Study Human Sciences with our Oxford Summer School 2018 | Students aged 16-18
Class Summary

This Human Sciences course has been designed to provide students with an overview of the social and biological factors that affect human life, ranging from the study of genetics and evolution to how humans are affected by their own social structures. Human Sciences is a highly interdisciplinary area, covering aspects of ecology and anthropology – students will explore the disciplinary relations between these different academic areas and consider how they relate to and inform one another.

Students will discuss the fundamental question of what it means to be human, looking at how we can apply human sciences to modern life. Throughout the series of lessons, students examine current sociological issues such as population growth, as well as the quantitative methods used in human sciences. The course takes a hands-on and interactive approach, looking at objective areas of research and the methodologies of Human Science, through lively experiments and case studies.

Over the two-week course, students will produce both a short essay and a presentation, both of which can be on a broad variety of topics relating to the subject . Among other transferable skills, students will also develop their ability to analyse data, to consider their own society from a dispassionate and objective viewpoint, and to relate their personal experiences to others in a constructive and respectful manner.

This course doesn’t focus on Human Sciences as a dry, academic discipline, but looks at its relevance to modern everyday life, considering how the biological, social, genetic and cognitive aspects of human nature inform our daily experiences. The huge diversity of nationalities in attendance at Oxford Royale Academy’s summer school – with students from nearly 100 nations attending our Summer School last year – is a particular advantage in Human Sciences, allowing students to explore the multiplicity of human societies and cultures to consider the impact of Human Sciences in the daily lives of people from cultures other than their own.


No previous knowledge of the subject will be assumed.

Suggested Reading

There is no compulsory reading, but if students want to do some reading around the subject ahead of the course, the following texts are recommended:

  • Robert Boyd and Joan B. Silk, How Humans Evolved (2002) – this is a great book, clearly written and offers a solid overview of the subject of human evolution. Broken down into clear chapters, it is an excellent quick reference guide.
  • James Peoples and Garrick Bailey, Humanity: an introduction to Cultural Anthropology (2003) – this is another clear introductory text, which covers many of the topics outlined in the course such as religion, kinship and globalisation. This book is great for case studies and can be read to expand your knowledge of different human groups within society.