- Creative writing
- Environmental Conservation
- Experimental Therapeutics
- Evidence Based Health Care
- Foreign Service Programme
- Foundation certificate, History
- Foundation certificate, English
- International Human Rights Law
- Foundations of Diplomacy
- Local history
- The 'Adilisha' programme
- Modern languages
- Postgraduate Certificate in Historical Studies
- Summer schools
Foundation Certificate in English spotlight: Rosemary Stiles
Rosemary Stiles had a 40 year career as a voice and drama teacher. In retirement she decided to resume her education to explore some of opportunities she'd missed. She enrolled on the Department's Foundation Certificate in English Language & Literature, and proved an enthusiastic and exceptional student. Rosemary finished her course and went straight on to complete a Master's degree.
'As a voice and drama specialist teacher and lecturer, I had worked through the medium of poetry and drama in terms of performance for many years, but never had the chance to explore texts at an advanced academic level. The Foundation Course syllabus, and the extraordinary privilege of attending English Faculty lectures at the University, opened up an entirely new perspective for me. It was like opening a window onto a landscape I’d had no idea was there.'
'Initially I felt very uncertain about how I might fit in to an Oxford undergraduate programme when I was at such an advanced age. I really appreciated the self-belief which is encouraged by the careful progression and assessment processes with which the Foundation Course is constructed, which gave me a clear framework for my own progress.'
'It is hard to do justice in words to the benefits of the fellowship, exploration, achievement and real excitement of learning which the Department for Continuing Education offers. Its transformative effect on my life is still continuing. When one of my tutors said ‘You’re not really operating at undergraduate level, you’re operating at Master’s level. Why don’t you go straight on to a Master’s degree?’ - well, such an idea would never have occurred to me. I would never have had the confidence even to imagine it. But because someone so distinguished in the field of study I had chosen believed I could do it, I believed too.'
'In 2006 I graduated with a Master’s degree in Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Cultural History of the Renaissance in England, after a glorious and fulfilling year at the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon.'
'Since then I have given papers at academic conferences, such as that of the Society for Renaissance Studies, based on my research on the discourses of recusant culture and their links with early seventeenth-century poetry. Last April I presented a paper at a conference on Robert Southwell at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. An article of mine on Shakespeare’s poem ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’ was published in the 2007 issue of Cahiers Elisabethain, the international journal of English Renaissance Studies.'
'Through being a practitioner teaching every age-level in education, and a contributor to teacher education, I care passionately about the qualities that make up good teaching, and have a professional awareness of what constitutes effective and less effective teaching practice. It was therefore a real joy to be taught by truly exceptional teachers at the Department - not only accomplished in their own field, but also at drawing out every student’s potential, following through their development, and remaining interested and encouraging throughout following years.'
'All this began with the kind and encouraging interview I had for the Foundation Course in 2002. I feel that through Continuing Education I have come such a long way, and the marvellous thing is that it has no ending. My Reader’s ticket at the Bodleian allows all imaginable literary riches to be spread out before me. I go into a kind of trance of joy there in which three hours can pass in the blink of an eye, and I have to wrench myself away to catch my bus home. Academic research seems to me like a wonderful treasure hunt with endless possibilities. I would never have known that without the Department, and all that it is, and does.'