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Humanities Summer School

Humanities Summer School 2021

Study Humanities on the campus of the world’s most prestigious universities. Live, dine and study on the campus to get an authentic taste of university life; from the historic prestige of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, to the Ivy League excellence of Yale in the USA.

Why study the Humanities?

Demonstrate your passion for global issues and get critical with Oxford Royale Academy’s Humanities Summer School Programme. Critical thinking is at the heart of every one of our Humanities courses: you’ll be encouraged to think for yourself and question everything. From English Literature to Global Politics and Philosophy, our expert tutors will craft your ability to construct logical and coherent arguments, even when you are presented with subjective, flawed or complex information.

Improve your confidence in public speaking and debate, grapple with the fundamental questions of life and get ready to save the world with our comprehensive offering of Humanities courses. You’ll share intellectual ideas with your international peers, and learn how to articulate yourself in a clear, concise and constructive way. These crucial and transferable skills will hold you in good stead throughout your life, no matter which career you pursue.

Find the perfect Humanities course

Public Speaking and Debate summer school - Student speaks in front of other students

Public Speaking and Debate Summer School in Oxford

Over two weeks, you'll work on practical aspects of speech giving, such as body language, clarity of delivery and maintaining eye contact with your audience. Gain wide-ranging experience of public speaking and debate, and by the end of the course have a firm grounding in essential skills and feel confident in your ability to take on new challenges.

Public Speaking and Debate Summer School in Cambridge

You will learn how to compose a speech on a particular topic, compose a strong argument, and respond composedly to different speakers. Under expert guidance, you'll discover more about the intricacies of debate to achieve maximum effect.

Image of Student standing and giving speech

Public Speaking and Leadership Summer School in Yale

Our Public Speaking and Leadership course gives you the skills to excel as a leader and public speaker. We replicate the leadership contexts you may encounter in the future, helping you gain critical practice in public speaking.

Politics and International Relations Summer School in Oxford

This summer course is designed to introduce you to the academic disciplines of Political Science and International Relations, exposing you to the methods of social scientific inquiry and contemporary issues dominating the discipline.

Politics and International Relations Summer School in Cambridge

This Politics and International Relations course will introduce you to the methods of social scientific enquiry and contemporary issues which dominate world politics.

Image of speech being delivered

Global Politics & International Relations - Oxford

The aim of this course is to extend your knowledge and understanding of global politics and international relations and provide a strong grounding in contemporary and up-to-date thinking in critical areas.

Image of Lady Justice - International Law and Politics

International Law & Politics - Oxford

Join our International Law and Politics course, and gain strong practical and theoretical knowledge of international law and politics. You'll dive into the fundamental concepts of international law, the philosophy behind it and the challenges of putting it into practice.

Classical Civilisations Summer School - image of relief carving

Classical Civilisations Summer School in Oxford

Studying Classical Civilisations will furnish you with valuable transferable skills, such as the ability to examine and analyse primary sources, through our study of original classical texts.

5 reasons to choose the Humanities Summer School

Students attend art gallery

Follow in famous footsteps

Emulate our greatest philosophers, politicians, writers and economists; the thinkers, dreamers and visionaries who have shaped our world. Amongst many others, follow in the footsteps of Indira Gandhi, the first female Prime Minister of India, who studied Modern History at Oxford, or the philosopher Erasmus, who taught at Cambridge University and is widely considered to have been the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance.

Happy Humanities students

Learn from international peers

We’re proud of the unique global perspective offered by learning and socialising with students from 150 different countries that attend our courses. Bounce ideas off each other and gain new perspectives, drawing on specific cultural examples and country case studies with fascinating first-hand accounts and opinions. Make lifelong friends from all around the world and get the inside scoop. What’s it really like to live in a communist country? What are the real-life complications of alternative voting systems?

Teacher speaking in oak panelled classroom

World-class teaching

Our highly experienced, passionate teachers are hand-picked for their ability to expertly guide students on their learning journey in a way that encourages a curious mind that questions the things we take for granted, and thinks deeper about the big issues. Individual expression and group collaboration is cultivated, as are critical thinking and creative problem solving skills. Students can expect to learn through interactive workshops, practical experiments, case studies, discussion and debate, and by listening to esteemed visiting guest speakers.

Oxford dreaming spires

Exciting and prestigious locations

Learn in cities steeped in history that produced some of the world’s greatest thinkers, who moulded the modern world with their revolutionary ideas. Choose from long-standing rivals Oxford and Cambridge. With their quintessentially English honeystone buildings and architectural marvels, winding cobbled lanes and green open spaces, their famous universities are very much at their hearts. London’s rich melting pot of culture will inspire you to think differently, whilst you can trace the renaissance’s remarkable history.

Students climb staircase

Choose from a wide variety of subjects

With an enormous range of exciting subjects to choose from, there’s something for every goal, whether that’s getting ahead in preparation for a specific undergraduate course, developing universally useful skills such as critical thinking, academic writing or leadership, or simply delving deeper into a subject of interest. Investigate the nitty-gritty of international economics, get your head around differing philosophical schools of thought through the ages up until the present day, or learn what it takes to be in charge of your country on our Politics course.

Study the Humanities in some of the world's most prestigious institutions

Useful Information

Information for Parents

Visit our parents page to find some useful information for parents and students about living and studying in our summer school centres. Further practical information will be made available through the ORA Portal in the months leading up to your summer school booking.

Pastoral Care

Over 15 years of delivering world-class summer programmes, we have established robust processes and structures to ensure all of our over 25,000 students have been well looked after during their stay with ORA. We pride ourselves on the exceptional levels of pastoral care we provide to our students

Medical Care and Insurance

All students must be comprehensively insured for their time with Oxford Royale Academy. Details of insurance available through ORA for our 2021 programmes will be announced in due course. If you would like further information on course insurance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Oxford Royale online learning

COVID-19 Response

As members of the British Safety Council, student safety is our top priority. Our coronavirus measures go beyond the latest UK government and Public Health England guidance, and as a minimum, guarantee a number of key features.

Arrivals and Departure

Welcome to the Summer School Arrivals and Departures Hub. Here you can find all the information you need prior to departure including information about flights, transfer options and other important information regarding your arrival and departure.

What to Pack

You will receive a Welcome Pack after you enrol. Your Welcome Pack will provide a full list of what to pack and which personal items and travel documents you will bring with you when you join the programme

Summer Blogs

Check out some of the best moments from our 2019 summer school through our student blogs. Get a taste of the ORA summer school experience through the pictures and words of our students as they describe the highlights of their summer programme

Visas and Immigration

Students are responsible for obtaining their own visa prior to travelling, but can request assistance from Oxford Royale Academy if required. You can find some helpful information here

Any questions?

Check out our FAQs

How do I book a place on the course I want?

Once you have decided which course you would like to attend, you can book online using our secure booking system. Once your application has been submitted, you will be sent an email confirming that it has been received.

If you prefer, you can download an Application Form by clicking here. You can return the Application Form to us by any of these methods:

  • Scan and email to [email protected]
  • Fax to +44 (0) 845 280 01 22
  • Post to Oxford Royale Academy, Yarnton Manor, Church Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1PY, UNITED KINGDOM.

Once your booking has been processed by one of our members of staff, you will receive email confirmation of your place on the course of your choice. A Welcome Pack will be available to download from the ORA Portal from April. If at any time you would like to discuss your booking with a course advisor, please feel free to email [email protected] or call us on +44 (0) 1865 954 800.

How do I pay for my course?

All courses require a deposit payment to secure the booking. For Summer 2021, this is £995 GBP for all two-week courses for ages 13+, and £395 for one-week courses for 8-12 years. You may either pay the full course fee when you book your place, or pay the deposit amount and then the balance at a later date. The balance clearance is required at least 60 days before the start date of the course. Where the student is booking less than 60 days before the start date, the balance must be covered in full.

New online enrolments will require a Debit or Credit Card payment of at least the deposit amount. If you would like to enrol and make your deposit payment via Bank Transfer, please contact our Admissions team, who will be happy to assist you in doing so. ([email protected])

Payments for existing enrolments can be made via a number of methods, including domestic and international bank transfer, credit or debit card, as well as local payment options; please log in to your ORA Portal and click on the ‘Pay Now’ button on your booking details.

What do my course fees include?

All course fees include the following:

  • Classes and tuition (20 taught hours per week)
  • Study files/materials
  • Guest lectures by academic speakers
  • Personalised academic reports and graduation certificate
  • Accommodation in your chosen location (see our accommodation page for the specific colleges and locations)
  • Meals in the Hall
  • Free WiFi (subject to availability)
  • Daily updates for parents and family on the ORA campus blogs
  • A wide selection of afternoon and evening activities
  • Coach excursions
  • Welcome and graduation events (parents invited)
  • A multitude of extras, including an ORA notebook and branded clothing
Will I receive a graduation certificate?

Yes, students will be awarded an Oxford Royale Academy Graduation Certificate in their chosen course upon satisfactory completion of the course. This will be presented in a graduation ceremony on the final evening of the course.

Will I have to share a room/facilities?

Most of our accommodation sites offer a mix of single and twin bedrooms, with some campuses having en-suite bedrooms available and others have shared bathroom facilities between a small group of same-sex students. If you have a particular preference for a certain room type, you can make a request on booking, which may be granted subject to availability. If a particular room type is required for medical reasons, please contact our Admissions Team who will be able to check availability on different sites, depending on the course chosen.

Sharing your room with fellow students is a great way of getting to know people and making friends.

How secure are the campuses?

All our programmes take place in a secure environment. Our students are supervised 24 hours a day by campus staff. All students must check-in regularly during the day: at roll-call at breakfast; at their morning classes; in the afternoon for lessons, workshops or activities; at dinner and in the evening before curfew. All campuses have a curfew.

Each campus office has its own safe where students may deposit items of value such as passports, travel documents, bank cards etc.

All campuses have residential staff who can be contacted 24 hours a day.

Do I need a visa to travel to the UK/US?

If your country is part of the EU or the European Economic Area you will not require a visa to enter the UK. It is always safest to check whether you need a visa with the relevant authorities.

Students attending our USA Summer Schools may be able to enter the USA on the Visa Waiver programme – we can provide individual support on request for those that do need a visa.

I want to change to another course or study option. Is this possible?

If you wish to change your course or study options (including dates), please do not hesitate to contact us. However, changes to courses are always subject to availability. For this reason, it may be more difficult for us to accommodate any changes requested less than 60 days before the course start date.

If I need to cancel my booking, will I get my money back?

Oxford Royale Academy’s terms and conditions for refunds are as follows:

Any cancellation must be received in writing and can only be on the following terms:

no refund of deposit will be made under any circumstances, once the two-week cooling-off period has concluded;
for cancellations before your course start date, the remainder of the course fees less the deposit amount will be proportionally refunded as per the table below:

Period Before Start Date Total refunded
120+ days 100%
90-119 days 50%
45-89 days 10%
0-44 days 0%
I want to attend one of your English language courses: how will you know what my level of English is and what sort of tuition I need?

All students registered to attend our English Language courses will be required to take an English Language Placement Test, which will assess the relative abilities of each student. Students are then placed into ability groups based on the results of their assessment, and the material that they study is tailored to the level of the class.

Once you have booked your place on a course we will send you information on how to take our online Placement Test. This test should take approximately one hour and should be taken by the student at least one month prior to their arrival date.

Please note that Oxford Royale Academy English courses do not cater for beginners in English.

Can I take more than one course?

It is certainly possible to take more than one course and combine a variety of study programmes. This can be done in two ways:

  • Enrol on two different programmes. For example, you may wish to have two weeks on the Broadening Horizons course and then two more weeks on the Oxford Enterprise Programme.
  • Enrol on the same programme twice, but choose different subject options. For example, you may wish to have four weeks on the New Perspectives course, choosing Creative Writing & Experimental Psychology for the first two weeks, followed by Human Biology and Physics & Chemistry for the second two weeks. Four-week courses include New Perspectives, Broadening Horizons and Oxford Summer English only.

Students staying for two consecutive sessions will be provided with accommodation for the Saturday night, and their campus will provide supervised activities between their first session ending and second session starting. Should you have any queries about how to take more than one course please do not hesitate to contact us.

Hear from our students

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