If you want to apply but defer the year in which you hopefully come to Oxford, or if you’re planning on taking a gap year before applying, it’s worth checking with the department to which you’re applying about whether it may hinder your chances.
Colleges may also wish to see evidence that you’ve spent or are planning to spend a gap year doing something. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be strictly related to your course, but it’s probably not a great idea to spend six months working your way through back episodes of Neighbours before your application.
There are no firm University policies on gap years and applications – attitudes vary depending on which subject you’re apply- ing for. If you have questions, then both colleges and departments will be able to steer you in the right direction. The impor- tant thing to remember, though, is that if you are going to take a gap year, then it’s best to ensure that you can explain why you wanted to take one and what you aim to get out of it.