Engineering at oxford

Oxford's Engineering course is unconventional in a number of ways. As with Cambridge, the course is general for the first two years and you choose your specialisation in the third year. This should appeal to people who wish to gain a broad understanding of the engineering discipline before deciding on an area to specialise in.



Maths and physics are required at A-level. Further maths is strongly recommended - not only does it strengthen your application, but it can help immensely in the first term of university when you want to be enjoying yourself. Most of the first term maths course, with the exception of Laplace transforms, is covered by the further maths syllabus. Given that the pace at which material is covered is significantly faster at Oxford than at A-level, students who haven't taken further maths tend to struggle at the start.

Maths and physics are required at Higher Level for IB students.

Teaching and Assessment


Lectures last 1 hour. Freshers usually have two lectures per day, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. three days of the week and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the remaining two days. Second years have a similar schedule, with fewer labs and more 11 a.m. lectures as opposed to 9 a.m. ones. For the subsequent years, your timetable will depend largely on the options you choose. Most lecturers use powerpoints, overhead projectors or the whiteboard. You might get to see some demonstrations, but it's pretty standard as far as the style of lectures goes.


All of your assignments in the first two years will be covered in tutorials, which are like mini-classes comprised of 2 to 3 students and a professor in which you basically look at engineering problems. It depends on your tutors when you have tutorials and how long they last. Typically, you have two tutorials per week lasting 1 to 1 and a half hours each. You are given all of your problem sheets at the beginning of term, each taking up to 15 hours to complete.

Useful Information

Recommended Reading for Interviews

A list of books to read through before interviews can be found here:

It isn't necessary to read more than two or three of the books, but it's worth mentioning those that you read in your personal statement. Although interviewers are primarily concerned with the maths and physics questions, this might give you something extra to talk about at the start. Of course, the books also help you get a better understanding of what engineering is all about and whether it's right for you!