Making an application
The application procedure is the same for all undergraduate courses at Oxford, with the exception that Physics and some subject areas also require applicants to take a written test. Applicants for Physics courses at Oxford are required to sit the Physics Aptitude Test.
Dates for your diary
- By 15th October: Register for the Physics Aptitude Test*
- By 15th October: Submit a UCAS application
- 6th November: Take Physics Aptitude Test
- December: Visit Oxford for an Interview (short-listed candidates only)
- Mid January: Colleges will send letters or emails to inform candidates of their decision
*The Department of Physics is working in partnership with the Admissions Testing Service to administer the admissions test. Candidates need to be entered for the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT), via the Admissions Testing Service. Further information is available on the Admissions Testing Service’s website .
Physics admissions criteria
The Department is looking for students who can demonstrate:
- Motivation: a real interest and strong desire to learn physics.
- Ability to express physical ideas using mathematics; mathematical ability.
- Reasoning ability: ability to analyse and solve problems using logical and critical approaches.
- Physical intuition: an ability to see how one part of a physical system connects with another; and to predict what will happen in a given physical situation.
- Communication: ability to give precise explanations both orally and numerically.
Candidates are selected primarily for interview on the basis of performance in the Physics Aptitude Test and assessed against the selection criteria above.
All information on the candidate is considered including information on the application form, references, past and predicted examination performance, performance on the entrance test, and performance at interview. However the Physics Aptitude Test score and interviews performance are the primary method for assessing candidates against the selection criteria.
More information can be found in our Admissions procedures which are followed by all Colleges.
Selection criteria for Physics and Philosophy candidates
Candidates for the joint school of Physics and Philosophy are assessed using the Physics Admissions Criteria listed above and the Philosophy Admissions Criteria for joint degree courses listed on the Philosophy website. As of January 2010, candidates for Physics and Philosophy are no longer required to submit written work.