Undergraduate Student Stories

Cesca Webb (Physics, 2015)

Cesca is now in her second year at Pembroke. Here she reflects on her recent exam success and her experience of studying at Pembroke so far.


I achieved a Distinction in my Physics Prelims (first year exams). A particular success was a mark of 86% in the Quantum Ideas short course.

I would put this success down to a lot of hard work over the course of the year and in particular to making concise revision notes at the end of each term. Group work with the other physicists in my year was also an extremely important learning tool.


Physics is a challenging course. It covers a lot of complex material at a fast pace. This allows its students to develop excellent problem solving skills and an ability to learn quickly— qualities that are sought after by employers. Students also have access to some incredible and expensive technology, not to mention the researchers themselves, who are our lecturers.


Pembroke is an incredibly friendly environment. It's a close community and a lovely place to live and work. It is focused academically without imposing unhealthy pressure on its students. I did not apply to Pembroke, although I certainly would now if given the choice again.

Pembroke has definitely helped me this year. My tutors, Alfons Weber and Tim Woollings, are extremely supportive. They dedicated a lot of time to marking and going through our work.


Academic work is the priority for me. However, I do always find time for socialising with my friends in the evenings and at weekends. For me, concentrating constantly on work isn’t healthy, it often leads to poorer results. It’s so important to have a balanced lifestyle— the happier I am, the better I perform.

For new students wanting to excel at Pembroke, my advice would be: ‘Don’t be afraid to ask for help’. I know for a fact that I would not have come this far had I not asked for help and ideas regularly from my tutors and fellow students.


So far, my time at Pembroke has been an incredible experience— I feel extremely fortunate to live in such an environment and am really looking forward to the rest of my time in Oxford.

I plan to complete my Master’s degree, which entails three more years at Pembroke! After that— who knows? I’m keeping my options open.


Read more Undergraduate Student Stories