How our WOW courses work

What are Weekly Oxford Worldwide courses?

Weekly Oxford Worldwide (WOW) is a new programme of virtual classes. Delivered online, and based on our in-Oxford weekly courses, the WOW programme combines recorded lectures and live weekly interactive meetings for a rich and immersive learning experience.

The virtual classes are presented on the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform. Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings tutors and students together; it provides access to online resources and other educational content – all in one place. Learning online can be just as personal, engaging and socially connected as learning in a classroom. Students stay in touch and support each other using the chat function, and the live meetings replicate the classroom experience.

Microsoft Teams can be downloaded onto your computer as an App – or can be accessed via a web browser (with some limits to functionality).

We will also use a University of Oxford supported website called Canvas, to securely share pre-recorded lectures which have been prepared by your tutor.

What will you need in order to participate?

You will need:

  • access to a computer or tablet with a webcam and a healthy internet connection. Any typical computer produced within the last three years should be adequate. Please see hardware requirements for Microsoft Teams.
  • a personal email address with an associated Microsoft account. If your email address is currently connected to a Team within another institution then a secondary email account may be required.
  • Google Chrome has proved the best browser to use for our purposes. We advise against students using Safari if using a Mac device.

Further guidance on setting yourself up for the course will be provided 14 days prior to the start of the course by email to those who have enrolled.

How will it work?

Each course will close for enrolments 14 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (14 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions on how to join the University of Oxford’s Teams platform as a guest.

This guidance will require action on your part. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

Before the course starts, you’ll be invited join your Course Team as a ‘guest’. You will also be invited to a series of weekly meetings which are your live classes. Prior to the official start of the course we will host an Introductory session to make sure that you can gain access to your course's virtual classroom via Teams, to help you familiarise yourself with the functions of Teams and to assist you with gaining access to the pre-recorded lectures.

You will be able to access your class materials at any time that suits you, although the live teaching sessions will run at the advertised times.

Your tutor will produce a recorded lecture, or a series of shorter presentations, for you to view each week. The recordings are provided to you by your tutor in preparation for the interactive sessions – and, of course, you’ll be able to look at the recorded material after the interactive sessions, too. The lectures will be available for you to view until the end of your course. The University of Oxford uses a website called Canvas to store teaching materials. You will be invited to become a user of Canvas, and there you will find your pre-recorded lectures.

Your course tutor will provide additional reading materials, either through posting them in the classroom environment or by providing links to freely-available external online resources. These will help you to prepare for the interactive sessions which will take place at the scheduled time each week.

The interactive sessions will amount to an hour each week of live contact time. For some courses that hour will be divided into sections with breaks in between.  

All students are expected to engage in independent study in between the lectures and teaching sessions and to complete the coursework for assessment.

As with our face-to-face courses, each class will have a maximum of 25 students, except for Creative Writing and Languages courses which will have a maximum of 18 and Computing courses which will have a maximum of 20. 

The courses are open-access and you can enrol online by clicking on the ‘book now’ button on each course page.

How much time should you expect to spend on your studies?

As well as the two hours of teaching time, you’ll need to set aside up to a further eight hours each week to consolidate your learning, prepare for the following week, follow up with the reading materials and other resources provided by your tutor, and complete your coursework assignments.    


These courses are credit-bearing, which means that you can earn credit points to count towards a university qualification. 


If you have questions about how WOW courses work, please contact:

Terms and Conditions

Students enrolling on Weekly Oxford Worldwide courses are covered by Departmental and University policies, procedures, and terms and conditions, set out here:  

As these are online courses, your particular attention is drawn to the IT regulations and the Netiquette guidelines: 

You should note that the materials on this course platform are made available to students for the purpose of private study. Students are not permitted to distribute the material in any way such as placing it online or on social networking sites. The University’s End User Licence Agreement, which you will be required to sign when you enrol on the course, states that students may not “copy a lecture, or issue, lend or communicate any copy to another person, or make an adaptation of a lecture, unless specifically authorised in writing or permitted under applicable intellectual property laws”. Should students distribute or publish the materials on their course in any way without authorisation, normal student disciplinary procedures will apply.  

Students enrolling on the course should note that the email address with which they sign up to the course will be visible to other participants in their Team. No student should use the email address of any member of their Team to make contact with them outside the Team meetings without that member’s written and express consent, nor should they share such contact information with any other person or organization. 

By enrolling on a WOW course, you agree to the above terms and conditions.