Inspiring Oxford Summer School

Be inspired by the dreaming spires

Make your summer unforgettable with Inspiring Oxford

Immerse yourself in a setting steeped in centuries of history as you unlock new knowledge and embark on a journey of personal enrichment. 

With around 40 exciting week-long courses to choose from, you will stay and study in historic Brasenose College, in the heart of Oxford. 

All courses are pitched at an introductory level for non-specialists aged 18 and above, and no prior knowledge is required. You will study in small groups, of up to 16 participants, taught by highly experienced tutors.

Programme dates

Programme overview

You will have two small group seminars each weekday morning in the course option of your choice, followed by a plenary lecture before lunch. Afternoons are free to explore the many places of interest in and around Oxford or participate in the programme's optional social activities. 

Course options

Participants choose one course, which they study in detail with their tutor and seminar group.

Courses will cater to a diverse range of interests including history, creative writing and literature, psychology, environmental studies, drama and theatre studies, law, history of art, international relations/development, sociology, film, and more.

Plenary lectures

This year, Inspiring Oxford will offer a lecture series delivered by University of Oxford academics on a range of topics. There will be time after each lecture for questions.

Lectures will follow morning seminars.

Please click here to view our lecture programme.


All courses are pitched at an introductory level for those aged 18 and above, and no prior knowledge is required. Classes of up to 16 participants study in small groups taught by highly experienced tutors. While you may want to complete a small amount of pre-course reading, you will not be required to produce any written work during the week.

The course fee includes ten 70-minute small group seminars and four 45-minute plenary lectures, each delivered by a University of Oxford academic and followed by a question-and-answer session.

Social programme 

Inspiring Oxford warmly invites all participants take part in our social programme, with all events provided at no additional cost. 

Optional social activites may include:

  • Welcome drinks reception
  • Chauffeured punting, leaving from Magdalen Bridge Boathouse
  • Walking tour of Oxford: choice of themed tour led by expert local guides
  • Choice of visiting a famous stately home or taking an afternoon mystery field trip
  • Private string quartet afternoon concert
  • Croquet evening
  • Amateur performance at the Oxford Castle
  • Invitation to join programme director and tutors on high table one evening
  • Farewell drinks reception, presentation of certificates and gala dinner


Closing reception, presentation of certificates and gala farewell dinner

We invite you to join us for the presentation of your certificates and a glass of wine before enjoying a gala farewell dinner. For this special occasion formal dress is encouraged.

Accommodation and meals

During your course you will stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Brasenose College, in the heart of the city in buildings overlooked by the iconic Radcliffe Camera. Please note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished and do not have air-conditioning. 

You can find out more about Brasenose by visiting their website.

The following types of accommodation are available:

  • Single en suite
  • Twin en suite: shared between participants that apply to the programme together
  • Standard single: bathrooms are shared between, on average, four participants

En suite rooms include private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet).

Meals and morning refreshments

The course fee includes breakfasts Monday-Saturday, four weekday lunches, and served dinners Sunday-Friday. 


A range of hot and cold options is offered.


Tea, coffee and biscuits are served during the morning breaks.


A two-course self-service lunch is provided in the college dining hall on four days. 


A two-course served dinner is provided in the college dining hall.

High table dinner

On one evening, you will receive an invitation to join the programme director and tutors on high table. Formal dress is encouraged.

Fees and supplements

Programme fees

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

Programme fees include accommodation and meals

  • Single en suite accommodation and meals: £2,285 per person
  • Twin en suite accommodation and meals: £2,135 per person
  • Standard single accommodation and meals: £1,955 per person
  • Non-residential, including lunch and dinner: £1600.00 per person

Non-residential participants can take classes and have lunch and dinner at Brasenose, having arranged their own accommodation elsewhere. They are encouraged to attend all aspects of the academic and social programme, and they have equal access to Brasenose as residential participants.

There may be an additional cost of between £5-£135 if your course has an excursion. Any additional cost will be added to the above fee and will not require a separate payment.

Extended stay fee

Participants staying multiple, consecutive weeks will be charged an additional bed and breakfast fee for the cost of the Saturday night between courses.


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

Disabled participants (including those with mobility difficulties)

Disabled students or students with a mobility impairment who have registered, or are planning to, should please contact the Programme Administrator, via email at, to discuss any support needs. They can also consult the University Access Guide.


Enrolment is now open.

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

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.

Brasenose College

During your course you will stay and dine at Brasenose College.

Founded in 1509, Brasenose College alumni include the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, former UK Prime Minister Henry Addington, the first captain of the England football team, Cuthbert Ottaway, and William Webb Ellis, Clergyman and the alleged inventor of rugby football.

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