- Museum of the History of Science - http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk -

Study Days

Study Days are designed to stimulate students’ interest in a special topic relevant to their studies whilst offering insights into academic life at university. The Museum organises study days for Key Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 in conjunction with the other museums, collections and academic departments of the University.

A typical Study Day for Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) will include a series of lectures given by university academic staff followed by an optional practical workshop in the afternoon based in one of the University’s museums or departments.

Study Days aimed at Key Stages 3 and 4 are based on a programme of rotating workshops which may be spread over more than one museum, collection or academic department.

Study Days for Key Stage 2 may involve back-to-back workshops at the Museum and an academic department.

Programme of Study Days for the academic year 2017-18

The following dates are scheduled for study days over the next academic year subject to the availability of university facilities. Please contact the education officer for further details.

Autumn 2017

Astrophysics study days

A series events for schools run in collaboration with the Physics Department and a cosmology research project based on the concept of ‘Fine-tuning’. These events will involve researchers and visits to the department’s large telescope facility.

10th November

Observing the Universe  (KS4)

KS4_Astronomy_SD2017 [1]

24th November

Observing the Universe  (KS5)

KS5_Astronomy_SD2017 [2]

15th November

Space Exploration Day  (KS2)

KS2_Astronomy_SD2017 [3]

Spring 2018

9th February

Back from the Dead: Penicillin and Antibiotics  (KS4 Science)

KS4_Penicillin SD_Feb2018 [4]

A study day linked to the special exhibition Back from the Dead about the amazing story of the development of penicillin and antibiotics.

16th March

Back from the Dead: Penicillin and Antibiotics  (KS5 Science)

KS5_Penicillin_SD_Mar2018 [5]

A sixth-form study day linked to the special exhibition Back from the Dead about penicillin, antibiotics and research into antimicrobial resistance.

Summer 2018

5th and 6th July (subject to confirmation)

Medicine and Materials (Year 9/10 Science)

KS3_4_Medicine and Materials_SD2018 (programme tbc)

A day of rotating workshop sessions on the use of natural materials and chemical synthesis in medicine at the Museum, the Department of Chemistry or Materials, and the Oxford University Botanic Garden.


Previous examples of AS/A2 Study Days

At the Department of Physics

A study day exploring ideas about the Universe from a brief history of cosmology to current knowledge about the origins of the Universe.
A full programme of lectures in the morning delivered by academics at the cutting edge of research from the University’s Department of Astrophysics, followed by practical workshops after lunch.




IMAGING, Medical and Scientific (KS5)
At the Department of Physics

A study day about the use of imaging techniques in a range of scientific practices.
A full programme of lectures in the morning including MRI scanning, electron microscopy and history of scientific imaging followed by practical workshops in university departments after lunch.

Another microscopy image

Another microscopy image


At the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology.

During the Second World War, Oxford researchers Florey and Chain developed methods of extracting penicillin and carried out the first successful treatment of a human being. Along with Alexander Fleming, they were awarded a Nobel Prize in 1945.

A series of lectures traces the history of the discovery and development of production methods of penicillin, modern methods of synthesizing antibiotics, and the use of antibiotics in medical treatment. Workshops take place in the afternoon.

Penicillin culture vessels

Penicillin culture vessels

At the Department of Physics

To celebrate the centenary anniversary of the theory of Special Relativity, this study day explores various aspects of Einstein’s life and work.

A series of lectures in the morning including a basic introduction to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the great quantum debate, the development of laser technology and an assessment of the impact of his work on modern astronomy.

Einstein's blackboard

Einstein’s blackboard