Brittany – Engineering Science

Journey to Oxford

I’m Brittany and I’m a 2nd year Engineer from Devon. I went to a state school and only really applied to Oxford out of a ‘why not?’ attitude- I had 5 options, so even if Oxford was a long-shot, there were always other options to fall back on.

Why did you choose to study your course?

I chose Engineering very late on in my A-levels, after watching a show that just got me gripped on the idea of creating things and turning ideas into reality, which made me realise Engineering was the choice for me.

How is your course taught?

My course is taught in 5 separate modules, running parallel to each other (though usually only 2 in any one week). We have about 10 lectures a week and 2 tutorials, where you have to complete and submit a Problem Sheet for each, which you then go over with your tutor. These are the contact hours that probably matter the most.

Describe your average Oxford day…

I tend to work my day around these lectures and sheets. I’ll wake up in the morning, get ready, get fresh and head into the Teddy Library, because I struggle to work anywhere else. After a morning of attempting to watch some lectures and read through notes, I’ll head to the gym, grab lunch, catch up with some friends and then try and get into the library to crack through some of my tutorial sheet.

And in the evenings, it’s either a chill one in or heading out to the pub or a night out, which is always a good time.

It’s also super fun to get involved in Teddy sports- we’re a pretty active college so it’s fun to take part. I love a bit of Football, Kayaking and Climbing myself, which I’ll usually do on the weekends.

Why did you decide to apply to St Edmund Hall? What is your favourite thing about it now you’re here?

Long story short, I didn’t choose to apply to Teddy Hall, but now I genuinely cannot imagine going anywhere else. The thought of it actually frightens me. Teddy is a place where everyone knows everyone, in the best way- more like a family than a college- and it is the best place if you’re looking for a good time while studying your degree.

What helped you prepare for the admissions process?

On admissions, just get involved in your subject, above and beyond what you need to- go to talks, read some books (and don’t just pretend you’ve read them), listen to podcasts, enter related debates, the lot!

Find yourself some past papers for the admissions tests but try to space them out and don’t use them all up too early before you’re anywhere near the test date.

Also see if you can get someone to grill you a little bit about your subject to give you a sense of what the interview might be like.

What was the biggest misconception you had about studying at Oxford before you came?

If you’re fretting about it being too “Oxford-y”, don’t let it change your decision. Oxford is a place with so many people and I guarantee you will find yours. There is a huge range of people from every background and I promise it will not be the stereotype you expect. And yes, people do work hard, but it means they can go out even harder (if that’s for you), so don’t worry about it being ‘all work and no play’- think more ‘work hard, play hard’.

So if you’re thinking about it, go for it. Better to try than to always think “what if?” you’ve got nothing to lose.

Where next?

Engineering Science

Undergraduate course page

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