Physics and Joint Schools

The College normally admits eight students each year to read for degrees in Physics or Physics & Philosophy. There is no fixed allocation of places between these two courses, and we accept the best candidates, regardless of which course they intend to read.

  • Illuminated line volume supernova, by Blondin and Mezzacappa ( via Wikimedia Commons

Courses Offered:

• BA/MPhys Physics
• MPhysPhil Physics and Philosophy

Undergraduate Prospectus Department of Physics

Gap Years
Some candidates ask for deferred entry because they wish to interpose a year between school/college and university. We do however like to assure ourselves, in the student's interest, that the time spent away from academic study is going to be used profitably and in a way that keeps the student's mind active. As an example, some industrial sponsorship schemes ask the student to work in industry for a year as the beginning of a '1-3-1 sandwich'. If you are thinking of a gap year, tell us at the time of application: if we offer a place it will be for a specified year, and it may be impossible to change the offer later on.

The Courses
Physics is either a 3-year or a 4-year course, the 3-year option leading to a BA, the 4-year option to an MPhys. Students decide which to pursue at the end of the second year, so no commitment between these two possibilities is needed at the time of application. Entry to the 4-year programme, however, is conditional upon obtaining a level of at least 2:1 after the second year. Physics & Philosophy is only offered as a 4-year degree leading to an MPhysPhil.

The Tutors
The College has three Tutorial Fellows in Physics, Professor Martin Bureau, Prof Laure Zanna and Professor Fabrizio Caola, as well as Emeritus Fellow and Tutor Dr Candadi Sukumar. They have interests in astrophysics, ocean and climate physics and theoretical physics. The tutors teach all the core material in the course, as well as some of the options.

Graduates with degrees in Physics or in Physics & Philosophy are much in demand by employers. They have a high standard of numeracy and technical competence, are capable of handling abstractions and complexities, and at the same time know how to keep their feet on the ground. A good proportion go on to work for advanced degrees, in Oxford or elsewhere. Some make direct use of the subject matter of their degree and take employment in the electronics industry, in engineering, in computing, or in industrial or government laboratories. Others use the intellectual training that comes from taking a degree course in any subject, and apply that in business, commerce, industrial management; the variety of careers is very wide. Recent graduates from Wadham have entered such diverse areas as medical physics, the law, oil prospecting, accountancy, teaching, the British Antarctic Survey, the European Patents Office.

Further Information
Further information about studying Physics at Oxford can be obtained from the Physics Department website as well as from the University's Undergraduate Prospectus.

A student's perspective

Current Fellows and Lecturers

Professor Martin Bureau (Tutorial Fellow)

Professor Fabrizio Caola (Tutorial Fellow)

Dr C V Sukumar (Emeritus Fellow and Lecturer)

Professor Laure Zanna (Tutorial Fellow)