Magdalen College School: Reviews, Rankings And More

Magdalen College School (MCS) is a private day school located in Oxford, providing the highest quality of education to boys aged 7-18 and both boys and girls in the Sixth Form. The school is known for being truly well-rounded, providing a nurturing environment for students to focus on studies and engage in extracurricular activities while being supported by excellent pastoral care.

magdalen college school review

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Summary Of School

  • Type of school: Boys (7-18), Mixed (Sixth Form)
  • Age range: 7-18
  • Pupils: 897
  • Fees: £23,085 per annum (Day fees)
  • 2023 A-Level Results: 85% A*-A
  • 2023 GCSE Results: 94% 9-7

Table of Contents

Magdalen College School Overview

Magdalen College School has a long history tracing back to the late 1400s. William Waynflete established the School within Magdalen College to educate the sixteen boy choristers of the college, who performed in its chapel, alongside other academically accomplished local children. Over the centuries, its student body has expanded significantly, from around thirty boys initially to now encompassing over 850 children.

The school admitted boys only until 2010, when the school opened up its Sixth Form to girls (year 12 and year 13). Don’t let the school’s emphasis on balance throw you off— MGS performs at the highest level for academics, resulting in many students receiving offers at top universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, St Andrews and Bath.

Magdalen College School Courses / Programmes

At MCS, education spans from Prep School through to the Sixth Form. The school offers strong foundation courses at the preparatory level, while at senior school, MCS offers GCSE and A Level programmes to its students — The gold standard for entry into the top institutions in the UK and globally.

Magdalen College School Application Deadline

According to the school’s website, the registration deadline for entry in 2024 (or pre-test entry for 2026) has now passed. Please contact the Registrar ([email protected]) if you wish to discuss the possibility of submitting a late application.

Magdalen College School Rankings And Results

In 2023, Magdalen students did extremely well in their examinations. 85% of A Level grades were A*-A and 94% of GCSE grades were 9-7. The school ranked 11th in our A Levels and GCSE league table for 2023.

Magdalen College School Fees (2023-2024)

Senior School & Sixth Form: Starting from September 2024, the fees will be as follows:

  • £7,695.00 per term (£23,085.00 per annum)
  • Sixth Form Levy (for Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth): £125.00 per term

Optional Charges:

  • Parents’ Association (PA): £5.00 per term
  • Music Lessons: £397.50 per term for 10 lessons
  • Combined Cadet Force (CCF) from U4th: £74.20 per annum


  • Breakfast: charged per item
  • Morning Break Meal: £5.83 per meal
  • Tuck Shop: charged per item
  • Lunch: £5.83 per meal

Pupils register for meals via a biometric system, and charges will be made in arrears.

Junior School: Starting from September 2024, the fees will be as follows:

  • J1 – J2: £7,412.00 per term (£22,236.00 per annum)
  • J3 – J4: £7,695.00 per term (£23,085.00 per annum)

Optional Charges:

  • Parents’ Association (PA): £5.00 per term
  • Music Lessons: £397.50 per term for 10 lessons
  • Junior School After School Care: £7.95 per hour


  • Breakfast: charged per item
  • Lunch: £2.80 per day

Lunch for all boys in the Junior School is compulsory. Parents who would like their son to opt out of lunch are required to confirm this in writing to the Head of the Junior School.

Magdalen College School Entry Requirements

Sixth Form Entry Requirements

To enroll your son or daughter for A Levels at Magdalen, you will first need to complete an online form. You’ll need to upload a digital copy of their birth certificate or passport and pay the registration fee (£100 for UK applicants; £200 for applicants residing overseas).

During registration, you’ll indicate four potential A Level subjects for your child, although these are preliminary choices. You’ll also provide information regarding any medical conditions or specific learning needs for appropriate support arrangements. Registration typically doesn’t require significant advance notice, but keep in mind the deadline of September 30th (note that 2024 entry has closed).

Closer to the date for admissions tests and interviews, MCS will reach out to request additional details, such as your child’s GCSE subjects, confirmed A Level preferences, interests, and a photograph. These choices will determine the subjects for testing and interviewing. Following guidelines from the HMC (Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference), the school will seek a reference from your child’s current school in early October. Candidates meeting this stage will be invited to our entrance test day in November and, based on test performance, to interviews thereafter.

The school has different entry points at every year so be sure to refer to their admission’s page for more information.

13+ Entry Requirements

The 13+ entrance examinations are designed for students aiming for Year 9 entry who are presently in Year 8 at a state school or an independent school that doesn’t prepare students for Common Entrance or PSB.

Registration must be completed by October 31st while boys are in Year 8 at their current school, with tests conducted at MCS in January before the September entry.

If your son attends a prep school continuing to Year 8, he should apply by taking the pre-test entrance examinations in Year 6. For more details, please refer to the Joining at Pre-test page.

Magdalen College School Reviews

Parent A

“Both my children are happy going to school and have great relationships with the staff. They know who they can go to, should they be worried about anything, and feel confident they are listened to.

Parent B

Many staff go above and beyond to support the children and families. Their individual needs are taken into account and teaching is adapted to suit their needs.”

Parent C

Communication is clear and parents are informed of changes. When problems arise, as they will in every school, staff respond quickly and manage situations appropriately. My children are happy and learning well.

Magdalen College School Houses

Magdalen is organized into six houses, each bearing the name of former prefects who lost their lives during the World Wars. Here’s a brief overview of each house:

  1. Callender House: Named after John Clement Callender, associated with the color green. He served during WW1.

  2. Chavasse House: Honoring Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, VC and Bar, MC, associated with dark blue. Captain Chavasse is one of the rare recipients of the VC & Bar, and he served in WW1.

  3. Leicester House: Named after Donovan Nicholas Leicester, its color is purple. Leicester’s sacrifice occurred during WW1.

  4. Maltby House: Named in memory of Charles Robert Crighton Maltby, its color is light blue. Maltby served during WW1.

  5. Walker-Dunn House: Geoffrey Walker and Bruce Dunn are remembered in this house, associated with the color red. They lost their lives during WW2.

  6. Wilkinson-Blagden House: Named after Frank D. Wilkinson MC and Maurice Bernard Blagden, its color is golden yellow. Both served during WW1.

These houses not only serve as a way to honor the fallen but also foster a sense of camaraderie and competition within the school community.

Magdalen College School Services and Extracurricular Activities

Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is a strong focal point of MCS, with all staff members dedicated to ensuring the well-being of every student. Each pupil is assigned a Tutor, offering personalised support and guidance, while Heads of Year oversee academic progress and provide pastoral leadership. Senior pastoral leaders, including Rob Hemingway for Lower School, Tim Cooper for Middle School, and Colin Pearson for Sixth Form, work closely with tutors to ensure comprehensive care.

Openness and respect are foundational principles, fostering an environment where students feel comfortable discussing any concerns. Lilium serves as MCS’s life skills program, addressing vital topics through curriculum lessons and talks from external speakers. The Medical Centre provides holistic support, addressing both physical and mental health needs, while Chaplain Revd. Wealands Bell offers spiritual guidance and support to the entire school community. Parental involvement is encouraged through informative events and induction sessions, ensuring a collaborative approach to student well-being.

Extracurricular Activities

MCS offers a broad range of options to cater to diverse interests and talents. Focus Sports which include rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis, netball, and athletics receive dedicated coaching expertise and feature prominently in the fixture schedule. These sports span all three terms, with one term dedicated specifically to competitions. The school’s teams, ranging from Senior 1st to 3rd teams, actively participate in both midweek and weekend fixtures, fostering a competitive yet inclusive environment where students can develop their skills and sportsmanship.

In addition to the Focus Sports, MCS offers a variety of other extracurricular opportunities, ensuring that every student can find an activity that suits them. From hillwalking and photography to sailing and fencing, the school caters to a wide range of interests.

Additionally, MCS’s music department offers a rich musical experience, with numerous orchestras, choirs, ensembles, and bands performing regularly at prestigious venues. With expert tuition available for a wide range of instruments and genres, students can immerse themselves in musical pursuits that cater to their abilities and preferences.

Whether it’s sports, arts, or academia, MCS provides a dynamic environment where students can thrive beyond the classroom.

Magdalen College School Information

  • Official website:
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone call: +44 (0)1865 242191
  • Location: Magdalen College School, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DZ

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