Academic Programmes at Oxford

Academic Programme


All weeks of the Summer School are teaching weeks, with the emphasis shifting towards concluding reviews and study field visits in the final week. Courses are taught through an integrated programme of tutorials, seminars and lectures in combinations varying from Option to Option.


The weekly tutorial is at the heart of every Course, with a small group of 1-5 students discussing papers, prepared in advance, with their tutor. Seminars bring together a larger group of perhaps 8–10 students to participate in more general discussions of common subjects related to the various Options of each Course.

Keynote Lectures & Speakers

While the tutorial stimulates exploration of subjects in detail and depth, seminars provide opportunities to broaden the debate and widen understanding of the issues involved.

Keynote lectures may be used to provide a foundation to each Option.

Tutorials and seminars, usually of 1.5 – 2 hours duration, involve intensive preparation and writing of essays by the students, through guided but independent reading. Students are registered as readers with the world famous Bodleian Library, with incomparable holdings and stately reading rooms, as well as the College library and other appropriate university and department libraries.



Interdisciplinary Lectures

Beyond coursework, students from Academic and Professional Courses attend weekly evening interdisciplinary lectures on cultural, political, historical, literary, environmental and other issues of topical and general interest.

Given by distinguished speakers from the university and wider world, they range from the serious to the light-hearted, set in a social context of receptions and banquet dinners.

One such week is usually devoted to a musical event.


© Dr Ken Addison, St.Peter's College, University of Oxford: for 2018




Courses & Options

A range of available Academic Courses and Options are available, see below, and follow the links for further information.

Intending participants select the Course of their choice and are then asked to elect to study one of its particular Options in order of preference. Most students are likely to secure their first-choice Option.

The Medieval Studies Course also has an Interdisciplinary Seminar studied by all participants, irrespective of their Option choice.


English literature

Option 1: Rediscovering Shakespeare

Option 2: Jane Austen in Text and Context

Option 3: The Inklings In Oxford (J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis et al.)

Option 4: Introduction to Topics in the English Language


Option 5: Prison Literature : The Freedom of Imprisonment

Environmental studies

Option 1: Climate Change In The Anthropocene : Global Catastrophic Risk & Management

Option 2: Environmental Change & British Landscape Development 11,500 BP -1700 AD


Residential Field Programme: The Development of British Landscapes (required for Environmentalists, Medievalists; optional for others)

Medieval studies

Option 1: Conquest & Colonisation : England and her neighbours 1016 - 1296

Option 2: Death, Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Literature

Option 3: Medieval Margins: Identity and Otherness


Interdisciplinary Seminar: The Arthurian Tradition (required study taken by all Medievalists)