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 us via

Upcoming events during 2023/24

Mystery walk Oxford City and Castle

After a very rainy morning, we had a glorious afternoon for our 2.3 mile walk. 

Eight of us join at the war memorial to find the first clue. Soon afterwards two students went ahead and the remaining six joined forces to find the clues and solve this mystery.

After a couple of hours walking through backstreets around famous Colleges, admiring Oxford architecture and much networking (chatting!) only two students completed the walk. The group had so much fun that run out of time and went home as it was dark. Some came back later in the week to finish the trail with family and friends.

Join us next time, you will be surprised!

Group of people in front of monument

Bodleian workshop on letterpress printing

A selected group joined this special workshop at the Old Bodleian Library. The session started with a quick introduction from Richard - who runs the letterpress - explaining some the different medias used to print such as relief metal letters, engraved copper plates - which were like art pieces in themselves, engraved wood blocks etc.

We had a commemorative piece prepared for us by Richard that we printed using one of the oldest printers. It was an excellent workshop that we will surely repeat.

Many thanks to Richard and to the Bodleian library for organising this workshop for us.

If you like books, do join us next time.

Christmas Party

A  very  holly jolly time was had from all the students attending the Postgraduate Research Degrees Christmas party at the Brookes Student Union Bar. There were bubbles, snacks, crafts and games with prizes for the winners (pictured is the winner of 'best bauble'). There was lots of festive fun and it was a great opportunity for all PGRs to get to know each other better. We are hoping to plan more social events next year. Thank you to the Brookes Union Bar for allowing us to use the venue. And thank you to everyone who attended! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

people in a party

Guided Tour - Ashmolean Museum

23 January 2024

The guided tour of the Ashmolean Museum's highlight exhibits was fantastic. Starting with a marble candelabra restored in the 18th century by Piranesi. Everyone loves a mummy, so off to early Roman period (CE 130-140) to see elegantly wrapped individuals with death masks giving good insight into style and fashion of the time. We were privileged to see the costumes worn by renowned Kabuki actor Bandō Tamasaburō V, each a work of art and lent to the museum by Tamasaburō himself. Next, Powhatan's Mantle, a deer hide with shell beadwork, started an interesting conversation about how the museum acquired pieces and if they should be returned. Whilst it is said the mantle was a gift from the Powhatan Chief Wahunsenacawh to Christopher Newport for King James I, as our tour guide described we will never truly know the details of “the gift exchange”. We made a stop at Alfred Jewel; a remarkably beautiful piece used to point and follow text in a manuscript. Finally, we admired the great art work of William Holman Hunt as part of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood founded in Oxford in the mid 1800’s. Overall the tour is a highly recommended afternoon out! Thanks to one of our students for this great summary!

people in front of paintings

Oxford University Museum of Natural History - A Guided tour

13 February 2024

Sixteen students enjoyed another fantastic tour at the museum, the staff was exceptional as always showing us their treasures and giving so much of their time at an extremely busy period during half term.

We were taken to the entomology section where we saw type specimens collected and labelled by Darwin himself (a real treasure to see), the largest bee which is now assumed to be extinct and the tsetse fly. Next to see the remains of the Dodo and other birds now extinct. In the conservation department everybody had the chance to try some basic cleaning techniques and to learn how the conservator uses artistic tools and science together to repair/mend very old museum specimens. Finally we spent sometime holding the oldest piece of our earth mantel, meteorites and possibly a small piece of Mars and enjoyed some fluorescent stones.

We are very grateful to all the museum staff for organising this event. Join us next time if you were unable to attend.

display of insects in a box

Graduate College Annual Research Student Exhibition

Tuesday 30 April 2024, 10:00 - 17:00 at The Forum JHB.

Compete with your fellow research students for a chance to win a range of cash prizes and have an opportunity to showcase your work to the wider University and external visitors.

All research students, at master's and doctoral level, are invited to submit and showcase their work at the Graduate College Research Student Exhibition. 

We will run it in the carpeted area of The Forum (John Henry Brookes) to properly showcase your submissions, not only to students and staff, but to visitors of the University. This will be a fantastic opportunity and a worthwhile experience for any of you who choose to get involved.

Guided Tour - Oxford Botanical Garden

Tuesday 7 May from 3-5pm

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 please visit the garden pages  

We will be guided through the gardens by our fantastic guide Dr Andrew Lack, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Biology at Oxford Brookes. 

Entry to the gardens is free for Oxford Brookes staff and students (please bring your ID card).

Meeting point: garden entrance at 2.50pm

Three Minute Thesis Competition

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Where: Headington Hill Hall, 1-3pm


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 Oxford 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

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 2 online sessions on how to use Panopto, to be confirmed.

Additional resources which you might find helpful to prepare your presentation:

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 5pm on Monday 10 June.


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

The winner's video will be sent to the National UK Vitae competition. 

The prize giving ceremony, video showcasing and networking lunch will be on Tuesday 25 June 2024 from 1:00 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

Key information/links

See videos from our winners at previous competitions:



Contact us

Research Degrees Team