The work load is intense, but you grow accustomed to it, and quickly learn how to balance completing problem sheets, lab reports and revision with social activities and sleep!
I decided I wanted to apply for Oxford after discovering the Materials course during Year 12. I enjoyed all the sciences at school, but couldn’t decide what to do. I thought the course sounded like a great mix of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, and even a little Biology in one of the third year courses. Now I have been here three years I can honestly say it’s a subject like no other, and I have had opportunities to study areas of science I would not have been able to do in any other course. If you enjoy finding out how things work and why things behave the way they do, Materials may be the subject for you.
First and Second Year involves two to three hours of lectures in the morning on a variety of courses. The timetable varies each week so nothing gets boring. Every fortnight there are two afternoons of labs, and the reports count as coursework. I really enjoyed the things we got to do in the labs, like playing with jelly, casting molten metal, breaking stuff and using cool microscopes.
There are also opportunities to visit companies during Industrial Visits, both in the UK and overseas. I went to Beijing in first year, and Poland last year. There are also summer exchange programs available to universities all over the world, such as to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA. I think this is one of the best things about the course, as the trips are educational but also very fun! They are also great preparation for work after university. There is plenty of financial support too, both from the department and from Trinity to help you make the most of these opportunities.
I wasn’t able to attend any open days as I was living overseas, so I applied to Trinity after hours trawling college web pages. I liked the sound of the amazing food, and the fact that Trinity offers accommodation for all four years. I am currently living in college accommodation off the main site, and am enjoying living in a flat with my friends and with a proper kitchen.
Trinity is a really friendly, tightly-knit community, and the college is perfectly situated right in the centre of Oxford. The food in hall is great, and even living off the main site we can eat in hall whenever we want. The library is 24-hours, and the Materials section is well stocked. If there’s a book missing, however, the librarian will order it for you.
I have really enjoyed my time at Oxford so far. There are so many opportunities to get involved in outside of work. I was President of the Oxford University Scottish Dance Society, played in the Trinity Orchestra, and helped backstage with a couple of plays. The work load is intense, but you grow accustomed to it, and quickly learn how to balance completing problem sheets, lab reports and revision with social activities and sleep!