Oxford Engineering Review

Thinking about applying for Engineering at Oxford? We will cover all of the background information you need to know when studying Engineering at Oxford.

Author: Chloe Hewitt

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If you are thinking of studying Engineering at the University of Oxford, it is beneficial to know more about the university and what it has to offer to you.

In this Oxford Engineering guide, we cover the background information you need to understand what studying Engineering at Oxford is like, from the application process to career prospects.

About Oxford Engineering

For anyone applying to Engineering at Oxford, the university does not offer specialised courses from the offset. Applicants will not be able to apply to study Chemical, or Electrical, or Mechanical Engineering, for example. Instead, they will apply to a General course with scope for specialisation later on.

If you want to study Engineering at Oxford, it is incredibly competitive, with 41% of applicants being offered an Interview and 16% successfully being accepted onto the course.

The Department of Engineering Science at Oxford has a top-level quality assessment rating for teaching and a world-class reputation for research. The university believes that future Engineering innovation will benefit from broad foundations and specialised knowledge; undergraduate teaching is based on a unified course in Engineering Science, which integrates the study of the subject across the traditional boundaries of Engineering disciplines.

Links between topics in apparently diverse fields of Engineering provide well-structured fundamental understanding and can be exploited to give efficient teaching.

The programme is a four-year course leading to a Master of Engineering degree. The first two years are devoted to topics Oxford believes all Engineering undergraduates should study. In the third and fourth years, there is scope for specialisation into one of six branches of Engineering: Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Information, and Mechanical.

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Oxford Undergraduate Engineering Entry Requirements

Applicants applying to Engineering at Oxford will typically receive an offer of A*A*A to include A-Level Mathematics and Physics – the A*s must be in Mathematics, Physics or Further Mathematics.

Those who have taken Advanced Highers typically receive offers of AA/AAB, and International Baccalaureate students need 40 with 776 at Higher Level – with 7s in HL Mathematics and Physics.

Candidates are expected to have Physics and Mathematics at A-Level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or any other equivalent.

Further Mathematics can be helpful to students in completing the course, but it is not required for admission.

If you have chosen to take any science A-Levels, you will be expected to take and pass the practical component and meet any overall grade requirement.

All candidates must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) as part of your application. The test consists of Maths and Physics questions mixed in sequence. Formula sheets, tables and data books are not permitted, but you can use a calculator.

Furthermore, candidates will be invited to an Interview and enthusiasm for Engineering combined with high ability in Mathematics and Physics will be assessed.

Oxford Engineering Course Costs and Living Costs

When calculating the cost of study, there are two elements to consider – tuition fees and living costs.

Tuition fees are £9,250 for home students and £39,010 for overseas students.

‘Average living costs’ can be challenging to predict as every student will have different priorities and lifestyle choices. It may surprise you, but living costs at Oxford might be less than you would expect, as their world-class resources and college provision can help keep costs down.

HomeA tuition fee loan is available from the UK government to cover course fees in full for Home (UK, Irish nationals, and other eligible students with UK citizens' rights - see below*) students undertaking their first undergraduate degree, so you don’t need to pay your course fees up front.

In 2022 Oxford is offering one of the most generous bursary packages of any UK university to home students with a family income of around £42,875 or less, with additional opportunities available to UK students from households with incomes of £27,500 or less. The UK government also provides living costs support to home students from the UK and those with settled status who meet the residence requirements.

*For courses starting on or after 1 August 2021, the UK government has confirmed that EU, other EEA, and Swiss Nationals will be eligible for student finance from the UK government if they have UK citizens’ rights (i.e., if they have pre-settled or settled status, or if they are an Irish citizen covered by the Common Travel Area arrangement). The support you can access from the government will depend on your residency status.
Islands
(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
Islands students are entitled to different support to that of students from the rest of the UK.
Please refer the links below for information on the support to you available from your funding agency:
States of Jersey
States of Guernsey
Isle of Man
Overseas
Please refer to the "Other Scholarships" section on the Oxford Bursaries and Scholarships page.

Oxford Vs Cambridge Engineering

Just like at Oxford, Cambridge does not offer specialised Engineering degrees – though students can transfer to a Chemical Engineering degree in their second if they so wish. 

While Cambridge is better known for its prestige in Engineering, both courses have a comparable amount of diversity and freedom in their specialisation options. 

The course structures between the two are fairly similar, studying at Cambridge provides a greater variety of modules to study in the later years of the course. Whereas, at Oxford you students spend more of their time on specific topics. 

Cambridge students tend to generally have a higher rate of employment and job satisfaction, while Oxford graduates are more likely to earn a higher wage within 15 months of graduating.

Neither course has low employment rates and both have high amounts of graduates in highly skilled jobs so the difference is the potential of higher job satisfaction or higher wages. 

Career Prospects for Oxford Engineering Graduates

Another important factor to consider is what are the career prospects that await graduates of the Engineering course at Oxford.

Looking at what graduates were doing six months after graduation, 100% were employed or in further education with the average annual salary being £30,000. Furthermore, of that 83% were employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial.

Of those in employment 28% were working in business, research, and administration. Nineteen percent of graduates found work in Engineering professions, and 13% worked in information technology and telecommunications.

Looking at the graph shown above it shows the median annual salaries of Oxford Engineering graduates one, three and five years after graduating. As it shows, in their first-year graduates earnt a median of £32,000, which had risen to £39,000 in their third year of employment. By the time they are in their fifth year of employment the median earnings has reached £51,000.

It is important to note that this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or in further education) and covers and broad sample of graduates and the various paths they have taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

Conclusion

Oxford Engineering has a lot to offer to you, with the developmental opportunities and focus on the science behind Engineering.

With strong career prospects as well, studying Engineering at Oxford has you well placed to enter the world of employment. 

The highly competitive nature of course means that it is essential your application stands out from the rest.

Our expert tutors will guide you to Oxford Engineering success.

Applying to Oxbridge is immensely competitive, and you must give yourself the best chance of success. We help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive PAT score and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxbridge application.

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