The Oxford Experience

Programme update: May 2021

We regret to announce that we are not able to offer The Oxford Experience this year, in either a face-to-face or online format. If you would like to be contacted when the summer 2022 programme is open for enrolment please email us at We hope to see you next summer!

Programme overview

The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme aimed at non-specialists, providing more than 80 week-long courses in a range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences including archaeology, history, literature, philosophy history of art and creative writing.

Seminars meet each weekday morning, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study, or exploring the many places of interest in and around the city.

Programme features

During your course you will:

  • sample life in Christ Church, one of Oxford’s most impressive and beautiful colleges
  • study in small groups taught by experienced tutors
  • have privileged access to many areas of the college closed to the general public
  • be invited to receptions and a final gala dinner
  • enjoy a wide-ranging and lively social programme
  • walking tours and excursions, with time to explore Oxford independently.

The courses are designed for an international audience aged 18 and over.

No prior knowledge is required, and classes are pitched at an introductory level.

While you are expected to complete some pre-course reading, you are not required to produce any written work during the week.

Social programme

We invite you to participate in our social programme - from guided walks and special guest lectures to events such as croquet and wine in the Masters' Garden, a folk dancing display, a whisky tasting evening. These vary from week to week, and it should be noted that some may incur an additional charge.


During your course, you will stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Christ Church in buildings which range from the 18th to the 20th century.

Participants should note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished, do not have air-conditioning and are arranged on a staircase of four or five floors.

The following types of accommodation are available:

  • Single en suite

  • Single standard

  • Twin en suite

  • Double en suite

  • Standard ‘twin set’

En suite rooms include private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). Standard rooms have their own washbasin and shaver point but bathroom facilities are shared. ‘Twin sets’ comprise two single rooms opening off a sitting room.

Please note that only single accommodation may be booked online; those requiring twin or double accommodation should complete an application form. (See “How to apply”, below.)

Please indicate your accommodation preferences (either online or on your application form), together with a note of any mobility problems.

We regret that we are unable to offer you accommodation at Christ Church prior to or following your course. Additionally, family or friends who are not enrolled in the programme cannot be accommodated in college.


We also offer places on a non-residential basis whereby participants can take classes and have meals (lunch and dinner) at the college, having arranged their own accommodation elsewhere.

Disabled students (including those with mobility difficulties)

The aim of Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE) is to treat all participants equally and welcomes applications from people with disabilities. Individuals' needs are taken into account as far as possible, providing reasonable adaptations and assistance within the resources available. We ask that people let us know of any disability or special need (confidentially if required) at the earliest opportunity so that we can help them participate as fully as possible.

When applying for OUDCE's college-based summer schools, prospective participants with mobility difficulties or visual or hearing impairments may want to make preliminary enquiries to the Programme Administrator, as the age and layout of these colleges often makes them user-unfriendly (although adaptations are often possible). Oxford, as an ancient city, tends to be difficult to navigate for people with disabilities. The number of very old buildings, designed in an age less sensitive to issues of disability, makes access to much of the city centre difficult. However, OUDCE will do as much as it is able to make study with the department possible.

Applicants should contact us if they will have problems gaining access to a bedroom or a teaching room that is located on upper or basement floors, or to the college dining hall (which is reached via two flights of stairs).

Fees and supplements

Programme fees, 2021

  • Fee option 1 (single en suite accommodation and meals): £1,565
  • Fee option 2 (single standard accommodation and meals): £1,380
  • Fee option 3 (twin en suite accommodation and meals: £1,472.50
  • Fee option 4 (double en suite accommodation and meals): £1,472.50
  • Fee option 5 (standard ‘twin set’ accommodation and meals): £1,380
  • Fee option 6 (non-residential): £1,070

Supplementary costs

  • Excursion fee where applicable: £50-125
  • Course change administration fee: Please note that course transfers may be permitted in exceptional circumstances; however, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions, an administration fee of £50 will be charged.

All fees are charged on a per week, per person basis.

Please be aware that all payments (and refunds) are subject to exchange rates at the time of processing.

Payment terms

  • If enrolling online: full payment by credit/debit card at the time of booking
  • If submitting an application form: full payment online by credit/debit card or via bank transfer within 30 days of invoice date

How to apply

Most courses fill quickly so early registration is strongly recommended.

Single accommodation and non-residential places may be booked online by clicking on the “Book now” button in the “Course details” box at the top right-hand side of the course page.

If you experience any difficulties enrolling online please contact the Programme Administrator at

Those requiring twin or double accommodation should complete an application form as these rooms cannot be booked online. Completed forms should be sent:

Cancellations and refunds

Participants who wish to cancel must inform the Programme Administrator in writing: by email to or by post to The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, OXFORD, OX1 2JA, UK.

The following cancellation and refund policy applies in all cases:

  • Cancellation within 14 days of online enrolment / payment of fees – full refund of all fees paid

  • Cancellations received up to and including 31 May 2021 – OUDCE will retain an administration fee of £100 per week booked; all other fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received between 1-30 June 2021 – OUDCE will retain 60% of the fees paid; the remaining 40% of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received on and after 1 July 2021 - no refunds will be made.
  • Should it be necessary for us to cancel your course, we will make every reasonable effort to give you as much notice of cancellation as possible, and we will refund all course fees paid by you (including the cost of accommodation, if booked through us as part of your course). Where course fees have been paid in currencies other than in pounds sterling, refunds will be subject to the exchange rate on the date they are processed.

    Travel insurance 

    The Department cannot be held responsible for any costs you may incur in relation to travel or accommodation bookings as a result of a course cancellation, or if you are unable to attend the course for any other reason. You are advised to check cancellation policies carefully and to purchase travel insurance.


Upcoming courses

Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 04 Jul 2021 – 10 Jul 2021
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 04 Jul 2021 – 10 Jul 2021
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 04 Jul 2021 – 10 Jul 2021
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 04 Jul 2021 – 10 Jul 2021
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 04 Jul 2021 – 10 Jul 2021