Summer Boarding Courses
A Guide to Studying at Oxford
Embark on an enriching summer journey at Oxford College, where history and modern academia converge to create an unparalleled learning experience. Our summer programmes, tailored for students aged 15-17, offer a unique opportunity to delve into a range of subjects amidst the inspiring backdrop of the world’s oldest English-speaking university
As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a unique and historic institution. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.
There are 39 Oxford colleges, which are financially independent and self-governing, but relate to the central University in a kind of federal system. There are also six permanent private halls, which are similar to colleges except that they tend to be smaller, and were founded by particular Christian denominations.
Of the 39 Oxford colleges, SBC operates at two of them.
In terms of reputable figures with a profound influence on modern day Britain, famous Oxonians include: Tony Blair, W.H. Auden, Sir John Betjeman, Hugh Grant, and Oscar Wilde.
Against the backdrop of Wadham’s beautiful buildings and magnificent gardens students will instantly feel inspired by the history of Wadham College, which can be found on Parks Road. With Oxford city centre only a ten minute walk away students will find a lot on their doorstep that they will enjoy at Wadham College. Surrounded by the grandeur of university buildings and close to University Parks for fun outdoor activities, students will be fully immersed in the distinct Oxford atmosphere at Wadham College.
At Wadham College our guests will be awestruck by the grandeur of buildings which go as far back as 1610. As well as ancient courtyards students will be charmed by the college gardens which have been used to put on outdoor Shakespeare productions in previous summers.
At Wadham College, lodging is mostly offered in the traditional Oxford “staircase” model, with each staircase hosting 6–17 students. There are comfortable places to live and learn on every stairway. The Front Quadrangle is surrounded by stairs 1 to 7, which are amongst the most atmospheric parts of the accommodation. The remaining stairs are in a variety of structures, from old to contemporary purpose-built housing, which create a unique character and welcoming atmosphere.
All dorm rooms for students include a single bed, a desk and chair, a wardrobe, a chest of drawers or other built-in storage, bookshelves, a desk lamp, and high-speed wired and wireless internet. On the Wadham campus, each stairwell has a common bath and/or shower room in addition to a washbasin in every bedroom.
Politics and Economics
English Level: Intermediate (B1) or Above
Ideal for ambitious students wishing to develop their understanding of the political and economic foundations of the contemporary world in preparation for future studies.
Ideal for ambitious students wishing to develop their understanding of the political and economic foundations of the contemporary world in preparation for future studies. On this course you will broaden your knowledge of key concepts and evaluate the ideologies and values at the heart of different political systems, gaining an understanding of international geopolitical trends.
Through the development of your own political campaigns in our active collaborative project, you will apply your newfound knowledge and develop key presentation skills and interpersonal skills. Our unique Industry Experience programme will give you authentic insight into life and studies in politics and economics while being able to rub shoulders with professionals in the field. Topics studied on the course include economic growth, public spending, taxation, economic systems, parliament, and political parties.
Business at Oxford College
Our Business and Leadership course will prepare you for success in your future university business studies and career. You will develop both your practical business skills and soft skills while acquiring the knowledge of the latest trends and practices in business. Subjects include budgeting and finance, marketing, sustainability and growth, as well as the communication skills necessary for success in business.
The course is delivered in a dynamic blend of lesson types such as seminars and lectures, with coaching sessions to support your university application.
You will participate in an entrepreneurial Design Sprint to engage practically with your learning by creating your own start-up company or by designing a new product. You will also benefit from authentic Industry Experience, meeting experts in the field of business and visiting real workplaces.
Subjects in Business & Leadership include budgeting and finance, marketing, sustainability and growth, as well as the development of the communication skills necessary for success in business.
Law at Oxford
Take the next steps on your path towards the legal profession and kickstart your universities law studies. Tailored for the lawyers, barristers and solicitors of tomorrow, our Law course will broaden your understanding of key legal concepts and enhance your ability to construct legal arguments. During the course you will discover how law and lawyers function in different legal fields and analyse a range of fundamental legal theories through interesting and engaging case studies that cover areas of tort, international and human rights law. Students will have the unique opportunity to experience the English judicial system through our Industry Workshop Programme.
In our Medicine course, students will develop practical skills, medical knowledge and English language ability as they start their journey to becoming a doctor, or work in the health industry. Additionally, students will receive practical advice on studying Medicine at university, as well as taking part in full First Aid training during the course. Beyond medical theory and practice, we look at the role of Medicine in a wider, ethical context to develop students’ critical thinking skills and understanding of important issues in public health.
The gateway into our interconnected world, studying International Relations develops an appreciation of the global issues which form today’s political and humanitarian environment and gives you the awareness and sophistication to become a true world citizen. You will analyse how and why the international landscape looks as it does by studying real-life political models and contemporary global issues. You will then apply your understanding to a range of interactive and challenging role-play scenarios to enhance your skills in presentation, negotiation, and diplomacy. International Relations at Oxford College is the perfect foundation for a degree or career in politics, journalism, security, and diplomacy.
Engineering is at the intersection of innovation, design and construction. Utilising both science and mathematics, Engineering is the art of applying scientific and mathematical principles to solve real-world problems, such as in the construction of bridges, buildings, electronic circuits and mechanical design. It is also used to address critical issues in today’s global climate such as water and air pollution, and other such areas in the promotion of healthy ecosystems. Our Engineering summer school course is designed for students who wish to develop their understanding of thermodynamics, mechanical engineering, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics and electromagnetism through university-style seminars, lectures and workshops.
Top ten places for students to visit in their free time
- Ashmolean Museum – With ancient and modern art and antiquities covering world civilisations, plus fine and applied arts, at The Ashmolean there’s something that’s awe inspiring for everyone.
- Brew Coffee Shop – On the doorstep of Wycliffe on a side street off Banbury Road. Best coffee in Oxford and a favourite of SBC staff.
- University Parks – Large open green playing fields surrounded by patches of woodland and serene ponds. There’s no better place for hanging out with new friends in your free time.
- The Covered Market – If you’re looking for original souvenirs to take home whilst finding shelter from the summer rain, there’s no better place in Oxford.
- Queen’s Lane Coffee Shop – Take a break from Starbucks and relax in a cosy, multi-roomed cafe that has been serving coffee and comfort food for more than 350 years.
- St. Mary’s Passage – Anyone familiar with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has to see the very lamppost which inspired C.S. Lewis down St. Mary’s Passage next to Radcliffe Camera.
- Westgate Oxford – State of the art shopping mall in the very heart of Oxford city centre. Has everything from Ted Baker, COS, to John Lewis.
- Oxfam Bookshop – Two storeys of eclectic and very affordable books. Whether you’re looking to find wider reading connected to your course or a classic work of fiction, you’ll find it here.
- Oxford University Museum of Natural History – An internationally-significant collection of natural history specimens and archives can be found minutes away from both Wadham and Wycliffe
In London, students will have the opportunity to explore some of the capital’s most famous landmarks as well as enjoying some free-time for shopping.
In Cambridge, we’ll visit some of the city’s most famous colleges, and go punting on the River Cam.
To end the two weeks in style students will graduate at either Cherwell Boathouse or Oxford Town Hall.
We hope our guide to SBC at Oxford College has got you as excited about the coming summer as we are, and we hope you have a much clearer picture of all the fantastic opportunities on the horizon at this truly unique and historic university.
If there are any questions or queries in which you would like more information on then our dedicated admissions team are always on hand to answer any of your queries and are here to help you every step of the way.
Have a question?
Our admissions experts are happy to answer any questions you have and support you in finding the perfect summer experience.