Virtual Outreach

Welcome to Oxford Materials


Materials Science is an interdisciplinary subject, spanning the physics and chemistry of matter, engineering applications and industrial manufacturing processes.


Modern society is heavily dependent on advanced materials, for example, lightweight composites for faster vehicles, optical fibres for telecommunications and silicon microchips for the information revolution. Materials scientists study the relationships between the structure and properties of a material and how it is made. They also develop new materials and devise processes for manufacturing them. Materials Science is vital for developments in nanotechnology, quantum computing, batteries and nuclear fusion, as well as medical technologies such as bone replacement materials.

To find out more about Materials Science please explore further our Schools Outreach webpages and visit the rest of the Department of Materials website.


Watch the video below to hear more from our students and tutors:



Here is a photograph of our new intake of Materials undergraduates at Induction in 2019:
materials induction 2019 ug freshers jayne shaw


Materials Science Admissions Talks

Below are recordings of the admissions talk we usually give on our open days. To find out more about our admissions process, please visit our undergraduate admissions pages.

If you have any questions about Materials Science at Oxford, please contact us by emailing our Access & Outreach team at




Tour the Department


This video was recorded in the summer of 2020 at a time when on-site working was very restricted in response to the pandemic, hence there are significantly fewer people in the background of each location than normally would be the case. Although the primary audience for this particular video comprises our new and prospective postgraduate research students, it also provides a useful overview for prospective undergraduates. 


Along with general spaces such as the Parks View Cafe we share with the Dept of Engineering (a cafe which is open to all students and staff of the two departments), the Materials Library, our Hume-Rothery Lecture Theatre and the Materials Teaching Laboratory, you will see several of our research laboratories. It is in research laboratories such as these that 4th-year undergraduate students following our M.Eng in Materials Science degree programme conduct their full-time eight-month final-year research projects. During this final year our undergraduates each work on individual research projects alongside our postgraduate research students.


Key Department of Materials Locations - 360° images:                                                      

Central Site 360°​​​​ Images          Begbroke Science Park 360°​​​​ Images

Sample lectures

Here are some sample lectures and talks to give you a flavour of the subjects we study in Materials Science. 

You can find more detail about the undergraduate course content on our undergraduate admissions pages.


"Seeing is believing: How observing atoms in the electron microscope helps develop tomorrow's materials" - Professor Peter Nellist













"Superconductors and their interaction with magnetic fields" - Dr Clara Barker











An additional superconductivity video is available as part of Dr Clara Barker's YouTube channel.

PAT Problems with Helena & Kathryn

In a new video collaboration with the Department of Physics, our Access & Outreach Manager, Helena Cotterill, has teamed up with the Physics Access Officer, Dr Kathryn Boast, to take you through some Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) past paper problems to help you prepare for the admissions test in November.

Each week we will take a look at a new PAT problem (or two) and show you one posible way to solve the question, and share with you a few hints and tips along the way.

New videos are released every Thursday over the summer on the Department of Physics YouTube channel. You can watch all the videos so far on our playlist here.

Here's the first video in the series to get you started:











You can find more information about the Physics Aptitude Test on our admissions criteria page, and also on the Department of Physics website here.

Student Q&A Livestreams

As part of the University of Oxford Virtual Open Days this year we held two livestreamed Q&As with some of our ambassadors. You can watch the recordings of these sessions below or on our YouTube channel here. See below the video for a list of questions answered in each livestream.


Questions answered:
3:02 Why did you choose Materials Science?
5:24 How much lab work is there in the course?
9:16 What was your favourite part of the course?
11:31 What does a normal day look like for you?
14:40 What were your interviews like?
21:25 How did you prepare for the PAT (Physics Aptitude Test)?
25:58 How much Physics/Chemistry is there on the course?
30:05 Are you at a disadvantage if you don't study Chemistry A-level (or equivalent)?
32:34 What are tutorials like?
35:09 How much computing is there in the course & do you need any prior experience?
40:08 What were your research projects about?
47:28 What jobs can you do with a Materials Science degree?
52:26 Did you imagine being interested in your project topics before you started your degree?
54:17 Any book recommendations or other personal statement advice?
59:31 A final bit of advice

Questions answered:
2:38 What is your favourite thing about studying Materials at Oxford?
6:46 How can a secondary school student get involved in Materials Science?
9:21 Are there any books/videos you recommend?
12:33 What was the workload like in first year?
15:03 Are there any clubs/societies associated with Materials at Oxford?
17:44 What's something you wish you did or something you wish you brought with you before you started at Oxford?
23:23 What lecture courses did you like best or find most difficult?
28:07 Did you have to change your study techniques for university?
32:16 Why did you choose your college?
39:40 What is a JCR (Junior Common Room)?
40:53 Any advice for interviews? What sort of questions were you asked?
47:05 Did you apply for Materials Science at other universities too? How were the courses at different unis different?
53:06 How much Chemistry is in the course & are you at a disadvantage if you haven't studied Chemistry A-level (or equivalent)?
58:37 What are the research projects like?
1:02:41 Final advice



University of Oxford Virtual Open Days

During 2020 and 2021, the University of Oxford hosted Virtual Open Days, which included video content, live Q&A's, and more. You can explore the resources created for these Virtual Open Days using the tabs on this page.

For 2022, the University of Oxford Open Days returned to in-person events held in Oxford. You can find more information about the Open Days and the Materials Science timetable for these here