Hello! I’m Jack, a second-year Materials Science student at Corpus.

I found the build-up to starting at Oxford really daunting. As a first-generation student, as well as being from a state school in Manchester, I was concerned about how well I would fit in. Thankfully, Corpus is a very small and friendly college, and I soon came across many lovely, like-minded people.

I discovered both Corpus and materials science during a week-long residential summer school run by the North West Science Network. I loved the atmosphere at Corpus. Its small size means that you are well looked-after, both academically and in terms of more general wellbeing, and you will always run into familiar faces. 

Corpus has a beautiful historic library, which is a great study environment, as well as gardens and a roof terrace for relaxing and socialising. Its location is perfect as most places I need to visit, such as the Materials Department or the shops in the city centre, are well within walking distance.

I chose to study materials science, as I love that it is a mixture of chemistry, physics and engineering and offers an insight into how the things we take for granted every day are manufactured and how they function. The Materials Science course here has a lot of contact time, with teaching consisting of lectures, practical labs and classes at the department, as well as small-group tutorials1 with the Corpus tutors. To me, the tutorials are the academic highlight of the time spent in Oxford. The small groups allow for you to get more targeted help on specific concepts and problems you find tricky, as well as offering the opportunity to delve into deeper discussions about your subject. 

Oxford is known for having quite a high workload during its eight-week terms, and it took some time for me to adapt to this. Provided you are passionate about your subject, it definitely becomes easier to manage over time. It’s not all work though: there are plenty of societies and other things to get involved with during term. I’m currently a member of the Lego Society and also involved in the running of the Corpus Minecraft server! No matter what hobbies and interests you have, you can be sure to find plenty of people to share those with here.

Please do to get in touch if you have any questions about life at Corpus, the Materials Science course or Oxford in general.


1 Tutorials are regular academic discussion sessions usually with one or two other students and a tutor.


Resources categorised by subject and by Key Stage, as well as materials for applying to Oxford and finding out more about Corpus, can be found here.