Course Directory

Our students choose a MAJOR course which runs every morning from 9am to 12:30pm, and sample a different Minor course every afternoon between 2pm and 4pm. Major courses include in-class time for fieldwork, labs, workshops, guest speakers, group discussions, and one-on-one instruction. 

From 5pm to 6pm they take part in a series of Seminars – led by university admissions' experts – specially designed to brush-up their learning-skills and assist with their university applications.


There is no final application deadline. We accept applications on a rolling basis until a program is full, but we do have Course Guarantee DatesStudents who apply to The Oxford Summer Seminar on or before April 13, 2018 and are accepted to the program have their first choice of Major course guaranteed, subject to enrollment minima. As we begin receiving applications in September, we recommend that students apply as soon as possible for courses that may fill early.


  • Taking inspiration from the city’s quirky history, students seek to master different genres. They experiment with comedy, drama, horror, realism, satire, and tragedy, as well as memoir and poetry. They also tackle technical principles like characterization, dialogue, and narrative structure. One day is dedicated to the machinations of publication. Topics include copy-editing and manuscript preparation in different media. Students leave Oxford with a budding corpus of work.

  • How might the rise of the “selfie stick” be related to the popularity of first-person video games? What does our obsession with professional sports say about us? And why exactly is Kim Kardashian famous? This course analyzes the strange phenomena that define contemporary society through radical postmodern philosophy. Students will be challenged to engage with writers from Jean Baudrillard to Slavoj Zizek as a means of critically reassessing the world around them.

  • Students are introduced to some of the greatest writers and poets in the canon. Every day they discover and learn how to analyze a scene, chapter, speech, soliloquy, or poem drawn from a classic before situating it in the author’s broader oeuvre and literary history.

  • This course explores events and issues that have been concealed, little understood, or rarely studied. Students are introduced to local secrets, popular conspiracies, the machinations of conniving politicians and governments, and recent historical controversies and disputes.

Sciences & Social Sciences

  • Students examine the dynamic world of business by working through specific case studies. They seek to uncover some of the keys to successful business leadership, and to discover what makes one entrepreneur succeed while another fails. By trying their hand at game theory and various negotiation tactics, they get to grips with managerial organization in all its forms.

  • From Adam Smith to Ernst Schumacher, Oxford is renowned for its contributions to economics. Students are introduced to the theories that govern economic thought. They also discover the fundamentals and methodologies of economic modeling. They go on to test their knowledge against contemporary economic problems in order to understand how the world economy works and how it might evolve.

  • Participants learn the core principles of genetics, and come to understand the main methods used in genetic research. Topics include the function and structure of the DNA molecule; Mendelian principles of inheritance; chromosome behavior, number, and structure in human cells; the identification and classification of genetic mutation; as well as the latest advances in genetic research, such as the Human Genome Project and genetic engineering. Students depart with a clear picture of what genes are, how they are inherited, and how they may be altered.

  • This course addresses International Relations by focusing on key issues of the day. Subjects covered include globalization and its political, economic, and social effects; environmental challenges; new forms of war and peace; the changing nature of security challenges; peacekeeping operations; the regional complexities of areas like the Middle East, Africa, and South-East Asia; and the relationships and rivalries that define global order today.

  • Students examine the British and American legal systems and learn how they reflect the values and institutions of their respective societies. Emphasis is placed on legal history and modes of thought, precedent-setting cases, current controversies, and the kind of first-hand courtroom observation that brings them to life. Each course includes visits to a court and sessions with lawyers. 

  • This hands-on course introduces students to key aspects of medicine and modern medical practice. Combining specialist lectures with experiments and class discussions, students learn the main principles of human anatomy and physiology, the pathology and significance of certain diseases, the main challenges that medical science faces today, and the variety and changing nature of careers in medicine.

  • What goals and methodologies, if any, do politicians around the world share in common with one another? To what extent are politicians able to change contemporary society? And how can the social sciences be used to explain electoral outcomes? Working on contrasting political systems, data analyses, domestic politics, international relations, and political philosophy, students learn the fundamentals of 21st-century politics.

  • Led by researchers engaged in cutting-edge work in experimental psychology, students address a different topic each morning. These include introductions to mental processes and problem solving, evolutionary psychology, clinical psychology, behaviorism, and psychoanalysis. In addition to surveying various fields, students learn how research projects are developed and experiments undertaken.