What is the Oxford Summer Academy?
The Oxford Summer Academy is a chance for ambitious and intelligent students to study subjects of interest to them, in greater detail and at a higher level than a school curriculum allows, alongside like-minded people, whilst also enjoying the cultural experience that Oxford has to offer. It is held each July at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University. The programme includes academic tuition, afternoon electives, and an extensive programme of social events and excursions in Oxford, the surrounding countryside, and London.
In a two-week course, 27 hours of academic tuition are delivered during the mornings. Majors and minors give students the opportunity to consolidate their current high school studies or to try something new, perhaps a subject they are considering at university. There is a wide range of options available in mathematics, sciences, social sciences, humanities, English and languages.
Students spend 15 hours on their electives during the afternoons. The electives are designed to broaden students’ experience and lead to achievements that can enhance university applications. Electives include topics such as photography, creative writing, sport, debating, personality profiling and film, TV and theatre reviewing.
Tutors are drawn from the university’s staff and Oxford graduates. Following the Oxford tutorial system, teaching takes place in small groups. The Oxford Summer Academy aims to give students a taste of life at Oxford University and so, like Oxford undergraduates, students do assignments in their chosen subjects. These are formally assessed, and can contribute to high-school credits where appropriate.
The social events offer students the chance to relax and explore Oxford and its activities. An important part of the Oxford Summer Academy are the excursions, theatre trips and our programme of social events. Each week, there is at least one full-day excursion and an evening theatre performance. During the evenings, students will also have the opportunity to meet Oxford academics and learn about applying to Oxford. Students have ample opportunity to explore Oxford's other medieval colleges, museums and gardens.
Many students who attend the Oxford Summer Academy plan to go on and study at a world-class university. This involves making the right choice, and understanding and preparing for the selection process. During the course we run a seminar on applying to university in the UK. This includes information on deadlines, entrance tests and writing a ‘personal statement’. Students will have the opportunity to visit Oxford's colleges and there are optional visits to some of London University's colleges. For students enrolled on the 4-week course, there is also a day trip to Cambridge University.
Students at the Oxford Summer Academy have the opportunity to live in a medieval college and explore the University of Oxford. For students who are thinking of applying to Oxford, we can arrange informal chats with university staff, and practice interviews.
The course starts with a Welcome Reception, where students, parents, staff and tutors can quickly get to know each other. The Oxford Summer Academy Entz team often consist of Oxford graduates dedicated to ensure that students enjoy their stay in Oxford. Their role is partly pastoral, and they also co-ordinate a variety of Oxford-based activities for students during their free time.
To mark the end of the course, there is an exhibition of students’ work, and a public debate - an old Oxford tradition. The end-of-course gala dinner and prize-giving is held in the Dining Hall at St Edmund Hall.