The physics department at Oxford is one of the largest in the world. Over 100 faculty members lead research projects in areas ranging from astrophysics to quantum mechanics, directed towards theoretical questions or pressing practical problems such as climate change. Research and teaching happen in several buildings, including a new state of the art building, in Oxford’s lively Science Area, close to Wycliffe and to the University Parks. Faculty, research staff, and students can socialise in one of the nearby University cafes.
All students wanting to study physics at Oxford should be competent in the basics of calculus of one or more variables, complex numbers and differential equations, matrices and linear algebra, normal modes and waves, and vector calculus (including multiple integrals). Students should have studied physics at their home universities for at least two years. We recommend looking at L. Lyons, All you wanted to know about mathematics but were afraid to ask (2 vols, 1995, available online under licence), which was written by an experienced Oxford mathematics tutor: if you are comfortable with its contents, or could be with extra study, you are ready to study physics at Oxford.
Teaching for physics will happen in a mix of University lectures, which play a key part in physics teaching, tutorials (one to one meetings with a specialist tutor), and, if possible, group tutorials with other Oxford undergraduates. Students will prepare work for individual and group tutorials, typically in the form of problem sheets. Students will not write essays (papers) for physics tutorials, but will present their work in mathematical form. Group work and discussion are warmly encouraged. Full lecture notes and other supporting materials are available on the University’s virtual learning platform to which students will have full access once they are in Oxford.
For practical reasons it is not possible to arrange lab or other practical work or to undertake internships or practicums.
More information is available on the Oxford physics department’s website . Please ignore information about how to apply, interviews, the acceptance rate, examinations etc as this is all intended only for matriculated students registered for degrees at Oxford. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is called a ‘BA’ in physics. All normal first degrees at Oxford are BA degrees, whether the discipline is in humanities, social science, or science.
This page gives further useful information about tutorial options in physics.
Once you have looked at the website, please contact the BestSemester office to discuss your tutorial requests in more detail.