OxBright Politics & International Relations

Are you interested in Politics and serious about taking your passion further? OxBright Politics & International Relations is designed for bright students who know they want to study Politics or a related course at university in the future.

You’ll expand your knowledge, become more confident discussing relevant topics, and get the edge in your future Politics or International Relations university applications.

United Nations

What is OxBright Politics & International Relations?

OxBright Politics & IR increases your chances of getting into your dream university in the future by taking you beyond the school curriculum.

You’ll experience weekly live Tutorials led by your expert Politics & IR Mentor. You’ll discuss topics you don’t cover at school, be able to ask lots of questions, and gain insights into the skills leading universities value most.

You’ll also be part of our thriving online community of like-minded students passionate about developing their political knowledge and skills.

Read on to find out more about joining our OxBright Politics & IR community.

Why Join OxBright Politics & International Relations?

Boost Your Political Knowledge

Experience weekly Tutorials, led by our experienced Politics & IR Mentor Matteo. You’ll join your fellow Politics OxBrighters in discussing important topics each week, enhancing your relevant knowledge, and helping you to find out which areas of Politics & IR you are passionate about.

Develop Your Political Skills

Politics is about much more than textbook knowledge. With OxBright, you’ll hone key skills, from developing your public speaking and debate skills to mastering the art of negotiation, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to perfect your skillset.

Prepare for University

OxBright doesn’t just give you the opportunity to demonstrate your passion for Politics & IR to university admissions officers. Your Mentor will also give you advice on how to choose the best university, guidance on how to write an effective personal statement and tips on fulfilling your potential when you come to your university applications.

Build Your Confidence

OxBright is a community. You’ll be supported, encouraged and stretched by fellow Politics & IR students, who hail from all over the world – from the UK to Australia, from China to the USA. OxBright gives you access to a supportive, safe community of young people in your shoes who are keen to maximise their chances of future success in the subject.

OxBright Makes it Easy for Students to Connect With their Futures

Your Politics & IR Mentor

Politics Mentor

Matteo Baccaglini

BA Hons (Oxon)

Matteo is our OxBright Politics & IR Mentor. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at the University of Oxford, with a special focus on intermediate economics and 19th-century political theory. His current research interests include the psychological traits of those who enter politics, and whether these traits have an impact on governance.

After a year working for an institution at the University of Cambridge, Matteo is now undertaking his Master’s degree in Political Science and Political Economy at the London School of Economics.

How Does OxBright Work?

On signing up for OxBright, you’ll gain access to our online community where you’ll be able to meet your fellow OxBright students who come from around the world.

You’ll be able to join our weekly Tutorials, where you’ll meet your Mentor Matteo. Each Tutorial covers a different topic, so you’ll get a wide insight into the different fields of Politics and International Relations. All of our Tutorials are recorded, so don’t worry if you can’t make a particular session!

On top of this, you’ll be sent weekly short films or blogs on interesting political topics, helping to keep you up-to-date on important and cutting edge issues, which you can access in your own time.

There’s lots more to OxBright – read on to find out more.

Politics tutorial

Weekly Tutorials

Each week, you’ll cover a new topic led by your Politics & IR Mentor, Matteo.

Your Tutorial will get you used to the university style of learning, which is very different to a typical school lesson. You’ll have the opportunity to actively participate in the discussions, stretching your knowledge about Politics and developing your confidence discussing it.

You’ll also play an important part in shaping future Tutorials – you’ll have the ability to let Matteo know the topics you’d like to cover.

Recent Tutorials have included:

  • How Do We Think About Politics?
  • Political Sociology
  • British-Irish Relations
  • Liberalism and Socialism
  • Political Ethics


Videos, Blogs & Podcasts

OxBright is designed around you, so as well as the live Tutorials you’ll also be able to access content on demand. This means you can dip in and out at times of your choice, for example on the way to school or at weekends.

Matteo posts regularly in the community, and you’ll be able to interact with your fellow Politics & IR OxBrighters in the comments section.

Recent posts include:

  • John Stuart Mill and Utility
  • Who Was Max Weber?
  • Pandemic Politics


human rights
politics film

Book/Film Club

Discovering and discussing books and films is an important part of the OxBright Politics & IR experience.

You’ll be able to deepen your knowledge of Politics, while at the same time building your confidence in developing an opinion about the subject and discussing it with your peers in a safe, supportive but stretching environment.


Guest Speakers

While Matteo will be your main Mentor, we also welcome Guest Speakers to share their knowledge and expertise in various elements of Politics & IR.

Attending our Guest Speaker events will enable you to build up your knowledge of Politics and hear different perspectives about topical subjects.

For example, OxBright students recently heard from International Human Rights Coalition Leader and lawyer Fernanda Farina, a Socio-Legal researcher at the University of Oxford who specialises in social impact, human rights and international development law.

Fernanda Farina
politics university

University Guidance

Ultimately, OxBright Politics & IR students are pretty certain they want to study a related subject at university.

OxBright is designed to help you plan and prepare effectively for your future, so Tutorials will cover how to put yourself in the best possible position to maximise your chances of success, such as how to choose the best Politics & IR school for you, how to write an outstanding Politics personal statement etc.

It’s important to note that attending OxBright won’t guarantee you’ll get into a specific university, and won’t prime you or give you the secret key to get into university. Instead, our Mentors will help you to get the clarity and motivation to give you the best possible chance of fulfilling your potential.

As with all our courses, while many of our tutors come from leading universities such as London, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and others, it is important to remember that we are not affiliated to these universities.


One of the great things about being an OxBright member is that you’re part of our community of like-minded young people from all over the world who are passionate about Politics & IR.

OxBrighters are keen to maximise their learning, love discovering new things and enjoy sharing with the community.

Whether or not you have lots of students at your school who are interested in studying Politics & IR at university, the OxBright Politics community is a great way to meet new people who are in the same shoes as you.

You’ll be able to share worries, concerns and advice, as you’ll be on the same shared journey together – living proof of Oxford Scholastica’s belief that growing together is more valuable than growing individually.

politics community


When you join the OxBright membership platform you get a choice of three subscription types – you can either join monthly, six monthly (saving 3 weeks on your subscription fees) or you can join for a year (saving 7 weeks on your fees and gaining access to discounts on other Oxford Scholastica courses).

Join OxBright Politics & IR


Who is OxBright for?

If you're a 15-18 year old who is serious about discovering, exploring and preparing for your future, OxBright is for you.

After nearly ten years' experience of running academic summer and online programmes, we've learnt that while schools are often outstanding at supporting students to get good grades, there can be a lack of current subject-specialist knowledge available for students to access.

OxBright aims to fix this. So, for example, if you're thinking about studying Law at university, you'll have regular access to our Law Mentors, current undergraduate and postgraduate students from leading universities such as Oxford, London, Cambridge and Harvard. They have successfully been through the process you are experiencing - from deciding whether to study Law, through to choosing the best university and course for them, to succeeding in their university applications and thriving at university and beyond.

Whatever your stage of your journey - whether you're thinking of studying a particular subject at university, whether you're weighing up which university and course to study, or whether you know you want to study a subject at a specific university and are looking to prepare effectively - OxBright is here for you.

What does a typical week look like?
Let's imagine you're an OxBright Medicine member. A typical week might look like this:

  • Monday: your Mentor sends over our podcast on Oxford's role in pioneering the COVID-19 vaccine, and asks you to think about some of the challenges involved in vaccine discovery
  • Wednesday: your Mentor reminds you of the film club coming up next week, and you’ll be tasked with watching The Children Act, a real-life drama about the relationship between medicine and law, focusing on the issue of consent in medical care
  • Thursday: your Mentor gives you priority access to our recent blog article they've written on the top 3 latest treatments in psychiatry
  • Saturday: your live, hour-long Tutorial takes place on "Artificial Intelligence in Medicine - How AI is Discovering New Antibiotics". You'll join your fellow Medicine OxBrighters and will have the opportunity to ask your Mentor lots of questions
When are the live Tutorials?
The live Tutorials usually take place on Saturdays around 1-2pm UK time (which we have found to be the best time to allow students from lots of different timezones to participate).
What if I can't attend a live session?
Don't worry! OxBright is designed so that you can access the content whenever you want. If you're unable to make a live session you'll be able to watch it back afterwards. We also have vlogs, blogs and podcasts for you to enjoy whenever your schedule allows.
How long can I sign up for?
You have the choice of subscribing on a monthly basis, for six months or for a year. Whatever your subscription, you'll get access to the same great content. The benefit of signing up for six months is that you get three weeks free. The benefit of signing up for a year is that you receive seven weeks free, and you also get 15% off any online course/conference/internship you book with us, and £300 off our residential Oxford summer school.
Is it easy to cancel?
It is no problem to cancel, and we make this easy for you - just let us know and you won't be charged the next month's subscription (if you are on a monthly subscription) or the next six month subscription (if you are on a six monthly subscription) or the next year's subscription (if you are on an annual subscription).
Where are the participants from?
At Oxford Scholastica, we have a diverse international intake, with students from around the world taking part (last year we had students from over 60 different nationalities!).
Will OxBright get me into university/college?
OxBright is designed to help you prepare effectively for your future, and part of this is helping you to think ahead to your university applications. So some of your Tutorials will cover things like how to choose the best course, how to write an outstanding personal statement and how to put yourself in the best position to succeed.

However, it's important to note that attending OxBright won't guarantee you'll get into a specific university. Neither does OxBright prime you with the magic secret to get into a specific university (there is none), tell you exactly what to write on your personal statement or let you know what to say at interview.

Instead, we stretch, challenge, guide and inspire you to maximise your chances of success. Our Mentors will help you get the clarity, motivation and skills you need to help you put together a compelling application, and in doing so will help you to fulfil your potential.

I've already done an Oxford Scholastica course, how is this different?

OxBright is designed to complement our other courses, and many students who experience our courses choose to sign up to OxBright (and many OxBright students choose to sign up for our courses, conferences and internships either online or in Oxford - if you sign up to the Annual Subscription you benefit from 15% off our online courses and £300 off your Oxford summer school experience).

Whereas our courses last anywhere from a full day through to two weeks, OxBright is there for you year-round, helping you to grow your subject knowledge and confidence over time. Think of OxBright as your personal companion guiding and motivating you throughout the week, inspiring and stretching you to fulfil your potential and succeed in your aspirations.