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Oxford History and Architecture 19-25

A summer course for young adults, residential in two colleges of the University of Oxford: Merton College and Jowett Walk (part of Balliol College).  Apply

At a Glance

  • University of Oxford campus
  • Study Oxford's rich history
  • 130715_ORAicons_36_seminarstyle_workshops Expert guidance from ORA teachers
  • 130715_ORAicons_3_coach_excursions 2 coach excursions included
  • 130715_ORAicons_4_formal_graduation Formal graduation ceremony
  • 130715_ORAicons_5_recieve_report_cards_and_certificates Report cards and a certificate
  • Develop key skills for the future

Overview

Oxford is one of the most culturally-renowned cities in the UK, with a long and fascinating history largely dominated by its ancient seat of learning. Our Oxford’s History and Architecture course for adults will introduce you to the Oxford’s buildings from a variety of historical periods, providing an engaging way to learn about the city’s past. Classroom-based study is complemented with walking tours of these architectural gems.

 Academic Content

This course introduces you to the celebrated university city of Oxford and looks at some of the key events in its history. You’ll learn about the varied architecture of the University’s colleges, as well as historical landmarks such as Oxford’s role as temporary seat of Parliament during the English Civil War. To further illuminate your understanding of the city, you’ll visit some of its most famous buildings and landmarks and learn to recognise the key features and designs of multiple architectural periods. Oxford’s Norman medieval castle is a stone’s throw from both the neoclassical Radcliffe Camera and the modernist concrete and glass of St. Catherine’s college. Bringing your knowledge of Oxford’s architecture and history right up to date, you’ll look at the respective impacts on the city of Classical, Modern, and Post-Modern architectural styles.

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Why take this course?

This course will be of interest to anyone eager to learn more about Oxford, or about history and architecture more generally. Gap year students and undergraduates will find the course an intellectually stimulating academic experience, whether or not it is of direct relevance to your field of study or career. While learning about the history and architecture of Oxford and developing your ability to ‘read’ buildings, you will also pick up analytical skills which will come in highly useful both at university and in the workplace.

Our Students

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.

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Timetable for students aged 19 to 25

Roll over the items in the timetable for more details!
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Roll over the items in the timetable for more details!
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SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Breakfast

Breakfast

08:00 - 08:30
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  • Get ready for the day ahead with breakfast in college
  • Breakfast is included for all ORA students
Walk to classes

Walk to classes

08:30 - 09:00
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  • Some teaching rooms are located on campus, others are elsewhere in Oxford
Cultural excursion

Cultural excursion

09:00 - 18:00
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  • Visit places of cultural and historical interest in the UK
  • Possible excursions include the city of Bath, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, Woburn Abbey and other sites of interest
Morning Classes

Morning Classes

09:00 - 10:30
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  • Students pursue their chosen study option
  • Guidance from expert teachers
Coffee Break

Coffee Break

10:30 - 11:00
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  • Enjoy refreshments and chat with fellow students
Morning Classes

Morning Classes

11:00 - 12:30
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  • Students pursue their chosen study option
  • Guidance from expert teachers
Arrival at your college

Arrival at your college

12:00 - 16:30
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  • Student photographs
  • Collection of arrival pack and timetable
  • Move in to your room and unpack
  • Meet students and staff
  • Tea and coffee
Lunch

Lunch

12:30 - 13:45
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  • Grab a bite to eat from one of the many cafes in Oxford
  • Soak up the city’s cultural heritage
Cultural Activities

Cultural activities

13:45 - 15:30
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  • Visit a museum, follow a walking tour, or try your hand at punting
  • ORA-led excursions available
Conversation Café

Conversation Café

13:45 - 18:00
Masterclass
  • A range of weekly talks
  • Debate current issues with fellow students and experts in the field
Free time

Free time

13:45 - 15:30
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  • Catch up on work or do some extra course reading
  • Network with students and staff
Afternoon options: Tours of Christ Church, punting, real Tennis

Afternoon options

13:45 - 18:00
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  • Other possible options:
  • Walking tours
  • Visiting Modern Art Oxford
  • Visiting Oxford Castle
  • Exploring the Botanic Garden
Cultural Activities

Cultural activities

13:45 - 15:30
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  • Visit a museum, follow a walking tour, or try your hand at punting
  • ORA-led excursions available
Welcome reception

Welcome reception

17:00 - 18:00
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  • Welcome presentation by the Programme Director
  • Meet the Campus Staff and other ORA students
  • Chance for students to meet their new friends from around the world
Tours of Oxford

Tours of Oxford

16:00 - 18:00
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  • Visit many of Oxford's famous landmarks
  • Including the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera and the Sheldonian Theatre
  • Let Oxford's 'Dreaming Spires' inspire you!
Visits to the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre

Visits to the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre

16:00 - 18:00
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  • Visit some of Oxford's most famous sites, such as the Bodliean Library and the Sheldonian Theatre
Visit to the Ashmolean Museum

Visit to the Ashmolean Museum

16:00 - 18:00
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  • Visit some of Oxford's many museums, such as the famous Ashmolean Museum which houses art and artefacts from all over the world
Dinner

Dinner in college

18:00 - 19:30
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  • Enjoy an atmospheric evening meal in your college's dining hall
Induction talk and "Ice Breaker" activities

Induction talk and "Ice Breaker" activities

19:30 - 22:30
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  • Presentation by Programme Director to students
  • Ice breaker activities: get to know staff and students on your course
Quiz night

Quiz night

19:30 - 22:30
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  • Test out your general knowledge
  • Prizes will be given for the winners and for the best team name!
Evening options: Experience Oxford’s nightlife or enjoy a Shakespeare play in a college garden

Evening options

19:30 - 22:30
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Every evening, our team will provide a wide range of activity options to suit all interests! Trips into town and theatre in an Oxford college are often amongst the options offered.
Evening options: Film night or guest lectures and talks

Evening options

19:30 - 22:30
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Every evening, our team will provide a wide range of activity options to suit all interests! Catch the latest blockbuster or an old classic with your new friends. Or, catch up on some reading and make a start on your assignments from the first two days of classes.
Evening options: Salsa dancing workshop and cooking competition

Evening options

19:30 - 22:30
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Every evening, our team will provide a wide range of activity options to suit all interests! Learn Salsa Dancing with our expert teacher - a fun and energetic activity. Or put your culinary skills to the test against other ORA students!
Party

Party

19:30 - 22:00
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  • Dance the night away in the city of dreaming spires
  • Enjoy themed nights. James Bond, anyone?
Evening options: Late-opening exhibitions at one of Oxford’s many museums

Evening options

19:30 - 22:30
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Every evening, our team will provide a wide range of activity options to suit all interests! Previous Oxford exhibitions have included Day of The Dead at the Pitt Rivers, or Andy Warhol at Modern Art Oxford.
Free time

Evening

22:30 - 23:00
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  • Short briefing from Campus Staff
SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Breakfast

Breakfast

07:30 - 08:30
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  • Get ready for the day ahead with breakfast in college
  • Breakfast is included for all ORA students
Free time

Free time

08:30 - 18:00
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Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, followed by time to work on your assignments and explore Oxford.
Walk to classes

Walk to classes

08:30 - 09:00
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  • Some teaching rooms are located on campus, others are elsewhere in Oxford
Departure day

Departures

09:00 - 17:00
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  • Say goodbye to Oxford and to your college
  • Collect your reports and your certificates
Morning Lessons

Morning Lessons

09:00 - 10:30
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  • Students pursue their chosen study option
  • Guidance from expert teachers
Coffee Break

Coffee Break

10:30 - 11:00
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  • Enjoy refreshments and chat with fellow students
Morning Classes

Morning Classes

09:00 - 10:30
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  • Students pursue their chosen study option
  • Guidance from expert teachers
Lunch

Lunchtime

12:30 - 13:45
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  • Grab a bite to eat from one of the many cafes in Oxford
  • Soak up the city’s cultural heritage
Cultural Activities

cultural activities

13:45 - 15:30
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  • Visit a museum, follow a walking tour, or try your hand at punting
  • ORA-led excursions available
Conversation Café

Conversation Café

13:45 - 18:00
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  • A range of weekly talks
  • Debate current issues with fellow students and experts in the field
Free Time

Free time

13:45 - 15:30
  • Catch up on work or do some extra course reading
  • Network with students and staff
Cultural Excursion: London Musical

Cultural excursion

13:45 - 18:00
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  • Visit London - the capital of the United Kingdom and one of the most dynamic cities on the planet!
  • Finish the evening at a West End musical. Jersey Boys, Thriller: Live! and The Lion King have all featured in recent summers.
Cultural Activities

Cultural activities

13:45 - 15:30
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  • Visit a museum, follow a walking tour, or try your hand at punting
  • ORA-led excursions available
ORACLE: inspiring talks and workshops

ORACLE

16:00 - 18:00
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ORACLE is an academic event during which students can attend fascinating talks and inspiring workshops, following their own personal interests in order to expand their knowledge. Please note that ORACLE is only running during Sessions 3, 4 and 5 of the summer school. Full details are available by clicking the ORACLE option from the Students menu at the top of this page.
Visit to Oxford’s Pitt Rivers and natural history museums

Visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum

16:00 - 18:00
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Founded in 1884, The Pitt Rivers Museum houses Oxford University's archaeological and anthropological collections. Join your fellow students for a group tour arranged by the Oxford Royale Academy events team.
Visit to Oxford's Botanic Garden

Visit to Oxford's Botanic Garden

16:00 - 18:00
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Founded in 1621, the University of Oxford's Botanic Garden is one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world. More recently, it has appeared in and inspired some famous literary works, notably Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland' and Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. Well worth a visit!
Graduation ceremony

Graduation ceremony

16:00 - 18:00
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  • Graduate from Oxford Royale Academy in a ceremony at your college
  • Listen to speeches from the Programme Director, other campus staff and fellow students
  • Family are welcome to attend
Dinner

Dinner in college

18:00 - 19:30
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  • Enjoy an atmospheric evening meal in your college’s dining hall
Dinner

Dinner in college

18:00 - 19:30
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  • Enjoy an atmospheric evening meal in your college’s dining hall
Evening options: Guest talks or yoga in the college grounds

Evening options

19:30 - 22:30
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Every evening, our team will provide a wide range of activity options to suit all interests! Work on your assignments or relax with some yoga in the peaceful grounds of your college.
Evening options: Enjoy Oxford’s nightlife

Evening options

19:30 - 22:30
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Every evening, our team will provide a wide range of activity options to suit all interests! Take your friends and enjoy a trip to an Oxford institution, such as G&D's ice cream parlour or The Grand Café (the oldest coffee house in England).
Evening options: Careers talk or ghost tour around Oxford

Evening options

19:30 - 22:30
Every evening, our team will provide a wide range of activity options to suit all interests! Discuss options regarding your future career with ORA staff. Or, prepare to learn Oxford's dark and spooky secrets with a ghost trail from famous Oxford tour guide, Bill Spectre.
Evening options: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Explore Uni Parks

Evening options

19:30 - 22:30
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Every evening, our team will provide a wide range of activity options to suit all interests! Attend a Shakespeare production in the fantastic setting of an Oxford college. Or, unwind in Oxford’s peaceful University Parks.
Graduation party

Graduation party

19:30 - 22:00
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  • A chance for students to spend one last evening together
  • Previous parties have had glamorous themes
Free Time

Evening

22:30 - 23:00
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  • Short briefing from Campus Staff

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.

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 it. All ORA courses include coach excursions to places of historical and social significance in the UK. On the Oxford History and Architecture programme, attendees will board the ORA coach to two such destinations. Last summer’s coach excursions included visits to Blenheim Palace and London.

Extra-Curricular Activities

While much of your time on this course will be spent studying, either in the classroom or out ‘in the field’, you will have some time off scheduled in so that you can make the most of your time in Oxford. As well as giving you the opportunity to explore Oxford’s more leisurely side – such as punting on the River Thames – we will take you on day trips to places of historical and/or architectural significance such as Blenheim Palace or Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. In the evenings, you can try your hand at new activities such as salsa dancing lessons, or unwind with a movie or karaoke night. At the end of your course, there will be a special graduation ceremony and dinner to celebrate your time at Oxford Royale Academy.

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!
Our programmes are designed to give students a sense of the independence that studying at university brings. Students on the Oxford History and Architecture programme can explore the nearby area 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.

College Life

The Oxford History and Architecture 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.

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 adult course:

  • Study

    • Over 15 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 (+1s 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
    • Private Medical / Travel insurance
  • Extras

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

Student Welfare

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:

Each ORA campus has a Programme Director (PD), who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the summer school at their College. PDs are residential in the College 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 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 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 in the. 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 future careers or postgraduate admissions with our adult 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.

Some classes on the Oxford’s History and Architecture course will take place in College; others are held at nearby venues in the city.

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. 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.

  • Scholarships

    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 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 Oxford History and 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 weeks2 Jul – 15 Jul4,295 GBPTo Be Confirmed
16 Jul – 29 Jul4,295 GBPTo Be Confirmed
30 Jul – 12 Aug4,295 GBPTo Be Confirmed

How to Apply

If you are ready to apply now, the quickest and easiest way to secure your place on the Oxford History and Architecture programme for 2017 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
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