The Oxford Experience

The Oxford Experience 2023 has now finished, but you can view the 2023 programme below. 

The 2024 programme (30 June - 17 August 2024) will open in the autumn. If you would like to be notified, please add yourself to any Oxford Experience course waiting list. Summer 2023 attendees will be notified via email when the 2024 courses are available.

2023 programme overview

The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme aimed at non-specialists aged 18 and above, providing over 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 Oxford.

Programme features

Academic programme

During your course you will sample life in Christ Church, one of Oxford’s most impressive and beautiful colleges. All courses are pitched at an introductory level for those aged 18 and above, and no prior knowledge is required. While you may be expected to complete some pre-course reading, you are not required to produce any written work during the week, with the possible exception of our creative writing courses.

Classes of up to 12 participants study in small groups, meeting weekday mornings to be taught by experienced tutors. The course fee includes:

  • 10 x 90-minute seminars, held in Christ Church seminar rooms;
  • Two optional evening lectures per week, given by guest lecturers;
  • Where applicable, a course field trip (see ‘Fees and Supplements’);
  • Access to many areas of the college closed to the general public;
  • Invitation to a lively social programme as outlined below.

Social programme

The Oxford Experience warmly invites all participants take part in our social programme. This is tailored to provide you with opportunities to socialise in college with fellow participants and tutors, and to explore the city of Oxford during your free time. The optional social activites, at no extra cost, include the following:

  • Welcome drinks reception on the Sunday of your arrival;
  • Croquet in the Christ Church Masters' Garden, usually closed to the public;
  • Morris dancing display;
  • Guided walking tour of Christ Church;
  • Visit to historic pubs in Oxford;
  • Opportunity to dine on High Table, usually reserved for senior members of the college;
  • Farewell drinks reception in Christ Church Cathedral Garden, usually closed to the public;
  • Formal gala dinner to close each week of the programme.

There will also be optional social events and excursions with tickets available for purchase in Spring 2023. Activities and locations vary each week of the programme, and include the following (subject to change):

  • Walking tours (£8): Choice of one of two walking tours, led by expert local guides.
  • Upper Library concert (£10): String quartet concert, hosted by eminent instrumentalists local to Oxford and held in the Christ Church Upper Library, a building dating from 1717 and housing around 40,000 books.
  • Excursion (£40): Visit to a local place of interest such as a manor house or gardens.
  • Drinks tasting evening (£10-15).


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. The course fee includes breakfasts Monday-Saturday, lunches Sunday-Friday, and 3-course dinners Sunday-Friday. All meals are taken in Christ Church’s spectacular dining hall.

Please note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished and do not have air-conditioning. Photographs of example rooms can be found at:

The following types of accommodation are available:

  • Single en suite
  • Double en suite;
  • Twin en suite;
  • ‘Twin set’ standard.

En suite rooms include private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). ‘Twin set’ standard rooms comprise two separate single standard rooms, each with a washbasin and shaver point only, opening onto a private sitting room. Bathroom facilities are shared with other rooms. All twin, twin set and double rooms are shared between participants that apply to the programme together, and cannot be booked by individuals.

Please note that only single accommodation may be booked online; those requiring twin or double accommodation should complete an enrolment form (see ‘Application’).

Please note that Christ Church rooms do not have lift access, and the higher rooms can be located up a few flights of stairs. If you need a room on a ground or lower floor please indicate this either online or on your enrolment form, or contact the programme administrator directly at prior to your arrival.

We regret that we are unable to offer 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.

Participants attending multiple weeks

The Oxford Experience welcomes participants who want to attend multiple courses over a number of weeks. Resident participants staying in Christ Church for consecutive weeks will be offered a standard overnight rate for the Saturday night between their courses.

This extended stay fee is £90 per person, per Saturday. An invoice will be emailed to participants alongside confirmation of their enrolment. Please note that Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday breakfast are not provided, however we are happy to make recommendations for alternative places to eat in Oxford.


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

Non-residential participants are encouraged to attend all aspects of the academic and social programme, and they have equal access to Christ Church as residential participants.

Fees and supplements

Programme fees

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

  • Single en suite accommodation and meals: £1895.00;
  • Double en suite accommodation and meals: £1750.00;
  • Twin en suite accommodation and meals: £1750.00;
  • Twin set standard accommodation and meals: £1750.00;
  • Non-residential, including lunch and dinner: £1315.00.

Supplementary costs

  • Extended stay fee: Participants staying multiple, consecutive weeks will be charged an additional £90 for the cost of the Saturday night between courses. An invoice will be emailed to participants alongside confirmation of their enrolment.
  • Excursion fee where applicable: £15-125. This fee is built into your course fees and will not require a separate payment. If your course includes a day-long excursion, you may need to make your own lunch arrangements.
  • Course change administration fee: Please note that course transfers may be permitted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the programme administrator, up to 1 May 2023. In accordance with our Terms and Conditions, an administration fee of £50 will be charged.
  • Any ticketed activities, as outlined in the social programme.

Please be aware that all payments made via non-UK credit/debit cards and bank accounts are subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.


Please note there are no sources of funding (scholarships, bursaries, etc.) available for applicants.

Payment terms

  • If enrolling online: full payment by credit/debit card at the time of booking.
  • If submitting an enrolment form: full payment online by credit/debit card or via bank transfer within 30 days of invoice date. Where late applications (1 May onwards) have been accepted: full payment online by credit/debit card or via bank transfer within 7 days of invoice date.

Disabled participants (including those with mobility difficulties)

Disabled students who have registered or are planning to attend a college-based summer school with OUDCE should please contact the Programme Administrator, via email at, to discuss any support needs.

Students with a mobility impairment can consult the University Access Guide or Christ Church Access Guide (see “Accessibility”), and should contact the programme administrator at to request any accommodations they need in this regard. Please note that Christ Church bedrooms do not have lift access, and the higher rooms can be located up a few flights of stairs. If you need a room on a ground or lower floor please indicate this on your enrolment form, or contact the Programme Administrator prior to your arrival.

If you would like more information about support available to students with disabilities, please see:

How to enrol

Most courses fill quickly so early registration is strongly recommended. If your preferred course is fully booked, you may wish to add yourself to the waiting list and the Programme Administrator will contact you should a place become available.

Please note; the programme is only open to those over the age of 18.

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.

Those requiring twin or double accommodation should complete an enrolment form as these rooms cannot be booked online.

Cancellations and refunds

1. Cancellation by you

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 30 April 2023 – OUDCE will retain an administration fee of £100 per week booked; all other fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received between 1-31 May 2023 – OUDCE will retain 60% of the fees paid; the remaining 40% of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received on and after 1 June 2023 - no refunds will be made under any circumstances.

Where course fees have been paid in currencies other than pounds sterling, refunds will be subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.

2. Cancellation by us

OUDCE reserves the right to cancel a course where there is good reason, for example, if exceptionally low enrolment would make it educationally unviable. In these cases we will refund the course fees that you have already paid. If we cancel a course, our liability is limited to the fees that we have received from you; this means that we will not compensate you for any pre-booked travel costs or any other expenses incurred.

Where course fees have been paid in currencies other than pounds sterling, refunds will be subject to the exchange rate on the day they are processed.

The status of this course will be reviewed on 1 May 2023. If it is likely that the course may be cancelled, all those affected will be notified by email within 7 days; if you have not heard from OUDCE by 8 May 2023, you should assume that your course will be running. You may wish to delay finalising your travel arrangements until after this date.

3. Travel insurance

All participants need to purchase travel insurance to cover the programme fee, travel costs, and any other expenses incurred. OUDCE 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. 

 Return to top


Upcoming courses

Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 02 Jul 2023 – 08 Jul 2023
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 02 Jul 2023 – 08 Jul 2023
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 02 Jul 2023 – 08 Jul 2023
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 02 Jul 2023 – 08 Jul 2023
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 02 Jul 2023 – 08 Jul 2023