash prizes for the winner, runner up and for the people's choice.

The prize giving ceremony and networking lunch will be on Tuesday 27 June 2023 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Green Room and Music Room in Headington Hill Hall. 

If you prefer not to present at this time, but would like to support your peers, you are welcome to attend the prize giving ceremony and lunch at Headington Hill Hall by registering for the lunch celebration.

If you have any other questions please contact us on

Past events

A mystery trail in Oxford City and Castle

On Tuesday 26 July 2022, ten students gathered to solve this detective mystery walking Trail around Oxford. We divided into six teams, but very quickly we joined forces and working as a team we solved the mystery in about two hours. The weather was perfect and the company great. We finished this long walk at All Bar One for a good chat. It was great to meet and network with students from all the faculties.

This was the last social event for this term. More events are being planned for next academic year, keep an eye on this section.

Mini Plant Oxford - Guided Tour

23 November at 3pm.

Fourteen of us joined the Mini Tour, some of us shared taxis from Brookes while others made their own way. On arrival we met our guide who suggested starting by visiting a large display of past and present Mini models. After a short Health and Safety video we were driven to the first part of the tour - the Body in white warehouse which hosts more than 1200 robots working on the basic body of the Minis. It was impressive! Then we moved to another warehouse where each Mini is customized according to the client specification, we learned that different countries have certain colour and style preferences and how the Mini always have something showing its English heritage. About 800 Minis are produced every day, and it takes 22 hours from start to finish. One Mini crosses the production line every three minutes. Amazing!

If you missed this tour, keep an eye on this area, as we will do it again in 2023. 

Headington Hill Park - Guided Tour

1 November 2 - 4pm

A selected few met today for a guided walk at Headington Hill Park. Despite the overcast skies and earlier rain, we had a sunny and dry afternoon walk. 

Dr Andrew Lack excelled once again in giving us a very knowledgeable and enjoyable botanical tour of the park which of course included very interesting facts. We are very grateful to Dr Lack for giving of his time and we might ask him to guide us again in the spring. 

Mystery trail in Oxford City and Castle

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Eleven of us from a variety of faculties, met at Bonn Square last Wednesday, on a sunny and mild autumn day. We completed the trail in about two hours and managed to solve the mystery despite one of the clues being hidden by scaffolding!

There was plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of Oxford hidden streets and to network. We finished at the Slug and Lettuce for a cocktail, a bit of food and a good rest. 

Guided Visit to Oxford Botanical Gardens

The visit to the gardens was the first of our live events in the Graduate College. It was great to see so many students from all faculties, a total of 28 students and several staff members including our fantastic guide Senior Lecturer Dr. Andrew Lack who managed to keep such a large group attentive and entertained at all times, thanks to his enthusiasm and extensive botanical knowledge. We are very grateful to Dr. Lack for giving of his time, making that visit a truly enjoyable one!

Three Minute Thesis Competition

We received fourteen video presentations from students across all faculties and they were all superb! The awards were given before lunch at Headington Hill Hall. Students from all faculties came to support their peers and enjoy a good lunch on a very sunny day.

The first prize of this year's competition was awarded to Sanjana Karnik (HSS), her presentation will be sent to the national 3M competition to be held at the end of July. This competition was very close and two students were shoulder to shoulder, the judges made a final decision and the runner-up prize was awarded to Luna Dou (OBBS) while Amber Ridgway (HLS) was highly commended. The people's choice award (based on students votes) was given to Mayuri Agrawal (OBBS).

We all enjoyed the gardens, networking and generally relaxing after a good competition. Well done to all the competitors!

Student at Graduate College event
Student presentation at Graduate College event
Student at Graduate College
Students at Graduate College event

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Research Degrees Team