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Materials Science at University of Oxford 


"I had a fantastic time! I especially enjoyed the challenging level of the lectures and the open-ended nature of the lab practical, alongside the independence we were given during free time. It truly embodied 'work hard, play hard'." 


This course at the University of Oxford aims to give an insight into Materials Science, or Materials Engineering as it is also known. 

What is it all about?

Materials Science is a vast interdisciplinary subject, which frequently unites researchers from different physical and engineering sciences but can also involve the Life and Medical Sciences.  Essentially, Materials Scientists bring together and utilise the science developed by physicists, chemists and engineers, making it possible to improve and develop new materials for everything we use in our lives, from prosthetics to buildings, from transport to communications, from sport to defence. 

What will I be doing?

Some exciting, hands-on activities and visits, which will include: 

• Stay in one of Oxford University’s Colleges 
• Attend lectures covering a range of Materials topics 
• Tackle a range of problems often presented to our undergraduates 
• Participate in laboratory sessions aimed not only at giving a general idea about Materials Science, but also conduct experiments similar to those performed by undergraduates 
• Visit one of the UK's major centres of research, where scientists from across the world use nuclear fusion, neutron beam or synchrotron light source to carry out experiments of international importance 
• Participate in a group-based competitive project aimed at simulating the commercial aspects of scientific research 

Will this course suit me? 

If you are interested in any of the following areas, and others, then this course is for you: 

• Aeronautical – designing materials for aerospace uses, e.g. jet engine turbine blades  
• Biomedical – can we make a bone analogue material to coat metal implants and one day produce replacement organs for transplant?  
• Ceramics – superconducting materials and body armour  
• Electron Microscopy – using and developing a range of techniques to better understand the structure and properties of materials, e.g. scanning EM, transmission EM 
• Entrepreneurship – how scientists become businessmen to market their own discoveries 
• Nano Technology – engineering at the atomic level 
• Polymers – applications of conductive polymers to produce cheap polymer photovoltaic cells. 

A good understanding of maths, physics and chemistry will enable you to appreciate all aspects of materials science.  In addition, entry to degree programmes at Oxford University requires a very strong academic track record and this is reflected in the applications to this Insight into University course. 

Who will be on this course?

This is a mixed course for 32 students.  

Dates of course?

17th June – 21st June 2024 (4 nights residential) 

Price of course?

£550 (Bursaries are also available)

If you have any further questions, please enquire or visit our FAQ's page.

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