Where better to study architecture than the city of dreaming spires? Surrounded by Oxford’s inspiring buildings, the Oxford Royale Academy Introduction to Architecture course has been designed to introduce students to the fascinating subject of architecture. It teaches the secrets to building designs across the ages, ideal for expanding general knowledge, so that they’ll never look at a building in the same way again.

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Academic Content

On this course for 13-15 year olds, students will be introduced to the theoretical principles of architecture and given a grounding in the history of architecture in Europe. They will learn about numerous aspects of architecture, including the principles of design and space planning. Students will also learn about concerns such as planning law and building control regulations, and gain practical skills in project design by trying their hand at architectural drawing and constructing manual and digital architectural models. They will gain an understanding of what being an architect involves, including how architecture interacts with construction and engineering, giving an insight into possible future career paths. At the end of the course, students will work on a design portfolio competition in a team with other students.

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Why Take This Course?

The Oxford Royale Academy Introduction to Architecture course for students aged 13 to 15 is designed to expand your general knowledge of architecture in an enjoyable interactive environment. The course will help you decide whether or not architecture is a subject you might want to pursue at university and as a career; getting an idea of your long-term study plans at this early stage in your education is helpful, as it means you can tailor your subject choices over several years to give you the best chance of a successful application.

Your attendance on the course gives you another educational experience to talk about when you come to apply for university, showing admissions tutors that you’re self-motivated and enthusiastic about learning. As well as the specific practical and technical skills you’ll learn on this course, you’ll also develop transferable skills that can be used at school, university and beyond. This includes working in a team with other students, communicating effectively and thinking spatially.

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Academic Timetable

The table below gives an indication of the subject areas that will be covered in each day’s lecture and seminar. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, please note that topics and timings may be subject to change. Regarding topics, our teachers retain the flexibility to adapt to the academic interests of the students in the class, in order for the members of the class to benefit from their broad spectrum of knowledge and experience in the field.

WeekDayLesson NumberTopic Covered
Week OneSundayArrival Day – no classes
Monday1Introduction to Architecture – brief lecture
Monday2Design charrette (mini group exercise)
Tuesday1History and Theory lecture
Tuesday2Introduction to drawing workshop/how to research and use building precedents
Wednesday1Excursion – Oxford Sketch Tour
Wednesday2Follow up from Oxford tour
Thursday1Introduction to collage as a design tool
Friday1Complete precedent studies and individual collages for submission
Friday2Introduction to 3D modelling workshop followed by group model making
SaturdayNo classes
Week TwoSundayNo classes
Monday1Complete group 3D physical model making
Monday2Introduction to 3D digital modelling (SketchUp) workshop followed by individual work on computers
Tuesday1Excursion – London Architecture Tour (whole day)
Wednesday1Complete individual 3D digital modelling and project tutorials
Thursday1Portfolio workshop – how to present your work
Thursday2Assemble presentation boards for submission
Friday1Guest lecture – UK planning and architecture in practice (with Q&A)
Friday2Final review with guest reviewers. Mini lecture: how to use your portfolio for university applications
SaturdayDeparture Day

Our Students

Every summer, ORA welcomes hundreds of the world’s brightest, most academically gifted students to our Oxford courses. In 2017, attendees came from 135 different nations, each bringing with them unique cultures, perspectives and stories to share with their new friends. For Introduction to Architecture, students from 17 nations attended.

Our Teaching Faculty

At Oxford Royale Academy we are committed to providing our students with the most qualified and high-calibre teaching faculty available. All Oxford Royale Academy teachers are passionate about their subjects, 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. 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 involving teaching faculty and other staff, to informal discussions about current “hot topics” led by Counsellors.

Coach Excursions

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 2-week Introduction to Architecture course, attendees will board the ORA coach to two such destinations. Last summer, coach excursions for students aged 13-15 included visits to Blenheim Palace and Cotswold Wildlife Park.

Extra-Curricular Activities

At ORA, we never forget that our students are on holiday! Included with every ORA course is an extra-curricular timetable, carefully designed by our dedicated Events Team to ensure our students have fun, make friends and get the most out of being in Oxford.

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. Our team of Counsellors will be on hand to advise you (or to do it for you!).
  • 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 College! Real tennis (a variation of tennis played indoors, with a heavier ball) has also been enjoyed by our previous students.
  • College and museum tours: if you are thinking of applying to study at the University of Oxford, an ORA course is the perfect opportunity to visit some of the institution’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 our Introduction to Law course:

  • Film nights on campus: catch a movie with your new friends, without having to leave your College.
  • 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!
Our programmes are designed to give students a sense of the independence that studying at university brings. Students on the Introduction to Law course can explore Oxford with friends in the free time that they are given in the afternoons and evenings. Students can also use this time to research assignments and complete homework.

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What’s Included?

Our summer courses offer our students the complete study abroad experience. The grid below describes everything that is included with an ORA course:

  • Study

    • Over 20 taught hours per week
    • Study files and materials
    • Guest lectures from academic speakers
    • Personalised academic reports
    • Course certificate after graduation
  • Explore

    • Wide selection of afternoon and evening activities
    • 2 coach excursions per course
    • Welcome and graduation events (parents invited)
    • Discounts at shops around Oxford
  • Live

    • Accommodation in the University of Oxford
    • Breakfast and Dinner in the Hall
    • Free WiFi (subject to availability)
    • Daily updates on the ORA blog (great for parents!)
    • Private Medical / Travel insurance
  • Extras

    • ORA T-shirt
    • ID badge and lanyard
    • Welcome and arrival packs
    • Year group photo
    • Course memento photos
    • ORA notebook

College Life

Oxford Royale Academy’s summer programmes are designed with the academic rigour of their prestigious environment firmly in mind. Students studying ORA’s Introduction to Architecture programme will live and study in the historic city of Oxford, providing them with a unique opportunity to discover the atmosphere and architecture of its world-renowned university buildings. This course is residential in Lady Margaret Hall, a constituent College of the University of Oxford. It is located on the River Cherwell and best known for its elegant architecture and spacious gardens.

Student Welfare

The safety and security of our students is ORA’s top priority. All of the venues at which our courses take place are safe, secure environments, which are perfect for our students. Each venue is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – 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:

Each ORA campus has a Programme Director (PD), who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the summer school at their site. PDs are residential in the accommodation for the duration of the programme, so they are always close by should they be needed. Programme Directors typically have years of experience in education and the management of schools, colleges and student welfare.
The Junior Deans (JDs) assist the Programme Director with the management of the summer school at their campus. They will also be responsible for leading excursions and activities. JDs are typically returning for their third summer with Oxford Royale, or have extensive experience in summer schools or camps elsewhere. JDs are usually residential in their College.
Each ORA campus has a team of Counsellors who will be a student’s first point of contact in most cases. All Counsellors are friendly and approachable, and are thoroughly trained by Oxford Royale Academy in the management of events for young people. Many of our Counsellors are current or former members of the University of Oxford and other top universities in the UK; they are always happy to discuss careers or admissions with our students.
ORA has a team of private nurses, who host drop-in sessions at all of our campuses on a rota basis. If a student feels unwell, they can either see one of the Nurses, or go straight to our recommended private GP Surgery (Doctor). ORA courses include Private Medical cover should the need arise.

Practical Information

  • Flights

    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. For more information, please click here.

  • Scholarships

    Every year, ORA offers a number of scholarships to talented students aged 13-15 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

    Parents / 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 admin@oxford-royale.co.uk.

  • 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 Introduction to Architecture 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 admin@oxford-royale.co.uk 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 LengthCourse DatesCourse FeesLocation
2 weeks1 Jul – 14 Jul4,495 GBPLady Margaret Hall
15 Jul – 28 Jul4,495 GBPLady Margaret Hall
29 Jul – 11 Aug4,495 GBPLady Margaret Hall

How to Apply

If you are ready to apply now, the quickest and easiest way to secure your place on the Introduction to Architecture programme for 2018 is online. You will need full details of the student and, if different, the customer responsible for paying the fees, as well as a valid credit or debit card to submit the deposit payment of GBP 795.00 (we regret that we are not able to accept American Express as a form of payment).

To get started, please click the link below – you will be asked to choose the date that you would like to study the course.

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:

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.

Further Information and Documents

If you would like to consult with one of our Registrations Team members before making a booking, we would be delighted to hear from you.
admin@oxford-royale.co.uk +44 (0) 845 130 60 21