Summer Academic Programme

• For US undergraduates

• Earn three or six credits

• Improve your grades

• Study in Oxford

A Compact Liberal Arts Course in Oxford

This summer programme is an excellent opportunity for university undergraduates to earn credits to transfer to their home degree. What better way to improve your grades and advance in your studies than to take courses in the city of Oxford. Students can choose to take either one or two courses, earning three or six credits.

St Clare’s has offered the Liberal Arts programme for university undergraduates and gap year students for over 40 years, and has longstanding links to a number of US universities. Our academic staff cover a wide range of subjects and teach at many of the University of Oxford colleges.

Contact the Department

Contact us for more detailed information about the course or any questions you may have about enrolment.
Paul Sinclair
Director of Liberal Arts Programmes
+44 1865 517715
Manuela Williams
Admissions Registrar
+44 1865 517706

Subjects offered

Take a look at the course summaries and make your choice.

Oxford Art and Architecture (Art History, 3 credits)

This course is designed to give students an opportunity to explore the direction and nature of change in the built environment of Oxford, a city famed for its architectural beauty and history. There is a continuous tradition of civic, ecclesiastical and collegiate architecture spanning almost a thousand years. This is the background to any proposed conservation or change in the city. The topics to be explored include the range of period styles and diversity of building types to be found in the city. From these students will focus in on a particular architect, building, collection, or individual work of art for further independent study in greater depth.

Shakespeare (English Literature, 3 credits)

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the plays of Shakespeare, giving a survey of his development as a playwright in terms of both the written text and stagecraft. Students will be encouraged to assess Shakespeare’s continuing cultural relevance from within a supportive critical environment. As part of this course, students will have the opportunity to attend a number of Shakespearean plays.

Eastern Religions (Religion, 3 credits)

This course aims to give students a stimulating introduction to the major religions of Asia, focusing on Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, and also exploring Shinto and Confucian traditions. The Indian and East Asian views of the cosmos have shaped the lives of half the globe, and continue to have an increasing influence on Western culture. We will look at the philosophy of reincarnation and liberation; the arts and rituals of Hinduism and Buddhism; how the movement of Buddhism in South and East Asia blended Indian influences with Taoist, Confucian and Shinto traditions to create profound new approaches to life. Our approach will show how key philosophical ideas give rise to the beliefs and practices that shape people’s lives today.

The Literature of Oxford (English Literature, 3 credits)

Some of England’s greatest writers have lived and studied in Oxford, and many have set their works of literature in the city and the university. This seminar will examine several Oxford novels with special reference to the influence of setting on character and plot. Among the works to be considered are: Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy; Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh; Jill, by Philip Larkin; and The Dead of Jericho, by Colin Dexter as well as a selection of Oxford poems. Field trips to the actual settings of the works will be a regular feature of the course, and day trips to London and other sites are planned.

Anglo-American Relations 1776-2001 (History, 3 credits)

This course provides students with an overview of America’s interaction with Great Britain beginning with the American Revolution and ending with the political relationship between President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair in the late twentieth century. The course will examine Anglo-American relations within the context of politics, diplomacy, war, commerce, social development, and cultural exchange. Ultimately, this course will study how the U.S. and Britain overcame the bitterness and hostility caused by the American Revolution and War of 1812 and eventually formed a close alliance that has often been termed “the special relationship”.

Field trips will include: Blenheim Palace, (the birthplace of Prime Minister Winston Churchill), Churchill’s War Rooms (part of the Imperial War Museum), the Prime Minister’s underground bunker that served as the main shelter for him and his war cabinet during the Blitz; the Imperial War Museum itself, which offers exhibits such as first-hand accounts of combat and the home front during World War I and family life during World War II, and the George Washington statue near the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.

The course also includes a trip to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, which offers a variety of exhibits and attractions related to the history of the British navy. The dockyard includes the National Museum of the Royal Navy as well as several historic ships open for touring spanning from the sailing frigate HMS Victory of the Napoleonic era to the World War II submarine HMS Alliance.

Please note:
St Clare’s will complete all paper work associated with credit transfer. Please note that if your school does not accept St Clare’s credit, your credits will be transferred through our University of Record in the USA. This option carries an additional $250 non-refundable processing fee.

Dates and fees
mid May 2018 – mid June 2018 – dates to be confirmed
+ 3 credit courses — UK £ to be confirmed
+ two 3 credit courses — UK £ to be confirmed
Fees include
  • airport transfer from and to London Heathrow airport coordinated around the majority of arrivals and departures
  • academic orientation, including a walking tour of St Clare’s facilities and Oxford city
  • ticket to Oxford Coffee Concert at the Holywell Music Room
  • two accompanied weekend day trips to London and Bath and Avebury
  • class trips organised by instructors
  • other weekly activities (for example punting on the River Thames, paintball, markets and castle) plus weekend trips in England (including Stonehenge, Warwick Castle, the Harry Potter Tour) organised by the Activities Coordinator and open to all St Clare’s students (free or at a nominal fee)
  • free internet access: all St Clare’s buildings are wireless
  • one free theatre ticket plus transportation to either Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford upon Avon or the Globe Theatre, London
  • welcome and departure dinner
  • accommodation in St Clare’s residences: twin superior room (includes private bathroom and fully equipped kitchen facilities; room is cleaned and sheets and towels changed once a week); option of homestay accommodation is also available
  • St Clare’s travel insurance

Fees do not include:

  • costs associated with securing a visa (if required)
  • St Clare’s will complete all paper work associated with credit transfer. Please note that if your institution does not accept St Clare’s credit, your credits will be transferred through our University of Record in the USA. This option carries an additional fee of $250 non-refundable processing fee

A fantastic opportunity to study in Oxford

Earn credits and spend four weeks in this exciting city of learning.

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St Clare's, Oxford