Levelling Up: Physics

'Levelling Up: Physics' is a brand new programme of tutoring, mentoring and events for local Y12 students who are interested in studying physics at university. The course runs over 14 months, from Spring of Y12 to Summer of Y13, and is a collaboration between the Institute of Physics, Oxford University and the Universities of Durham and Birmingham.

Why take part?

There are three main things you'll get out of the programme. You'll enhance your physics knowledge, meet current physics students, and learn more about university life. For these three things, we have three different "strands" of the programme:

1. Tutoring
Levelling Up is built around a structured programme of tutoring and self-study. The "tutorials" will be one-hour sessions with your tutor, who will be an experienced physics teacher, plus up to six other students. These will run roughly every three weeks during school term times. Self-study is an important part of this course, and between the tutorials, you'll be set homework problems to keep building your knowledge and understanding of physics. The course covers a range of different exciting physics topics, and is designed to enhance the material you'll learn at A-level or IB. You'll also learn about real-life applications of the science you cover, and explore links to cutting-edge research.

2. Mentoring
Each group of students will be assigned a mentor who is a current student at the University of Oxford: either an undergraduate who is studying for their physics degree at the moment, or a graduate student who is working on their own research. Between the tutorials, mentors will offer additional support through mentoring sessions. These will provide opportunities to discuss university life and university applications, as well as providing a supportive environment where they can address any concerns about their studies.

3. University physics
The Department of Physics here in Oxford is one of the biggest and best in the world. We'll be opening our doors to you through a series of visits and events over the course of the programme, with tours of the department and guest lectures.

When will Levelling Up: Physics be running?

The programme will run from Spring 2021 to Summer 2022. The start date, along with the dates and times of the individual sessions, are as yet to be confirmed.

Who is eligible?

You can apply to participate in 'Levelling Up: Physics' if you are currently:

  • In Year 12 (the first year of your A-level studies)
  • Studying Physics AND Maths A-level (or equivalent)
  • Interested in pursuing physics at a higher level
  • Attending a state (non-fee-paying) school in Oxfordshire, Berkshire or Buckinghamshire

As places are limited, we may prioritise applicants who meet some of the following criteria:

  • You would be within the first generation of your family to attend university (i.e. your parents and grandparents did not attend university)
  • You have been eligible for one or more of free school meals, pupil premium, Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and/or 16-19 bursary during secondary school
  • You live in an area with a low rate of progression to higher education. If your home or school is POLAR4 quintile 1, 2 or 3 then you meet this criterion. You can check your postcode here.
  • You live in an area with a high level of socio-economic deprivation, as determined by the ACORN measure.
  • You are care-experienced, i.e. have been in care at some point, for more than three months in total.
  • You attend a school or college with a low overall GCSE and/or A-level point score and/or schools or colleges with low progression rates to higher education.
  • You identify as female and attend a mixed-sex school or college.
  • You have demonstrated a strong academic record or enthusiasm for science

Please note that this list is in no particular order.

How can I apply?

Students who meet the above eligibility criteria invited to fill in this expression of interest form now. Applications for the programme will open in the next few weeks, and if you have filled in the expression of interest, we will get in touch with you directly with the application form.

Although you may wish to discuss the programme and your application with a teacher, applications should come from individual students.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us by email via levellingup@physics.ox.ac.uk.