Oxford Union

Inside a full Oxford Union debating chamber

Take part in world-famous debates at the Oxford Union


At Oxford you are encouraged to think critically and to debate ideas. Where better to do this than at the world's most prestigious debating society?

A total of 12 British prime ministers have cut their teeth and honed their skills in the Debating Chamber of the Oxford Union. Harold Macmillan described it as 'the last bastion of free speech in the western world'.

Debates and speakers

The Principal Debates, preceded by dinner, take place each Thursday evening in Full Term, kicking off in Michaelmas with the debate 'This House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government'. Key members of the Government and the Opposition go three rounds in a debate which has occurred every year since the Society was founded in 1823.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Oxford Union is the opportunity for members to meet, listen and question some of the world’s most notable and interesting people in the renowned ‘speaker meetings’. These take place continually throughout the year. Past guests have included Richard Nixon, Malcolm X, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama and Diego Maradona.



The Oxford Union is a separate organisation to the University.

You are eligible to join if you are studying at Oxford for a year or more. If you are at Oxford for two or more years, you can become a lifelong member. Lifelong membership to the Oxford Union is included in the Oxford MBA tuition fees.

As a member you can bring up to three guests with you to debates.