Red laser on optical table in physics laboratory

The goal of physics is to explain natural phenomena in terms of simple laws. A key element is the ability to make quantitative predictions from mathematical models.

The courses at Oxford cover all the major areas of contemporary physics, ranging from sub-atomic particles, lasers and condensed matter, to climate and cosmology, and include new developments such as biophysics, financial physics and quantum computation. What makes a good physicist? A desire for understanding rather than facts, a natural curiosity, and good mathematical ability.

Oriel College offers an excellent environment for studying physics, and most students study for the 4-year MPhys. Oriel’s well-stocked library is an excellent information resource for physics, and students are supplied with personal copies of the main text books which they may keep for the duration of the course. As well as being experienced teachers, the Oriel physics tutors are engaged in internationally-leading research, with interests in cosmology, climate physics, superconductivity and magnetism. An added incentive for excellence among Oriel’s physics students is provided by the John Sanders Scholarship, awarded each year for an outstanding performance in the first year examinations.

Physics students acquire a wide range of important skills, making them highly sought-after in the jobs market. They learn to divide problems into elementary parts and to solve them using logical arguments based on firm evidence. Many Oriel graduates continue into physics research, but others have pursued a variety of careers in areas such as industry, patent law, banking, teaching, and the media.

Admissions criteria

All applicants must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) in school or at a test centre in early November. No written work required.

Typical offers: A*AA at A-Level (or equivalent) including A*, A in Physics and Maths.

Oxford University Department Website
Department of Physics
5 or 6

For more information contact the admissions office:

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 276522