Engineering Science | University of Oxford
Engineering Science
Close-up of the rear of a modified Nissan LEAF termed RobotCar.
(Image credit: John Cairns Photography / Oxford University Images).

Engineering Science

UCAS codeSee course optionsDuration4 years (MEng)
Entrance requirements

A*A*A (with the A*s in Maths, Further Maths or Physics)

Subject requirements  Maths and Physics
  Maths Mechanics modules
  Further Maths
Admissions test(s)ox.ac.uk/patWritten workNone
Admissions statistics*

Interviewed: 48%
Successful: 18%
Intake: 171
*3-year average 2016-18

Contact

+44 (0) 1865 283263
Email Engineering

Subject requirements:       Essential       Recommended       Helpful – may be useful on course

Engineering Science encompasses a vast range of subjects, from microelectronics to offshore oil platforms, and involves the application of creative reasoning, science, mathematics (and of course experience and common sense) to real problems.

The Department of Engineering Science at Oxford has a top-level quality assessment rating for teaching and a world-class reputation for research. Because we believe that future engineering innovation will benefit from broad foundations as well as specialised knowledge, undergraduate teaching is based on a unified course in Engineering Science, which integrates study of the subject across the traditional boundaries of engineering disciplines. Links between topics in apparently diverse fields of engineering provide well-structured fundamental understanding, and can be exploited to give efficient teaching.

The Engineering Science programme is a four-year course, leading to the degree of Master of Engineering. The first two years are devoted to topics which we believe all Engineering undergraduates should study. In the third and fourth years there is scope for specialisation into one of six branches of engineering: Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Information and Mechanical. Decisions about which of these will be your specialisation can be deferred until the third year.

The course is accredited every four years by the major engineering institutions in respect of the initial requirements for the designation of chartered engineer.

Industrial experience is an extremely important adjunct to an academic engineering education, and undergraduates are strongly encouraged to obtain it. One way to do so is by being sponsored. Further information is generally available through your careers teacher, or from the engineering institutions. If your sponsoring company wants you to spend a year with them before university, you will be asked to declare this at your interview and in your UCAS application.

Student in a lab Student studying

“I’m currently designing an offshore device that could convert wave energy in the sea into electricity, to be transmitted back to land. There are five people in my team, working on this for our third year project. I particularly enjoy it because I am putting into practice everything that I have been learning over the last two years.

I was attracted by the academic challenge of studying at one of the top universities in the world, and the Engineering Science course at Oxford really caught my eye because students cover a wide spectrum of engineering before choosing specialised options. I was convinced that the course would provide me with a broad foundation to understand and tackle real-world engineering problems, which cannot be solved solely by one discipline of engineers.”
STEPHEN

 “This year I’m working on a project that involves designing and building wind turbines and the control systems behind it. The aim of my project is to maximise the efficiency of wind turbines. The project was actually sponsored by a Scottish company who approached Oxford University; they were looking for someone to cooperate with them in designing and building an unplugged house, which is a house powered by green energy alone. My project involves building the wind turbine systems… throughout this year I’ve developed a process which is better than existing systems by 5-6% and I think that’s a great achievement for a year’s work. Hopefully I’ll continue working with them after the term has ended and see my system become a reality.”
YUAN GAO

A typical week

As a guide, in an average week you will have approximately ten lectures and two college tutorials or classes. In some weeks in the first two years you will also have up to five hours of practical work. In the third year each student spends an average of one day a week on their group project work. The individual project in the fourth year takes approximately two and a half days a week. 

Class and tutorial group sizes are designed to allow students to discuss the contents of specific lectures with a tutor and their peers. In the first two years tutorials are delivered in colleges, typically in groups of 2-4 students. In the third year the department organises tutorials for groups of up to 4 students. In the final year class sizes vary, but there are no more than 15 students per class.

Lectures are delivered by the academic staff of the department, who are experts in their areas of research and typically have years of teaching experience. Tutorials and classes are delivered by a tutor, who might be a member of the academic staff, a postgraduate student – studying at doctorate level – or a postdoctoral research assistant within the department. Practical laboratory sessions are supervised by experienced academics and technical staff.

To find out more about how our teaching year is structured, visit our Academic Year page.

The options listed above are illustrative and may change. More information about current options is available on the Engineering Science website.

YEAR 1

COURSES

  • Mathematics
  • Electrical and information engineering
  • Structures and mechanics
  • Energy and the environment
  • Engineering practical work

ASSESSMENT

First University examinations: four written papers; Assessment of Engineering practical work

YEAR 2

COURSES

  • Mathematics
  • Electrical and information engineering
  • Structures, materials and dynamics
  • Energy systems
  • Engineering practical work

ASSESSMENT

Final University examinations, Part A: four written papers; Assessment of Engineering practical work

YEAR 3

COURSES

  • Five optional Engineering courses
  • Engineering in society
  • Engineering computation
  • Engineering practical work
  • Group design project

ASSESSMENT

Final University examinations, Part B: six written papers; Assessment of Engineering practical work; Project reports (Engineering Computation and Design Project)

YEAR 4

RESEARCH

A major project, plus six specialist courses chosen from within the areas of:

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Engineering mathematics
  • Information engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Production engineering

ASSESSMENT

Final University examinations, Part C: six written papers; Project report

 The options listed above are illustrative and may change. More information about current options is available on the Engineering Department's website

The content and format of this course may change in some circumstances. Read further information about potential course changes.

Academic requirements

A-levels:A*A*A to include Mathematics and Physics. The A*s must be in Mathematics, Physics or Further Mathematics
Advanced Highers:AA/AAB
IB: 40 (including core points) with 776 at HL (with 7s in HL Mathematics and Physics)
Advanced diploma in Engineering (Level 3)
Advanced Diploma in Engineering (Level 3), as long as you also achieve an A-level in Physics, and the new Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics for Engineering. These qualifications can be presented as the additional specialist learning component of the diploma. Offers will specify the necessary results in A-level Physics, the Level 3 certificate in Mathematics for Engineering, the Extended Project and the Principal Learning of the diploma.
Or any other equivalent (see other UK qualifications, and international qualifications)

Wherever possible, your grades are considered in the context in which they have been achieved (see further information on how we use contextual data). For candidates who are predicted A*AA serious consideration will be given to extenuating circumstances, such as disruption to education or bereavement, which have led to under-performance in exams and which are described in their application. Any offer would be conditional on achieving A*A*A.

Subject requirements

 Essential:  Candidates are expected to have Physics and Mathematics to A-level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or any other equivalent. 
 Recommended: Inclusion of Mathematics Mechanics modules is highly recommended. 
 Helpful:Further Mathematics can be helpful to students in completing this course, although it is not required for admission.

Details of the requirements for other qualifications, including the Advanced Diploma in Engineering, can be found on the Engineering Science website.

If, and only if, you have chosen to take any science A-levels, we expect you to take and pass the practical component in addition to meeting any overall grade requirement.

If English is not your first language you may also need to meet our English language requirements.

Applying

All candidates must follow the application procedure as shown in applying to Oxford. The information below gives specific details for students applying for this course.

Admissions test

Test: PAT
Test date:30 October 2019            
Registration deadline:                   6pm 15 October 2019                                                                                                      

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. We strongly recommend making the arrangements in plenty of time before the deadline. Everything you need to know, including guidance on registration and preparation, can be found on the PAT page


Updates to PAT: The test consists of maths and physics questions, which are mixed in sequence (there are not separate maths or physics sections). Formula sheets, tables and data books are not permitted. Calculators will be permitted from 2018. Guidelines about the use of calculators along with details of the syllabus and links to supporting materials which candidates are encouraged to look at for preparation are available on the Physics website.

Written work

Applicants are not required to submit other written work as part of their application.

What are tutors looking for?

Enthusiasm for engineering combined with high ability in mathematics and physics is essential for those wishing to study any engineering course. These qualities will be tested at the interview and combined with an assessment of your predicted and attained examination performance (especially in mathematics and physics, and your PAT score) to decide who will be offered places.

For more detail on the selection criteria for this course, please see the Engineering Science website.

Careers

Oxford Engineering Science graduates work in many different sectors such as banking and investment, consultancy, accountancy, IT and computing, energy and the environment. However, as you may expect, most go on to work in the engineering and manufacturing sector. Some decide to continue their studies at Oxford, or elsewhere, by working towards a doctorate.

Mark now works as a race strategy modeller at Ferrari and says: ‘My work involves applying mathematical techniques to a variety of engineering problems related to Formula One cars. One recent example has been with race strategy, where we try to choose the optimum times to pit the car throughout a race and the best tyres to put on. I believe the reputation of the Oxford engineering degree was an important factor in securing a job in Formula One.’

Oxford University is committed to recruiting the best and brightest students from all backgrounds. We offer a generous package of financial support to Home/EU students from lower-income households. (UK nationals living in the UK are usually Home students.)

Latest information for UK undergraduates who will begin their course in 2020 can be found here. Arrangements for EU students starting in 2020 have not yet been confirmed. Read the latest information.

The fees and funding information below relates to those who will start at Oxford in 2019.

Fees

These annual fees are for full-time students who begin this undergraduate course here in 2019.

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home/EU£9,250
Islands
(Channel Islands & Isle of Man)
£9,250
Overseas£34,678

For more information please refer to our course fees page. Fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Living costs

Living costs at Oxford might be less than you’d expect, as our world-class resources and college provision can help keep costs down.

Living costs for the academic year starting in 2019 are estimated to be between £1,058 and £1,643 for each month you are in Oxford. Our academic year is made up of three eight-week terms, so you would not usually need to be in Oxford for much more than six months of the year but may wish to budget over a nine-month period to ensure you also have sufficient funds during the holidays to meet essential costs. For further details please visit our living costs webpage.

Financial support

Home/EU

A tuition fee loan is available from the UK government to cover course fees in full for Home (UK)/EU students undertaking their first undergraduate degree*, so you don’t need to pay your course fees up front.

In 2019 Oxford is offering one of the most generous bursary packages of any UK university to those on a family income of around £42,875 or less, with additional opportunities available to those from households with incomes of £16,000 or less. This support is available in addition to the government living costs support.  See further details.

Islands
(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)

Islands students are entitled to different support to that of students from the rest of the UK.

Please refer the links below for information on the support to you available from your funding agency:

States of Jersey
States of Guernsey
Isle of Man

Overseas

Please refer to the "Other Scholarships" section of our Oxford Bursaries and Scholarships page.

*If you have studied at undergraduate level before and completed your course, you will be classed as an Equivalent or Lower Qualification student (ELQ) and won’t be eligible to receive government or Oxford funding

Fees, Funding and Scholarship search

Additional Fees and Charges Information for Engineering Science

There are no compulsory costs for this course beyond the fees shown above and your living costs.

Contextual information

The Key Information Sets provides applicants with statistics about undergraduate life at Oxford. But there is so much more to an Oxford degree that the numbers can’t convey.

The Oxford tutorial

College tutorials are central to teaching at Oxford. Typically, they take place in your college and are led by your academic tutor(s) who teach as well as do their own research. Students will also receive teaching in a variety of other ways, depending on the course. This will include lectures and classes, and may include laboratory work and fieldwork. However, tutorials offer a level of personalised attention from academic experts unavailable at most universities.

During tutorials (normally lasting an hour), college subject tutors will give you and one or two tutorial partners feedback on prepared work and cover a topic in depth. The other student(s) in your college tutorials will be from your year group, doing the same course as you and will normally be at your college. Such regular and rigorous academic discussion develops and facilitates learning in a way that isn’t possible through lectures alone. Tutorials also allow for close progress monitoring so tutors can quickly provide additional support if necessary.

Read more about tutorials and an Oxford education

College life

Our colleges are at the heart of Oxford’s reputation as one of the best universities in the world.

  • At Oxford, everyone is a member of a college as well as their subject department(s) and the University. Students therefore have both the benefits of belonging to a large, renowned institution and to a small and friendly academic community. Each college or hall is made up of academic and support staff, and students. Colleges provide a safe, supportive environment leaving you free to focus on your studies, enjoy time with friends and make the most of the huge variety of opportunities.
  • Each college has a unique character, but generally their facilities are similar. Each one, large or small, will have the following essential facilities:
    • Porters’ lodge (a staffed entrance and reception)
    • Dining hall
    • Lending library (often open 24/7 in term time)
    • Student accommodation
    • Tutors’ teaching rooms
    • Chapel and/or music rooms
    • Laundry
    • Green spaces
    • Common room (known as the JCR).
  • All first year students are offered college accommodation either on the main site of their college or in a nearby college annexe. This means that your neighbours will also be ‘freshers’ and new to life at Oxford. This accommodation is guaranteed, so you don’t need to worry about finding somewhere to live after accepting a place here, all of this is organised for you before you arrive.
  • All colleges offer at least one further year of accommodation and some offer it for the entire duration of your degree. You may choose to take up the option to live in your college for the whole of your time at Oxford, or you might decide to arrange your own accommodation after your first year – perhaps because you want to live with friends from other colleges.
  • While college academic tutors primarily support your academic development, you can also ask their advice on other things. Lots of other college staff including welfare officers help students settle in and are available to offer guidance on practical or health matters. Current students also actively support students in earlier years, sometimes as part of a college ‘family’ or as peer supporters trained by the University’s Counselling Service.

More about Oxford colleges and how you choose

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