Year 12 Study Days


Subject Strands   |   Sample Programme   |   FAQs

Subject Strands

Each subject strand on the Study Days relates closely to an Oxford undergraduate course.  Below is a table of the subject strands on offer, a brief description of what the subject is all about, and the required subjects that Study Day participants must be taking at A Level/Advanced Higher/IB higher level.

The following subjects are available for Study Days:

Please see within the boxes for the subjects required at A-level for the Study Days


The use of molecular methods to explain biological processes.

Requires Chemistry and another science.


The study of living things, including plant sciences and zoology.

Requires Biology or Human Biology.

Biomedical Sciences

How cells, organs and systems function in the human body.

Requires two from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.


The study of the world around us at the atomic and molecular scale.

Requires Chemistry and Maths.


The study of the history, literature, philosophy, languages and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.

No specific A-level requirements.

Computer Science

Learning and understanding the mathematical, scientific and engineering principles that underlie computing systems.

Requires Maths and (usually) Further Maths.

Earth Sciences/Geology

The study of the planet we live upon, including fundamental questions about the origin, development, and future of the Earth.Biology (zoology and plant sciences)

Requires Maths, and Physics or Chemistry.

Economics and Management

How the economy and organisations function, and how resources are allocated and coordinated.

Requires Maths.


The application of creative reasoning, science and mathematics to real problems.

Requires Maths and Physics.


The study of writing in English from its origins in Anglo-Saxon England to the literature of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Requires English Literature or English Language & Literature.


The study of the relationships between society and the physical and human environment, bridging the arts and social and natural sciences.

Requires Geography.


The study of differing political, cultural, social and economic structures in past societies.

Requires History.

History of Art

The historical interpretation of artefacts in their cultural contexts, including their makers, the media used, their functions, their critical reception and their subsequent history.

Requires an essay-based subject.

Languages: French

The practical study of written and spoken French, and the study of French literature and thought.

Requires French.

Languages: German

The practical study of written and spoken German, and the study of German literature and thought.

Requires German.

Languages: Beginner’s Languages

The study of a language from scratch, including practical language skills and the study of the literature and thought of the language.  Beginner’s Languages include modern languages (e.g. Portuguese or Russian), middle eastern languages (e.g. Arabic or Hebrew) and classical languages (e.g. Latin or Greek).

A modern foreign language is recommended.


The language of science and argument, including study of pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics.

Requires Maths and (usually) Further Maths.


The study of the medical sciences, and the application of that scientific foundation in a clinical setting.

Requires Chemistry, and at least one from Biology, Physics or Maths.


The study of music by reading, listening, performing and composing.

No specific A-level requirements.

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Understanding the world around us through study of political institutions, the allocation of resources, and the application of critical reasoning skills to questions concerning how we acquire knowledge or make ethical judgements.

No specific A-level requirements.

Philosophy and Theology

Understanding and assessing the intellectual claims of religion, including the study of contemporary and historical thinkers, and the study of social and cultural contexts for religious belief and practice.

No specific A-level requirements.


The study of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale, why it is the way it is and how it works.

Requires Maths and Physics

(Experimental) Psychology

The science of mental life, including biological, cognitive, human experimental, social and developmental issues.

Requires a science subject.









Please note that subject strands may be cancelled if a sufficient number of applications are not received.

Sample Programme

Each Study Day will begin at around 10.30am and finishes at approximately 4pm.  Students will likely visit more than one college, though the start and end of the day will take place in the same location.  Each subject strand within the Study Days will include two talks from Admissions Tutors, two academic sessions from tutors or researchers, and a tour and lunch at a college.

A sample programme can be found here.


Who can apply?

The Study Days are open to Year 12/S5 students at non-selective state schools or colleges in the UK.  It is aimed at those who have the potential to make a competitive application to Oxford, so applicants should be on track to achieve AAA-A*A*A at A Level, or AA/AAB at Advanced Higher, or 38-40 points in the IB.  Students should select each of the days upon which they are available to attend, but if successful they will only be offered a place on one of those days.

When can I apply?

Applications will open in late November.  Students must complete the online form by Sunday 14th January.  No late applicants will be accepted.

How will you select participants?

We are looking for students with the aptitude and potential to do well on an Oxford undergraduate course, and the motivation and enthusiasm to study the particular subject they have chosen.  We will aim to select students who have demonstrated strong academic ability, and who might benefit most from attending these events.

We will look at your academic achievements, including your GCSE/highers results and A Level/Advanced Highers/IB predictions, alongside contextual information about you.  This might include data on how well your school or college performs, whether your parents/carers have been to university, whether you have ever been eligible for Free School Meals, whether anyone in your family qualifies for income support, what the socio-economic characteristics are of the area in which you live, and what proportion of young people from your area go on to university.

When will I find out it have been given a place?

We will aim to let participants know by Friday 26th January whether they have been successful in securing a place on one of the Study Days.

How much will it cost?

The Study Days are free to attend.  Lunch is provided on the day, and accommodation is provided (free of charge) for those who are travelling from far away to attend.  Successful applicants will also be considered for a bursary to help with the cost of travelling to the Study Days.

If you have a question about the Study Days which was not answered above, please email Helen and Luke on: