Current & prospective students
Those who study with us join an unparalleled academic community: Oxford University is renowned the world over for the quality of its teaching and research.
Students have a huge range of options to choose from within the Department for Continuing Education. Whatever your location and your educational aspirations may be, it's likely that we have a course to suit you.
Local students - those in Oxfordshire and surrounding counties - frequent our weekly classes. There are hundreds on offer, ranging from history to languages to sciences. Most are 10 or 20 weeks in duration, and meet once per week, in the day or evening. Most of these require no previous qualifications.
Students interested in shorter, more intensive classes come from around the UK, Europe and the world to enjoy our 'day and weekend' offerings. These courses usually involve multiple speakers and are one or two full days in duration. Students come from around the UK and around the world to attend these courses, some of which are residential.
Students of our online courses have over 50 accredited courses to choose from. These courses make use of a virtual learning environment to enable student/tutor interactions, the provision of materials, the submission of assignments, and class discussion. Online courses are the perfect option for people who want the rigor of a 5, 10 or 20 week class, and who prefer to study from their own homes.
Students who wish for a formal course of study or who may wish to obtain a degree, either at Oxford or another university, enrol in our Oxford Qualifications courses. These students come from all walks of life. On the one end of the scale, we offer Certificates and Foundation Certificates in a small range of subjects; students who have little or no previous experience may enrol, subject to a selection process. On the other end of the scale, we offer postgraduate Master's and DPhil programmes for students who wish to pursue their studies to the highest level.
Students interested in updating professional skills or starting down a new career path take short courses and even award-bearing courses from our professional development offerings. We have an eclectic selection of professional development courses in topics ranging from the health sciences to wildlife conservation to sustainable urban development. We also provide bespoke training and education, by bringing together the best of academic and professional expertise in a given subject, and tailoring it to the needs of a particular workplace.
Students on our summer programmes come from all over the world. Most of the courses are residential and many are held in Oxford's historic colleges. The longer summer programmes require course written work, some of the shorter ones do not. All summer courses combine study of a given topic with a recreational/social component and many offer special lectures, receptions, tours to historic locations, theatre outings and other events. The full range of summer options can be found on our Summer schools page.
As you might have guessed, there is no such thing as a 'typical' student of the Department. Our students range in age from their late teens to their late 80s; they come from every conceivable background and nationality; they have have a wide range of interests.
Please use this section to learn more about being a student in the department. You might be interested to read the stories of some of our alumni who have gone on to interesting careers after doing a course with us.