The Oxford Experience

Programme overview

The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme aimed at non-specialists, providing more than 60 week-long courses in a range of subjects including:

  • Archaeology and Early History
  • Art, Music, Houses and Gardens
  • Literature and Creative Writing
  • Modern History and Philosophy
  • Natural and Social Science

Coronavirus update

Regrettably the Department has decided that we must cancel our 2020 Oxford Experience programme.

We’d like to express a huge thank you for your much-valued ongoing support of the Department and our courses, and we hope that we’ll have the opportunity of welcoming you to Oxford in the near future.

If you are currently enrolled on the Oxford Experience, we shall, of course, be reimbursing your course fees in full and we should like to ask for your patience as we begin this process.

Should you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please accept our best wishes for your health and wellbeing at this difficult time.

Summer 2020 courses

Week 1: Courses running from 5 July - 11 July 2020

Week 2: Courses running from 12 July - 18 July 2020

Week 3: Courses running from 19 July - 25 July 2020

Week 4: Courses running from 26 July - 1 August 2020

Week 5: Courses running from 2 August - 8 August 2020

Week 6: Courses running from 9 August - 15 August 2020

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, a final gala dinner, and to dine at ‘high table’
  • enjoy a wide-ranging and lively social programme, from lectures to entertaining cultural events
  • have the opportunity to participate in organised walking tours and excursions, or to explore Oxford independently.

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 wide-ranging and lively social programme - from guided walks and special guest lectures to entertaining cultural events. Enjoy 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.

The fee stated includes a bedroom with private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). Most are single but a few twins are available*.

There is also a limited number of standard rooms available, which all have their own washbasin and shaver point but shared bath and toilet facilities. Most standard rooms are single but there are a few ‘twin sets’ (two single rooms opening off a sitting room)*.

*If you wish to book a twin en-suite room or a standard twin set room each person should complete an application form and email it to us at as these rooms cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)

Please indicate your accommodation preferences (either online or on your application form) together with a note of any mobility problems. Students should note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished, do not have air-conditioning and are arranged on a staircase of four or five floors.

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.


If accommodation is unavailable in a particular week, 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.

If you wish to enrol on a non-residential basis please complete an application form and email it to us at as this option cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)

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 fee (with single en-suite accommodation and meals): £1,565
  • Programme Fee (with single standard accommodation and meals): £1,380
  • Excursion Fee where applicable: £50-100

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

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 tranfer within 30 days of invoice date

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:

  • Cancellations received up to and including 30 April 2020 – OUDCE will retain an administration fee of £100 per week booked; all other fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received between 1-31 May 2020 – OUDCE will retain 60% of the fees paid; the remaining 40% of fees paid will be refunded.
  • Cancellations received on and after 1 June 2020 - no refunds will be made.


Registration closes on 1 May 2020.

Oxford Experience courses are designed for an international audience aged 18 and up.

Please note: most courses fill up fast so early registration is strongly recommended.

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

Further information for participants

Joining notes for participants are available to download here.

Upcoming courses

  • Short courses
  • Sun 05 Jul 2020 – 11 Jul 2020
  • Short courses
  • Sun 05 Jul 2020 – 11 Jul 2020
  • Short courses
  • Sun 05 Jul 2020 – 11 Jul 2020
  • Short courses
  • Sun 05 Jul 2020 – 11 Jul 2020
  • Short courses
  • Sun 05 Jul 2020 – 11 Jul 2020