Engineering Science

Engineering involves using physics and mathematics knowledge to create and design technology that improves life.

Engineering is commonly divided into sub-disciplines, e.g., civil engineering for building structures, biomedical engineering for making artificial joints, chemical engineering for designing fuel cells and mechanical engineering for understanding aerodynamic drag. At Oxford we recognize that the basis of most engineering is fundamentally the same and that most problems address in engineering today are multidisciplinary and it is critical for engineers to be able to work across old boundaries. Therefore rather than dividing engineering into pieces it is taught as “Engineering Science” which covers all sub-disciplines. In the first two years all students take the same fundamental courses. In the later two years students can choose topics in specific areas that interest them.

At Magdalen we admit five or six undergraduates to read Engineering Science each year. We are keen to attract enterprising students who love the challenge of problem solving and have strong ability in Mathematics and Physics (with Chemistry an added bonus). Qualifications in non-science subjects, including foreign languages, help to promote the necessary breadth for engineers in the modern world. Students attend lectures in the main department and have problem sheets to solve each week. In the first two years these problems sheets are discussed in depth with one of the Magdalen engineering faculty in a tutorial which consists either of a small group (of 2 or 3 students) or as an entire year group. The tutorial faculty are committed educators and also carry out world-leading research. Their area of expertise covers: structures, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetic waves, and biomedical engineering.

Entry requirements


All candidates must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT).

Written work

None required.

Specific subjects

Mathematics and Physics are essential and Further Mathematics is recommended. We expect you to have taken and passed any practical component in your chosen science subjects.

Deferred entry

Applications for deferred entry may be considered.