How to get into Oxford for Engineering

Oxford is recognised as one of the best universities in the world, especially for its Department of Engineering. Oxford places 2nd in the UK for Engineering according to QS Top Universities (2024). So, it’s no wonder that the Engineering course at Oxford is competitive. 

The acceptance rate for Oxford’s Engineering course is 16%. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this number is inflated by demanding entry requirements. So, the amount of applicants is limited by capability and the number of students who are successful in receiving an offer remains small. Moreover, the application process itself is far from simple.

If you’re pursuing studying at Oxford University, or you’re just curious about what it takes to get into one of the most prestigious and academically rigorous Engineering courses in the UK, then this guide contains everything you need to know – from entry requirements to tips on what you need to do to get into Oxford.

The Profs’ Engineering tutors have first-hand experience with the application process and what is required to succeed at each stage.

Thanks to our expert support, students who work with The Profs are over 3x more likely to receive an offer from Oxford University. Reach out to our Oxbridge admissions team today to maximise your chances of success. 

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What is the Engineering course at Oxford like?

Engineering is an applied science. Oxford is ranked 2nd in the UK for Engineering according to QS Top Universities (2024) and consistently ranks among the world’s best. 

Oxford’s Engineering programme is renowned for its rigorous curriculum and innovative approach. The university boasts acclaimed professors who have won prizes, published research and are fellows of circles like the Royal Academy of Engineering. Oxford’s Engineering students benefit from access to impeccable resources and laboratories like the Osney Thermofluids Laboratory and the Begbroke Science Park. The department’s strong ties to the industry facilitate exciting opportunities for internships and research placements, providing students with real-world experience and networking opportunities.

The Engineering Science programme at Oxford University covers various subjects, ranging from microelectronics to offshore oil platforms, emphasising the application of creative reasoning, science, and mathematics to real-world challenges. 

With a top-level quality assessment rating for teaching and a world-class reputation for research, the Department of Engineering Science offers a unified course integrating various engineering disciplines. 

This four-year programme, leading to a Master of Engineering degree, provides a solid foundation in the first two years, followed by specialisation options in biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical, information, or mechanical engineering in the latter years.

Oxford values Engineering students with strong mathematical and problem-solving skills. These skills are honed throughout the course and open doors to becoming a mechanical engineer, manufacturing engineer, materials engineer, civil engineer, electrical engineer, electronics engineer, petroleum engineer, and chemical engineer.

At Oxford, students studying Engineering will graduate with a Master of Engineering (MEng) as the course combines the 3-year undergraduate course with a 1-year Master’s course.

Need help choosing your course or building your application? Reach out to our expert Oxbridge admissions team. 55% of our Oxbridge applicants get their spot; that’s 3x the national average!

What are the entry requirements?

The specific entry requirements to study Engineering at the University of Oxford are high as Oxford is one of the most competitive universities to get into. 

A levelA*A*A
Advanced HighersAA/AAB
International Baccalaureate  40 with 776 at HL

Please note: For A level, Oxford specifies that applicants should have A*s in Maths, Physics or Further Maths. For IB, Oxford expects applicants to have a 766 in HL Mathematics (with 7s in HL Maths and Physics).

If you need more information regarding grade requirements, such as European Baccalaureate and international qualifications, take a look here. Also, it’s super important to brush up on your English language proficiency if English is not your first language, for the interview as well as to keep up during your course. Reach out to our expert English Language tutors for help!

Worried that you won’t achieve the necessary grades to study Engineering at Oxford? The Profs’ A level and IB tutors can help. We have extensive experience helping students excel in their coursework and final exams and achieve entry grades for this competitive course. Reach out to our team for support. 

What subjects are recommended?

There are a few subjects that are required for admission, or advised.

Engineering incorporates Maths and Physics. Hence, Oxford deems it mandatory for its Engineering applicants to have studied both Maths and Physics. 

These STEM subjects are as far as specific subject requirements go, however, it is also highly recommended that applicants take Further Mathematics.

Need to get your Maths or Physics grade to an A* for your application? We’ve got tried and tested methods to get you to your goal. You’ll also need Maths and Physics skills to better understand and tackle your Engineering degree. So, if you’re worried about your Maths grades being up to par, please contact our excellent Maths and Physics tutors who can help you. 

What admissions tests are there?

Historically, Oxford’s Engineering course has required applicants to complete the Physics Admission Test (PAT).

The PAT (Physics Aptitude Test) is a subject-specific admissions test for students applying to Physics and Physics-related degree courses at Oxford, like Engineering. It is designed to assess both your mathematical skills as well as your knowledge of both Maths and Physics. The exam is a mixture of both Physics and Maths questions and you will have just 2 hours to complete as many of them as possible.

You can read our article on how to prepare for the PAT here. We also have excellent PAT tutors on hand to help.

Please note: Oxford is currently reviewing its admissions tests. So, you should keep an eye on Oxford’s admissions test page in case the PAT is changed to a new test. 

We’ve also got an article on Oxford’s admissions tests that we aim to update regularly. 

Whatever admissions tests you aim to take, we can help. Just reach out to our expert admissions test tutors who have outstanding track records at helping students come out on top. 

How hard is it to get into Engineering at Oxford?

Applying for Oxford is no simple feat. Getting into Oxford’s Engineering course is particularly competitive and challenging. If you’re thinking about applying to Oxford, take a look at the table below to get a clear understanding of the competition: 

Engineering Course TypeInterviewedSuccessful
Engineering 37%16%

From 246 applications, 47 were admitted (2020-2022).

The Profs’ Oxbridge admissions tutors can help you triple your chances of getting into Oxford to study Engineering. Thanks to our network of experienced tutors, many of whom are Oxbridge graduates and ex-admissions officers themselves, we have the very latest and best knowledge on what Oxford is looking for in top Engineering applicants. Get in touch with us today to chat with a member of our team about how we can help with your application to Oxford.

Interested in also applying to study Engineering at an Ivy League school in the United States, like Harvard University? We have an expert team that specialises in US college applications. Why not go for it? We can secure your success. 

What are the fees for Engineering at Oxford?

 The table below shows the annual course fees for Oxford’s Engineering students:

UK StudentInternational Student

You can find out more information about what fees you will pay on Oxford’s fee status page. You can also use Oxford’s fees, funding and scholarship search to see the funding options available to you.

4 tips on how to get into Engineering at Oxford 

1. Prepare thoroughly for each stage of the admissions process

When applying to study Engineering as an undergraduate degree at Oxford, there are many stages of the admissions process to consider, and you should prepare for each one thoroughly.

  • Your grades: Preparation for your Oxford application starts from the moment you start secondary school. You should have robust GCSEs; A-A*s in your Physics and Maths GCSEs are especially important. Excellent A level grades are essential to be considered for a place at Oxford, so you should be aiming for A*A*A in your A levels (or equivalent) at a minimum. Reach out to our dedicated and skilled GCSE, A level and/or retake tutors for help.
  • Your UCAS application: The first official stage of your Oxford application is submitting your UCAS, which includes a personal statement. This is the first chance you’ll get to showcase your suitability for Engineering at Oxford and prove that you are interested and committed to the subject areas. Find out how to write a stand-out personal statement in this helpful guide. We also have expert personal statement tutors.
  • The interview: If your UCAS application and test scores are impressive enough, you may be invited to an interview at Oxford. This is your last chance to impress the university and prove that you are an excellent candidate for Engineering. Oxbridge interviews are like oral admissions tests. There is often even a mark scheme your interviewers will be scoring you against, so it’s important to seek professional help to prepare effectively. Here at The Profs, we have excellent interview tutors, experienced in Oxbridge admissions.

Please note that all students applying for university in 2023 for courses beginning in 2024 will be required to submit a UCAS personal statement as normal. However, from 2024/25 onwards, there will be changes to the UCAS application process and students will no longer be required to write a personal statement. Instead, all applicants will answer a series of shorter, more tailored questions provided by UCAS.

2. Show evidence of your love for Engineering 

Given how competitive Oxford’s Engineering course is, it’s crucial that you do everything possible to make your application stand out from the crowd. Your academic ability might get you on the shortlist, but it’s not what secures your place. Oxford particularly looks for applicants who have a true interest in the subject as well as exceptional abilities and dedication. There are many ways you can show this, such as:

  • Conducting wider reading, beyond your school syllabus – Self-learning demonstrates a desire to learn higher-level Engineering. You can discuss theoretical, technical or mathematical concepts and demonstrate an understanding at university level. Demonstrate that you genuinely enjoy Engineering. Perhaps choose a specific area within Engineering, such as electrical or mechanical Engineering, and read widely about your chosen topic.
  • Participating in relevant competitions, clubs or challenges – Show that your interests expand beyond the topics covered in the school curriculum. You could participate in Formula 100, Engineering UK The Big Bang Competition, and the British Physics Olympiad, or you could even write for a science journal at your school. There are also free Engineering MOOCs and webinars online that you can study or attend. If you’d rather do something in person and hands-on, you could take on an independent project or Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in Engineering, Physics or Maths and/or enrol in an Engineering course at Summer School and/or apply for work experience in a STEM setting.
  • Showcasing practical applications of your physics, problem-solving and mathematical skillsDiscuss instances where you’ve applied relevant Engineering knowledge and skills in real-world contexts, such as conducting experiments, designing structures, or analysing data. Provide examples of projects or research papers where you’ve demonstrated your analytical abilities, explaining how you approached and solved complex problems. Additionally, emphasise any involvement in Engineering-related clubs, competitions, or challenges that require a combination of theoretical understanding and practical application. By detailing concrete experiences that reflect your expertise and passion for Engineering, you can effectively demonstrate your skills!
  • Developing prototypes or conducting experiments to test engineering principles – This showcases your aptitude for the practical application of theoretical knowledge, a key aspect of engineering studies at Oxford. Engaging in engineering research projects or internships offers first-hand exposure to real-world engineering challenges, solidifying your readiness for advanced engineering education.
  • Make the right impression – Express a clear understanding of the course structure, research opportunities, or unique aspects of Oxford’s Engineering programme in your personal statement. You’re sending the same statement to five universities, but you can insinuate your preference for Oxford or reference factors specific to Oxford indirectly. Also, ensure that your referee speaks to your enthusiasm, work ethic, and potential in the field of Engineering.

Our Oxbridge admissions team can help you tailor your application for your course at Oxford so that you can stand out amongst the sea of applicants. Say the word to get started.

3. Have a 5-year plan

Another factor that can set you aside from other applicants is having a 5-year plan. This doesn’t have to be a plan that you necessarily stick to – in fact, it is expected that your interests and ambitions change as your knowledge and experience grow. Having a plan is simply a great way of demonstrating to Oxford that you are committed to pursuing Engineering and that you are motivated to succeed at your degree, and thus would be a valuable Oxford student.

The first step to having a plan is to understand the industries an Engineering degree can lead to and the specific areas you can specialise in. For example, identifying an interest in civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, or earning a PhD in a specialised field shows you are a forward-thinking candidate who is serious about your career.

Relating your areas of study, activities and personal passions to potential careers is essential to presenting a targeted, future-focused candidate profile in just a few sentences. 

Our expert Oxbridge admissions consultants know exactly how to craft an impressive 5-year plan that’s personal to your abilities and passions yet also impresses the Oxford admissions committee as well as Oxford’s Engineering department. Get in touch.

4. Seek help from an expert Oxbridge admissions tutor

If you want to apply to Oxford it’s important to be aware of how competitive the Engineering course is.

Your application requires you to perform well in multiple stages to be in with a chance of securing an offer. Shortlisted candidates can often fall at the last hurdle of admissions. Unfortunately, schools and colleges are often not equipped to provide specialist Oxford and Cambridge preparation due to a lack of experience, expertise or resources. As a result, we advise seeking a professional Oxford admissions tutor to help you through the process.

The Profs’ Oxbridge admissions tutors have many years of experience helping students smash their A levels, tailor their application to Oxford’s admissions criteria, curate the perfect personal statement, and excel in their admissions interview.

More than 95% of students who work with The Profs get into their first or second choice university. At The Profs, you’ll gain invaluable independent study skills that will prepare you for study at an elite UK university, as well as a deeper and broader understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to study Engineering at degree level. Reach out to our experienced team today to get started.