Gina, 2nd Year, Maths
Worcester College admits up to 15 undergraduates per year to read Mathematics and its associated joint degrees so Worcester is one of the largest mathematical communities in Oxford. This means that in the first year all tutorials are held in Worcester; the tutors are really friendly and great people to learn from, as well as being leading experts in their respective fields. The first year consists of compulsory subjects which give you a broad base in both pure and applied subjects. In the first year we have two lectures a day from 11-1 Monday through to Friday and around 5 tutorials a week corresponding to the 5 worksheets that are set every week. The tutorial system is really helpful because it ensures you can clear up any queries or issues you have with a tutor who really knows their stuff! In the following years you have more choice and can choose subjects such as topology, statistics, mathematical biology and number theory.
One of the major benefits of Oxford’s maths course is that you don’t have to decide if you want to do a 3 or 4 year course until your third year so you can really make an informed decision about this. I immediately felt at home at Oxford because the tutors and students are so friendly and the atmosphere at Worcester is really relaxed.
The admissions process at Oxford is very well organised and the tutors try to make the interviews as stress-free and unintimidating as possible. You have an admissions paper to complete and if you score high enough in comparison to the other candidates then you get an interview. At Worcester, you have two interviews-the first of which you have a set sheet on so you can prepare answers and the interviews are structured around them-and then another interview at a randomly assorted college. You may have more interviews than this but these three are the bare minimum. If you do have more interviews it’s not a bad thing, it just means the college wants a second opinion perhaps you seemed nervous and they want to give you a second chance!
However, it’s not all work and no play at Worcester! Apart from my studies I go to a tap dance class every week and I’m also in The Oxford Belles-Oxford’s original all female acapella group! Acapella is a big thing in Oxford and being in the Belles means I have the opportunity to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, numerous Oxford balls and we’re even going on tour to Los Angeles this Easter! I’m also considering starting rowing, although the early mornings do put me off somewhat! One of the great things about the college system is that you can play sports at any level too, you don’t even have to be any good. Worcester is also the only college to have its sport grounds on site, so you can play tennis, badminton or even croquet in the summer months.