Oxford University Summer School for Adults


Join people from the UK, Europe and further afield for enjoyable, yet serious study with some of the finest tutors in the country. For over 100 years the Oxford University Summer School for Adults (OUSSA) programme has been making it possible for everyone to take advantage of the Oxford system of expert tuition in small groups. 

The programme offers a choice of over 40 week-long accredited courses in a variety of subject areas such as archaeology, art history, creative writing, economics, history, literature, music, philosophy, politics and religious studies.

Enrolment for the OUSSA 2020 programme will open on October 15.


Week 1: Courses running from 11-18 July 2020

Week 2: Courses running from 18-25 July 2020

Week 3: Courses running from 25 July-1 August 2020

Week 4: Courses running from 1-8 August 2020

View all OUSSA courses

Programme Features

Participants are taught in small seminar groups of up to 10 students, and receive two one-on-one tutorials with their tutor.

During the course you will:

  • Participate in classes taught by tutors with a proven background in adult education
  • Gain experience of studying at university level
  • Develop new skills
  • Have access to on-site library and IT facilities to support you with your academic work
  • Be part of a diverse student body encompassing a wide range and many nationalities
  • Experience a friendly and supportive learning environment 
  • Have the opportunity to attend guest lectures and participate in social events

Listen to what students have to say in the video, below:


Participants are required to undertake preparatory reading and complete a pre-course assignment of 1,000 words. Although this does not count towards credit, it is seen as an important way of developing your ideas and is mandatory. The pre-course assignment is typically due in the third week of June.

You will be assessed during the summer school by either a 1,500 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. Participants will attend two one-on-one tutorials with their tutor during the week.

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars (12 during the week) and individual tutorials (2 during the week). Students also conduct private study when not being taught and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research interests.


OUSSA is an accredited summer school taught at undergraduate level; each one-week course carries 10 CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points at FHEQ (Framework for Higher Education Qualification) Level 4. Credit is awarded by the Board of Studies of Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.

To successfully gain credit (10 CATS points) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment.

Students will receive a transcript of the amount awarded. Replacement transcripts are available for a nominal sum.

Learn more about CATS points.


Click here for more details about our accomodation.

Please note that twin rooms are only available on a shared occupancy basis. If you wish to book a twin room each person should complete an application form and email it to us at oussa@conted.ox.ac.uk as these rooms cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: OUSSA, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)


Details of fees can be found on each individual course page. Tuition and meals are included in the programme fee, with both residential and non-residential options available.

Concessionary rates are also available on a non-residential basis for those that qualify.



Enrolments will be accepted up to 1 May 2020.

Early enrolment is advised as many courses fill before February.

Prospective students may enrol online by navigating to the desired course page and then clicking the 'apply online' link at the bottom of that page. Online enrolments require payment in full at the time of registering.

Those who do not wish to register online or who have specific requirements (e.g. disabled suite accommodation) should contact the Programme Administrator directly.

Click here for more details and to download an application form.

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language you must supply suitable evidence (an original certificate that is not more than two years old and issued by a responsible body) before we will offer you a place. The University recognises only certain English tests including IELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency. More details about the language requirements can be found here.

Student Visas

We welcome international students on all our courses however, it is the responsibility of successful applicants to ensure that they conform to UK immigration law. Guidance and information about international student visas can be found here

Cancellations and Refunds

Participants who wish to cancel must inform the Programme Administrator in writing: by email to oussa@conted.ox.ac.uk or by post to OUSSA, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, OXFORD, OX1 2JA, UK.

The following cancellation and refund policy applies in all cases:

  • Cancellations received up to and including 30 April 2020 – OUDCE will retain an administration fee of £100 per week booked; all other fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received between 1-31 May 2020 – OUDCE will retain 60% of the fees paid; the remaining 40% of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received on and after 1 June 2020 – no refunds will be made.

Upcoming courses

Archaeology and Ritual: Case Studies from European Prehistory

  • Short courses, Professional development
  • Sat 11 Jul 2020 to 18 Jul 2020

Egypt and the Bible

  • Short courses, Professional development
  • Sat 11 Jul 2020 to 18 Jul 2020

Eros and Philia: Ancient Philosophers on Love and Friendship

  • Short courses, Professional development
  • Sat 11 Jul 2020 to 18 Jul 2020

Essential Fiction Writing Skills

  • Short courses, Professional development
  • Sat 11 Jul 2020 to 18 Jul 2020

Exploring People in the Past Using Probate Records

  • Short courses, Professional development
  • Sat 11 Jul 2020 to 18 Jul 2020