The Oxford Experience

Programme overview

The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme, aimed at non-specialists aged 18 and above, offering over 80 week-long courses in a range of subjects 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.

The Oxford Experience is filling up fast, but courses on creative writing, history of art, philosophy and more are available to book NOW as part of the Inspiring Oxford summer school, taking place in historic Brasenose College, 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 necessary. 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 or three optional evening lectures per week;
  • 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 with fellow participants and tutors, and to explore the city of Oxford during your free time. The optional social activities, at no extra cost, may include the following depending on your week of enrolment:

  • 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 2024. Activities and locations vary each week of the programme, and include the following (subject to change):

  • Walking tours (£10): Choice of one of three 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 (£15, weeks 2 and 4 only).

Accommodation

During your course you can stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Christ Church, in buildings which range from the 18th to the 20th century. Please note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished and do not have air-conditioning.

The course fee includes breakfasts Monday-Saturday, lunches Sunday-Friday, and 3-course dinners Sunday-Thursday. On Friday, there will be a special 4-course gala dinner to celebrate the closing of the week. All meals are taken in Christ Church’s spectacular dining hall

Single bedrooms

  • Single en suite;

  • Single standard.

En suite rooms include private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). Standard rooms include a washbasin and shaver point only, with bathroom facilities shared with other rooms.

Shared bedrooms

Double and twin bedrooms are only available for two participants that apply to the programme together. They are charged per person and cannot be booked by individuals.

  • 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, with bathroom facilities shared with other rooms.

Those requiring twin or double accommodation must complete an enrolment form each (see ‘Application’), as these rooms cannot be booked online.

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 on your enrolment form, or contact the programme administrator directly at oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk as soon as possible before 1 June.

We regret that we are unable to arrange 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. Please contact Christ Church directly if you require additional nights of bed and breakfast accommodation.

Participants attending multiple weeks

The Oxford Experience welcomes participants who want to attend multiple courses over the summer. Resident participants staying in Christ Church for consecutive weeks are offered bed and breakfast accommodation for the Saturday night between their courses. The extended stay rates are charged on a per person basis, depending on your enrolment accommodation. An invoice will be emailed alongside your confirmation of enrolment. 

Non-residential

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 2024

All fees are charged on a per week, per person basis, and include the academic and social programmes as outlined above. 

  • Single en suite accommodation and meals: £2175.00;
  • Single standard accommodation and meals; £2050.00;
  • Double en suite accommodation and meals: £2000.00;
  • Twin en suite accommodation and meals: £2000.00;
  • Twin set standard accommodation and meals: £2000.00;
  • Non-residential, including lunch and dinner: £1500.00.

Supplementary costs

  • Extended stay fee: Participants staying multiple, consecutive weeks are offered bed and breakfast accommodation for the Saturday night between their courses. The extended stay rates are charged on a per person basis, depending on your enrolment accommodation. An invoice will be emailed alongside your confirmation of enrolment. 
  • Excursion fee where applicable: £5-130. This is built into the 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 transfer fee: Please note that course transfers may be permitted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the programme administrator, up to the 1 May 2024. 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.

Funding

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.

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 oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk, to discuss any support needs.

Students with a mobility impairment can consult the University Access Guide and should contact the programme administrator at oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk 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: www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/students-with-disabilities.

How to enrol

Registration closes on 1 May 2024. Most courses fill up fast so early registration is 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.

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

Cancellations and refunds

1. Cancellation by you

Participants who wish to cancel must inform the Programme Administrator in writing: by email to oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk, 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 2024 – OUDCE will retain an administration fee of £100 per week booked; all other fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received between 1-31 May 2024 – OUDCE will retain 60% of the fees paid; the remaining 40% of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received on and after 1 June 2024 - 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

Where there is good reason, OUDCE reserves the right to cancel a course by giving you notice in writing at any time before the course is due to start. In these cases, we will endeavour to offer a transfer to another available course if practical and acceptable to you, subject to payment or refund of any difference in course fees. Alternatively, 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. The status of this course will be reviewed on 1 May 2024. If it is likely that the course may be cancelled, anyone affected will be notified by email within 7 days; if you have not heard from OUDCE by 8 May 2024, you should assume that your course will be running. You may wish to delay finalising your travel arrangements until after this date.

OUDCE reserves the right to cancel a course at short notice in exceptional circumstances that would prevent the course from being delivered e.g. tutor illness. In these rare instances, and if we are unable to find a replacement tutor, we will notify you as soon as possible and arrange a transfer to another available Oxford Experience course. 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.

3. Travel insurance

All participants must 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. 

Waiting lists

If your preferred course is full, we recommend adding yourself to the course waiting list. Should a place become available before the 1 May 2024 we will contact waitlisted individuals via email. If you have not heard from us by 1 May 2024, you should assume that no places became available and we will not be able to enrol you on the course in summer 2024.

Alternatively, explore available courses: www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/summer-schools.

 Return to top


Upcoming courses

Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 30 Jun 2024 – 06 Jul 2024
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 30 Jun 2024 – 06 Jul 2024
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 30 Jun 2024 – 06 Jul 2024
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 30 Jun 2024 – 06 Jul 2024
Summer schools • Short courses
  • Sun 30 Jun 2024 – 06 Jul 2024