Oxford Summer School 2018

Broadening Horizons Ages 16-18

Oxford Summer School 2018
Also in Cambridge | London


An academic summer programme for students aged 16-18 offering 30 subject options and a full activities timetable.

2 or 4 weeks | Available June - August 2018

  • Live, dine and study in colleges of the University of Oxford
  • Expert tutoring from ORA's faculty
  • 30 subject options to choose from - tailor your course
  • Talks and debates with world-class guest speakers
  • A truly international environment - over 130 nationalities in 2017
  • Inspirational cultural programme

Course Summary

Oxford Royale Summer Schools's Broadening Horizons course offers students aged 16-18 the opportunity to study a combination of subjects in one of our historic summer venues, whether a college of the University of Cambridge, a college of the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, or Yarnton Manor. Students choose three subjects from the 30 options available, allowing them to pursue areas of interest or to try out something new.

Morning Subjects take place in small study groups; Afternoon Workshops are comprised typically of larger groups suitable for interactive activities, focusing on more practical skills. With subjects available ranging from Astronomy to Digital Marketing (see 'topics covered' below), you can build your perfect summer course with the Broadening Horizons programme.

Where could the Broadening Horizons summer course lead you?

Why choose Broadening Horizons for 16-18 years?

The Broadening Horizons programme is Oxford Royale Summer Schools's most flexible summer programme for 16-18s, allowing students to combine multiple subjects. Students select two unique Morning Subject options (one from List A and one from List B) and an Afternoon Workshop subject - see 'topics covered' for the list of subject options available. The variety offered by the programme makes it our most popular summer course, allowing students the chance to focus on areas they may wish to improve or to try something brand new for general interest.

How will Broadening Horizons help me?

The ability to tailor your programme means the Broadening Horizons programme has multiple benefits for students. Students can choose to study subjects they need to improve in order to boost their school grades, they may wish to choose subjects they are thinking of studying beyond school at university, or they may simply want to try out something new that they have yet to study, such as Astronomy or Marketing - Broadening Horizons gives students the chance to do all three.

Is this course for me?

If you are are looking for a flexible summer programme and the ability to combine multiple subjects of your choice, then this course is for you.

Topics covered

Students may choose one subject from List A, one (different) subject from List B, and one afternoon workshop. Click on the links below to learn more about each subject option.

Please note that, where a subject appears in both List A and List B, it is not possible to choose the same subject from both lists. For example, it is not possible to choose List A Mathematics and List B Mathematics. All option choices must be unique.

On this course, students will delve into the complex world of business finance, covering aspects ranging from company finance to the bigger picture of the UK economy. Students will investigate how big businesses weather the storm of turbulent economic times, with topical debate on the impact of Brexit on the UK’s businesses and their finances.

Students will be introduced to aspects of business finance such as investment, the finance of mergers and acquisitions and financial forecasting. They will explore what happens when a company becomes publicly listed, and gain an understanding of the relationship between a business and its shareholders. They will discuss specific business case studies, as well as working in groups to complete exercises such as creating a pitch for investment for a fictional company.

Finance is a lucrative and sought-after career, and attendance on this course will stand students in good stead for pursuing jobs in this sector. Students will gain an excellent introduction to the world of business finance during their time on this course, providing valuable knowledge and experience that can be mentioned on CVs and in job applications. Students who wish to pursue a career in business finance will have the chance to quiz our expert teachers about university applications and what employers in this sector look for in candidates.

The course aims to give students more confidence and foster curiosity about pursuing the subject in their future studies; no one should leave this course under the impression that Chemistry is boring. The course uses class discussions, debates, presentations, role plays and written work to explore topics that students will not have encountered before in their academic career. It encourages students to think broadly and to apply transferable skills both within the Broadening Horizons programme and in their future academic studies.

As all teachers are qualified at least to Masters level, they will be happy to answer students’ questions concerning Chemistry, even if it is not within the purview of the course as specified above. Teachers will also be able to give advice on university applications, interview questions, and the plethora of careers that are open to Chemistry graduates.

This History summer course takes students through the most important global events and processes which have taken place since the end of the Second World War, from the Cold War to the decolonisation process, the rise of China, the Middle Eastern conflicts, and the response of the international community to the rise of terrorism.

The course will seek to encourage students to think more like professional historians: students will read original primary sources, and be introduced to the debates which continue to divide historians about the best way in which to interpret events that continue to shape our world today. The class looks at processes which gave rise to major international bodies like the UN and the European Union. It also explores the most significant international conflicts of recent decades such as the Vietnam War and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Special emphasis is placed on the most recent events, including the rise of global terrorism and the Iraq war.

Each session on this course will consist of brief talks by the tutor, intended to provide students with background information on the subject, and group discussions. This course also uses video material from the British Pathé archive in order to bring the past to life. Asking questions and engaging in debate is very much supported, as this is a world history course, and each student, coming from a different home country and background, will be encourage to bring their own unique insights to this history summer course.

This Creative Writing course aims both to inspire students, and to provide students with an overview of techniques and processes available to writers, encouraging them to think beyond their perceived limitations while equipping them to exceed themselves.

Students are encouraged to experiment with their own writing, as well as engaging in literary reviews of writing that have preceded them. Based around advice and examples from famous literary figures, students will encounter the obstacles and opportunities that present themselves when writing – including learning ways to overcome the dreaded writer’s block.

An introduction to the history, literature, philosophy and belief systems of Ancient Greece and Rome.

Studying Classical Civilisations as part of the Broadening Horizons course furnishes students with valuable transferable skills – such as the ability to examine and analyse primary sources – through our study of original classical texts.

Students will be encouraged to think analytically about the cultural constructs operating in the Greek and Roman worlds, including their politics, society and philosophy, in order to understand how different, as well as how similar, the ancient and modern worldviews are. You will understand how the ancient world contributed to modern society in the areas of architecture, politics, literature, religion, philosophy, sports, visual arts, warfare, drama and science, seeing the world through ancient eyes to gain a new perspective on present-day problems and situations.

Not only does this course provide students with an in-depth introduction to a fascinating subject that they may not previously have had the chance to study, but it also allows them to evaluate whether Classical Civilisations is something they might wish to study further at university.

This exciting Economics Summer Course in Oxford has been designed to introduce students to basic economic theory while also looking at the way in which it is applied, to help students understand current economic issues, from unemployment to the benefits and disadvantages of the Eurozone.

Over two weeks, students will look at a range of topics in microeconomics, macroeconomics and international economics. In microeconomics, students will look at the basic economic problem of scarcity and choice, supply and demand, different models of market structure, the occurrence of market failure (e.g. due to the absence of markets for public goods, problems of information, and externalities), and the incidence and effectiveness of government intervention. In macroeconomics, students will learn about about policy objectives, the AD-AS model, and the operation of an independent central bank. Finally, in international economics, students will learn about about trade, protectionism and exchange rates. A great deal of ground is covered in these two weeks, spurring students to take their new-found economic curiosity further once they leave Oxford.

This course takes in a huge swathe of English Literature from the past 500 years, from Shakespeare’s The Tempest right up to modern-day metafiction. Students will be provided with the fundamental skills for literary analysis and to build on these with the introduction of more complex texts.

Students will not only learn about literary analysis and criticism, but will also learn the key to structuring a strong Oxbridge-style essay – a skill that will be of immense value in their future studies. A wide variety of different lesson styles and approaches will be used in order to keep all students engaged, including lectures, readings, drama activities, multi-media clips, textual analysis, written tasks and discussion work. Students will be expected to contribute to the class by sharing their written work and by engaging in lively in-class discussions and debates.

This Experimental Psychology course follows the pioneers of the field in seeking answers to some of life's most intriguing questions, giving students the opportunity to study, discuss and debate issues of identity, consciousness, morality, and more.

Experimental Psychologists have addressed some of the most intriguing questions of life: What makes you you? What makes you different from other people? Is there always a clear difference between Good and Evil? This class provides students with the opportunity to study, discuss and debate these alongside a wide range of other fascinating and controversial issues.

This course will cover some of the most fundamental psychological concepts and introduce some of the most influential theorists. Students are encouraged to evaluate the material critically, to engage in discussion and debate, to gain insight into their own personalities and development and to relate the material to their own lives and experiences. Topics will be explored through a combination of structured teaching, varied activities and exercises, class discussion, and video sessions.

This Human Sciences summer 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, and also considering the academic interplay between the subject and others.

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.

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 Summer Schools’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.

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of journalism by developing their ability to respond critically to a wide range of journalistic media; it is suitable for both those seeking general exposure to the field and those who aim to pursue a career in journalism and want to hone their skills while considering journalism's requirements.

“I am deeply interested in the progress and elevation of journalism, having spent my life in that profession, regarding it as a noble profession and one of unequalled importance for its influence upon the minds and morals of the people.” Joseph Pulitzer – journalist, publisher, and founder of the Pulitzer Prizes.

The course will look at broadcast as well as print journalism, and the increasingly relevant world of online news. While the primary focus will be on journalism in the UK, the diversity of nationalities in attendance on the course (students from nearly 50 different nationalities attended the Broadening Horizons summer school last year) will also provide a valuable perspective on how news is reported around the world.

The course combines analysis of the theories behind journalism with practical guidance on writing and approaches to journalistic technique. Consequently, assessment will take two forms: students will produce their own article from a range of options and will also analyse a publication, considering its style, target audience and editorial tone, and producing a ‘pen portrait’ of a typical reader. They will consider how writing can inform, educate and entertain, and how best to write for different purposes and audiences. Profile and travel writing will be addressed alongside comment and news pieces.

In the second week students will be placed into small groups with a view to producing their own print magazine. This will educate students about all the processes of journalism, from writing to publication, while developing skills in teamwork and collaboration. Finally, the course will provide invaluable experience for students who are interested in embarking on a future career in journalism, teaching them about the day-to-day reality of a journalist’s work and providing some career guidance for this competitive field.

A course with direct relevance to students’ future careers, Management Studies provides an excellent introduction to the world of business and the challenges it entails.

Students will spend part of their time on this course exploring the skills and personality traits required for management, as well as learning about the responsibilities typically expected of the modern manager.

They will discuss leadership and management styles, and they will be introduced to some of the techniques required to be an effective manager. Students will gain an understanding of hierarchies of management and of human resources, discussing some of the challenges a manager might come up against in the course of their duties and debating how best to approach various challenging scenarios.

Some of the Management Studies course will be devoted to teaching students about the theories underpinning modern management, such as the economics of business and management. They will explore the financial considerations and constraints that most managers will be required to work within, both at the company level and in the context of an unstable economy.

This Mathematics summer course in Oxford is designed for students with a keen interest in Mathematics. Our focus will be on the introduction of basic concepts from higher mathematics, on the development and practise of critical thinking skills, and on fun and exciting topics that the student is not likely to be taught on a standard school curriculum.

The class introduces several different facets of modern mathematics; students will encounter important ideas in arithmetic, geometry, graph theory, logic, computer science, and game theory, to name a few. Students will also solve riddles and critical thinking puzzles, draw tessellations and fractals, play strategic mathematical games, and even get the chance to build a primitive computer! The aim is to give students more confidence and curiosity towards the subject of mathematics for the future. Students will see how mathematics is evident in art, music and nature as they learn to think visually and imaginatively about the subject.

This summer Medical Biology course is designed for students who wish to extend their knowledge and understanding of the science behind modern medical practice, encouraging students to consider human health and its wider impact more broadly.

The course uses class discussion, debates, presentations, role plays and written work to explore topics that students might not have encountered before, and to encourage students to think more broadly about human health and how it relates to wider social, political and environmental factors. The lessons aim to be an interactive and challenging introduction to medical sciences, and students are expected to get involved in discussions and to participate fully in class activities.

The Medical Biology course consists of ten 90-minute sessions, in which the following topics are covered: diabetes, arterial disease, heart attacks and strokes, infectious diseases, brain diseases, the the designing of medical research studies, and medical imaging techniques. Students will even have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on heart dissection, should they wish to try this.

This course provides the perfect introduction for students who are thinking of pursuing future careers such as nursing, pharmacology, midwifery, nutrition or medical technology, or indeed broader related fields such as public health or global development. It may also be of interest to students who have settled on a path in the sciences and who are unsure which specialism they might like to pursue in future. Of course, having future plans that relate to medical biology is not essential for taking this course; it has relevance in all of our lives and students may wish to pursue it out of pure intellectual curiosity and the desire for a challenge.

Students on this challenging Neuroscience course will explore the complex workings of the human brain, covering difficult issues including memory, the storage of information, the role of sleep, and how emotions and pain affect neural pathways.

Over the course of two weeks, students will build up an understanding of the brain's structure and how it functions. After studying the anatomy of the human brain, they will then learn about how different parts of the brain control movement and emotions. They will also explore memory and how the brain learns and stores information, why the brain needs sleep, and now neural pathways form responses to emotions and pain.

As part of this course, students will study nerve cells and the way in which they transmit information, as well as considering how they may be affected by illness and drugs. In this context, students will look at the relationship between the brain and the spinal cord, as well as gaining an appreciation of sensory systems such as vision, touch and hearing.

Students will have the opportunity to carry out practical experiments – such as an eye dissection – to illuminate what they have learned, providing hands-on scientific research experience that will come in useful at university and beyond. The course is ideal for students who are aiming to study medicine, human biology or medicine-related degrees at university, as well as those with a more general interest in biology or science.

This Philosophy summer course has been designed to offer our brightest learners the opportunity to study challenging topics which rarely features in the school curriculum, offering some of the most brilliant ideas of history's most brilliant thinkers, in addition to universally applicable transferable skills.

Students will be introduced to the four main branches of analytic philosophy – logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics – and will have the opportunity to analyse and debate some of life’s most fundamental questions with their peers: “What makes an action right or wrong?”; “How can we trust our senses?”; “What is truth?”; “What defines the human mind?”. The class serves more as an introduction to analytic philosophy, as studied at most major English-speaking universities, although some discussion of religious systems will be encouraged under the umbrella of metaphysics. Students will also get the chance to explore the philosophy of science.

This physics summer course aims to introduce students to aspects of physics beyond what is taught in most schools, introducing them to topics encountered at a degree level in order to give an impression of the current state of modern physics and its most intellectually challenging -and rewarding- aspects.

The class contains very little overlap with conventional high school physics. The physics covered in high school is over two hundred years old. It can be archaic and boring, yet physics today is on the brink of exciting new discoveries. For students to gain an appreciation of physics, it is best that they are exposed to the ideas and problems of modern physics which are covered in class.

The structure of this physics summer course is based mainly on discussion and worksheets, with one homework sheet and one student presentation. Problem solving in groups captures the activity of research physics well, and this is why group worksheets in class are an important part of the curriculum. The homework and presentation give the students further opportunity to test their understanding, and to research and explain to their peers topics not covered in the classes.

During the first four days, the underlying ideas of relativistic physics are introduced. During the next three days quantum physics is introduced and analysed from perspectives of philosophy and technological applications. On the remaining days, a survey of other major areas of physics is offered for discussion.

This Politics summer course is designed to introduce students to the academic disciplines of Political Science and International Relations, exposing them to the methods of social scientific enquiry and contemporary issues dominating the discipline.

Over the course of two weeks, the classes build a progressive understanding from the foundations of Political Science to some of the most pressing issues faced in the field of International Relations.

Week One

During the first week, students examine basic academic principles; the focus thereafter is on the development of international politics, with classes exploring issues such as the consequences of globalization, human rights, the ethical dilemma of torture, and the evolution of modern warfare (with particular emphasis on counter-terrorism legislation).

Week Two

In their second week students on this politics summer course will study the conceptual basis of global governance, present to their peers on a major international institution, and participate in a class debate on whether or not war can be just.

This archaeology summer course introduces students to a broad array of intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking debates within Archaeology and the associated discipline of Anthropology.

Over two weeks, the course will explore some of the key theoretical principles underpinning archaeological and anthropological practice, illustrated by real case studies from prehistory to the present day. Ultimately, students will find themselves reconsidering humanity in an entirely new light.

A particular advantage of our Oxford location is that students also have the opportunity to adopt a hands-on approach on this archaeology summer course: handling archaeological artefacts, visiting one of Oxford’s most outstanding museum collections and even participating in a mock excavation. Students are also encouraged to take a personalised approach to the subject in reassessing their own day-to-day behavioural manifestations and social relations. Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum is also a fantastic resource for students to visit at leisure: founded in 1884, it houses more than 500,000 anthropological artefacts sourced from across the globe, ranging from the beautiful (intricate Micronesian amulets) to the bizarre (a tiny silver bottle from Sussex, believed to contain an even tinier witch…).

This course gives students the chance to explore a fascinating subject seldom taught at school, gaining an understanding of celestial phenomena including supernovae, planets, and stars.

The oldest of the natural sciences, astronomy employs physics, maths and chemistry in order to understand celestial objects such as planets and stars, and phenomena such as supernovae. Astronomy is one of the most popular contemporary sciences, with several Physics Nobel Prizes being awarded to astrophysics in recent years.

Students will begin by exploring the chronological development of astronomy as a discipline, through renaissance and modern times looking at the ways in which astronomers have sought to make sense of the Universe and how our knowledge has changed and evolved. They will then start to look at some of the fundamental principles astronomy employs, such as orbital mechanics, and apply this to our own Solar System.

Students will be introduced to contemporary astronomical topics such as the birth and death of stars, exoplanets (planets outside of our Solar System), and the formation and development of galaxies. In discussing these subjects, students will learn the intricacies and scientific methods employed in each field. For example, the thermonuclear reactions that govern the life cycle of stars and the various end stages of the evolution of a star, such as white dwarfs and black holes; radial velocity and transit methods for planet detection and galaxy classification methods such as the Hubble tuning fork.

Students will also have the chance to debate some of the biggest and most popular questions within the discipline, developing their public speaking skills as they address questions such as ‘will humans ever populate Mars?’, ‘is there life beyond Earth?’, ‘what lies beyond the Universe?’ and ‘when and how might the Universe end?’. Students will also consider the practical differences between observational and theoretical astronomy, as well as what’s involved in studying the various sub-branches of astronomy, such as planetary sciences, stella, galactic and extragalactic astronomy and cosmology.

This Chemistry summer course focuses on strengthening core concepts as well as introducing new and exciting topics, to go beyond what students might have had a chance to cover at school.

The course aims to give students more confidence and foster curiosity about pursuing the subject in their future studies; no one should leave this course under the impression that Chemistry is boring. The course uses class discussions, debates, presentations, role plays and written work to explore topics that students will not have encountered before in their academic career. It encourages students to think broadly and to apply transferable skills both within the Broadening Horizons programme and in their future academic studies.

As all teachers are qualified at least to Masters level, they will be happy to answer students’ questions concerning Chemistry, even if it is not within the purview of the course as specified above. Teachers will also be able to give advice on university applications, interview questions, and the plethora of careers that are open to Chemistry graduates.

This History summer course takes students through the most important global events and processes which have taken place since the end of the Second World War, from the Cold War to the decolonisation process, the rise of China, the Middle Eastern conflicts, and the response of the international community to the rise of terrorism.

The course will seek to encourage students to think more like professional historians: students will read original primary sources, and be introduced to the debates which continue to divide historians about the best way in which to interpret events that continue to shape our world today. The class looks at processes which gave rise to major international bodies like the UN and the European Union. It also explores the most significant international conflicts of recent decades such as the Vietnam War and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Special emphasis is placed on the most recent events, including the rise of global terrorism and the Iraq war.

Each session on this course will consist of brief talks by the tutor, intended to provide students with background information on the subject, and group discussions. This course also uses video material from the British Pathé archive in order to bring the past to life. Asking questions and engaging in debate is very much supported, as this is a world history course, and each student, coming from a different home country and background, will be encourage to bring their own unique insights to this history summer course.

This Creative Writing course aims both to inspire students, and to provide students with an overview of techniques and processes available to writers, encouraging them to think beyond their perceived limitations while equipping them to exceed themselves.

Students are encouraged to experiment with their own writing, as well as engaging in literary reviews of writing that have preceded them. Based around advice and examples from famous literary figures, students will encounter the obstacles and opportunities that present themselves when writing – including learning ways to overcome the dreaded writer’s block.

This exciting Economics Summer Course in Oxford has been designed to introduce students to basic economic theory while also looking at the way in which it is applied, to help students understand current economic issues, from unemployment to the benefits and disadvantages of the Eurozone.

Over two weeks, students will look at a range of topics in microeconomics, macroeconomics and international economics. In microeconomics, students will look at the basic economic problem of scarcity and choice, supply and demand, different models of market structure, the occurrence of market failure (e.g. due to the absence of markets for public goods, problems of information, and externalities), and the incidence and effectiveness of government intervention. In macroeconomics, students will learn about about policy objectives, the AD-AS model, and the operation of an independent central bank. Finally, in international economics, students will learn about about trade, protectionism and exchange rates. A great deal of ground is covered in these two weeks, spurring students to take their new-found economic curiosity further once they leave Oxford.

This course takes in a huge swathe of English Literature from the past 500 years, from Shakespeare’s The Tempest right up to modern-day metafiction. Students will be provided with the fundamental skills for literary analysis and to build on these with the introduction of more complex texts.

Students will not only learn about literary analysis and criticism, but will also learn the key to structuring a strong Oxbridge-style essay – a skill that will be of immense value in their future studies. A wide variety of different lesson styles and approaches will be used in order to keep all students engaged, including lectures, readings, drama activities, multi-media clips, textual analysis, written tasks and discussion work. Students will be expected to contribute to the class by sharing their written work and by engaging in lively in-class discussions and debates.

This Experimental Psychology course follows the pioneers of the field in seeking answers to some of life's most intriguing questions, giving students the opportunity to study, discuss and debate issues of identity, consciousness, morality, and more.

Experimental Psychologists have addressed some of the most intriguing questions of life: What makes you you? What makes you different from other people? Is there always a clear difference between Good and Evil? This class provides students with the opportunity to study, discuss and debate these alongside a wide range of other fascinating and controversial issues.

This course will cover some of the most fundamental psychological concepts and introduce some of the most influential theorists. Students are encouraged to evaluate the material critically, to engage in discussion and debate, to gain insight into their own personalities and development and to relate the material to their own lives and experiences. Topics will be explored through a combination of structured teaching, varied activities and exercises, class discussion, and video sessions.

Students on this demanding Genetics course will gain an understanding of human evolution while being introduced to advanced concepts such as genetic engineering.

During the course, students will explore DNA and proteins, and how these form the building blocks of the body. They will learn about genes and chromosomes, gaining an insight into how genetic mutations lead to certain medical conditions and syndromes. They will also be introduced to genome sequencing and to some of the on-going research projects in the field of genetics, such as the 100,000 Genomes Project currently being run by the NHS.

This Human Sciences summer 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, and also considering the academic interplay between the subject and others.

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.

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 Summer Schools’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.

This course has been designed to open students’ eyes to the wide-ranging field of marketing, omnipresent but seldom taught at school. The course explores marketing in its many guises, from traditional television advertising and public relations to the various forms of digital marketing, such as social media, email, search engine optimisation and paid search marketing.

Students on this course will consider the crossover between traditional and digital marketing, learning how online marketing techniques can complement offline marketing campaigns. This theory will be supported with reference to well-known examples; for instance, certain big supermarket Christmas television adverts and the social media campaigns that support them.

Students will spend part of this course developing an understanding of marketing strategy and how to plan effective market research, including how to segment groups of people into appropriate target audiences. Classes will also examine the psychology behind marketing and what makes people buy, teaching students an overview of the consumer decision-making process, which every marketer must understand in order to plan an effective campaign.

Throughout the course, students will have the chance to analyse a number of famous marketing campaigns, learning about how such campaigns are put together and debating what it is that makes them successful. They will also critically evaluate the Conventional and Digital Marketing strategies and campaigns of an organisation making such recommendations.

This Mathematics summer course in Oxford is designed for students with a keen interest in Mathematics. Our focus will be on the introduction of basic concepts from higher mathematics, on the development and practise of critical thinking skills, and on fun and exciting topics that the student is not likely to be taught on a standard school curriculum.

The class introduces several different facets of modern mathematics; students will encounter important ideas in arithmetic, geometry, graph theory, logic, computer science, and game theory, to name a few. Students will also solve riddles and critical thinking puzzles, draw tessellations and fractals, play strategic mathematical games, and even get the chance to build a primitive computer! The aim is to give students more confidence and curiosity towards the subject of mathematics for the future. Students will see how mathematics is evident in art, music and nature as they learn to think visually and imaginatively about the subject.

This summer Medical Biology course is designed for students who wish to extend their knowledge and understanding of the science behind modern medical practice, encouraging students to consider human health and its wider impact more broadly.

The course uses class discussion, debates, presentations, role plays and written work to explore topics that students might not have encountered before, and to encourage students to think more broadly about human health and how it relates to wider social, political and environmental factors. The lessons aim to be an interactive and challenging introduction to medical sciences, and students are expected to get involved in discussions and to participate fully in class activities.

The Medical Biology course consists of ten 90-minute sessions, in which the following topics are covered: diabetes, arterial disease, heart attacks and strokes, infectious diseases, brain diseases, the the designing of medical research studies, and medical imaging techniques. Students will even have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on heart dissection, should they wish to try this.

This course provides the perfect introduction for students who are thinking of pursuing future careers such as nursing, pharmacology, midwifery, nutrition or medical technology, or indeed broader related fields such as public health or global development. It may also be of interest to students who have settled on a path in the sciences and who are unsure which specialism they might like to pursue in future. Of course, having future plans that relate to medical biology is not essential for taking this course; it has relevance in all of our lives and students may wish to pursue it out of pure intellectual curiosity and the desire for a challenge.

This physics summer course aims to introduce students to aspects of physics beyond what is taught in most schools, introducing them to topics encountered at a degree level in order to give an impression of the current state of modern physics and its most intellectually challenging -and rewarding- aspects.

The class contains very little overlap with conventional high school physics. The physics covered in high school is over two hundred years old. It can be archaic and boring, yet physics today is on the brink of exciting new discoveries. For students to gain an appreciation of physics, it is best that they are exposed to the ideas and problems of modern physics which are covered in class.

The structure of this physics summer course is based mainly on discussion and worksheets, with one homework sheet and one student presentation. Problem solving in groups captures the activity of research physics well, and this is why group worksheets in class are an important part of the curriculum. The homework and presentation give the students further opportunity to test their understanding, and to research and explain to their peers topics not covered in the classes.

During the first four days, the underlying ideas of relativistic physics are introduced. During the next three days quantum physics is introduced and analysed from perspectives of philosophy and technological applications. On the remaining days, a survey of other major areas of physics is offered for discussion.

This Politics summer course is designed to introduce students to the academic disciplines of Political Science and International Relations, exposing them to the methods of social scientific enquiry and contemporary issues dominating the discipline.

Over the course of two weeks, the classes build a progressive understanding from the foundations of Political Science to some of the most pressing issues faced in the field of International Relations.

Week One

During the first week, students examine basic academic principles; the focus thereafter is on the development of international politics, with classes exploring issues such as the consequences of globalization, human rights, the ethical dilemma of torture, and the evolution of modern warfare (with particular emphasis on counter-terrorism legislation).

Week Two

In their second week students on this politics summer course will study the conceptual basis of global governance, present to their peers on a major international institution, and participate in a class debate on whether or not war can be just.

Over the course of the exciting Software and App Development option, students will learn the basics of software programming and app development, increasingly fundamental to modern society, and take a big step toward skills that could one day guarantee employment.

With a much talked-about skills shortage in this ever-growing field, participation on this course will enable students to take a big step towards equipping themselves with the knowledge they’ll need to secure a job on graduation.

For those wishing to pursue software development at university or as a career, our teachers will be on hand to answer questions on how to pursue further studies in software and app development.

The Academic Writing summer course is the perfect choice for any student looking to add that extra polish to their course work, personal statement or exam essays. The workshop complements any of the morning subjects on the Broadening Horizons course, helping improve students’ writing skills for a broad spectrum of subjects.

The ability to write a clear, coherent, and persuasive essay in good English is crucial in many areas of academia and beyond. This workshop is designed to assist students in the development of this key skill. Under guidance from ORA’s expert teacher, students will hone their abilities through such activities as:

  • discussing what makes a “good” essay, including grammatical constructions and paragraph presentation;
  • study of academic writing conventions, such as formatting a bibliography and how to avoid plagiarism;
  • writing short essays for assessment, and peer-reviewing them as a class.

Essay styles and best practices vary widely around the world; the skills that make for a good essay by the standards and norms of one country’s academic environment might not hold in another. Therefore, any student from outside the UK who is considering moving to an English school or going to university in the UK would be well advised to give themselves a head start by learning the style that British teachers, lecturers and admissions tutors will prefer.

The skill of writing a good essay is hard to master, but once learned, is immensely valuable. Having good ideas is only half the battle; presenting them in an engaging, persuasive and mature way is the other half, and it is equally crucial. The conventions of academic English, such as the strict avoidance of the first person, the differing use of tenses in History and English essays, or the correct tone for a scientific report, can be mystifying and ignorance of them can lose a student a significant number of marks before they have been grasped. In this workshop, students will learn these conventions so that they can write essays in the preferred academic style.

An overview and a ‘taster’ of the fundamental skills and techniques that are used by actors on both stage and screen.

Students will explore essential body, voice and acting skills through the medium of skill-based improvisation. This is a form of improvisation devised by the originator of theatre improvisation, Viola Spolin, and unlike many forms of improvisation does not have its focus on ‘performance’.

Instead, students will focus on skill development for all aspects of theatre work; voice, body, characterisation, blocking/use of the stage, stage crafts, motivation and emotion. A non-judgemental approach to acting is encouraged on this course – where it is not encouraged to see things in terms of ‘good and bad’ or ‘right and wrong’ but rather to promote intuition, imagination, problem solving and freedom of action (both internal and external/physical), which will give all students on the course a sense of confidence, and is designed to bring out true potential, however hidden. The influences on the techniques used in this course are derived not just from Spolin but also from Konstantin Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Michael Shurtleff and Augusto Boal.

A summer course designed for students aged 16-18 with a keen interest in business and entrepreneurship.

Our dynamic Business Challenge workshop has been designed to get students thinking about what makes a good business strategy, as they start up their own entrepreneurial brainchild and test it against the practical realities of business management. Students are divided into groups for the challenge, and much negotiate real-life obstacles such as marketing, budgeting, and the importance of leadership and teamwork in a business context. Within this context students are encouraged to be innovative and consider their own role in the launching of a hypothetical new product.

Students have the opportunity to develop any idea of their group’s choice, in order to exercise their creativity to the full. Each group will be expected to present some detailed written work, which will be produced collaboratively, and make a formal presentation to the judges and other students. This reflects the skillset required of entrepreneurs in real life and helps students improve their own approach to management and enterprise. Students can expect to increase their confidence in themselves and in their ideas as their presentation and sales skills are honed.

Each group will be expected to present a brief in which they describe their product, outline their mission statement and corporate objectives, present a marketing audit consisting of their own primary and secondary research, outline their marketing objectives and marketing strategy as well as how much finance they require. The workshops will use a variety of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities, tasks and skills to help all learners participate effectively. The main aim of the workshop is to consolidate their class-based learning and encourage students to be business leaders – creative, innovative and team-spirited.

This course gives students the opportunity to examine the issues that dominate headlines around the world, from the global economy to current political controversies, as well as development and sustainability.

This course has been designed to introduce students to some of the most important environmental, economic, social, and political concerns of modern life. Through a series of seminars, students will have the opportunity to examine the issues that dominate headlines around the world, from the global economy to current political controversies, as well as development and sustainability. Whatever a student’s particular political interests, they should find themselves engaged by this wide-reaching course.

The concept of development is used throughout this course to illustrate how different global issues can be interrelated and to emphasise the fact that international politics now places more emphasis on global rather than regional relationships.

The seminar series is composed of two major units, consisting of key sessions on development and sustainability and current political and economic controversies. During the first week students examine the basics of development and sustainability, and in the second week you will discuss major issues in global affairs. To develop an awareness of competing views about how global issues can be best tackled, students examine the themes of ageing and of the environment. In the second week students discuss major issues in global affairs, focusing on the role of civil society in the Arab world and in recession-plunged Europe. To explore the emergence of new global security threats, students examine the concepts of energy, regime and economic security.

The course is suitable for both those seeking general exposure to the issues that are dominating the headlines around the world, from the global economy and current political controversies, to development and sustainability and for those who aim to pursue further education in the field of development politics and international relations.

This afternoon workshop introduces students to the basics of graphic design, teaching them about how it can be used to communicate visually and improve user experience.

This workshop has a practical focus, but students will also have the chance to analyse examples of different uses of graphic design.

During the workshop, students will work through enjoyable graphic design tasks that make use of their existing creativity and build new skills. Our expert graphic design teachers will guide students through fun exercises that teach new design techniques, introducing them to some of the tools used by graphic designers.

The focus of the workshop will be on using visual designs to solve problems, and students will be introduced to concepts such as visual language and typography along the way. Students will come away with a deeper appreciation for the work that goes into visual communications, and for the ideas and techniques behind the designs with which modern life is surrounded.

This Leadership and Teambuilding course replicates contexts that students are likely to encounter in their future academic, professional, and social development, equipping them with lessons from great leaders of the past.

This course involves activities, games and exercises that aim to develop principles of teamwork and leadership, replicating contexts that students are likely to encounter in their future academic, professional, and social development. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own experiences, as well as to look at the behavioural styles of famous leaders.

In this course students consider what it really means to be a part of a team, and what attitudes and insights they might need if they were placed in a position of leadership. In addition to practical team-building activities, students are also required to reflect upon and discuss the more theoretical elements of leadership. These two elements will be used in conjunction with each other to allow students to replicate the kinds of situations faced during everyday life, as well as discuss and evaluate their performance. It goes without saying that these transferable skills will be of immense use to students even outside the classroom.

In spite of its more serious elements, the course is also designed to allow students to enjoy themselves and have the opportunity to get to know their peers as they work together to solve the tasks that the workshop leader throws at them. Students come from a wealth of diverse backgrounds, and the the unique insights that this provides can be used to great advantage over the course of the workshops.

This course is intended to offer students a brisk and lively introduction to the history of European art and architecture, with particular close attention paid to Oxford’s unique heritage, to endow students with the skills needed to critically engage with works.

The course is divided into six separate classes, with each session following roughly the same format. After approximately thirty minutes of classroom learning on a particular artistic period or style, students then embark on a ninety-minute walking tour of Oxford’s buildings, colleges, art collections and museums, observing ‘case studies’ which illustrate the period under discussion. Periods range from the development of art and architecture in Europe between the Roman and Norman Conquests to the architecture of the University in the 20th and 21st centuries, looking at how the forces of Modernism and Post-Modernism have shaped art and architecture in Oxford. These developments will be viewed through the expression of these major currents and styles in the artistic and architectural legacy of Oxford, one of the world’s greatest cultural centres.

The final class is based in the Ashmolean Museum and takes students on a grand tour of 2,500 years of European Art – a fantastic resource for keen art historians. The city of Oxford contains an example of every major period of English architecture from the Saxons to the present day, and is consequently the ideal location for our course.

Students will all bring their own insights from the artistic traditions of their respective countries, so entering debate and making contributions for the benefit of the whole class is strongly encouraged.

In this course, students focus on developing their presentation and advocacy skills: an understanding of how to plan a speech; build a strong and persuasive argument; and to give a convincing speech, with plenty of practice to build confidence for the future.

Over two weeks, students will work on practical aspects of speech giving, such as body language, clarity of delivery and maintaining eye contact with their audience. Students gain wide-ranging experience of public speaking and debate, and by the end of the course they have a firm grounding in essential skills and feel confident in their ability to take on new challenges.

In each session students are shown new techniques and strategies, and then given plenty of opportunities to put these into practice. Sessions are structured so that there is plenty of time for questions and discussion; this approach is central to all ORA courses, but none more so than Public Speaking and Debate, where the chance to speak up is paramount. The two-week period leads up to a formal debating competition for the whole class on a chosen subject.

The course also looks at a variety of famous speeches from history up to the present day to see how famous speakers have used various techniques, and what students can learn from their success: Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ and Julia Gillard’s ‘misogyny speech’ are both rigorously analysed.

The workshop debates address a variety of issues, ranging from easily accessible topics (e.g. the length of school holidays or the value of school uniform) to more complex and challenging social issues (the death penalty, euthanasia, the legalisation of drugs) as the students’ confidence increases.

Students will work alongside peers from across the world, often from very different cultures and backgrounds. This is a valuable opportunity to learn respectful discourse with those who hold different beliefs – crucial when discussing delicate social and political problems in debate.

What will you get out of the Broadening Horizons course?

Broadening Horizons provides an extensive and varied cultural and academic syllabus, developing knowledge in academic subjects and improving practical skills, while also exposing students to some of the most impressive cultural venues of the UK. Inside the classroom, students will be taught by expert tutors who will bring their subject to life using engaging, interactive teaching methods. Click the name of the subject you are interested in above to read more about them.

Students will leave the course with a deeper appreciation of their chosen subject, improving their ability in exams and assisting them in continuing their subject at higher level - university and beyond. They will have honed their skills in their chosen workshop area, whether public speaking, debate, leadership skills, advanced writing or whichever option they choose (see the list above). Finally, they will have also made friends for life and formed a global network of the leaders of the future.

Welcome to the City of Oxford - your home this summer

ORA Experience

Oxford is a city like no other, combining startlingly beautiful architecture with a buzzing, modern city centre, with superb shopping, restaurants, cafés and more. With the colleges of Oxford University at its heart, some almost 800 years old, it is a city steeped in history and academia.

Students on Oxford Royale's Oxford summer courses will have the chance to live, dine and study in this stunning city, exploring all of its major sites and discovering its hidden secrets. Through both organised trips to key landmarks and free time in the evenings, students will become acquainted with all that Oxford has to offer.

As students walk the cobbled streets and gaze up at the spires, gargoyles and honey-coloured stone buildings, they will be walking in the footsteps of some of the most influential figures in history, including prime ministers, presidents, Nobel prize-winning scientists, authors and more.

Why study in Oxford?
Why study in Oxford?
Why study in Oxford?

Useful information for students & parents

Accommodation

Students will be accommodated in comfortable single or twin rooms depending on their allocated college (please contact our registrations team if you would like more information on this). Twin rooms are strictly shared by students of the same gender, and males/females are separated by corridor and/or staircase. Accommodation is the standard for undergraduates studying at the university, so students are able to get a taste of what being an Oxford student might be like. Bathrooms are typically shared between students of the same gender, however in some cases en-suite facilities are available.

Pastoral care & student welfare

The programme is overseen by the Programme Director, who implements the day-to-day running of the programme. The Director is assisted by a team of Counsellors who ensure that students are looked after pastorally, culturally and socially during their programme. Students are able to talk informally and frankly to the Counsellors in order to raise concerns or to find out further information about their course. Each campus has members of residential staff who live on campus throughout the programme and are able to assist students at any time of the day or night.

Eligibility & pre-requisites

Students on this course:

  • 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.
  • Should check the prerequisites of each option they select before enrolling, to ensure they possess the necessary knowledge to benefit from the subject matter discussed in the classes.

Find out more

Find out more Immigration & Visas

Information and advice on securing your student visa.

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Find out more Arrival & Departure

Information about how to travel to and from ORA.

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Find out more Airport Transfers

Details of transfers between ORA and Heathrow Airport.

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Find out more FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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Broadening Horizons for Ages 16-18 is residential in the following locations:

(If your course takes place in more than one campus in the same city and you would like to know more about which location you will be allocated, please call our registrations team)

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