About the Academic Administration Division

Supporting students from recruitment to graduation

The Academic Administration Division (AAD) is the University’s group of services focused on students and learning. The AAD provides the support and information that students need to thrive in their academic and personal lives. We also support staff and the wider Oxford community.


What we do

We work with staff and students across the collegiate University to support students from before they join Oxford until they leave. In particular we focus on:

  • Student recruitment: Attracting the best undergraduate and postgraduate students through outreach and admissions - and advising students through the admissions process
  • Student services: Offering high-quality services to students once they arrive at Oxford, including counselling and disability services, sports, language courses, a careers service, and fees and funding.
  • Student administration: Managing the University’s student data, registration, examinations, and degree ceremonies, advising on visas and immigration; and developing our student systems
  • Educational policy: Helping to develop and implement educational policies, upholding legislation, and providing quality assurance

We also support academic and professional staff and the wider Oxford community through our language, sport, and professional and educational development services.

Find out more about the AAD in the PDF document below.


Our structure and leadership

The AAD is led by Academic Registrar Saira Shaikh, with a Management Group of 14 overseeing the 12 sections and two professional support functions. It is one of a number of professional service functions that support the wider collegiate university – sometimes referred to collectively as the University Administration and Services (UAS). The Academic Registrar reports to the Registrar, Gillian Aitken.

Contact details for each section can be found on the dedicated contact page.

AAD sections

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The Academic Registrar’s Office is made up of two teams: AAD Administration and AAD Communications.

The AAD Administration team supports Saira Shaikh, the Academic Registrar, and all AAD sections with their administrative operations.

The AAD Communications team manages communications with on-course students, academic administrators across the collegiate University, and AAD staff. The team manages a number of publications, including Student News and the AAD News Alert, and run events such as the Registrar’s Update, AAD Open Sessions, and the UAS Induction.

The Careers Service works across the University to help students, alumni, and research staff develop their employability skills and make the best informed decisions, and with recruiters to promote opportunities. The Careers Service aims to provide comprehensive information and impartial guidance to students, alumni, and research staff, to enable them to make well-informed decisions about their careers. A team of experienced careers advisers are available for one-to-one appointments and to provide information across a range of occupations, industry sectors, or organisations. As well as offering access to comprehensive skill-building programmes, job fairs and a range of workshops, the Careers Service offers a wide selection of internships, and advertise thousands of job opportunities. Visit the Careers Service website at www.careers.ox.ac.uk to find out more.


The University is committed to innovation and excellence in teaching and assessment, and to providing all students with an equal opportunity to thrive academically. Our success depends on our ability to continually refresh and consider new forms of education that are relevant to Oxford’s unique learning environment.  

The Centre for Teaching and Learning sits within the Academic Administration Division as a professional service to help departments and faculties facilitate the achievement of their educational ambitions. In order to do this, it works in partnership with divisions, other professional services and students.   

The Centre works to: 

  • Promote flexible and inclusive approaches to education that benefit our diverse student population.  
  • Initiate, support and evaluate educational enhancement initiatives that address inequalities in academic participation and performance.  
  • Realise the vision for a holistic and integrated digital learning environment available to all students that is used effectively by departments and faculties to help students navigate Oxford’s complex educational ecosystem.  
  • Provide timely and relevant professional development pathways and networking opportunities for those who teach and support learning. 
  • Showcase excellent and innovative teaching. 

If you would like to stay informed about their activities, subscribe to their mailing list and termly newsletter, and follow them on Twitter @CTLOxford


Responsible for coordinating institutional arrangements for quality and standards activity within the University, the Education Policy Support section offers advice and guidance in matters relating to a range of issues including development and review of programmes, programme specifications, examinations and assessment, external examiners, and formulation of examination regulations. The section consists of the Education Committee Secretariat and supports the work of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) and the associated panels and subcommittees of Education Committee. Education Committee has overall responsibility for the definition and review of the educational policy and standards of the collegiate University in respect of teaching, learning and assessment.

The Graduate Admissions and Recruitment (GAR) supports and advises applicants, academic departments and colleges through all steps of the graduate admissions process. The Office is responsible for:

  • student recruitment activities, including the management of the Graduate Admissions website, the running of social media channels, the attendance at targeted recruitment fairs
  • processing a high volume of applications (+30,000 application/year) and enquiries (+25,000/year) within defined service levels
  • reporting and analysing graduate admissions statistics, and developing standard and ad hoc reports
  • developing efficient and robust graduate admissions policies to support 350+ courses, 70+ departments and 43 colleges
  • providing guidance on international qualifications
  • collaborating closely with Education IT to continue to improve admissions systems
  • working with the Student Fees and Funding section to develop, where possible, integrated admissions and funding processes

The work of the GAR is under the direction of Education Committee, via the Graduate Admissions Committee and the newly informed Graduate Access Working Group, as well as working with Conference of College’s Graduate Committee. For more information about Graduate study at Oxford, visit the Graduate Admissions website. If you are a member of staff who would like to know more about admissions visit the Graduate Admissions and Funding handbook. For information on Graduate applications and student numbers, see the Admissions statistics page of the University website.

The Language Centre is the University’s hub for all students, academic and professional staff who want to improve their language skills. It provides teaching across 11 modern languages and Academic English - from intensive short courses to in-depth three-term programmes, and from daytime to evening to suit a variety of schedules. Visit the Language Centre website for more information.

Oxford University Sport delivers health and fitness activities to students, staff and the local community, supports recognised Oxford University Sports Clubs and leads the strategic direction of sport and physical activity within the Collegiate University. The sports department also manages the University sports facilities at Iffley Road Sports Centre and the sports pitches within University Parks and on Marston Road.

The health and fitness activities on offer at Iffley Road Sports Centre include running on the Sir Roger Bannister Running Track, swimming in the Rosenblatt Pool, access to multiple gyms, a wide variety for fitness classes delivered in the GLD Studio and casual bookings for racket sports including badminton, squash and outdoor tennis.

The Sports Federation, which sits within the department, is the governing body for sport at Oxford and supports Oxford University’s 80+ registered sports clubs to deliver the best possible experience to their club members. Although sports clubs are independent of the University and as such can have vastly differing programmes, in most cases a sports club will include some level of casual sport, one or more inter-college competitions and several inter-university competitions culminating in a Varsity match against Cambridge University. Each sports Varsity match is part the annual Varsity series against Cambridge.

A diverse and adaptable number of sports pitches are also available at Iffley Road Sports Centre, within University Parks and at Marston Road Sports Ground. These include football, hockey, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, lacrosse, American football, Aussie rules football and ultimate frisbee but can be adapted by our specialist grounds staff to suit the needs of University sports clubs, inter-college sports competitions and independent bookings.

To find out more visit the Oxford University Sport website.

The Proctors' Office is the permanent staff of clerks who advise and support the Proctors and the Assessor in their work.

The Proctors' Office Clerks act as caseworkers on individual cases, provide secretariat services to the Proctors and the Assessor across the range of their functions, and serve as the main point of contact for students and other University members for all enquiries, requests for advice and submissions of complaints, academic appeals and other applications to the Proctors.

The Student Fees and Funding team supports the collegiate University’s aim to attract and retain the most able students from all backgrounds through the administration of scholarships and financial support, the management of student fees data, and the provision of information and development of policy relating to all aspects of fees and funding.

Specialised teams (Academic Records Office, Data Quality Team, Degree Conferrals Office, Student Assessments, Student Immigration and Student Data Management & Analysis teams) within the Student Registry ensure the accuracy and security of the student record; manage and analyse data; and provide examination and assessment administration.

The student record is at the heart of Student Registry’s work. Through the behind-the-scenes maintenance of the student record, the Student Registry’s activities support a range of student services, including visa management, fees and funding, support and welfare, examinations and award verification, as well as to provide University decision-making bodies with the data required to make management decisions and submit statutory returns to HESA.

The Student Systems section oversees the direction, development, and support of the IT systems used to support academic administration at Oxford. Our systems support processes from admissions, registration, teaching and assessment, through to graduation and certification. They provide helpdesk support for users via the Student Systems Support Centre.

Student Welfare and Support Services comprises the University Counselling Service and the Disability Advisory Service, along with the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service and Student Resolution (mediation). The services works collaboratively with colleges, departments, the Oxford University Student Union, and key statutory services to develop policy and provision on issues of student health and welfare.

Alongside outreach and admissions colleagues in departments and colleges, Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach (UAO) teams are often the first point of contact for prospective students with Oxford. Working with schools and students across the UK and worldwide, UAO focuses on widening access to the University and to Higher Education. In particular, UAO develops and runs programmes that directly contribute to the University’s strategic priorities on access and its commitment to the Office for Students under our Access and Participation Plan. UAO also plays an important role in coordinating undergraduate admissions across the University.

Main areas of work include:

Outreach Solutions, Development and Delivery teams – connecting with target audiences and influencers at all stages of the student journey through programmes such as UNIQ, Oxplore, Student Conferences and Teacher’s Summer Schools

Evaluation – monitoring, sharing and evaluation of outreach activity

Information, Marketing and Communications – communicating with prospective students and their supporters online, in printed materials and at Open Days with the aim of reaching under-represented groups with appropriate information as they make decisions about their future studies

Admissions Policy – development of robust policies to support a fair and transparent admissions process that identifies potential in students of all backgrounds; coordination of policy responses to the Office for Students including the Access and Participation Plan

Admissions Operations – development of robust systems to support a fair and transparent admissions including all liaison with UCAS and with colleges as the admitting bodies for undergraduates to Oxford.

For further information visit the Undergraduate Admissions website, the Undergraduate Admissions Handbook (single-sign on required) and the Undergraduate Admissions Statistics webpage.

Contact us

Academic Administration Division
University Offices
Wellington Square