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Academic Excellence

Academic excellence is fundamental to Keble's purpose. We encourage excellence and are determined to recognise and reward it among our students.

College scholarships are awarded for excellence in University examinations and/or for sustained high-level performance in academic study. Tutors may make nominations to Governing Body at any time during a student's course of study. In addition to the prestige, the benefits of a scholarship include cash and some free meals in Hall. All scholars are invited to an annual dinner in the Senior Common Room with their tutors.  Around 90 or so of our students are currently scholars, with the right to wear the scholar's gown.

We have established a system of substantial prizes for the best performing student in each subject in their first year examinations. Some of these have been donated by College old members and their families, such as the £200 Bennett Prize for Engineers. Others have been established directly by the College, but all seek to demonstrate the value we place on our students striving for the highest possible achievement.

There are also smaller book prizes for excellence in college examinations and, where thought appropriate by tutors, for tutorial work. Some subjects have awards for academic work during the vacation, e.g. laboratory-based projects.

Named subject prizes for Keble students include:

  • The Roquette Palmer Prize of £200 for proficiency in French, awarded after examination in the Trinity Term, and open to all undergraduate members of the College in their first two years of residence; the prize will not be awarded to any candidate who, in the opinion of the examiner, is a native speaker of the language.
  • The Harris Prize (£100) is awarded for the best performance in Law Moderations.
  • The Denis Meakins Prize of up to £750 for the best "all round" performance in Chemistry, taking into account academic achievement and extra-curricular contributions to the College. Open to all undergraduates reading Chemistry, this award may be divided between two or more students and participation in University level activities (e.g. sport) may be taken into account in assessing contribution to college life.
  • The Dennis Shaw Book Prize of £170 is awarded for exceptional performance in University Examinations in Physics.
  • The Dennis Shaw summer internship supports projects in Physics during the Long vacation undertaken by second and third year students up to £1200
  • The Owen Travelling Scholarship of £600 for travel in connection with the study of classical antiquity, to be awarded to an undergraduate studying Ancient and Modern History,Classical Archaeology and Ancient History or Archaeology and Anthropology, or a postgraduate studying classical antiquity.
  • The Harris Prize (£200) is awarded to the undergraduate achieving the best performance in the Final Honour School of Jurisprudence.
  • The Gordon Smith Prize for Geography (£200) awarded for the best performance by a Keble second-year Geography student.
  • The Gordon Smith Dissertation Award(s) (£200) given for demonstrating excellence in research undertaken for an undergraduate dissertation in Geography.
  • The Deirdre Tucker Memorial Prize in Jurisprudence (£500) is awarded to the winner of an essay competition for second-year Jurisprudence students held each Trinity term.
  • The Deirdre Tucker Memorial Prize in Mathematics and Computer Science (£500) is awarded annually for the best presentation on a mathematical topic by second-year undergraduates.
  • The Deirdre Tucker Memorial Prize for French Declamation (£500) is awarded annually to the best declamation by an undergraduate reading French.


Students at work in the Library

Tutorials are not always what you expect: Dr Phelan puts the linguists through their paces