An intellectually rigorous and fast-paced program for eager students
Throughout the Oxford Summer Programme (OSP), you’ll journey to astonishing places. But with all that could ignite your intellectual imagination, nothing will compare to the vast collection of scholarly resources available to you. Welcome to the home of some of history’s greatest thinkers.
OSP fuels intellectual development at all levels of education. Engage in scholarship guided by Oxford’s primary method of pedagogies: the tutorial. Go one-on-one with your professor to defend your argument and support your positions, ready yourself for graduate school or just become a better thinker. When you’re not flexing your brain, keep it sharp with student outings and field trips.
During OSP, even when you put the book down, your studies never really stop. You’re immersed in an attitude to life. Here you’re invited to ask yourself the questions pivotal to your intellectual growth—questions that are a part of your day-to-day existence. With close fellowship among your peers, the rhythm of the Oxford Summer Programme is one that will beat in your heart for life.
OSP is organized by SCIO, Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford, which is the UK subsidiary of BestSemester and the CCCU. It is a research center based in Oxford working in close partnership with Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford. More info on SCIO's projects, staff, and activity can be found at www.scio-uk.org.
View courses for Best Semester Oxford Summer Programme here.
OSP fuels intellectual development at all levels of education: undergraduate, post-graduate, professorial, and beyond. Engage one-on-one with Oxford's acclaimed and widely-published faculty in scholarship guided by Oxford’s primary pedagogy: the tutorial. Allow Oxford University to change the way you read books, write sentences, and think; then travel the nation's diverse, historical landscapes with a sharp new mind and the guidance of your tutors.
RECOMMENDED CREDITS (6)
Core Course Credits
Seminar & Tutorial A (3)
Seminar & Tutorial B (3)
All students participate in the lecture series "The Christian tradition in the British Isles." This course includes lectures and field trips to sites of major interest, providing the historical context for work undertaken in the seminars.
All students participate in two different seminars. Students are evaluated by seminar leaders on the basis of written work. Seminars can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit.
As part of their seminars students participate in individual tutorials during the second part of the programme. While meeting one-on-one with their seminar leader, students develop, discuss and defend an essay related to the students' seminar topic.
STUDENT LIFE IN OXFORD
OK: you have to finish your paper on C.S. Lewis by tomorrow, and you have three more books to read before writing your paper on Locke by the end of the week. But while your time in Oxford always remains focused on the pleasures of academic study, that does not stop you from experiencing the full student life that is the city of Oxford.
With over 100 libraries, discussion classes, lectures, and one-on-one tutorials, every student spends a lot of the time reading ... and reading ... and reading! If working at one of the best research establishments in the world excites you, then this is the programme for you! The only thing you will do as much as read, is write.
With each tutorial you answer a different question working with an extensive reading list. All students appreciate the chance to focus and specialize. It is exhilarating, head-spinning, and, sometimes, feels a little overwhelming, which is why the programme staff spend so much time making themselves available not only to support and encourage, but also to challenge you to push for new levels of academic achievement.
HOUSING: THE VINES
The Vines is a modest mansion on the crest of Headington Hill, situated on 1.5 acres of garden with stunning views of Oxford's spires. Running parallel to the path of C.S. Lewis's former commute, The Vines is a 35-minute walk into Oxford city centre, a 10-minute cycle ride, or a 5-minute walk to the nearest bus stop (with buses passing by every 6–7 minutes). It has a large kitchen, laundry facilities, a well-appointed common room and bathrooms for every 2-3 rooms.
- Laundry facilities
- IT and study room with work stations and printing facilities
- Large common room
- Dining room
- Large kitchen
- Wheelchair access and disability accommodation
- Prayer room
- Wireless network
OPTIONAL FIELD TRIPS
In addition to field trips that are a required part of the Oxford Summer Programme, a number of optional field-trips and special events are planned for students each summer by the Tutor for Student Affairs and the Junior Dean. The costs associated with optional field-trips are the responsibility of each student but every effort is made to ensure costs are minimal. In the past, these outings have proven to be a great break from studying, a chance to explore more of the British landscape, and an opportunity to share in the community life of the OSP. All dates and locations are subject to change. Further details will be sent to students once the programme has begun, but here are some of the activities that have proved popular in the past.
Discover just some of the amazing art available on view in Oxford. Our walk includes a visit to the Christ Church Picture Gallery. We will also see the Pre-Raphaelite murals in the Oxford Union and visit the famous ‘Light of the World' by Edward Burne-Jones hidden away in the chapel at Keble College.
FOLLOWING IN C.S. LEWIS' FOOTSTEPS
Enjoy an afternoon visit to The Kilns, C.S. Lewis's home in Headington. After touring the house and grounds, we will visit his parish church, Holy Trinity, where he is buried and commemorated with beautifully etched Narnia windows.
Oxford's museums and collections are world renowned and provide an important resource for scholars around the world.
- The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology houses the University's extensive collections of art and antiquities. Established in 1683, it is the oldest museum in the UK and one of the oldest in the world. It also houses an exceptional collection of prints which can be viewed by any member of the public upon special arrangement. Free admission.
- The University Museum of Natural History houses the University's scientific collections. With 4.5 million specimens it is the largest collection of its type outside the national collections. Free admission.
- The Pitt Rivers Museum holds one of the finest collections of anthropology and archaeology. Free admission.
- The Museum of the History of Science is housed in the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. It contains an excellent collection of historic scientific instruments from around the world. Free admission.
- The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments celebrates the development of musical instruments in the western classical tradition from the medieval period to the present.
- The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain. It contains the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world. Admission free with University card.
- The Harcourt Arboretum is an informal garden, where the public can enjoy walks and riding their bicycles. It is six miles south of Oxford and forms an integral part of the Botanic Garden's plant collection. Parking charge.
- The Christ Church Picture Gallery houses an important collection of Old Master paintings and almost 2,000 drawings in a gallery of considerable architectural interest. Admission free with University card.
- Modern Art Oxford is the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the Southeast region of Britain. Admission free.
- SCIO's spiritual mission is to demonstrate that personal faith in Christ can flourish within an academically rigorous environment, can operate in a public university, and interacts with scholarship but not necessarily in ways that are obvious and easily labelled;
- help students acquire the maturity, vision, confidence, and skills to study in the public, research university and to encourage scholarly reflection in religious contexts and in a public, non-religious environment.
Learning to study alongside and under those of different religious beliefs (or, in many cases, none) is challenging. We encourage this by offering ourselves as a mentors/example, creating an atmosphere of independence in which students can develop such a vision and ability, and offering nurture by staff who are engaged and committed.
All students are encouraged to attend a church in Oxford. Apart from the spiritual nourishment that comes from remaining involved in regular worship, church is a great place to meet other students and residents of the town, and creates opportunities for you to get to know the people in your community. Many students on the programme make a point of attending a church whose style is markedly different from that which they usually attend at home, while other students find it a great comfort to attend a service whose style is more familiar, and all students should think about what might best suit them while they are here.
Alongside the field trips organised as part of the programme, Oxford staff arrange optional field trips that you can join if you want. These trips change from semester to semester, but in the past have included visits to London, Blenheim Palace, Snowdonia and the castles of Wales, and the Lake District and the Lake poets, as well as places further afield including Rome and Auschwitz. These trips are charged at cost, and are very competitively priced.
Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With your University card, you will have access to its 100+ libraries, and colleges that have been established for over 800 years, as well as its art galleries, museums, bookshops, and ice cream parlours. You will never tire of living here.
Over the course of the semester, the students can choose to come along on various field trips around Oxford that are arranged by the Tutor for Student Affairs and other staff. These trips are not accredited, and are instead a chance to relax together, and experience some of the incredible sites that are within 30 minutes travel from Oxford. We arrange them for either the weekend or an afternoon in the week. We don't go to the same places every semester, but here are some of our most enjoyed visits.
The Oxford Summer Programme is an interdisciplinary program which gives no preference to students in any particular field of study. However, a serious Christian commitment and a good academic record are necessary. Students are required to maintain a GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, regardless of major.
OSP is designed for rising college sophomores, juniors and seniors; graduate and seminary students; non-traditional students; teachers; and those enrolled in continuing education programs. Generally, a minimum GPA of 2.9 is required though in the case of non-traditional students this may be reviewed (note this GPA requirement differs from that of the SSO programme).
For more information, please visit the custom program link found on the BCA's website.