Does Oxford University have a Summer School?

When you think of world-class education, what pops into your head? Chances are it’s the dreaming spires of Oxford, with it’s ancient libraries, exciting learning opportunities, wise lecturers, enquiring minds and world-class summer schools.

The chance to spend a summer in the historic city of Oxford at an accredited summer school is an exciting one. You (or your child) will get the chance to soak up the unique culture and exceptional teaching usually enjoyed by the future world-leaders and industry disruptors.

After the upheaval of the last year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are chomping at the bit to get back to normal, and this includes our education. Living and studying in Oxford gives students the chance to make great connections and life-long friendships, as well as gain a top-rate education.

In this article, we’re going to share with you the exciting educational opportunities open to you this summer and beyond. So, let’s dive in…

Is there a summer school at Oxford University?

In short, yes! There are many summer schools with access to Oxford University facilities. There is a wide choice of top-quality schools in the prestigious city, where you or your child can enjoy the facilities and accommodation of the prestigious university and all its rich history.

The best Oxford summer schools offer an unparalleled experience, where you can eat, sleep, live and learn in the famous Oxford University colleges and explore the historic city itself. You’ll attend summer courses on-campus (with the courses available online as well) learning from some of the brightest minds the world has to offer.

If you want to take your learning further, and explore options beyond your typical school day, let’s take a look at what an Oxford summer school can offer you.

Live the Oxford University experience

Joining an Oxford summer school means that students experience life at the oldest university in the English speaking world. You will have access to hidden treasures off-limits to tourists and experience life in one of the world’s most prestigious institutions.

You will:

  • Live in the Oxford university colleges. At night, you will sleep in the beautiful and famous colleges, where notable alumni J.R.R. Tolkien (Exeter College), Bill Clinton (University College) and Richard Dawkins (Balliol College) also lay their heads. After a day’s learning, you can relax in centuries-old common rooms and dreamy quadrangles, soaking up the authentic Oxford experience. All the colleges provide a secure environment, with helpful porters on hand and careful supervision. You can sleep safe in the knowledge that you (or your child) will stay in a safe place, where they can meet new friends and learn in a secure environment.
  • Dine in the college dining halls. All students are provided hot meals in the college dining halls. The Christ Church College’s dining hall, made famous in the Harry Potter films, is just one of the dining halls where students will eat and socialise, making life-long connections. Eating together doesn’t just fill you up, it fosters a sense of community that is so important to your learning experience.
  • Study in some of the best facilities in the world. Get ready to be inspired by 800 years of learning tradition. Expand your mind and attend debates at the Sheldonian Theatre, designed by the legendary Christopher Wren. Visit the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, where you can browse more than 12 million items. Learn in laboratories where Nobel Prize-winning scientists studied, and take in talks and workshops in the same lecture halls and classrooms where prime ministers, authors, economists and entrepreneurs took their first undergraduate lessons.

And that’s just the academic side. While attending an Oxford summer school, you’ll get the chance to explore the life and culture that the city has to offer.

  • Green, open spaces. Relax and enjoy the natural delights of Oxford’s stunning parks and meadows, all in easy reach of the city centre. Take a walk, watch people punting down the river, or have a go yourself! Explore the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, the oldest botanic garden in Britain, picnic on Wolvercote Common, or watch a game of cricket in the University Parks.
  • Shopping. Indulge in a little retail therapy and head for the 18th-century Covered Market. Once there, you’ll find a whole host of traditional shops and boutiques. Explore the farmers markets for local goodies and special treats. Or you can flex your credit card by taking it out for a spin at Westgate shopping centre, home to dozens of brands.

You’ll never be bored staying in Oxford, and attending one of the Oxford’s summer programmes means you get an amazing educational and social experience.

Top quality teaching

When you join an Oxford summer school, you can be sure that you’ll receive world-class teaching from the best and brightest minds. Top summer schools include tutors from a range of backgrounds, from Oxbridge academics and Ivy League lecturers, business leaders, famous writers, film makers and fashion stars just to name a few!

Oxford university has a rich history or enquiring minds and stimulating debate. While here, you will also have the chance to listen to and learn from eminent world speakers deliberating on a wide range of subjects.

Summer school participants will get the chance to engage and debate with guest speakers, improving your confidence and public speaking skills. Previous guest speakers have included politicians, explorers, ambassadors and captains of industry, giving fantastic talks and sharing the secrets of their success.

Oxford summer school courses

There is an amazing variety of exciting courses available to students attending Oxford summer schools. Truly, the only limit is your imagination! With courses designed to be interactive, inspiring and stretch your capabilities, you’ll come away with the knowledge that you’ve spent your summer learning in the best possible place.

You can do a deep-dive into a focused subject, like medicine or law, or get creative with a combination of subjects. You’ll benefit from small classes, experts with unrivalled subject knowledge

Just some of the subjects available to those joining a summer programme include:

Business finance

Get to grips with the world of business finance and learn everything you need to know about handling company finance. Delve deeper into the relationship between business finances and the economy and get a first-class introduction to the world of business finance from knowledgeable tutors and dedicated workshops. Learn about mergers and acquisitions, investment and financial forecasting, and learn the skills you need for future success in your career in business or finance.

Creative writing

Locals boast that Oxford has more published authors per square mile that anywhere else in the world. Whether or not that’s true, Oxford is renowned for being the home to some of the world’s most beloved writers. CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien would regularly meet in the Eagle and Child pub. Philip Pullman’s Lyra and Pan lived in an alternative Oxford, but were created in the real one. Iris Murdoch wrote while she was a philosopher at the University of Oxford.

So, what better place to unleash your literary creativity! You will learn to hone your creative writing techniques and find your own writing voice. Whether you aspire to be a journalist, author or a blogger, you’ll find your niche here.

English as a foreign language

Immerse yourself with English speakers and the English language with native-speaking tutors. With courses designed for different age groups you will learn in small groups and absorb the rich culture of the UK, as well as its language. You’ll learn written, read and spoken English from experts, setting yourself up to become a fluent speaker, confident enough to attend an English-speaking university and enjoy all the perks they have to offer.


If you’re thinking about entering the legal profession, then a summer course taught by legal experts is the one for you. Some of the best legal minds have been nurtured at Oxford, including former President of the European Court of Human Rights Nicholas Bratza and former President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom David Neuberger, so you’ll be in good company.

You will learn about Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law Tort Law, Business Law, Contract Law and gain an understanding of how these subjects are taught at higher education level.


With great facilities, exciting scientific contributions and notable alumni from theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking to the Nobel Prize-winner Martin Ryle, Oxford summer schools are a great place to expand your knowledge of physics.

In this course, get curious about how the world works and learn about new discoveries. Learn about problems being solved in the world of physics, like those being investigated at the Large Hadron Collider and expand your knowledge relativistic physics and quantum physics, in classes taught by inspirational experts.

Coding and robotics

Learn to code and create computer programs and get a handle on programming language. At an Oxford summer school coding and robotics you will develop your computational thinking and create your own computer games as well as develop your problem solving skills. You will come together in group projects and work as teams, picking up a range of transferable skills which will set you up for success in future life as well as in your chosen subject.

Students joining an Oxford summer school will experience a safe, fun and international learning environment. Over the summer weeks, you will discover more than you thought possible, make new friends and learn from the best, all within the setting of one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Online courses

The best summer schools also offer online summer courses where you get the same top class teaching, immersive seminars and international learning environment you would if you stayed on-campus.

The pandemic threw us all for a loop, and many of us aren’t ready to travel abroad yet. Or maybe you just feel more comfortable studying in your own home. Whatever your preferences, you get the same learning experience, international relations, structured learning, top teaching and advice, access to lectures and interactive seminars as students based on campus. With the rise of remote working and learning and technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, online learning has never been so attainable.

Your tutors will deliver top-quality virtual lectures in different time zones to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. A wide range of online courses are available to you, which will help you to prepare for future study and a successful career. Online enrolments are simple, and just another way to access fantastic teaching on campus at the University of Oxford.

Fun trips and activities

Worried that your time at an Oxford summer school will be all work and no play? Nothing could be further from the truth! You’ll expand your horizons with exciting trips out of the city and fun extracurricular activities around the University of Oxford.

You will have a summer to remember, with the chance to visit top UK historical sites and hidden treasures. Explore Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and Windsor Castle, ancient home to England’s kings and queens. Learn the history and culture of the UK in a truly immersive experience.

Ever picked up a cricket bat or rowed down an English river? Now’s your chance to try your hand at a range of quintessentially English sports and activities. You and your friends will enjoy all the extracurricular activities Oxford has to offer, from summer balls and parties, to Shakespearean plays to athletics on the green.

Something for all ages

You may think that an Oxford summer school is only for high school students approaching university age. In fact, students from 8 to 18 are welcome to join an Oxford summer school. And adults over the age of 19 will also find a place of learning in an Oxford summer programme.

Oxford summer schools are also a truly international experience, with students joining from nearly 200 different countries. High school students and adults are offered a safe learning environment away from home, tempered with freedom and flexibility. Summer schools include dedicated pastoral care to make sure that students are well looked after, both on and off campus. Oxford offers a great chance to form international relationships and mix with new and exciting people, all while receiving an education like no other.


When you pick an Oxford summer school you will get access to some of the top thinkers, academics, speakers, business minds, creatives and minsters the world has to offer. You’ll join like minded students from across the globe, all with a passion for learning.

With dozens of courses to choose from, new connections to make, expert opinions to learn from and a fantastic learning experience awaiting you, an authentic Oxford experience beckons. An Oxford summer school will make an impact on your life that you’ll never forget.

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