Courses for 15-18 year olds

Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Academy

Your chance to learn more about the big issues in international relations and politics, develop your own leadership skills and spend your summer on the historic Oxford University campus.

The Best Courses

Be inspired by international relations – hands-on classes and interactive challenges. Maximum of 15 students per class.

The Best People

Be taught by the best – world class tutors from universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. 

Your Future Success

Be awarded a graduation certificate at our Graduation at the Saïd Business School, and a written report from your tutor.

Get the Oxford Experience

Study on the historic Oxford University campus and experience Oxford’s magic.

International Relations, Politics & Leadership students at the Oxford Union
Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership students aged 15-18 years old
Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership students aged 15-18 years old
International Relations, Politics & Leadership

What to Expect

Imagine spending your summer in the historic city of Oxford, discussing the big issues the world has faced, is facing and will face – joined by students from around the world with different perspectives and from different cultures.

By joining our Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Academy, you’ll examine the history and theory behind international relations and politics. You’ll explore the characteristics of strong leaders, and learn about your own leadership style. You’ll also examine the impact of rising world powers, and how different leaders tackle global challenges and big crises.

You’ll leave us with mastery of crucial skills such as public speaking, while gaining an authentic taste of what university study is about. You’ll also gain clarity about your future and become part of a community of friends from all over the world.

You’ll achieve all of this while studying on the historic Oxford University campus and experiencing the very best of what the city of Oxford has to offer.

Oxford has inspired and educated world leaders, from Presidents to Prime Ministers. Come and experience Oxford’s history this summer and help guide your future.

Click to find out if this is the right course for you

The Best Courses

On our Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Academy you will cover a range of engaging and challenging topics across nine classroom sessions, including:

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Theories of Leadership

What do Steve Jobs, Obama, and the Dalai Lama have in common? We’ll learn about different theories of leadership and debate what makes a good leader, looking at examples of leaders from different fields
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Political Change

Why do people act in the cause of political change? We’ll look at examples of political change over time from around the world, and debate what we think makes political change most effective
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Are democracies the best type of political system? We’ll explore the key features of a democracy, and look at how democracy has developed in different historical contexts around the world
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Politics and the Economy

What do you do in the face of global financial crises? We’ll discover the importance of economics in society, and explore the relationship between politics and the economy, using real examples of political decisions from different countries
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International Relations

What core principles should guide international relations? In this class you’ll find out about international law, human rights and the causes of war, and the processes involved in international relations
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Global Institutions

What are the roles of Global Institutions? We’ll discover what a whole range of important global institutions do, and explore their influence in International Relations (using real-life examples)
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New World Powers

What countries do we mean by “new world powers”? Grapple with the changing world of new powers, including the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and the Middle East
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Leadership Style

What’s my leadership style? We’ll work together to Identify different styles of leadership. You’ll learn how to identify and hone your own leadership style, and the importance of working in teams
Class X

Class X

Your final class is called “Class X”, and will be based on your tutor’s personal expertise, focusing on cutting-edge research in their field that they are really passionate about.

The Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Academy is perfect for 15-18 year olds interested in exploring the past, present and future of global affairs. You might be thinking of studying international relations or politics in the future, or about going into a career in politics or leadership (such as business, senior management, diplomacy or Non Governmental Organisations) – or even setting up your own venture in the future. Or you may just be curious about how international relations and politics work.

Fees and Dates

Gargoyle in Oxford

Our Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Learning Philosophy

During your time on the programme you will Learn the subject, See it in action and Do it yourself through an exciting Challenge:


Learn like you’ve never learnt at school before. Discover the key concepts, history and theory behind international relations and politics in a hands-on, interactive way. You’ll take part in small, dynamic classes led by our brilliant tutors who are subject experts from world-class institutions.


On your “Challenge” you’ll put all the theory you’ve learned into practice and apply your knowledge to a real life problem. It’s not the only practical activity you’ll do on your course – the course is full of opportunities to apply your skills – but for many of our students, it’s their highlight!

During our Model United Nations Challenge you’ll be given the chance to put your critical thinking, communication and teamwork skills to the test on this fast-paced day. You will work with the Experience Debate & Public Speaking Academy students in a simulation UN Security Council. You’ll have the chance to demonstrate your newly refined debating skills and international relations knowledge as you feel the adrenaline rush of trying to get a favourable resolution for your country against the clock. You’ll present and debate critical worldwide issues with other diplomats who have conflicting interests, and develop solutions that gain consensus despite an unexpected crisis situation.



You’ll meet our “Heroes”, who have worked in the field of international relations, politics or leadership. Discover what steps they took to realise their potential, and how you can too.

International Relations, Politics & Leadership course for 15-18 year olds
Graduation at the Oxford Scholastica Academy
Graduation at the Oxford Scholastica Academy
Group of girls at Oxford Scholastica
Students at the Oxford Union

Course Outcomes

What You’ll Experience

Completing our Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Academy is an ideal next step for students interested in subjects like Politics, International Relations or Philosophy and who would like to develop their leadership skills. You will: 

  • Benefit from expert tuition from our tutors from leading universities such as Oxford and Cambridge
  • Master a range of topics including theories of political change, the influence of global institutions like the UN and the rise of new world powers
  • Develop important skills in high demand by universities and employers such as public speaking, critical thinking and teamwork, via our Masterclass series
  • Meet a successful young professional from a field related to your subject and learn how their leadership skills have been crucial to their success
  • Put your knowledge, skills and ability to work in a team to the test in our Model United Nations Challenge, where you’ll find yourself in the role of a diplomat in a simulation UN Security Council
  • Build your global professional network by meeting students from all over the world and joining our alumni community
  • Graduate at our Graduation Ceremony held at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School
  • Gain clarity on your future direction – we have a proven track record of successfully preparing thousands of students for future success. Our students leave us equipped with subject knowledge which puts them ahead of their peers

The Best People

On the Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Academy you’ll be taught by the best tutors, supported by the best staff and meet the best students.

The Best Tutors

We select world class tutors who are passionate, inspirational and love teaching young talent. Our faculty are the best: academically outstanding role models from leading universities who are at the cutting edge of research in their fields.

The Best Students

Oxford Scholastica students are special. They are keen to gain experiences, interested in learning, and want to make the most of their summer. Join students from nearly 100 different countries this summer in the most memorable summer of your life.

The Best Staff

You’ll be mentored by our bright undergraduate team who are students at Universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, who love to share their experiences of university life. Our leadership team have run summer schools for many years, while our Matrons are skilled and experienced in looking after young people.

Meet our Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Tutor and Hero

Ivo Gruev tutoring at the Oxford Scholastica Academy

Ivo Gruev MJur (Oxon) Dipl-Jur

Ivo holds a Law degree from the Humboldt University in Berlin (distinction) and a Diploma in Legal Studies (distinction) from Oxford. In 2015, he completed the MJur at the University of Oxford. Currently, he is pursuing an MSt to doctoral research degree in Law (Socio-legal Studies), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Merton College Oxford.

Ivo was awarded a ‘Best Position Paper’ prize by the United Nations Department for Outreach and Education. He is actively engaged with International Politics and Relations, and has participated as a chair, organiser, and delegate in numerous Model United Nations simulations, international political conferences, and moot courts. Ivo is fascinated by the multiple connections between Politics, International Relations, Philosophy, History, and Law.

Please note, our Tutors & Heroes are subject to change.

Ben Wilkins, Hero at the Oxford Scholastica Academy

Ben Wilkins MA

You’ll have the opportunity to meet our Hero, Ben, a local young Oxford leader. Ben is the founder of Sustainabus, which converts decommissioned city buses into solar-powered hotels. Ben was recently named Santander Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Map of countries students come from

Meet Students from Around the World

This past summer, students from 85 different nationalities chose to experience our summer school:

out of 10 students said our courses were one of the most memorable summers of their life

out of 10 students said that our courses gave them greater certainty about their future direction

out of 10 parents said they would recommend our courses to other parents

Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Testimonials

At the Oxford Scholastica Academy, I was able to broaden my horizons in an excellent interdisciplinary International Relations summer course that stimulated me in ways that I have not experienced in high school beforehand. I was also able to practise independence and meet friendly and passionate people from all over the world. If I could stay another two weeks, I would!
Alana Lidia Scauzillo


It just surpassed our expectations in every way – pre-attendance organisation, facilities, high level of the programme, challenging course, interesting and diverse attendees from all around the world, dedicated creative teachers, great balance of time working and time for personal endeavors and friend making, supportive staff, teamwork oriented, family-like atmosphere, caring and nurturing environment, academically and personally challenging, true college campus experience…in short, just exceeded all expectations.
Bill & Tanya Mateo

Russia, Parents of Paulina

I have taught with Oxford Scholastica for a number of years and am consistently impressed by the excellent experience students are offered. As both a former teacher and university admissions advisor at a leading UK school, I can say with confidence that OSA students are offered an invaluable opportunity to explore what really interests them, and prepare for their path to university. It really does give students an advantage.

Jo Cruse

Tutor, and former teacher at leading UK school

Your Future Success

Rooted in Oxford’s spirit of academic excellence, OSA’s courses will enable you to master your subject, gain clarity on your future and prepare for a changing world


Each student who successfully completes the course will receive an official Oxford Scholastica Academy graduation certificate at our Graduation Ceremony held at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School


You will receive a written report after the summer school, containing feedback on your performance in the classes as well as practical advice on how to continue exploring the subject.

Our Network

Gain membership of our global alumni community of over 2000 students from over 100 countries.

OSA Foundation

You’ll have the opportunity to apply for funding from the OSA Foundation for charitable projects you set up, or for causes you support or volunteer for.

Graduation Certificate

Each student who successfully completes the course will receive an official Oxford Scholastica Academy graduation certificate at our Graduation Ceremony held at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

Tutor Report

You will receive a written report after the summer school, containing feedback on your performance in the classes as well as practical advice on how to continue exploring the subject.

Be Part of Our Network

Gain membership to our global alumni community of over 2000 students from over 100 countries.

OSA Foundation

You’ll have the opportunity to apply for funding from the OSA Foundation for any charitable projects set up, support or volunteer for.

Get the Oxford Experience

The Oxford Experience

Oxford is a world famous centre of academic excellence, and Oxford’s tradition of excellence underpins our summer school. Whether it’s the city’s academic prowess, cultural delights like punting on the river, or rich history that appeals to you, Oxford is a place unlike any other. The Oxford experience truly is extraordinary.

Join us and live it for yourself. Here are five key reasons to choose Oxford Scholastica.

Gain Clarity About Your Future

We’ll help you to discover, experience and prepare for your successful future.

Discover Oxford

Explore the city of Oxford, home to brilliant architecture and historic traditions such as “punting”.

Experience University life

Follow in the footsteps of famous scientists, authors, political leaders and more.

Make International Friendships For Life

Go home with a network of friends from around the world.

Prepare for A Rapidly Changing World

Develop the knowledge, skills and confidence you need to thrive.

St George's campus
Blavatnik School of Government
Students debating at the Oxford Union


Accommodation & Classrooms

You’ll get a taste for student life, staying in your own safe and secure en-suite room at one of our five campuses in the centre of the city.

You’ll study in classrooms on the Oxford University campus, and get to experience the best of the old (such as debating at the historic Oxford Union) and the best of the new (such as the Saïd Business School and the Blavatnik School of Government).

Click here for more details about our accommodation.

Students at the Saïd Business School

Your Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Timetable

Here’s an example of your Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership timetable – you can hover your mouse over parts of the timetable to get more information. 

Your Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership Timetable

Click here to see an example of the timetable.

First week

SundayArrivalOur team will be ready to help you settle in at the accommodation. If you are coming from abroad we can happily help to arrange a transfer from the airportDinnerIcebreaker eveningAn evening of fun introductory games designed to get you to know your new friends and our staff team
MondayBreakfastWelcome and Introductory ClassYou'll be introduced to Oxford Scholastica, and get your first chance to meet your Tutors who will talk you through the course outline and answer any of your questionsLunchYou'll have the opportunity to visit one of Oxford's many tasty, healthy cafes/restaurants for your lunch each dayOxford TourWe'll be taking you around the most famous landmarks in Oxford, from the colleges which inspired Harry Potter to the historic city buildingsScavenger HuntPut your new found knowledge to the test in our Scavenger Hunt competition, and discover Oxford's secretsDinnerIce CreamRelax after your first day with a sociable dinner, and some of Oxford's famous George & Danver's (G&D's) ice cream!
TuesdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyOur small-group courses are conducted by our hand-picked tutors. Each day you'll have a two hour class and be given some reading or work by your tutor to complete in your two hours of independent study. Just like a university student, you'll be trusted to work independently or in groups in your rooms.LunchFailure to Success or How to Be Great MasterclassesLearn the secrets of successful people, as we explore the tips and tricks to become successful, and discover how experiences of failure have driven successful people to stellar achievements.DinnerOutdoor ShakespeareTonight we'll be watching a Shakespeare play in the beautiful surroundings of the city.
WednesdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchPuntingA punt is a flat-bottomed, square-ended boat which is powered by submerging a long pole onto the bank of the river and pushing the boat along - or as some people put it, pushing a boat with a stick! It is most commonly seen in Oxford and Cambridge, and is a favourite summer activity of students at Oxford. We'll teach you how to punt along the beautiful banks of North Oxford, and this is one of our students' favourite events each yearPicnic DinnerParks' GamesAfter our punting afternoon we'll spend the evening having a picnic and playing games by the banks of the river in the Oxford University Parks, arguably the most beautiful park in Oxford
ThursdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyWindsor TripWe're off to visit Windsor Castle today - the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
FridayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchApplications MasterclassMany of you will be thinking about your future life after school. In this interactive afternoon, we'll guide you through the job applications process, or the process for applying to UK universities for further studyDinnerActive ActivitiesJoin our Activities Coordinators as they lead active activities outside, to make the most of the summer. Choices have previously ranged from yoga to rugby, dancing to football, frisbee to zumba, and many more!
SaturdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchThe Oxford Scholastica Challenge Afternoon!This is the moment you've been waiting for, as you'll get the chance to apply the knowledge you've learnt so far. From designing and marketing an App (Enterprise and Computer Science) to a Mock Clinic (Young Doctors) to a Model United Nations (Leadership and Debate) to designing a Magazine (Creative Writing) to a mock trial (Law), your teamwork skills will be tested to the max in our afternoon of fun ChallengesDinnerFilm NightAfter a hard day of putting your learning into practice, chill out in your accommodation with your friends and watch a film. Popcorn provided!

Second week

SundayBreakfastHero SessionYou'll get the opportunity to meet your course Hero, a young professional who has studied your subject and has gone on to some impressive things in his/her early career. You'll be inspired to discover a possible career you might like to go into, and what a day-in-the-life in this line of work entails. You'll also do a hands-on task related to the typical work you might do in this career, as well as the opportunity to ask your Hero lots of questions.BrunchYou'll eat a delicious brunch in the beautiful dining hall of Corpus Christi CollegeFree TimeYou'll have free time this afternoon, giving you the opportunity to explore some of Oxford's famous museums including the Ashmolean, the world's first university museum, go shopping or alternatively relax and have some downtimeDinnerOSA International BallJoin us for the much anticipated Oxford Scholastica Ball. Put on your finest clothes, represent your country in national dress, and experience a magical evening cruising down the river with your friends
MondayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchDebating MasterclassIn the famous surroundings of the Oxford Union, sharpen your debating skills and put them to the test against your peersDinner
TuesdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchChange the World MasterclassDo you want to make the world a better place? Our Change the World Masterclass will introduce you to the best ways to go about putting your ideas into reality and inspire you with stories of our alumni who have done just that!DinnerConquering HappinessLearn from an expert exactly what it means to be 'happy' and how we can apply these ideas in our own lives
WednesdayBreakfastCambridge TripSee the UK's other famous university city - Cambridge. Take a relaxing punt down the college backs, while learning about the town's history, and take the opportunity to visit some of its beautiful colleges.
ThursdayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchBicester Village, Football Tournament or Free TimeYou'll have the opportunity to go to Bicester Village, Europe's luxury shopping capital, or take part in our football tournament at the famous Iffley Road Sports Centre (where the first sub four minute mile was run by Roger Bannister in 1954), or alternatively you can take the opportunity to have some free time and relax.DinnerOxford's Got TalentTonight you'll get to show off your skills in our talent show, and be amazed at the amazing skills of your friends.
FridayBreakfastClasses and Independent StudyLunchPacking and FeedbackGraduationWe'll be celebrating your achievements at our Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony and dinner at the famous Saïd Business School, where you'll also receive our Yearbook which you can get your friends to sign. Parents and friends are very welcome to attend!BBQ and CeilidhDress up and see out our final evening in style with a ceilidh. A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish Dance, and local band Swinging Molly will be present to play the summer school out

Please note this timetable may be subject to change.

Lexie giving student birthday cake
Students making cakes
Matron Kit Anderson with students at Oxford Scholastica


Pastoral Care

Ensuring that each student has the very best experience possible is our absolute priority.

We understand that a summer away from home can be daunting for parents and students. That’s why all our students also have 24-hour support, security and care from our specialised staff. To help you prepare for joining us in the summer, our Community Team will be in touch to answer any questions and send you some helpful material you might want to look at before you come along.

Like all of our core team, our Community Team will also be on-site over the summer in case students need any help or support.

We also organise group welcome calls before the course where you can meet our team face-to-face, and start to get to know some of the other students who will be your classmates.

Graduation at the Saïd Business School

Inspected and Accredited

Our Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership courses have been independently accredited by the British Accreditation Council as a short course provider for Independent Further and Higher Education. The BAC have assessed our teaching quality, pastoral care, and overall standards.

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