Engineering Science encompasses a vast range of subjects. The first two years of the undergraduate degree course provide an engaging and broad curriculum of study, with the opportunity to specialise in your final two years.
The Engineering course at Oxford is of four years’ duration. The first and second years give a broad base in Mathematics and some of the main branches of Engineering Science, namely Mechanical, Electrical, Information, Control and Civil Engineering, as well as Materials and Energy Systems. In the third year, the Engineering Science degree separates into Biomedical, Chemical and Process, Civil and Offshore, Electrical and Opto-electronic, Information, Solid Materials and Mechanics and Thermofluids and Turbomachinery options. There is also the possibility of selecting the Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Management route, including tuition from the Saïd Business School. The fourth year of the course is entirely specialised, and you choose from a wide range of subjects to customise your degree.
Practical work in the first two years comprises several “labs”, designed to develop practical skills and to illustrate key aspects of the lecture courses. It also includes open-ended “design-build-test” projects, giving you more freedom to explore the nature of Engineering. The second year culminates with a series of “coursework modules” where you choose from a wide range of subjects and explore them in detail for a whole week at a time. In the third year of the course, you undertake a group design project, co-operating in a group of 4–6 students to look at all aspects of a realistic Engineering design project. As an example, Prof. Morris usually runs a 3rd year project that involves the design of an imaging and manufacturing system that could be used to fabricate nanotechnology with light and Dr Das participates in the 3rd year project that is in collaboration with CERN. In the final year, you will engage in an even more demanding, but deeply interesting, individual research project undertaken in one of the Department’s research groups. This is an important component of the 4-year course as it counts for 50% of the final year.
Compared with most Engineering courses in the country, you will find that the number of timetabled lectures is rather small. Do not be deceived by this! A key feature of Oxford education is the demand on the students to prepare work by themselves in their own time. You are aided in this task by College tutorials, which run in the first two years of the course. These are normally held at least twice a week in small groups of two or three students, or even one student at a time when this is appropriate.
Tutorials have three main roles. The obvious one is to check that you are tackling the problem sheets handed out by lecturers in the Department, but if you experience difficulties with the problem sheets then the tutorials can act as specific remedial sessions. Thirdly, tutorials also act as a stimulant to encourage you to think more widely about your subject.
Most of your tutorials will be taken by one of the Engineering tutors at Jesus College, but they may also be supplemented by experts from outside the College when necessary. In the third and fourth years of the course, when the subjects become more specialised, the Department organises problems classes and tutorials in place of College tutorials to ensure you are taught by subject specialists.
There are University examinations at the end of each year. In addition, colleges maintain a more even pressure by setting their own internal examinations called “Collections”. Be assured that success in Engineering comes from a steady and sustained effort throughout the course: last minute cramming can never substitute for this!
Prof. Stephen Morris is Fellow and Tutor in Engineering Science who teaches subjects in the Mathematics and Electrical Engineering core papers in the College. He also leads fourth year options on the topics of ‘Solar and Photovoltaics’ and ‘Applied Optics’ for the Department. His research interests involve the development of new opto-electronic devices based upon polymers and liquid crystal materials. This includes thin-film lasers, displays and related devices, optical phase modulators and solar cell technology.
Prof. Ben Williams is a Fellow and Tutor in Engineering Science who teaches subjects in the Mathematics and the Energy papers in the College, including Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Heat & Mass Transfer and Electrical Machines. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Science where he lectures on the 2nd year Energy Systems course, and organises the 1st year Thermodynamics lab. His research specialty is developing and applying non-intrusive optical diagnostics to thermofluid systems, including IC engines, gas turbines and hypersonics.
Dr Brian Tang is a Lecturer in Engineering Science who teaches subjects in the Structures, Materials and Dynamics papers as well as the 3rd year Engineering in Society paper in the College. He is also a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Engineering Science. His current research focuses on the development of novel fluidic devices, including plasma-actuated, no-moving-parts valves for integration into the secondary air systems of large civil aviation jet engines and ultrasonically activated fluidic switches used for external aerodynamic flow control.
Dr Suchandrima Das teaches subjects in the Mathematics and Structures, Materials, and Mechanics papers in the College. She has an interdisciplinary background and studied electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and solid mechanics in her Bachelor, Masters and DPhil programs, respectively. Her current research combines these three fields under the realm of material engineering by focussing on the design and characterisation of novel materials for high-performance applications such as medical implants, nuclear reactor components, high-frequency transistors etc. This involves combination of ab-initio calculations with multi-scale computational modelling and multi-technique experiments, such as micro-mechanical tests, synchrotron X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy.
Dr Chris Nicholls teaches subjects in the Mathematics and Electrical Engineering papers in the College. He is also a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College and a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Active Flow Control research group at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute. His research focuses on the development of fluidic devices, valves with no moving parts that have great potential to solve flow control problems in aerospace. His approach involves the application of control theory and information engineering, which yields new insights into a field typically studied through the lens of the fluid dynamics alone.
The deadline to submit your application for undergraduate study via UCAS is 16 October (please note that this date is usually 15 October, except where this date falls on a weekend). Please refer to the University’s webpages for detailed information on how to apply.
Places available at Jesus College
Of the 100 or so undergraduates admitted to Jesus College each year, about six will be reading Engineering Science.
Academic requirements for this subject can be found here.
The specific selection criteria are given on the department’s website here.
All candidates must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) as part of their application. Separate registration for this test is required and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered by the deadline of 29 September 2023. We strongly recommend making the arrangements in plenty of time before the deadline. Everything you need to know, including how to register and guidance on how to prepare, can be found can be found here.
No written work from school or college needs be submitted prior to interview.
Interviews will be held in mid-December. You will have one interview with the Engineering tutors at Jesus College and a second interview with another college chosen automatically for you. The interview with tutors at Jesus College is quite informal, the purpose being to assess your ability to succeed on our courses and your motivation to do so. We will expect you to understand the particular nature of our courses at Oxford and we will question you on both mathematics and physics topics that you have studied. We will guide you to reveal your creative, scientific and engineering interests.
Please refer to the Departmental website for subject-specific advice.
The Tutors have no objection in principle to offering a place to a candidate who wishes to defer entry for a year, provided this intention is made known at the outset. You must apply for deferred entry at the time of application to Oxford: you cannot change your mind after an offer has been made.
You should be aware that applicants who are offered places for deferred entry will generally be among the very strongest of the cohort for their subject, and the College limits its offers of deferred places in order not to disadvantage candidates applying in the following year. In some cases, an applicant for deferred entry may be offered a place for non-deferred entry instead.
There are no Joint Schools for Engineering Science.
The study of all branches of Engineering in Oxford is encompassed in a single, unitary Department of Engineering Science. The opportunities in the Department for postgraduate study and research include the conventional disciplines of Engineering such as Chemical, Civil, Control, Electrical, Materials and Mechanical, as well as Information Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.
The combination of rigour and practicality in their training makes our Engineering graduates attractive to a wide range of employers in Engineering, commerce and other areas. The Engineering undergraduate course is also accredited by the relevant professional bodies such as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Full details of the postgraduate Engineering courses available at Oxford can be viewed on the departmental website.
Please use the links below for further information:
- The University of Oxford undergraduate admissions
- Department of Engineering Science
- Suggested subject resources
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it make any difference if I apply for straight Engineering Science or one of the branches of Engineering?
At Jesus College we consider all Engineering applications together and make a fixed total number of offers. The first two years are common to all courses and you are free to choose the options you would prefer in the third and fourth years.
What about sponsorship?
We are always pleased for candidates to apply for industrial sponsorship, or to consider requests to take a year out between school and university for any other sound reason. However, a consequence of our operating with a small quota is that we must know the year for which you are applying at the time of the interview. This poses very little problem in practice, because we find that candidates who are offered a place at Jesus College nearly always obtain some sponsorship if they try, and if you do not obtain sponsorship at the first attempt we may be able to help with further suggestions.