Physics at Oxford  Course Outline
Project Work
A broad choice of fourth year MPhys project is available throughout six Physics subdepartments and sometimes from related departments. Periodically, students arrange to execute their project at outside laboratories.
First Year
Courses
Foundation Courses:
 Mathematical methods I
 Electromagnetism & circuit theory
 Classical mechanics & special relativity
 Differential equations, waves & optics
Short Options
 Astronomy
 Quantum ideas
 Complex analysis
Assessment
First university exams
Short option paper
Four written papers
Satisfactory laboratory work
Second Year
Courses
Core Courses:
 Electromagnetism & optics
 Thermal physics
 Quantum physics
 Mathematical methods II
Short Options:
 Classical mechanics
 Energy studies
 Medical and environmental physics
Assessment
Final university exams, Part 'A' (both)
Laboratory work
Short option paper
Three written papers
Third Year
Courses
Mainstream courses:
 Atomic physics
 Particle & nuclear physics
 Condensed matter physics
 Atmospheric physics
 Astrophysics
 Mathematical physics
Short Options:
 Chaos
 Plasma physics
 Classical mechanics
Assessment
Final university exams, Part 'B' (MPhys)
Short option paper,
Three written papers
Laboratory work
Final university exams, Part B (BA)
 Short option paper
 Project report
 Two written papers
 Laboratory work
Fourth Year
Courses
Project and two option courses:
 MPhys projects (runs for one term)
Major Options
 Astrophysics
 Condensed matter
 Atmospheres & oceans
 Particle physics
 Biological physics
 Theoretical physics
 Laser science & quantum information processing
Assessment
Final university exams, Part C (MPhys)
 Two major option papers
 Project report
Exams are conducted in June at the end of each year of the course. Some of the written papers are of approximately three hours duration. Short options are shared across years 13. The above mentioned options are illustrative and can change from year to year of the course.
Weekly Timetable
In the first year, students' time is equally divided between Physics and Mathematics with about ten lectures and two paired tutorials a week. Additionally, students have to spend one day a week, over two terms in the practical laboratories. In the second and third years, the mainstream and core physics topics are covered with almost ten lectures a week and a mix of small group classes and tutorials.
Students need to take practical exercises two days a fortnight over four terms. Students who are taking a threeyear BA need to undertake a short project in the second year term of their third year. In the fourth year, students need to take two major options approximately six lectures, one class a week and the MPhys project in the second term.
Entrance Requirements
 Alevels: AAA
 Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
 IB: 38  40 consisting of core points
 Or any academic equivalent
Candidates are expected to have Mathematic and Physics to Alevel, Higher Level or Advanced Higher in the IB or any academic equivalent. The inclusion of a Maths Mechanics module is recommended. Further Mathematics may be useful to candidates in completing this course; however, they are necessary for admission.
Application Procedure
Candidates ought to follow the application procedure as mentioned in the how to apply page. The information given below provides details for students applying for Physics course.
Written Test
Candidates do not need to submit any written work while applying for this course. Nevertheless, they should take the Physics Aptitude Test, typically at their own college or school on the prescribed date by the university. Candidates must ensure that they are available to take the test at the stipulated time. For more information about the course and the test, candidates are advised to refer the Physics pages on the university website.
What Tutors Look for?
During the interview, tutors look for enthusiastic and motivated students with a physicist's ability to apply basic principles to unfamiliar situations. However, the course needs a good level of mathematical competence. The major requirements here are the capability to formulate a problem in mathematical terms and subsequently take out the physical consequences from the solution.
