Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Hey, my name is Daniel and I am one of the six mathematics currently finishing our first year at Corpus, which truly has flown by.  Corpus has been an incredible environment to adapt to the university lifestyle, being encompassing and friendly, with extremely supportive student welfare options too.  Being one of the smaller colleges, it is not uncommon to recognise everyone you see around the college, regardless of subject, which really adds to the amiable and accepting nature of your college being you family away from home.  With around 70 undergraduates per year, it’s no surprise that we have been dubbed ‘small and friendly’ as our college reputation!  It may be easy to think that there is an ‘Oxford type’ or that you will not fit in here away from home, but this is certainly not the case; the amount of diversity is unprecedented, with characters from across the globe. 

After learning the fundamentals of many different areas of both pure and applied mathematics in the first year, from the second term of second year onwards, any course you take is optional, and you can therefore choose to specialise in a certain area and learn about the mathematics that truly interests you, which can be incredibly motivational after a week of tough lectures.  As with most science subjects, we have a lot of contact hours: a usual weekday consists of two lectures at the new Mathematical Institute (which consists of several lecture halls, classrooms, copious study space and the ‘Pi Café’), along with around 2-4 tutorials each week, in which we discuss the questions on problem sheets we completed (prior to the ‘tute’) with a specialist tutor.  Tutorials are nothing to worry about at all – the tutors are there to help you thrive, and with such small groups it is easy to develop a relationship with them.  You should never be afraid to say something silly in a tutorial; I know I have many times!

The heavy workload that Oxford is infamous for does exist, especially for mathematics, yet it should not be a factor which prevents you from applying to the University.  It is definitely manageable, with most undergraduates engaging in a multitude of different activities both inside and outside of academia along with their studies.  With many different societies to choose from, such as debating, quizzing, Harry Potter or even Corpus’ very own unofficial ‘Milk Society’, the current first year’s proudest accomplishment, it is easy to find something which interests you.  There are also many opportunities to do sports, from croquet to korfball, or even Alts, a midnight ice-hockey session.  Other pastimes include experiencing the city’s nightlife or simply walking through the college gardens.  I would definitely encourage any student to utilise Fresher’s week to try many different activities and be open to different ideas; you never know what you might enjoy so if something sounds interesting, absolutely give it a go!

There is simply too much to mention in such a short bio, so if you do have any questions about studying mathematics, being at Corpus or about university life in general, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email!  I’d be very happy to answer any questions you have (or direct you to someone who can) in order to ensure that you make the correct decision.  If you are having doubts over applying, I truly encourage it – it would be a tragedy to miss out on all of the unbelievable opportunities and experiences available here due to unwarranted fears over a heavy workload or worries of not fitting in: it is definitely worth applying, and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise!


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