Medieval & Renaissance Art & Architecture of Oxford

Overview

This course will take you on a journey through the medieval and Renaissance works of art and architecture across Oxford. In addition to seminar-based sessions, we will encounter works at different locations, including Oxford University colleges, Christ Church Picture Gallery, the Bodleian Library, and the Ashmolean. Each day will be devoted to a particular theme such as Medieval Death, the Cult of Saints, and the Global Middle Ages. We will focus on a variety of medieval and Renaissance objects ranging from illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, and architecture to sculpture, painted altarpieces, and metalwork. Together we will examine objects from different geographical regions, including Western Europe, the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds, which will provide you with a wealth of historical information to be able to develop a deeper understanding of the significance of visual and material culture during the Later Middle Ages.

This course is part of the Oxford University Summer School for Adults (OUSSA) programme.

Programme details

Seminars

Participants are taught in small seminar groups of up to 12 students, and receive two one-on-one tutorials with their tutor.

Sunday

Seminar 1 and 2: Introduction to Medieval & Renaissance Art and Architecture

Monday

Seminar 3: The Cult of Saints (relics, reliquaries, and ex-votos)

Seminar 4: Visualising the End of Time

Tuesday

Seminar 5: Medieval death: Intercession, commemoration, and piety 

Seminar 6: Class visit to the Shrine of St Frideswide, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Wednesday

Seminar 7: Illuminating the word

Seminar 8: Class visit to the Bodleian Library 

Thursday

Seminar 9: Painting with light: stained glass

Seminar 10: Italian Altarpieces: Late Medieval or Proto-Renaissance?

Friday

Seminar 11: Vasari and the Creation of the Renaissance

Seminar 12: Art during the court of Queen Elizabeth I: a Royal portrait

 

Programme timetable

The daily timetable will normally be as follows:

Saturdays

14.00–16.30 - Registration

16.30–17.00 - Orientation meeting

17.00–17.30 - Classroom orientation for tutor and students

17.30–18.00 - Drinks reception

18.00–20.00 - Welcome dinner

Sundays – Fridays

09.00–10.30 - Seminar

10.30–11.00 - Tea/coffee break

11.00–12.30 - Seminar

12.30–13.30 - Lunch

13.30–18.00 - Afternoons are free for tutorials, individual study, course-related field trips or exploring the many places of interest in and around Oxford.

18.00–19.00 - Dinner (There is a formal gala dinner every Friday to close each week of the programme)

A range of optional social events will be offered throughout the summer school. These are likely to include: a quiz night, visit to historic pubs in Oxford, visit to Christ Church for Evensong and after-dinner talks and discussions.

Fees

Description Costs
Fee Option 1 (Single en suite - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1850.00
Fee Option 2 (Double en suite - inc. Tuition and Meals) 1 person £1940.00
Fee Option 3 (Twin en suite - inc. Tuition and Meals) per person £1550.00
Fee Option 4 (No Accommodation - inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner) £1050.00

Funding

Concessionary rates are available on a non-residential basis for those that qualify, more information can be found here

Unfortunately we do not offer any specific scholarships or funding opportunities for OUSSA programme, but you can visit our departmental funding webpage, where you may be able to find a particular source of funding that matches your requirements alongside meeting the funding criteria.

Payment

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

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.

Tuition and meals are included in the programme fee, with both residential and non-residential options available.

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.

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

Cancellations and Refunds

1. Cancellation by you

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:

  • 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.

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 the 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, 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 

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.

Tutor

Dr Roisin Astell

Tutor

Róisín Astell recently successfully defended her PhD in the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent. Her PhD thesis focuses on the role of images in the edification of spiritual sight during the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries in England and France. Róisín is a graduate of the Universities of York and Oxford. She has taught at the Universities of Oxford, York, Edinburgh, and UCL.

Course aims

This course aims to introduce students to a variety of examples of medieval and Renaissance art and architecture throughout Oxford.

Teaching methods

Participants will be taught in seminar groups of up to 12 people. The teaching methods used during this course may include:

  • Short lectures/presentations
  • Physical handouts
  • Seminars/group discussions
  • Student presentations
  • Video/Audio recordings
  • Visits to galleries

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be expected to understand:

  • the relationship between works of art and their social and historical contexts.
  • the role of the University of Oxford in the patronage of works of architecture.
  • how different environments condition different experiences of works of art, from museums and galleries, to colleges and libraries.
  • the particular challenges of curating, exhibiting, and interpreting medieval and Renaissance art.

Assessment methods

Participants are required to undertake preparatory reading and complete a pre-course assignment of 1,500 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 first week of June.

You will be assessed during the summer school by either a 1,000 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. To successfully gain credit (10 CATS points) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment. Participants will attend two one-on-one tutorials with their tutor during the week.

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. Learn more about CATS points.

Certificate of Higher Education

Credit earned from OUSSA can be transferred towards our flexible Certificate of Higher Education.

Study when and where it suits you by gaining credit from short courses, including short online courses, weekly classes and OUSSA, and build your way to an Oxford University award. This part-time undergraduate programme lasts between two and four years depending on how intensively you want to study.  

Find out more about the Certificate of Higher Education

Application

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, double room for 1 person 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. Please send the completed enrolment form to the email address below. Both the PDF and Word option of the form below are editable, so you can complete them online before saving and sending to us as an email attachment. You do not need to print and scan them. (Please use these forms only if you are making a twin or double booking for two people)

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. the accessible bedroom) should contact the Programme Administrator directly at oussa@conted.ox.ac.uk or OUSSA, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK

Accommodation

More information about our accommodation can be found here