What Is an Oxford Summer School?

19 Dec, 2023 | Blog Articles, Get the Edge

With a huge range of summer school options available, deciding on just one can be tricky. There are lots of different programmes to navigate, from one-week online courses, four-week residential schools, university-preparatory courses, cultural immersion programmes – the list goes on! 

If you’re looking for a residential summer school experience, then location is likely going to play an important part in your decision. There are perhaps few locations better suited to academic programmes than the city of Oxford. Boasting past residents from Oscar Wilde to Malala Yousafzai, summer students can follow in the footsteps of giants with a summer school based in the city.

There are plenty of other reasons to choose the city of Oxford for your summer school experience, which is why we’ve put together a simple guide to help you decide if an Oxford summer school is right for you!

Please note, the Oxford Scholastica Academy has no formal connection with the University of Oxford.

The Essence of an Oxford Summer School

Each summer, the Oxford Scholastica Academy runs a series of two-week academic programmes designed for high school students aged 12-18. Our Oxford-based summer schools combine university-style teaching with academic challenge days, masterclasses and cultural adventures for an unforgettable summer. 

A summer school in Oxford focuses on giving students the edge to help them succeed, find their purpose, and make a difference in the world. Our students graduate with advanced academic and interpersonal skills to set them up for success in the transition to university, as well as lifelong friendships and an increased confidence in their own potential. 

Our tutors foster a unique learning environment that combines centuries-old traditions with our own, innovative teaching methods for a truly transformative academic experience. 

The Benefits of Attending a Summer School in Oxford

Attending an Oxford-based summer school provides a variety of opportunities to develop your skills, knowledge and personal growth.

Allocating a set amount of your summer break to study a subject in depth is an excellent way to develop subject-specific knowledge, allowing you to return to school with a new perspective on your academics, and a clearer understanding of the type of career you may – or may not! – wish to pursue.

An Oxford summer school will also equip you with a variety of new skills, challenging you to fulfil your potential, and encouraging you to build upon your unique strengths. 

Across our summer programmes, we see our students develop essential academic skills for university, like essay-writing and innovative research, as well as learning how to manage their time, and how to combine independent and collaborative study.

An Oxford summer school is also an excellent opportunity to begin networking! With plenty of opportunities to connect with like-minded students from diverse backgrounds across the world, our students make lifelong friendships and begin to build a global network for their future careers.

Academic Programmes at Oxford Summer Schools

Our residential programmes in Oxford offer a diverse range of subjects to choose from! 

For students aged 12-14, our Discover courses – in Business, Medicine and Technology – are a mix of theory and hands-on learning, giving students the opportunity to explore a subject of interest and discover potential future options. 

For older students, aged 15-18, our Experience courses are a chance to delve deep into a subject of interest, with a focus on practical application and real-world theory to give students the edge in their university applications and future careers. 

We offer a variety of courses that go beyond the school curriculum, like Debate & Public Speaking, Law, Politics and Psychology & Neuroscience, all taught by world-class tutors in a small tutorial-style environment. All of our courses combine interactive lectures, seminars, academic challenges and group projects to give you an early taste of the university experience.

After graduating from an Oxford Scholastica summer school, our students receive a Certificate and a Letter of Recommendation to use in their university applications!

Two Oxford Scholastic students on a residential summer course.

Cultural Experiences and Extracurricular Activities

Alongside academics, an Oxford summer school is filled with immersive extracurricular activities, on and off campus, for a well-rounded experience. From day trips to castles, to punting and a moonlit ball on the River Thames, our programmes offer a range of fun experiences around the city and beyond to foster personal growth, independence and social development.

Daytime activities include a scavenger hunt around the city to discover Oxford’s secrets, and an academic challenge afternoon to apply your newfound knowledge.

Evenings are also filled with activities, like an ice cream night, a Shakespeare play in a castle courtyard, and our very own talent show: Oxford’s Got Talent!

There are also plenty of chances to relax and explore the city with your coursemates. Check out some local Oxford restaurants, or visit one of the many famous museums in Oxford, to experience the unique blend of tradition and modernity that makes the city so special.

We hope this guide to Oxford-based summer schools has helped you to gain a clearer understanding of the options available when choosing an academic summer programme. 

If you’re looking for a transformative academic and cultural experience in the heart of a renowned city of learning, then check out the available Oxford Scholastica Academy summer courses for an unforgettable summer!


By Amy Alsop

Our Content Editor, Amy, writes and edits content across our blog and resources. She graduated from Lincoln college, University of Oxford, where she read English.

Looking to take part in an Oxford-based summer course?

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