Debate summer school

Debate Summer School

Take your debate and speaking skills to the next level this summer. Join our Debate Summer School held on the Oxford University campus and discover, experience and prepare for your future success.

Oxford Debate Summer School

Would you like to spend part of your summer in the awe-inspiring city of Oxford? Our debate courses for high school students all take place on the Oxford University campus. If you want to learn the fundamentals of public speaking and debating in a world-famous setting then this exciting and practical course is perfect for you.

You’ll follow in the footsteps of famous speakers of past and present – from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to campaigner and actress Emma Watson – when you speak at the historic Oxford Union. You’ll also make friends with students from around the globe to help you hone your debating and presentation skills. At our debate and speech camps for high school students you’ll develop your ability to create persuasive and coherent arguments – a crucial skill you’ll use both now and in the future. 

You’ll leave this unique Oxford experience with the knowledge and confidence to make the best decisions about your future education and career path.

Browse our Debate Summer Courses

Students in Debate summer courses class

Experience Debate & Public Speaking (15-18 year olds)

Are you fascinated by the power of speech? This debate camp for high school students will develop your confidence and ability to persuade your audience. You’ll also find out how to use your new skills in various professional contexts. It’s perfect for those interested in a career in politics, law or media.

Debate summer school students in the Oxford Union

Experience International Relations, Politics & Leadership (15-18 year olds)

Learn about the fields of international relations, politics and leadership. You’ll be introduced to a range of thinkers, philosophies and historic debates, giving you the background needed to successfully debate important issues. You’ll also develop your critical thinking skills to the max.

Students at Oxford Crown Court

Experience Law (15-18 year olds)

Enhance your public speaking and debate skills by studying Law on the Experience Law Academy. You’ll hone the art of debating and critical thinking, get to experience a mock trial in a real court and meet a successful lawyer to learn more about careers in the field.

The Best Courses, The Best People, Your Future Success:

Get the Oxford Experience

Students in class

The Best Debate Courses

High school summer debate courses designed to stimulate, stretch and challenge you – whatever your subject knowledge

Debate summer courses tutor

The Best People

Taught by tutors from world-class institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge Universities

Students at graduation ceremony

Your future SUCCESS

A Debate summer school designed to help you discover, experience and prepare for a successful future

Students walking towards the Radcliffe Camera

Get the Oxford Experience

Delivered on the prestigious Oxford University campus

Debate Summer School Testimonials

Oxford Scholastica made me not only a better public speaker, but a better human being. I gained an affinity for not only what I signed up for, which was public speech and debate, but for navigating life in general. It helped me learn how to make decisions for myself, and was a great experience.

Tommy Wimmer

USA, Experience Debate & Public Speaking Academy

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

Why choose our Debate Summer School?

Our speech and debate summer camps for high school students are designed to help you develop your knowledge, confidence and public speaking abilities. You’ll learn about constructing solid arguments, effective rebuttals, economics, politics, and much more. You’ll have access to:

  • An expert team of predominantly Oxbridge-educated tutors
  • Learning programmes that combine classroom-based study with hands-on experiences, such as meeting a professional who uses debating skills daily
  • Invaluable insights into how to put yourself in a strong position for university and college applications, along with subject knowledge that will help you get ahead in your chosen career. We have a proven track record of preparing thousands of high school students for future success 
  • Transferable skills that will be prized by universities and employers whether you pursue a public speaking career or not, such as the ability to work effectively with others, clear thinking and coherent arguing.

What can you expect from our Debate Summer School?

Our debate camps for high school students are a perfect introduction to the art of persuasive speaking, whether you see yourself becoming a lawyer or working in politics. Prepare for your future success by joining one of our fully-accredited debating courses. We will:

High school summer Debate student discussions

Give you hands-on experiences, where you test your leadership skills by taking on the role of a UN Diplomat

Debate summer school students with staff member

Show you what is involved in effective public speaking and argumentation. You’ll receive teaching from expert staff from world-class institutions

Debate summer courses students in class

Give you an insider’s view of debating through our Hero sessions with inspiring professionals who have built successful careers in your chosen field

High school summer Debate Hero

Give you the chance to build an international network of students and join our community of Oxford Scholastica Academy alumni

Debating at the Oxford Union

Explore many topics, including the British Parliamentary Debating style, politics and international relations, global institutions, financial crises, and many more

Debate Summer School meeting

Help you decide whether a public speaking career is the right choice for you, and introduce you to the wide variety of career options available in this field

Debate summer courses students studying

Help you choose the correct degree for you, and show you how to prepare a strong application

Student networks

Invite you to take part in a simulation UN Security Council

Debate summer courses students at graduation

Enable you to graduate when you’ve successfully completed your debate course. You’ll attend a formal Graduation Ceremony held at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

With our debate and speech camps for high school students, you’ll find a course that’s tailored to you. Whether you’ve attended a debate summer camp before or not, our courses will offer you the perfect fit. Our courses all take place on the Oxford University campus, and are two weeks long.

How do our Debate Summer Courses offer you an authentic university experience?

You will:

  • Learn from a first-class team of tutors in small, dynamic classes inspired by the university style of learning
  • Study and socialise on the Oxford University campus, and have the opportunity to try traditional Oxford activities, such as punting
  • Be introduced to university-level thinking on a variety of public speaking, international relations, law and economics topics, as well as enjoying practical challenges
  • Start your future professional network by making friends with other ambitious students from around the world

Why study debating?

Many of our Debate Summer School students go on to apply for politics, law, international relations or history degrees. But what are the benefits of debate and public speaking camps?

Debate summer school student speaking

You’ll learn 21st-century skills

Debating teaches you skills relevant for the 21st century. These include critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Through debate and public speaking, you’ll also gain access to new information. This could include college-level philosophy, history, public policy and current events.

You can perform better academically

High school debaters don’t only score better on their college entrance exams, they also tend to get into better colleges, states the American Debate League. Also, high school debating skills improve grades, reading ability, self-esteem and interest in school.

Bridge of Sighs photo
Debate summer school students at graduation

You’ll likely have better career growth

Public speaking offers you an opportunity to communicate your ideas confidently. You can show people your clear thinking and knowledge. This is likely to lead to improved career growth.

You’ll be following in the footsteps of world-class leaders

From Nelson Mandela to Oprah Winfrey, ex-debaters tend to take up leadership positions. They are likely to excel in a wide variety of fields, including law, business, politics, academia, and many others.

Students after their graduation from the high school summer Debate programme
Graduation evening photos

You’ll have an amazing time

Learning becomes enjoyable when it’s via a debate. Although you’ll be developing your critical thinking and communication skills, it doesn’t feel like work.

Map of students

Meet Debate Students from Around the World

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

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

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

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

Graduation at the Said Business School

Inspected and Accredited

Our debate summer 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.

BAC logo
Reviews logo

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We’re passionate about helping our students and alumni to discover, experience and prepare for their futures. You can find some of our latest articles below:

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