The Podcasts Every Student Should Subscribe To 

2020 is fast becoming the year of the podcast; everywhere you look there seems to be a new one springing up! 

Podcasts are so popular because they are the most convenient way to learn something new on the go, stave off boredom or relax. They are free, easy to access, and listening to podcasts has also been proven to reduce loneliness and anxiety among people in self-isolation. 

If you think you are a strong audio-learner, listening to revision podcasts is a great way to accelerate your A Level, GCSE or IGCSE preparation

But even during the school holidays, trying out podcasts with some educational content is a good way to keep your mind active without it actually feeling like you are studying. 

Here are our student-and-teacher recommended top picks! You can access each one by searching in your normal podcast library (Apple podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud etc.) 

Freakonomics Radio 

You may have read the Freakonomics book we recommended in our ultimate summer reading list blog post, but did you know that one of the authors runs a podcast too? 

With new episodes released each week, you can discover the hidden side of everything — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Recent episodes include ‘The Simple Economics of Saving the Amazon Rainforest’ and ‘Should America (and FIFA) Pay Reparations?’.

Just Vocabulary

If you’re looking to expand your vocabulary in just five minutes (as every student should be), try this time-efficient podcast. It introduces you to two new words per episode, and is perfect for native English speakers AND those learning English as a second language. 

The Infinite Monkey Cage

If you’re a science student or just a Professor Brian Cox fan (who isn’t?!), check out this BBC podcast which examines the world through the eyes of a scientist

It’s factual but funny at the same time – no dry science here! Each episode is about an hour long, with recent topics ranging from the concept of time, UFOs, and the human brain.  

Coffee Break Languages (radiolingua.com)

Finding the time to commit to learning a new language can be tough, but not when you’ve got these bite-sized podcasts to listen to while you walk the dog or do the washing up!

Forget about reciting verb tables or memorising spellings, this is all about picking up phrases and words which will actually be useful in daily conversation. 

You can pick from French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish or Chinese, and one of four tiers; beginner, intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced. 

Encyclopedia Womannica

Discover the stories of women who made seismic contributions to society – but are often erased from historical narratives.

These five-minute biographies span artists, civil rights activists, feminist icons, pioneers in STEM subjects and much more. Get ready to amaze your friends with your knowledge of incredible women like Zelda Fitzgerald and Isabella of France. New episodes are added daily. 

The Secrets of Mathematics

If you’re considering studying Maths at university level, or if you’re fascinated by the complexities of the mathematical world, this podcast is a must-listen. 

Episodes range from the hard-core content of real Oxford University Maths lectures to the much more accessible public lectures. Topics include the mathematics of musical instruments and the application of mathematical models during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Power Out

This fictional thriller is a brand new offering from BBC Sounds, created for young adults by award-winning writer and activist Sarah Woods

Beginning with the premise “The world is dying. It’s time to take action”, the drama follows a non-binary teenager who joins a climate activist group which invades the House of Commons and employs advanced hacking skills to take down the National Grid.

Get listening and prepare to be hooked

Why Aren’t You A Doctor Yet

In the popular podcast, four friends with 2 PhDs and years of comedy and journalism experience discuss the most interesting science and tech stories of the moment.  

Inspired by millennial pop culture, the hosts are joined by a variety of expert guests to chat about everything from skin bleaching and genetic testing to facial recognition and the dark web.

No Such Things As A Fish

This weekly series is produced and presented by the researchers behind the hit panel game QI. 

In every episode, the researchers, collectively known as “The QI Elves”, present their favourite fact that they have come across that week. This might be about soggy cheese, medieval knights, or what the Mayans got right in 2012. 

It’s guaranteed to make you laugh, to teach you something new, and it usually has a few surprises in store too!

Happy listening everyone! Which podcasts have we missed? What are your personal recommendations?

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