Oxford Essay Competitions

Essay competitions are brilliant for a number of reasons!

You can use them to:

  • Explore a topic you’re fascinated about beyond the school curriculum
  • Develop invaluable research and essay writing experience
  • Show evidence of your genuine interest in your subject when writing your personal statement!

Here are some of the essay competitions currently open for submissions. Be sure to check any eligibility criteria, requirements and deadlines. This page will be updated when new competitions are announced, so check back regularly!
The University also publishes a regularly updated page 🔗 on essay competitions.

Christ Church College, Tower Poetry Competition: English 🔗 🌟 This year, students aged 16-18 were invited to submit their original poetry based on the prompt ‘The Planets’. The competition offers a huge first prize of £3000! This year's competition closed at 12 noon on 24th February 2023. Remember to check back later in 2023 to find out when the 2024 deadline will be.

Oriel College, Lloyd David Philosophy Prize 🔗 Entrants are given a set of philosophical questions from which they will choose one to write an essay on. The judges look for evidence of originality, clarity and critical thinking. Check back to see when Applications open. You can read past winners' essays via the above link.

Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages Flash Fiction: French and Spanish 🔗 These are open to any secondary school students (aged 11 to 18) studying French and/or Spanish. You need to write a complete story in French or Spanish, using no more than 100 words! Deadline: 12 noon on 31 March 2023.

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