The ‘Big Think’ Competition 2023

We are inviting students across the UK to tackle one of our academics’ ‘big’ questions. These have been specially designed to challenge you beyond your normal school curriculum and get you thinking big about your subject and what it might be like to study it at university. Simply record a video of 5 minutes or less presenting your arguments, research, evidence or opinions.

The Prize

Our winners will receive:

  • £100 1st Prize
  • £50 2nd Prize
  • £35 Subject Commendations

Winners will also all be invited to Oxford for the day where they will get to discuss their entries with subject tutors, tour round with current students and enjoy lunch in our Wolfson Hall.

To enter you must:

  • live in the UK
  • attend a state school
  • be in Year 11, Year 12 or Year 13

How to enter:

  • Send us a video of no more than 5 minutes in length.
  • You don’t need any fancy equipment, you can film it on your phone if you like – we will be judging based on your engagement with the questions.
  • Your video doesn’t have to include your face if you don’t want – feel free to get creative! You could narrate a PowerPoint, record you drawing or even apply your TikTok-making skills…
  • Submit your video as an unlisted YouTube video or via WeTransfer when completing the entry form.
  • Entries close Monday 1st May 2023. Good luck!


Select your favourite question from the list below and start recording your video!

English – What can we learn from reading books whose attitudes we dislike?

Earth Sciences – How unique is Earth as a habitable planet?

Economics and Management – Are CEOs overpaid?

Fine Art – Does placing art in a museum build a wall around it or make it more accessible?

Law – Is privacy dead? Should it be?

Languages – Does language influence society or society influence language?

Chemistry – To what extent can chemistry solve the greatest problems facing our times?

History – How can we retrieve the ideas of people who left no written records?

Engineering – Are device longevity and repairability important when designing consumer electronics?

Maths – Can important decisions be made on the basis of mathematical models only?


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