Our teaching replicates the Oxbridge undergraduate system of small group seminars and one-on-one tutorials. This guarantees each student develops a deep understanding of their chosen subject, and is fundamental to Oxford and Cambridge’s success. Students can choose two subjects from a wide range of both sciences and humanities to study during their time with us. Our classes include:
Our strong focus on academic excellence means our students benefit from a level of individual attention rarely possible in schools, taking them beyond learning by rote and enabling them to discuss and hypothesise.
This means Oxford Summer College students stand out when interviewing for places at prestigious universities.
Students will choose two subjects from the following options:
Click on any of the subjects to see a brief summary of what’s covered in the topic
An introduction to the essential topics that comprise the Biological Sciences
This course introduces students to the two fundamental disciplines of Biological Sciences; zoology and plant sciences. Students will gain a more advanced understanding of living matter by analysing life at a number of levels, from ecosystems to molecules.
Through pure sciences, such as ecology and genetics, students will study all life on earth and consider the changes modern science has had on the subject. Our course combines the traditional topics such as animal and plant systematics with cutting edge research and developments.
An introduction to the fundamental elements of the world of modern business
Students studying Business and Management receive an undergraduate level introduction to the fundamental elements of modern business such as economics, operations management and strategy.
The course covers a range of modules from marketing to finance and requires students to consider wider concepts before applying them to specific case studies. Students consider the demands of a modern business environment and look closely at how a business operates on a daily basis.
An introduction to undergraduate level law
The English Law course will give students an insight into basic jurisprudence – the theory and the study of law.
Students spend a great deal of time discussing and debating fundamental social concepts, such as justice, liberty and rights. Through the study of both constitutional and criminal law, the class will consider the pressures that shape the development of the law and how it is enforced.
The course helps students realise the pivotal position of law in civilised society through in-depth analysis of decisive cases and their repercussions.
An introduction to English Literature, Language and Theory
Students taking the English Literature course will study texts written in English, in the United Kingdom from 650AD to the present day.
The course will introduce students to new texts from leading, influential authors and teach students the techniques and approaches to undergraduate level practical criticism.
As well as studying both poetry and prose, students will consider the importance of literary theory on the study of English literature. The course will teach students the progression of the English language and the emergence of literary movements in England.
The History course provides students with an introduction to political, cultural and military turning points that shaped the formation of the modern world.
Varsity Education’s History course gives students the opportunity to study a diverse number of historical periods and develop a comprehensive understanding of historiographical approaches.
This wide ranging course will see students analyse the impact of historic events and trends on the world whilst also developing close analysis skills through working with primary sources.
The International Relations course provides students with an introduction to the ideas, events and conflicts that shaped the formation of the modern world.
Students receive an introduction to fundamental international relations theories as they analyse the competing ideologies battling for supremacy during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The course examines political, military, and cultural turning points from the early modern era up to the present day. Students will gain insight into the
violent and ideological conflicts that birthed the nation state, the decline of European empires in the 20th century, and problems in contemporary international relations.
A practical introduction to the interdisciplinary nature of Mathematics and Engineering
The course combines Mathematics and Engineering to create a unique programme that teaches students how to apply their theoretical knowledge to the world around them.
Engineering at university level is the practical application of mathematics and physics, so our students develop their understanding of a broad range of subjects through an interdisciplinary curriculum.
Students also have the opportunity to put their new-found knowledge into practice when completing a practical project. In the past these have included building a water launcher and constructing a portable speaker.
An introduction to the essential areas of clinical medicine
Our Medicine course introduces students to some of the fundamental elements of the first stage of an Oxbridge clinical medicine degree.
Students explore the science that underpins medicine, from genetics to anatomy. They also have the opportunity to develop their knowledge on a practical level during their time in the lab.
As well as covering the key scientific material, students spend time discussing controversial ethical debates that dominate Medical discourse. Students also have the opportunity to meet practicing doctors and clinicians to learn about the reality of life after graduating.
An introduction to the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence
Students studying philosophy will be asked to consider the problems with the nature of knowledge and reality, and indeed, our moral and political ideologies.
Students will examine some fundamental questions that have plagued people for millennia; how should we decide what best to do? How should we live our lives? Whilst considering ethical concepts, students also have the opportunity to discuss applied ethical issues.
Our course covers a broad range of philosophical writers, from Kant to Bentham and teaches students some of the essential metaphysical and epistemological ideas that dominated early modern thought.
An introduction to the sciences concerned with the study of non-living matter
The Physical Sciences is the systematic study of the inorganic world – the sphere beyond living plants and animals. Our programme primarily focuses on two central subjects; Chemistry and Physics and the increasingly blurred line between the two fields.
Our Physical Sciences course provides students with a broad overview of an undergraduate level physics and chemistry programme. We cover essential mathematics, classical physics, some quantum mechanics, atomic structure and the foundations of organic chemistry.
An introduction to the political and economic institutions, and the theories and forces that impact them
Politics and economics are the forces that govern the course of our society. On our politics and economics programme students receive an undergraduate introduction to the fundamental elements of politics and economics whilst considering the prevalent issues dominating current affairs.
This course is designed to give students the chance to debate, discuss and consider the issues that govern our lives on a daily basis. Students will learn about key economic concepts such as, supply and demand, market structure and the role of finance. This knowledge will be combined with the study of political theory and political systems.
An introduction to the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour.
The Psychology course at Varsity Education is centered around the study of people – their behaviour and thoughts but also their actions, interactions and reactions. Psychology is fundamentally a scientific discipline and our students learn how to correctly formulate and test their ideas through systematic observation and experimentation.
The course gives students the opportunity to develop their understanding of how the brain works, from infancy to adulthood. Students will then consider how we perceive the world and the impact social and cultural differences can have on people’s behavior.
Students leave our programme with a fundamental understanding of how we use memory and skill, the biological basis of human behaviour and how we interact with others and our environment.
Students take part in a range of workshops designed to refine the skills they need to succeed in an intensive academic environment. Our tutors are all Oxbridge educated. They can give students a unique insider perspective on the elite university application process.
The admissions workshops build confidence, hone key university skills and help students realise their potential through new ways of thinking and learning. Upon completion of the programme, students have a comprehensive understanding of the Oxbridge application procedure and how to apply to universities in the UK.
Although academic study is the main focus for students attending Oxford Summer College, every afternoon after class, students get to relax by taking part in a range of activities in and around Oxford, the ‘city of dreaming spires’. These range from visits to famous places in Oxford like the Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian Library, to scavenger hunts, punting on the river Thames, and traditional British games like croquet and rounders.
Students also get the opportunity to visit the UK’s world-famous capital, London, and the home of Oxford’s rival university, Cambridge, visiting various museums and famous landmarks.
Our students stay in one of Oxford’s prestigious colleges. All students stay in private rooms with study areas and there is access to WiFi throughout the college. Breakfast and dinner is included with the accommodation and is served in the college dining hall, and there are numerous cafes, shops, restaurants and food stalls nearby for lunch. You’ll also get to visit the other famous and historic colleges within Oxford University, including Christ Church and Worcester.
Held at one of Oxford University’s colleges, students get to experience what life is like for an Oxford undergraduate.
Our students stay in a college just minutes from the city centre. All bedroom rooms have a study area and there is access to WiFi across the college.
Throughout the programme you will have the opportunity to visit some of Oxford’s other colleges such as the magnificent Christ Church or the expansive Worcester College.
Both breakfast and dinner are provided in the main dining hall at the college where you can eat together with your peers.
We will ask you to notify us of any dietary requirements prior to arrival.
When you’re not busy studying or enjoying our organised activities, you will have plenty of time to relax and explore Oxford’s fantastic sights, culture and shops for yourselves.
There are so many amazing places to visit in Oxford, from the astounding Bodleian Library holding 11 million books, to the T-Rex skeleton at the Natural History Museum. You might run out of time but you won’t run out of places to go!
Living, studying and eating with like-minded individuals whilst at the Oxford Summer College is a great way to experience student life. As well as participating in a full day of classes and workshops, students can relax and have fun together in the colleges, city and halls.
Oxford is a very safe city and the Oxford Summer College accommodation will be secure and supervised 24 hours a day. College porters are on duty both day and night, and programme staff live in the college and are available and contactable at all times. On arrival, students can be met and chaperoned from the airport to Oxford. All students receive a welcome pack with maps and emergency contact numbers.
“When I arrived at the airport a chaperone was waiting for me at the terminal with a bright blue shirt with Varsity Education panels. Then we were all brought back in a car to Cambridge. I felt really safe and welcome because I was taken care of, so there was nothing really to worry about.”
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