Access & outreach
Hertford Super-Curricular Challenge
There are lots of ways to engage with your favourite subjects outside of the classroom. Find the ones that suit you, explore what they have to offer, and don’t forget to share your findings with us by using #HertfordChallenge!
Here are some great places to begin your search – if you’ve picked up one of our postcards, you’ll find links to all the resources below. Oxplore is ‘The ‘Home of the Big Questions’ and introduces you to the discussion-led way of teaching we use at Oxford – log on now and have a go at a big question. We’ve also put together some top tips for writing your personal statement, giving you an idea of how you could integrate what you’ve done and read into a competitive application to Oxford.
What are super-curricular activities?
“Super-curricular” means taking your knowledge and engagement above and beyond what you do in school. It’s not the same as “extra-curricular” – that’s the stuff you do outside of school that isn’t linked to your academic work (we’re thinking playing sport or volunteering here). A super-curricular activity might be doing some extra reading to explore a topic you’ve studied at school in more depth. On the other hand, it might be a way to discover a brand-new area of research you hadn’t heard about before. Reading is the most obvious place to start but you can engage with subjects that interest you in loads of different ways – listen to a podcast, watch a documentary, explore an online resource, visit a museum, take part in a project… the list is endless!
Why are super-curricular activities useful?
Engaging with a subject because you’re interested in it is great preparation for life at a top university like Oxford. In your university application it’s a good idea to demonstrate that you’re an enthusiastic, motivated and curious student who can work independently. We’re not looking for people who can memorise lots of facts – instead, we want to see that you can think critically by finding connections, reflecting on and even challenging what you’ve read and watched. We also want to see that you’re interested and enthusiastic about the subject you’ve chosen to study at university. If you’re finding the super-curricular activities boring then that might be a sign that you haven’t found the subject that’s right for you – don’t worry, just try something else.
Ashmolean Museum Collections Online
British Library Online Resources
Dr Frost Maths
Google Arts & Culture
Great Writers Inspire
Harvard University Online Courses
Imperial War Museums Online
I Want To Study Engineering
PhET Interactive Simulations
Pitt Rivers Museum Research Projects
The Poetry Archive
Royal Academy Art & Artists
Turtle Computer Programming
Unsung Heroes of Science
Books, journals and current affairs
British Academy Review
History & Policy
London Review of Books
Modern Languages Bookshelf Blog
The Oxford Scientist
Oxford University Politics Blog
Routes Journal for Student Geographers
Scientific American Blogs
Staircase 12 Reading Bank
Times Literary Supplement
Very Short Introductions
Young Scientists Journal