Experience Debate & Public Speaking Academy

(for ages 15 to 18)

The Oxford Union has hosted some of the world’s most famous and influential speakers. Our Experience Debate and Public Speaking Academy is your chance to join them.

Alongside ambitious students from all over the world, you’ll sharpen your speaking skills, deepen your knowledge of current affairs and gain invaluable insights that will give you a head start in your future.

Student speaking while another student listens in the library at the Oxford Scholastica Academy for the Experience Debate Public Speaking Academy

Key Facts

Location: University of Oxford campus
Ages: 15–18
Class size: Maximum 15 students
Fees: £6,995 £6,495 if booked by 31st Dec
Length: 2 weeks
Dates: 30th June-13th July, 14th-27th July, 28th July-10th August 2024
Receive: Graduation Certificate & Letter of Recommendation


Our courses combine tutorial-style teaching with practical challenges and debates. Small class sizes and expert tutors help you dive deep into your chosen subject area.

By joining our Experience Debate and Public Speaking Academy, you’ll get to:

  • Master a range of topics related to public speaking including different debating styles, analysis and rebuttal and learning how these techniques are used in real-world case studies.
  • Meet a successful professional who uses the art of effective public speaking in their working life and learn their lessons of success.
  • Work in a team in our Model United Nations Challenge, where you’ll find yourself in the role of a diplomat in a simulation UN Security Council.
  • Develop skills in high demand by universities and employers, such as public speaking, critical thinking and teamwork, via our Masterclasses.
  • Build your global professional network by meeting students from all over the world and joining our alumni community.
  • Attend our Graduation Ceremony at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, and get a Graduation Certificate and personalised Letter of Recommendation from your tutor.
Student speaking at a lectern during an Oxford Scholastica Academy graduation


What better way to learn about a career than to talk to someone who’s living it? Our Heroes programme invites you to meet a successful young professional who has gone on to build a career related to public speaking. You’ll be able to:

  • Learn more about what a day in their life looks like
  • Understand more about the cutting edge aspects of the sector that they work in, and hear their top career tips
  • Ask them your burning questions about their university and career path


Challenges are one of the most exciting parts of our programme! Halfway through our Experience Debate and Public Speaking Academy, you’ll be given the chance to put your skills to the test during our Model United Nations Challenge. It’s certainly 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. 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 get to:

  • Put your critical thinking, communication and teamwork skills to the test.
  • Work with the Experience International Relations, Politics and Leadership Academy students in a simulation UN Security Council.
  • Present and debate critical worldwide issues with other diplomats who have conflicting interests, and develop solutions that gain consensus despite an unexpected crisis situation.
Student speaking during a Debate masterclass in the Oxford Union

Hear from parents

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Hear from parents about why they chose Oxford Scholastica, and how they found the experience. 

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Course programme

Course Outline

During our Experience Debate and Public Speaking Academy, you’ll cover a range of challenging topics across nine classroom sessions.

Class 1: Introduction to Debate & Public Speaking

What speaking techniques are most effective? Explore techniques used by renowned public speakers to captivate their audience.

Class 2: Critical Thinking

Explore key features of critical thinking by looking through a range of real-life speech excerpts to help you logically defend your argument.

Class 3: British Parliamentary Debating

What is British Parliamentary (BP) Debating? We’ll discuss the rules, styles and strategies of this format of debate and you’ll be able to give it a go yourself.

Class 4: Rebuttal

What makes an effective rebuttal? Explore examples of rebuttal used in a range of real-life speeches and master how to effectively deconstruct opposing arguments.

Class 5: Politics and International Relations

What’s the role of the UN in international crises? Discover how the political system of democracy works and explore the roles of bodies in relation to conflicts.

Class 6: Schools Mace Debating

What’s the difference between BP and Schools Mace debating? We’ll outline the difference in rules and styles between the two, and you’ll give Schools Mace debating a try.

Class 7: Economics and the Law

Discover the role of global trade organisations and also explore the ethics of human rights legislation.

Class 8: Balloon Debating

Can you persuade others not to throw you out of the sinking hot-air balloon? Pit your wits against your classmates as you take on the role of famous historical figures and justify your worth.

Class X
Your final class is based on your tutor’s personal expertise in the field, focusing on cutting-edge research that they’re passionate about.

Please note this course outline may be subject to change.

More information

Want to know more about attending our Experience Debate & Public Speaking Academy? Learn about what your schedule will look like, where you’ll stay, our entry requirements and some of the fun activities that will round out your academic experience.

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