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

Past events 2023-24

Guided Tour Oxford Mini Plant

Monday 8 July 2024, 3.20 - 5.00pm

11 research students joined this amazing tour of the Oxford Mini Plant, the majority from the Faculty of Engineering, Design and Environment as it is expected. We are sorry that 2 of our students could not find our meeting point! Next time we will give better guidelines. 

We have been told that next year the paint shop might be open to visitors? 

If you missed this visit, keep an eye on this page.

Have a great summer!

Mini car with English flag design

Three Minute Thesis Competition

26 June 2024

Eight students presented their research in this year's Three Minute Thesis competition. The judges Professor Susan Brooks from Health and Life Sciences, Professor Khaled Hayatleh from Technology, Design and Environment and Dr Susannah Wright from Humanities and Social Sciences had a difficult time selecting the winner from such an excellent variety of presentations and topics. 

The winner this year was Roger Hiley from the Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work with a presentation entitled "Is there sufficient evidence to support a manifesto for the enhanced use of the outdoors therapeutically, when supporting vulnerable children?" The runner up prize was given to Madhusha Mendis from the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment with a presentation on "The cause of sick building syndrome". The People's Choice award was shared among Raabiah Yaacob from the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment and Natasha Stone from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

After the prize giving ceremony, everybody enjoyed a great networking during lunch. We hope to see many more of you presenting your thesis next year.

Thanks to all the competitors for taking up this challenge. Well done to all of you! 

group photograph on garden steps

Guided Tour - Oxford Botanical Garden

Tuesday 7 May 

A group of research students enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of the Oxford Botanic Garden. The weather was glorious and Dr Andrew Lack, Senior Lecturer in Environment Biology at Oxford Brookes provided them with a fascinating tour of the gardens full of delightful facts and anecdotes. 

They experienced the beautiful Pocket Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata) fluttering in the breeze, learnt about the Screaming Mandrake (made famous by the Harry Potter films) with their hallucinogenic properties and roots shaped like a man, and marvelled at the stories of JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and the inklings an informal literary group in Oxford. Did you know that Lewis Carroll and little Alice visited the gardens frequently?

People standing behind garden sign

Graduate College Annual Research Student Exhibition

30 April 2024

A great networking event with 43 students presenting their research on posters, printed word and video presentations. The exhibition was a wonderful, colourful and inspiring display of the amazing breath of fascinating research being carried out by research degree students across the University.

The winners were Emily Armstrong from the Biological and Medical Sciences Department managing to make complex information understandable for a general audience, Alu Al-Saadi from the Engineering, Computing and Mathematics Department, a judge commented “a very eye catching poster, with both robotic head and relevant human anatomy, a highly technical project presented in a way to caught the attention of a general audience”. Sidd Badri from the Anthropology and Prima-tology Department with a novel way of presenting his research in the form of a primate CV, really engaging the attention of the reader. 

Because of the high quality of all the presentations, the judges gave two posters a special commendation, to Babz Clough from the English Department who presented  an attractive poster which got the reader asking questions about the relationship between the photographs and the text and Wendy Twist from the School of the Built Environment, a judge commented “a beautifully laid out poster with a good balance between image and text conveying key information in a clear way”.

Guided Tour - Oxford University Museum of Natural History

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

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

Christmas Party

December 2023

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

Bodleian workshop on letterpress printing

November 2023

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.

Mystery walk Oxford City and Castle

October 2023

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

Contact us

Research Degrees Team