Corpus Christi College Oxford

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James Neale

Hello there! I’m James and I’m one of seven mathematicians finishing their first year at Corpus.

My decision to study maths wasn’t the easiest one to make, as I was also torn between Physics and Engineering. Eventually it came down to wanting to study numbers themselves, rather than just use them.

If you aren’t sure exactly what you want to do, but know that it will be something vaguely mathematical, then I would highly recommend you study maths itself as Oxford’s course is hugely flexible. In first year you will follow a set course to learn the fundamentals of both pure and applied maths, but from Hilary (2nd term) of 2nd year every single module is optional.

The course is taught through two lectures a day at the Mathematical Institute, a brand new £70m development. It is perhaps the nicest departmental building in Oxford, with comfy lecture theatres, large amounts of study space (both quiet and communal) and a wonderful café that serves a huge selection of cheap food and drink. We also have two to three tutorials a week in college; small groups of 2 or 3 go through problem sheets with our tutor and ask them any questions we might have about the course so far.

You may be wary of the workload you will have to do at Oxford but certainly do not let that put you off! I have managed to juggle debating in political societies, college rowing and going out alongside my degree. There are a huge number of clubs and societies to get involved with, and I highly recommend approaching Freshers’ week with an open mind – you never know what might take your fancy!

I first visited Corpus itself during interviews and immediately fell in love with it. Corpus is a very small college, which means you have an amazing opportunity to mingle with everyone in the college, your year or otherwise. This gives Corpus a fantastic community spirit, where you feel like you truly can talk to or hang out with anyone. Perhaps one of the most undersold features is the 24/7 library all Corpuscles have access to. This may not seem like a big deal now, but when you are stuck on a question late at night and need a book to turn to, you will be very thankful!

If you have any questions about the university, Corpus or studying mathematics then please email me. I’m more than happy to answer any questions you might have!


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