Oxford University Reviews in Oxford, England | Glassdoor

Oxford University Oxford Reviews

Updated June 22, 2017
70 reviews

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Oxford, England (UK)

4.0
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Oxford University Chancellor Christopher Francis Patten
Christopher Francis Patten
11 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The building is relatively new and the working environment receives lots of natural light (in 18 reviews)

  • World class university enabling cross disciplinary research (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is non existent for most science departments, but that is expected (in 17 reviews)

  • Expensive to live -- almost the same as London although with less pay (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good city to do PhD in (Chemistry), but £££"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Oxford is a fantastic and almost unique city (other than Cambridge) in the UK - nowhere else is quite like it. Facilities are largely excellent and modern, quality of research is high. For a city steeped in history, it is also well-equipped with more "modern" amenities (decent shops, leisure facilities etc) and is within striking distance of the capital.

    Also huge numbers of extra-curricular opportunities. Genuinely, whatever your interest, from volunteer teaching to harry potter, there is a club for it.

    Careers department is top class.

    Cons

    Oxford is a very expensive place to live, which combined with the inevitably average student funding can make it a bit challenging.

    Within my department, whilst most facilities are good, some are decidedly lacking. This is primarily due to questionable running of facilities by university bureaucracy (e.g. refusing to fund a laboratory freezer being a recent highlight).


  2. "good play to do PhD"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Candidate in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - PhD Candidate in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    nice environment, friendly people, flexible working hour

    Cons

    no salaries, sometime extremely busy

  3. "A good review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bodleian Business Librarian in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Bodleian Business Librarian in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Intellectual capital of the comunity

    Cons

    A very large organisation that doesn't implement change veryeasily

    Advice to Management

    simplify things


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Researcher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Oxford, England (UK)

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Oxford Uni has amazing resources in terms of it support, admin, training, etc. In these terms they are probably the best in Europe.

    Cons

    Unfortunately the admin is somewhat complicated with departments, divisions, colleges. The relevant people tend not to talk to each other, and communication is a burden.

    Advice to Management

    Standardize processes across different departments.


  5. "Chemistry postdoc"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Contractor - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Extremely flexible hours and freedom of research. Really interesting science. International environment. Top quality instruments.

    Cons

    Too busy, more people than space allows. A waiting list of 2-3 weeks for using popular instruments. Makes it difficult to focus on research.

    Advice to Management

    Obviously, many want to get into the Chemistry department at Oxford university. However, to keep the high quality of research we need to match the number of people to the available space and facilities we have.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Core Facility Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    My 10 years here have been the best of my working life.

    Cons

    Care needs taking about which group to work for. A narcissistic boss could pull you down.
    Short term contract make life difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Consider introducing personality tests to screen out narcissists


  7. "For PhD students and postdocs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very important research, and wonderful colleagues, so it's a great place for an academic, if there is a research group in Oxford that specializes in your field.

    Cons

    From my experience at Oxford University, it offers quite low pay and short-term contract for junior academics, so may not be a great place for someone just starting out.

  8. "A great place with very few cons."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Oxford University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Closeknit, warm, ambitious, collegiate, open-minded, and strategic.

    Cons

    Low salaries and, therefore, poor staff retention.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "One of the best, if you can deal with the workload"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - DPhil Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - DPhil Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fantastic supervisors and facilities - there are few places overall for teaching and research that are as good as Oxford. Unique atmosphere, brilliant reputation.

    Cons

    Some of the administration is stuck with archaic traditions which don't translate well to the modern day. An unfortunate minority of the academics and staff know they're at one of the best universities in the world, and like to make sure the world knows it by being difficult, unreasonable and arrogant.

    You also pay for the reputation of the University by, understandably, being expected to produce high quality work, and a lot of it. This can feel intimidating, even overwhelming, at times.

    Advice to Management

    Tradition is fine, and adds to the University's historic atmosphere, but where it makes life more difficult than it needs to be, or off-putting and alienating to those unfamiliar to the institution it should be removed or toned down. Staff who like to make the most of the University's reputation by thinking they can get away with being difficult or rude need to be disciplined in some manner.

    Aside from this though, the positives outweigh the negatives - the research carried out here is fantastic, and it's a brilliant place to work if you find the right supervisor. The facilities and libraries should be maintained as the great places they are, and support should be given where these facilities are falling into disrepair.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "well-paid academia job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Statistical Programmer in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Statistical Programmer in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    not much workload, nice environment

    Cons

    high living cost, not so much fun in Oxford


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