English plus Academic Subjects

• a gap year between school and university

• a challenge for advanced students

• 14-week semester

• six-week compact course

An excellent course for students between school and university

Our English plus Academic Subjects course, exclusively for adult students, is a stimulating alternative to the traditional English language courses offered in a standard English Language School. It consists of two elements:

Advanced English
Language Study
+ Academic subjects
taught at university level

This programme is recommended for:

  • an advanced language student looking for an additional challenge
  • a gap year student waiting to go to university
  • a pre-masters student preparing for further study at university

Whatever your motivation, our experienced language teachers and academic subject specialists work closely together to create a flexible and challenging programme.

We offer two course types:

  • the 14-week Semester Course starting in September or January
  • a short six-week Compact Course in May / June

Academic subjects
The academic subjects are taught at university level and often together with English native-speakers, usually from the USA. Tuition is provided by subject specialists who bring the benefits of the latest research in their own areas of expertise. Each subject requires background reading and research and is assessed through course work, essays, examinations and presentations.

You will be able to choose three courses from the following subject areas:

Business/Economics Communications English Literature
Mathematics Social Sciences Art History
Philosophy & Religion Studio Art Languages (for example Mandarin
Chinese or Russian for Beginners)
Two or three lessons per week for each subject option.

One lesson = 55 minutes.

Progression Options

Students interested in enrolling for a full academic year, and have IELTS 5.5 or upper intermediate, may take the English plus Academic Subjects programme in the autumn semester with the option of joining the Liberal Arts programme in the spring semester.

Contact the Department

Please do contact us with any questions you may have about the course, the accommodation, the college and what it is like to be a student here. We will help you to make your choice and apply for the course.
Tom Whitehouse
Sales Coordinator
+44 1865 517331
Manuela Williams
Admissions Registrar
+44 1865 517706
Bardwell Road Campus
St Clare’s Oxford – 18 Bardwell Road – Oxford – OX2 6SP
Office hours: Monday – Friday 0900-1700 GMT

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Semester Course

The Course combines English Language and academic subjects:

English for Academic Purposes + Academic subjects
10 lessons per week   choose three academic subjects
Two or three lessons per week for each subject choice

English for Academic Purposes
Your lessons explore contemporary, cross-course themes through the medium of English and develop high-level English Language and study skills:

  • sample themes: Society & Responsibilities; Oxford & University Life; World Customs & Traditions
  • teaching stimuli include printed materials, study visits, on-line resources, television documentaries, DVDs and YouTube.
  • language study focuses on developing advanced level competence in areas such as register, collocation and idiomatic usage and, in particular, academic study skills
  • internal assessment includes formal and informal writing activities, an extended essay based on your own research and an oral presentation
  • external assessment through externally validated Cambridge Exams (CAE or CPE) or IELTS, as available
Academic Subjects

You will study three subjects, each for two or three lessons per week. When submitting your application, you should select six subjects, numbered in order of preference 1-6; we make every effort to give students their first three choices when possible. Select subjects to suit your interests and future needs. In addition, private tuition in Italian, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian and other languages can be arranged for students at all levels for a supplementary fee.

Subject area Course
Art History
  • Art in England Survey 1066-1600
  • Oxford Art and Architecture
  • International Business in the News
English Literature
  • Oxford and Fantasy Literature
  • European Crime Writing
  • Chinese (Beginners)
  • Russian (Beginners)
  • College Algebra
Philosophy and Religion
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Comparative Religion
  • Ethics
Social Sciences
  • Introduction to British History
  • Introduction to Politics
  • International Relations
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
Studio Art
  • Fundamentals of Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Cross Cultural Communication
  • Film Studies
Sample timetable
Lesson 1 Language development Video ‘The true costs of cheap food’ English teacher
Lesson 2 Discussion and debate
Lunch Meet with friends in the college dining room
Lesson 3 Academic subject choice: Introduction to Politics Subject teacher
Self-study Consolidation activities
Activities Join in the programme of activities or excursions
Compact Course

This six-week Compact Course is perfect for students who want to combine advanced level English classes with a stimulating choice of academic subjects taught at university level. This course is the perfect preparation for university. It consists of two elements:

Advanced English Language Skills

  • 10 lessons per week
  • Includes: exploration of contemporary issues through the medium of English
  • Internal and external assessment (CAE, CPE, or IELTS)

Academic Subjects

  • three hours per week (depending on number of students enrolled)

Psychology and the Cinema (Anna Scarnà)
This course will use the medium of film to present basic psychological theories involving personality, abnormal and social psychology. Students will watch one film per session prior to a class discussion. The main protagonists of each film will be considered in the context of existing personality or diagnostic questionnaires. The history, experimental work and main debates surrounding each film and theory will be covered. Examples of films include Rain Man (for autistic spectrum disorder), As Good As It Gets (obsessive-compulsive disorder), Little Miss Sunshine (coping strategies, extraversion, stress, depression) Super Size Me (attitudes and beliefs, research methods). The course will develop students’ analytical skills and will introduce the concepts of experimental methods, ethics, questionnaire design and diagnostic criteria for psychological disorders.

Tribes: Identity, Diversity and the notion of Tolerance (Anna Castriota)
In the globally connected world in which we live, many issues (political, economic, religious) divide peoples. Among the issues that divide peoples, identity and diversity are arguably the most difficult to resolve. This course focuses on the concept of “identity” and how it is used to distinguish and unite us all. We will analyse the concept of “identity” through the following themes: National identity and the politics of multiculturalism; whose rights are right; culture, individual/group identities and tolerance in a globally connected world.

Business, Management and Entrepreneurship (Kay Alty)
This course will explore how successful entrepreneurs can create a local business and build a global brand. Students will learn how to develop and pitch a business plan to potential investors and how business strategy is the key to growth. The course is case study based and we will examine a broad range of sectors, markets and brands. Students will be encouraged to think strategically and creatively about business issues, many of which can be solved or improved by the application of universal business solutions.

Programme Dates
Spring Semester 2018 Sunday 7 January – Friday 5 May 2018
Autumn Semester 2018 Monday 3 September – Friday 14 December 2018
Spring Semester 2019 Monday 14 January – Friday 10 May 2019

Spring Semester 2018

Start date Sunday 7 January
Mid Semester Break Saturday 10 February – Sunday 18 February
Spring Break Saturday 24 March – Sunday 8 April
End of Semester Friday 4 May

Autumn Semester 2018

Start date Monday 3 September
Mid Semester Break Monday 22 October – Friday 26 October
End of Semester Friday 14 December

Spring Semester 2019

Start date Monday 14 January
Mid Semester Break Monday 18 February – Friday 22 February
Spring Break Monday 8 April – Friday 19 April
End of Semester Friday 10 May
Spring Semester 2018 Sunday 7 January – Saturday 5 May £7336
Compact Course 2018 Sunday 6 May – Saturday 16 June £3144
One-to-one lessons per lesson (55 minutes) £55

Accommodation fees

College house — self-catering Twin Standard Twin Superior Single Standard Single Superior
Spring Semester 2018 £3,435 £4,170 £4,425 £5,430
Compact Course 2018 £1,374 £1,668 £1,770 £2,172
Homestay — meals included     Single Standard Single Superior
Spring Semester 2018     £3,435 £4,530
Compact Course 2018     £1,374 £1,812
Optional Extras        
Lunch Monday to Friday £44 per week    

What the Accommodation fees include

College houses

Supervised accommodation from the day of arrival to the morning after the last day of the course; bed linen and towels; room cleaning (weekdays); heating and lighting.

  • Accommodation fees include your stay in your house during the mid semester breaks but not the two week spring break.
  • If you have chosen to include meals you are entitled to lunch Monday to Friday (excluding the semester breaks)


Fees include accommodation as a guest with a local host (appraised and inspected regularly by our Student Services Officer), single room, bed linen and towels, laundry facilities, breakfast and dinner every day (lunches can be bought in college Monday to Friday) and support provided by the Student Services Officer in college. Some of our hosts offer a single superior option (ensuite facilities).

Entry requirements

If you would like to enrol on the English plus Academic Subjects course you must:

  • be 17 years of age or over
  • have a knowledge of English at or above the following:
    • IELTS score 5.5 or equivalent
      (Equivalent = B2 Common European Framework)

Do you want to challenge your English?

Studying an academic course in English is perfect for you

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St Clare's, Oxford