Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Materials Science


Hi, I’m Tom and I’m studying Materials Science. This is my first year at Oxford and at Corpus.

The Materials Science course at Oxford is truly multifaceted: topics like thermodynamics require mathematical ability whilst learning about polymers concerns Chemistry. Otherwise, Physics and Engineering concepts are considered throughout the 4 year programme. I have found that this variety makes lectures and learning more enjoyable and intriguing.

On average, there tends to be a couple of lectures per day from Monday to Friday, with 2/3 tutorials a week. Tutorials provide a great way to consolidate the information covered in lectures by going through problems and asking any questions. I have found all the tutors to be really helpful and accomodating with any issues that may arise! Alongside these tutorials, longer 3 hour classes are held. I was fond of the “Computing for Materials Science” classes [and subsequent project]!

Practicals (labs) are every other week, and last two afternoons, which is about 6 hours. Each lab session has a practical write-up for the following week. Overall, Materials has a lot of contact hours, but I find spending so much time around experts in their respective fields is an invaluable experience! This can result in a heavy workload for some weeks, but keeping well organised means this is very manageable.

I’ve found that the daily JCR Tea and weekly Welfare Tea are great opportunities to talk to people about how things are going, and take a break amidst a particularly busy week! Also, a game of pool in the college beer cellar is a good way to relax. Events like pub quizzes, bops (parties in the beer cellar) and even the occasional life drawing mean there are many entertainment opportunities.

In my spare time, I play college pool, basketball, and go running. There’s always loads of exciting talks and events in Oxford, and I tend to attend something like this every other week. I’m also a member of the Materials society (MatSoc) which hosts lunchtime events and socials. Another society I am involved with helps student-led startups form in Oxford. I also attended this years Oxford Hackathon - there seems to be something for everyone!

For a small college, Materials Science is well represented. Corpus has 7 students doing Materials in my year, meaning help is never far away when I can’t quite understand the last question on a problem sheet! Older students at Corpus offer a helping hand, and I feel there is a strong Materials community at Corpus.

The Materials department is a 10-15 minute walk from college, and is where lectures are held. The department cafe serves drinks and food; it’s also a place to do some work or catch up with a friend. Materials also has its own library, which I find to be another good place to work if I want a change! Alternatively, you can work in the Radcliffe Science Library or the Corpus library. It can also be nice to get a coffee and work in one of the many cafes around Oxford.

I’m happy to help with any queries or questions - just send an email! 



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