On this fascinating course, you will examine a number of recent historical events that have impacted global politics and international relations today, such as 9/11 and the Iraq War. You will develop your skills as a historian, learning to analyse primary and secondary sources and question their reliability. You will consider how our understanding of recent historical events is shaped by various groups of people including politicians and the media, as well as considering the impact of new forms of media (such as Twitter) in the making and recording of history.
Constructing and defending an argument is a fundamental part of a historian’s work, and you will therefore be expected to engage in debate with your fellow students on a variety of historical issues. This could include a discussion of history in the making, such as the possible British exit from the European Union.
Why take this course?
This course is suitable for gap year students and undergraduates. Whether you’re preparing for a history or politics degree or about to take your first step on the career ladder, the course gives you the opportunity to study periods of history that you may not have had the chance to study at school. It also gives you the chance to think about how recent history has affected current affairs. It will help you get more out of watching the news or reading the newspapers, giving you deeper background knowledge of the events that have shaped the issues that recur in the news today.
As well as developing your skills as a historian – enhancing your ability to analyse the validity of sources and detect possible bias, for example – the course also gives you transferable skills, such as confidence speaking in public and working with others. These will prove valuable at university and in your future career, and enable you to demonstrate examples of specific skills in your job applications.
Every summer, ORA welcomes hundreds of the world’s brightest, most academically gifted students to our Oxford courses. In 2016, attendees came from 108 different nations, each bringing with them unique cultures, perspectives and stories to share with their new friends.
Timetable for students aged 19 to 25
Our Teaching Faculty
At Oxford Royale Academy we are committed to providing our students with the most qualified and high-calibre teaching available. All Oxford Royale Academy teachers are passionate about their subject, and are looking forward to passing their knowledge on to their students this summer! For full details of last summer’s teaching faculty, please click here
Guest Lectures and Debates
At ORA, we go the extra mile to enhance the study abroad experience of our students. As part of this, every year our dedicated Events Team organises a series of fascinating guest lectures. Last year these took place in the Examination Schools of the University of Oxford, allowing ORA students to experience a lecture in the same environment as a University student. Guest speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds and specialisms, including the worlds of online media, television and academia. Our students also have the opportunity to watch and participate in a number of debates, which take place on campus. These range from formal Panel Debates to informal discussions about current ‘hot topics’ led by ORA staff.
The United Kingdom has a rich cultural heritage, and a course with Oxford Royale Academy is the perfect way for a young learner to explore this. All ORA courses include coach excursions to places of historical and social significance in the UK. On the Contemporary History programme, attendees will board the ORA coach to two such destinations. Last summer’s coach excursions included visits to Blenheim Palace and London.
You’ll be immersed in contemporary history for the majority of your time with us, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have some time off to relax and enjoy Oxford. As well as getting the chance to explore Oxford and its wealth of culture, you’ll also get to go on day trips to other places of interest, such as historic Stratford-upon-Avon and Blenheim Palace. In the evenings, you can choose from a fun programme of activities ranging from cookery competitions to salsa dancing lessons. At the end of the course, you’ll celebrate your achievements in a special graduation ceremony and dinner.
Some past afternoon activities enjoyed by our students include the following:
- Punting: travel the waterways of the River Cherwell in a flat-bottomed boat, using a five-metre-long pole to propel your vessel! This mode of transport is unique to Oxford and Cambridge.
- Summer sports: have you ever played the traditional English game of croquet? There will be the chance to do so on the lawns of your campus! Real tennis (a variation of tennis played indoors, with a heavier ball) has also been enjoyed by our previous students.
- College and museum tours: An ORA course is the perfect opportunity to visit some of the University of Oxford’s most famous Colleges (including New College, Magdalen College and Christ Church). You will also have the chance to visit Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum – famous for being the world’s first university museum.
- Dance and music workshops: have you ever wanted to try Indian dance? How about Salsa dancing? Or drumming? Experts in these art forms will be dropping in to our campuses to run workshops, allowing our students to unleash their creative sides.
The events and entertainment on offer don’t stop when the sun starts to go down at our campuses! The following will be available to every student on this programme:
- Outdoor theatre: many Oxford Colleges put on Shakespeare plays in their quads and gardens throughout the summer months.
- Karaoke in Oxford: head to a venue in Oxford and sing along to the latest hits.
- Themed parties at local hotels and country houses: head to a local venue and enjoy dinner and dancing with your friends from around the world; past venues include Ardington House in Oxfordshire and The Randolph Hotel in the city of Oxford. Every party has a theme: Hollywood, Venetian Masquerade and The Olympics are examples of past themes.
- Graduation: a formal graduation ceremony will be held on the last night of your course. This is followed by your Graduation dinner and party — a glamorous conclusion to your stay in Oxford!
The Contemporary History course for ages 19-25 is residential in colleges of the University of Oxford, enabling students to immerse themselves in the environment and atmosphere of one of the best universities in the world. Students on this programme will stay in Merton College, a secluded haven in the city centre, or Jowett Walk (part of Balliol College). Both colleges have strong claims to being the oldest of all the colleges of the University of Oxford, and our summer courses for ages 19-25 are designed with the academic nature of their setting in mind. In addition to their studies, participants will have plenty of free time to enjoy independent exploration of the inspirational city of Oxford, and to conduct their own research in Oxford’s libraries.
Our summer courses offer our students the complete study abroad experience. The grid below describes everything that is included with an ORA adult course:
- Over 15 taught hours per week
- Study files and materials
- Guest lectures from academic speakers
- Personalised academic reports
- Course certificate after graduation
- Wide selection of afternoon and evening activities
- 2 coach excursions per course
- Welcome and graduation events (+1s invited)
- Discounts at shops around Oxford
- Accommodation in the University of Oxford
- Breakfast and Dinner in the Hall
- Free WiFi (subject to availability)
- Daily updates on the ORA blog
- Private Medical / Travel insurance
- ORA T-shirt
- ID badge and lanyard
- Welcome and arrival packs
- Year group photo
- Course memento photos
- ORA notebook
The safety and security of our students is ORA’s top priority. All of the centres at which our courses run are safe, secure environments, which are perfect for our students. Each centre is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a team of Porters. In addition, Oxford Royale Academy’s comprehensively trained team of campus staff are always on hand. If you join us this summer, you will see the following members of staff on your campus:
Some classes on the Contemporary History course will take place in College; others are held at nearby venues in the city.
Most students who come to ORA will have to book a flight to the UK. ORA courses do not include flights. Information on the best time to arrive will be on your course confirmation email and in your Welcome Pack.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
ORA offers coach transfers between all of our Oxford campuses and London Heathrow airport, for a small extra charge. We are also able to arrange taxi transfers from all other airports and destinations, again at an extra charge. For more information, please click here.
Every year, ORA offers a number of scholarships to talented students from around the world. If you would like to read more about the financial aid we can offer, please click here.
Welcome Reception and Graduation
Family are welcome to attend these events at the start and end of their student’s course. For more information, please contact our Registrations Department on email@example.com.
Medical and Dietary Information
All students who enrol are required to complete our Medical and Dietary Information form. A link will be emailed to all students once their enrolment is confirmed.
Eligibility and Pre-requisites
Students on the Contemporary History programme:
- Must conform to our Age Policy.
- Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Registrations Team on firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be able to assist you.
- Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Registrations Team for more detailed information.
Dates, Fees and Locations
|Course Length||Course Dates||Course Fees||Location|
|2 weeks||2 Jul – 15 Jul||4,295 GBP||To Be Confirmed|
|16 Jul – 29 Jul||4,295 GBP||To Be Confirmed|
|30 Jul – 12 Aug||4,295 GBP||To Be Confirmed|
How to Apply
If you prefer, you can complete our paper application form, which is available for download by clicking here. You can then return this to our offices by one of the following methods:
- Scan and e-mail to email@example.com
- Fax to +44 (0) 845 130 01 22
- Post to the address below
For enrolments via the paper application form, we are able to accept the GBP 795.00 course deposit by credit or debit card, bank transfer or cheque. Please see the form for full details.