• What will I learn?
  • Who will I be taught by?
  • Who is this course for?
  • What can I do after?
  • If you are interested in understanding the building blocks of the universe, then our Physics course will fascinate you. Taking you through the basics in theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, and the general theory of relativity, you’ll also be encouraged to explore broader abstract questions. You’ll develop your skills of scientific enquiry, leaving with a strong foundation in Physics that serves as excellent preparation for further study.

    One of last year’s tutors focused on introducing the university-level foundations of physics via exploring special relativity and quantum mechanics. This year’s tutors will also talk about quantum physics, as well as plasma and laser physics.

  • All our tutors are current Oxford and/or Cambridge PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. You will have the opportunity to learn about their original research and our tutors will take you beyond your school curriculum to investigate an area of their subject at a higher level - this is great preparation for university/college study!

    Ramy, one of our 2017 tutors, is completing a PhD in the Atomic and Laser Physics Department at the University of Oxford, having completed a Bachelor’s degree in Fundamental Physics and a Master’s Degree in Quantum Physics.

    Plamen, another of our 2017 tutors, is completing his PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s in Physics from the University of Cambridge.

  • This course is ideal for anyone who is thinking about studying Physics or any related subject at university (like Mathematics or Engineering), and teaches a method of thought and research that is beneficial to all disciplines.

    You may also be interested in our Engineering course.

  • Our students go on to studying Physics at undergraduate level, either at universities across the UK, or abroad, including in the US. They also move into related fields, such as Engineering and Mathematics.

  • What are the requirements for applying to this course?

    As an academic summer school, we invite all students to complete a short application form and short interview with one of our staff before booking.

    A foundation in Mathematics is necessary for the course, but all specialised knowledge will be given in pre-course reading and during the course. Ideally, students should be familiar with differentiation, integration and solving systems of linear equations.

    English Language requirements: all students need to be able to engage with the course material, which normally means a level of English equivalent to an IELTS score of 5.5 and above, or B2 in the Common European Framework. Don't worry if you don't have a formal qualification - when you chat to one of the team they'll be able to assess your level and answer any questions you may have.

    Not sure about which course is the best for you? Our friendly team is here to help – contact us and we will help you choose the subject that is best suited to your needs.

Studying Physics at OISS


Students doing Physics at OISS benefit from a combination of small group and one-to-one tutorials, assessed work and individual research. Below is an example of a typical day at the Summer School, to give you an idea of the challenging variety that we offer our students.


 0800   Wake up and go down to breakfast with my friends from my staircase. Have some toast and cereal to start the day, and grab a piece of fruit for a snack later.
 0915   Go to my small group tutorial with our tutor Lachlan. Lachlan is currently studying for a PhD investigating jet engines and has been a great source of knowledge about how we can apply our physics knowledge to real world problems, especially the Laws of Thermodynamics.
 1100   We have some free time before lunch so me and my friends drop by our rooms to put our books away before we head to a nearby sandwich shop to grab lunch - a smoked salmon and avocado baguette - delicious! We then head to the University Parks to relax in the sun and chat about our trip to Cambridge tomorrow.
 1300   I’m back in the accommodation now for my Independent Research Time. I pick up my notes from the tutorial and start answering the problems Lachlan set us for next time. It’s a team effort (with some tricky maths along the way!)
 1500   I meet up with the ACs and other students for a Drama Workshop. I do some drama at school and it’s been really fun getting to do more with students from around the world.
 1800   I head back to the accommodation for a yummy fish and chips dinner and catch up with everyone about what they’ve been up to. We also hear from two of the ACs, Ella and Alex about the Cambridge trip tomorrow and what we’ll be getting up to - really exciting!
 1900   Time for my seminar on Life as a Junior Doctor. Everyone at the Summer School gets to pick a seminar series to take part in and since I’m interested in medicine as well as physics at university I went for this. We get to hear about life at medical school in the UK and even get to practice using a stethoscope!
 2100   After popping back to my room to change into my gym kit, I meet a bunch of my friends for a Zumba class. It’s really fun and a great way to end the day.
 2200   I jump in the shower to rinse off before hanging out with my friends before bed.
 2300   Everyone’s gone and I finally get to bed.