Live and study in the beautiful and renowned city of Oxford. A semester at Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO) utilizes expert tutors, offers endless scholarly resources, grants access to the Bodleian library, and more. We invite you to walk the same paths and study in the same places as some of the greatest scholars in history.

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Dear Prospective Scholars,

Thank you for looking at Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford’s (SCIO) offerings. Whether you are considering a summer, semester, or year-long programme, we have great opportunities awaiting you.

Oxford: the name that conjures up notions of a great medieval city full of dreaming spires and stunning architecture, idiosyncratic practices, renowned authors who have made their way into the canons and literary reading lists, great theological debates, and major politicians. The mythic abounds. But even more, the concrete reality of a world-class academic institution is omnipresent: world-class research; major scientific discoveries; scholars across the disciplines whose works inform most, if not all, academic libraries; students sitting in cafés debating perennial issues and newly breaking ideas alike; and a rich and vibrant student life including music, sport, drama, and the opportunity to participate in any one of more than 600 clubs and societies.

Come sit in a tutorial where you meet one-on-one with a tutor engaged in serious conversation, testing ideas and joining together as junior and senior scholar. This is a learning experience like no other: there is no hiding (for tutee or tutor!), and you probe and digest ideas, coming to your own conclusions with the requirement to demonstrate that your view is valid and solid, even where it diverges from the views of other scholars or your tutor. To accomplish that goal, you will have access to one of the world’s great library systems. The Bodleian library is the centerpiece of a group of more than 100 libraries with holdings in excess of 13 million items.

With a base in Wycliffe Hall, one of Oxford’s permanent private halls, join a rich community of scholars who share life together in a variety of forms: from the life of the mind; to cooking a meal together; to traveling on SCIO trips to interesting places like Bath and Hampton Court Palace; or making your own forays into London, up to Scotland, or over to the continent during the mid-term break. Join, too, a community of faith that is engaged in serious learning, affirming the ability to participate in scholarship as Christians dealing with difficult and profound issues.

SCIO offers you the way into Oxford to participate in a great academic experience, prepare for graduate studies (for those headed in that direction), and build your CV with a recognized educational experience that matters to academic institutions and employers alike. As you review the materials on the website, we hope you see the possibilities and consider joining us. With the CCCU GlobalEd staff, you will have a resource at hand to help you put your best foot forward as you apply.

Yours with every best wish,

 

Stan Rosenberg
Director

Stan Rosenberg

Stan Rosenberg, PhD

Executive Director
Elizabeth Baigent

Elizabeth Baigent, DPhil

Senior Tutor and Academic Director
Kathryn Goetz

Kathryn Goetz, MA

Senior Academic Administrator
Simon Lancaster

Simon Lancaster, MSc

Associate Director
Jonathan Kirkpatrick, DPhil

Jonathan Kirkpatrick, PhD

Lecturer and Director of Studies in Classics and the History of Art
Paulina King

Paulina King Bravo, MBA

Finance Manager
Kirsten Mackerras

Kirsten Mackerras, MA

Junior Dean, North Wing, Wycliffe Hall

Sarah Coogan

Student Affairs and Programmes Coordinator

Designed specifically for students seeking an academically rigorous and robust experience, a semester at SCIO seeks to brighten the brightest of minds. Students at SCIO can spend one or two semesters in Oxford. SCIO and Wycliffe Hall require students to have a GPA of 3.7 or higher. In tutorials, students meet one-on-one with acclaimed Oxford scholars (often including widely-published authors, historians, former international ambassadors, and other celebrated scholars) to go head-to-head on subjects within the disciplines of history, literature, languages, philosophy, musicology, art, science, and more. Tutorials, lectures, and seminars are equivalent to upper-division courses, and students are expected to do advanced-level work. More specific information about the coursework offered at SCIO can be found in the table below.

Year-Long Programme

Students may attend for one or two semesters, building a coherent but individual program of study. The first semester introduces students to advanced, intense, scholarship; to the tutorial, which is the most distinctive element of Oxford’s teaching; and to Oxford’s libraries. By the second semester, students feel at home—and they can thus focus wholeheartedly on their studies or perhaps join a club or society they didn’t feel they had time for in the first semester. Students normally attend their first semester in the autumn and remain through spring, but the alternate is always possible. Regardless, students considering this opportunity should apply for a year in Oxford from the start, as this makes the visa application more straightforward.

Total Credits17

Second Semester (Year-Long Students) Credits
6
3
4
4

In addition to a primary and secondary tutorial, returning students may take either British Core Course II (featuring unique lectures and field trips) or a new Undergraduate Research Seminar (a discipline other than that which they took in their first semester). Students have free choice between these two courses, but many have found the seminar option difficult to balance with the thesis.

Second-term students work under the guidance of a specialist tutor to write a thesis on a topic of their choice, which would normally fall within the same discipline as their seminar from the first term and which must be covered by Oxford’s Semester Programme’s tutorial list. This thesis is often used as preparation for graduate school applications or for a senior thesis at home. Many students testify that this specialized, intensive project significantly shapes their vocational aspirations.

Academic Concentrations

There are three ways to put together a programme of study at Oxford so that a coherent and individual programme can be followed by each student.

Thematic Concentrations

Perhaps you are interested to see ways in which you can specialize your studies by theme or time period through an interdisciplinary focus. Thematic examples include “The Ancient World,” “Philosophy and the Human Mind,” “Religion and Literature,” and more.

Disciplinary Concentrations

Putting together studies in this way follows the traditional Oxford model: working within one discipline but specializing within it. Students select a primary and secondary tutorial from one of the disciplinary lists, take the seminar in the same discipline as the primary tutorial, and, where appropriate, choose British culture essays within that discipline.

Personalized Learning

Students put together a combination of courses to meet particular needs and interests. Selecting a primary and secondary tutorial from the disciplinary lists, students normally take the seminar that corresponds to the primary tutorial, and choose any British culture essays. This can be useful for meeting graduation requirements. Many students, however, find the programme works best when the various elements build on each other to make a coherent whole.

For the semester-long programme you have literally hundreds of different tutorial topics to choose from. You enroll in one primary tutorial which meets eight times and is worth six credits, and one secondary tutorial in a different topic; which meets four times and is worth three credits.

Students put together a combination of courses to meet particular needs and interests. Selecting a primary and secondary tutorial from the disciplinary lists, students normally take the seminar that corresponds to the primary tutorial and choose any British culture essays. This can be useful for meeting graduation requirements. Many students, however, find the programme works best when the various elements build on each other to make a coherent whole. More information on specific tutorials can be found below.

Primary Tutorial

6 Credits

Your primary tutorial meets each week during the University term. You’ll attend lectures, conduct research, and write essays each week in preparation for your tutorials.

Secondary Tutorial

3 Credits

Your secondary tutorial meets every other week during the University term. Aside from the subject, secondary tutorials have all the same characteristics as primary tutorials.

Biology Icon

Biology

Chemistry

Chemistry

Classics

Classics

Computer Science

Computer Science

Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences

Engineering

Engineering

English Language and Literature

English Language and Literature

History

History

History of Art

History of Art

Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics and Statistics

Modern Languages

Modern Languages

Musicology

Musicology

Philosophy

Philosophy

Physics

Physics

Psychology

Psychology

Theology

Theology

Students studying in the Wycliffe Hall LibraryStudy

A semester at SCIO is an intensive study experience. While all majors may apply, it requires a 3.7 GPA at minimum. As a student in the Oxford Semester Programme, you are a member of Wycliffe Hall, either as an Associate Member or a Registered Visiting Student.* This is your access point to a 900-year history, world-recognized academic excellence, and 119 libraries with their 11 million books and outstanding electronic resources. But there’s far more to Oxford than the books.

The main difference between U.S. and Oxford academics is Oxford’s acclaimed tutorial system: a series of hour-long sessions in which you and your tutor, one-on-one, will focus with undivided attention on your response to a single, daunting prompt. This is the system students often describe as the most intimidating and satisfying academic experience of their lives. It will change the way you read books, write sentences, and think—and students will often return home feeling like athletes who have trained at high altitude.

*Participation in SCIO’s Semester Programme as a Registered Visiting Student has a different cost structure and includes additional opportunities. Please contact admissions@cccu.org for more information.

Housing

SCIO has two Oxford residences: The Vines, a late-Victorian mansion on Headington Hill overlooking Oxford’s “dreaming spires”; and the North Wing of Wycliffe Hall, a large college residence north of the centre of town.

Both residences have large common spaces where students can work, study, laugh, and live. Both properties have substantial gardens where, when the weather is accommodating, students can relax and read, and, at The Vines, play football, croquet, or ultimate frisbee.

SCIO places great significance on nurturing the student community that develops over the course of the semester. The program is academically demanding, and the support network that develops between all the students is essential in helping everyone feel that they are staying on top of things! Every semester many students have shared that over their time in Oxford they have formed some of their strongest ever friendships. The opportunity to live with like-minded people in one of the most beautiful cities in the world is exciting, profound, and fun.

Students applying to Oxford’s Semester Programme will complete a rooming preference questionnaire that helps SCIO place students in the most suitable room available. Most rooms are shared with 1-3 other students.

SCIO Housing - The Vines

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 busses 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

There is a small cottage directly alongside the main building called the Lodge. It can sleep up to four people and has its own bathroom and kitchen. Students living in the Lodge are part of The Vines community and have access to the same common rooms: they can cook in the communal kitchen in the main building and can store their food in a cupboard space. If you would like to be part of a big community but at the same time have a quieter space of your own, consider putting the Lodge on your room request form when you apply.

SCIO Housing - Wycliffe Hall

NORTH WING, WYCLIFFE HALL

The North Wing is part of the main building of Wycliffe Hall, situated a 10-minute walk away from the centre of town. The North Wing is spread over four floors; each floor has its own bathroom facilities. There is also a large common room that is accessible to all Wycliffe and SCIO students, and there are laundry facilities, a kitchen, and a dining room in the basement of an adjacent building. The entire building is wirelessly networked, and there is a garden at the back.

  • Laundry facilities
  • Printing facilities
  • Large common room with TV
  • Large kitchen with dining area, plus a dining hall with kitchen staff (you are charged separately for each meal at the dining hall)

Bicycles

Students housed at The Vines can rent a bike without charge. If there are enough bikes, students living in the North Wing may also opt into this scheme at a subsidized cost on a first-come first-served basis. You will receive more information about bicycle rental upon acceptance to the program.

Libraries and Special Collections

Students on the Oxford Semester Programme have access to one of the greatest libraries in the world. Make use of Bodleian libraries and its large and rapidly growing physical and digital resources.

Additionally, Oxford’s museums and collections are world renowned and provide an important resource for scholars around the world.

Museums and Special Collections

  • 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 U.K. 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.

Spiritual Life

SCIO’s spiritual mission is first 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. Second, to 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 mentors/examples, 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 find a church home 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.

Exploring

Alongside the field trips organized as part of the program, a number of optional field trips are arranged by Oxford staff. These trips change from semester to semester. 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 Oxford’s Semester Programme. You may also wish to follow an itinerary below on your own or with a friend!

Field Trips

Oxford

Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. While in Oxford you will have access to libraries and colleges that have been established for over 800 years, as well as its museums, bookshops, and ice cream parlours. Discover some of the amazing art available on view in Oxford with an art-walk: explore Christ Church Picture Gallery, 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. Over your time at Oxford, various plays are put on in the evenings, which are fun to attend as a group.

Blenheim Palace

Spend the day wandering the grounds of Blenheim Palace: a world heritage site, home of the eleventh duke of Marlborough, and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The palace dates from 1705 and is set in a park designed by Capability Brown. Next to the grounds is the village of Bladon, where we visit Winston Churchill’s grave. Complete the afternoon with tea at the wonderful Bladon Tea Rooms in Woodstock.

Port Meadow

Enjoy a beautiful afternoon stroll (weather permitting) through Oxford’s Port Meadow—frequented by grazing horses—and end at the famous Trout Inn for a meal of fish and chips.

Bodleian Library Tour

As you start to get comfortable with the Bodleian library system, spend the afternoon on a behind-the-scenes tour learning about what really goes on when you “order up” a book from this world-famous collection.

Bath

Stroll through the Roman streets of Bath, taking in all of its architectural beauty. Visit the Roman Baths and the great Abbey, and follow in the footsteps of one of Bath’s most famous inhabitants, Jane Austen. End the day with tea at Sally Lunn’s tea-room in the oldest house in Bath.

C.S. Lewis’s Home

Enjoy an afternoon visit to The Kilns, C.S. Lewis’s home in Headington. After touring the house and grounds, visit his parish church, Holy Trinity, where he is buried and commemorated with beautifully etched Narnia windows.

Burford

Burford is a small historic village with one of the most prized parish churches in the country, dating from the 1100s (although the site has been a place of Christian worship since the 600s). Walk through the countryside to visit the deserted medieval village of Widford, a once-thriving community that was wiped out by the plague during the 14th century and never recovered. The 12th-century church is all that remains, and is situated in the middle of a field without any access except by foot.

Dorchester

Once a major political and ecclesiastical centre, Dorchester is now a sleepy town with one of the most fascinating churches (once an abbey) in the country. Walk through the woods and up an Iron Age hill fort (dating from the 4th century BC) with some of the most spectacular views in Oxfordshire. Plus another 14th-century church to explore along the way! Cross the Little Wittenham Bridge, used for the official World Poohsticks Championships.

London

Over the semester many students find themselves drawn to sites and attractions in London, which is less than an hour by train, or 90 minutes by bus. In one day, students often manage to explore aristocratic London and the royal parks, and go past Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster, and Downing Street before stopping to spend some time in the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery at Trafalger Square. After lunch, you can walk around some of the older part of the City of London, including an optional climb up the Monument (a large Corinthian column with panoramic views over London from its top) and a walk past the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Then go to St Paul’s Cathedral for evensong, where you can hear one of the finest all-boys choirs in the world. Don’t forget to have dinner before heading back home. Phew! And that is only a minute selection of the many opportunities there are to explore whatever might be your heart’s desire in this remarkable city. Some students have chosen to supplement their research by taking advantage of their free access to the holdings of the British Library in London and the National Archives at Kew, near London.

JCR

The JCR committee is a distinctly Oxford institution and stands for the Junior Common Room. The JCR committee for the Semester Programme is a group of five to seven students from the programme — voted onto the committee by you once you have arrived — who help run fun events for all the Semester Programme students. It is always great fun to be part of the JCR committee, as you get a chance to make things happen the way you would like! The JCR committee has a sizable budget to help fund its various activities. Every JCR committee has its own way of running things, but usually every semester we have a variety / open mic night which showcases your talent. The JCR committee can also help organize activities that give you a chance to give something back to the community by helping in various charitable ways.

Sports

Every semester students enjoy competing alongside other students in Oxford in the various sports that take place while they are here. Sports that you can play include basketball, volleyball, football (soccer), archery, fencing, rowing, and table tennis. Nearly any sport that you enjoy is represented in Oxford.

Clubs and Societies

Oxford has numerous clubs or societies that cover almost any activity you can think of. There are several orchestras of varying standards and many choirs (some you have to audition for and some you do not). If you enjoy acting, why not audition for a role in a play?  Juggling, beagling, hiking, caving, movies, politics, debating … you name it, there is a club somewhere in Oxford where you can meet other students from the University with similar interests. There are numerous Christian activities going on during Full Term, and you will find that you are always welcome to participate while you are here. The CS Lewis Appreciation Society is also popular!

Weather

Be prepared for all types of weather over your semester in Oxford. There will be sunny stretches when you can read and study outside in the sleepy warm sunshine, and other times when you can have a snow fight in the University parks! Whatever happens, you can guarantee that it will rain, so pack waterproof clothing.

Tea (and Food)

Drinking tea is a vital element in the rhythm of the English person’s day, and all students are encouraged to discover this for themselves. Its popularity is perhaps explained in part by the cakes and biscuits that traditionally accompany this drink. Students will be invited to tea at regular times during the week, and it is an important time to relax, catch up with each other, and recharge for the rest of the day!

Apart from some lunches organized as part of the program, all students will need to prepare their own meals while in Oxford. This means shopping at one of the main supermarkets, going to the weekly fresh farmer’s market, or visiting the Covered Market, established in 1774. Many students form food groups that take turns to cook for each other and eat together at the end of each day. It is a great way to share with others what they have discovered that day, and also to hear what everyone else has been doing!

There are plenty of places to eat out in Oxford, ranging from the affordable to the expensive. The café in St Mary’s Church is a fun place to visit, as the café itself is in the Old Congregation House, and was the University’s first “official” building. It dates from the 14th century and was built a couple of hundred years after the colleges first started taking in students.

Alumni

When the semester is all said, done, debated, and graded, you’ll return home with a community of alumni that continually reconnect over the bond that Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford so passionately unites. Learn more about what alumni are up to on the SCIO website.

The Oxford Semester Programme is an interdisciplinary program that gives no preference to students in any particular field of study. However, a good academic record is necessary.

Students generally must have a GPA of 3.7 or higher on a 4.0 scale to be admitted to the program. Neither the SCIO nor Wycliffe Hall may vary this general requirement. However, students with GPAs of below 3.7 may be admitted in exceptional circumstances.*

The tutorial style in Oxford is very different from the North American system of education; many students find this a stimulating and challenging transition, requiring experience and maturity. The tutorials, lectures, and seminars are equivalent to upper-division courses. Students are expected to do advanced-level work, and therefore need to have sufficient preparation for the concentration chosen.

If your schedule won’t allow you to consider Oxford in your junior or senior year, you can apply for admission as a sophomore. The tutors in Oxford will be no less demanding, but, in a tutorial (just one student and a tutor), it is always possible to tailor the teaching to the student.

For more information on the the Oxford Semester Programme, contact admissions@cccu.org, or phone 202.548.5201.

*Such circumstances may include highly disrupted family circumstances or severe or prolonged illness.  If students feel that their circumstances warrant special consideration, they should append to their application a letter of explanation and ask their recommenders to comment particularly on those circumstances.  All information provided will be dealt with sensitively.  Although exceptions may be made to the 3.7 GPA requirement, SCIO will not recommend to Wycliffe Hall the admission of any student who would be unable to thrive in Oxford’s extremely rigorous academic culture.

How Do I Apply?

Simply complete an online application for the semester during which you plan to participate. Each campus makes its own policies regarding off-campus study, so you should consult your academic dean, off-campus study coordinator, and/or advising faculty member at your school to ensure completion of all campus requirements.

Before your application can be reviewed for admission, you must submit all of the following materials:

  • Completed online application form
  • $50 application fee (payable by check or credit card)
  • 3 faculty references
  • 1 character reference
  • 1 honors director or department chair reference
  • Official transcript(s) of all college course work
  • Certification Form

Fall 2021 Semester Dates:

Rolling Admissions

Application available until (or spots are filled) May 15
SCIO begins on arrival Sep 3
SCIO concludes Dec 13

Spring 2022 Semester Dates:

Rolling Admissions

Application available until (or spots are filled) Nov 15
SCIO begins on arrival Jan 7
SCIO concludes Apr 18

After Acceptance:

Once admitted into the program, you will be required to confirm your intent to participate by submitting a non-refundable $300 confirmation fee, which will be applied toward your program tuition.

You will also be required to complete additional confirmation and pre-departure materials, including but not limited to: waiver and liability forms, a medical information form, a housing form, and proof of international medical insurance. But don’t worry! We will send you all the details and instructions on your acceptance.

HOW MUCH DO I PAY & WHAT’S INCLUDED?

Deposits:
Typically, the only expenses Oxford Semester Programme participants pay directly to the CCCU are the application fee ($50) and the non-refundable confirmation fee ($300, deducted from the total housing fee at invoicing).

Program Fees:
About six weeks before each semester begins, the CCCU sends participation invoices to each home campus. For the 2021-22 school year, that bill will feature the below Oxford Semester Programme costs.

OXFORD SEMESTER PROGRAMME FEES
Instructional Fees $14,200*
Room $3,500
TOTAL SEMESTER FEES $17,700
Confirmation Deposit ($300)
BALANCE OF SEMESTER FEES $17,400

*Participation in SCIO’s Semester Programme as a Registered Visiting Student has a different cost structure and includes additional opportunities. Please contact admissions@cccu.org for more information.

Keep in mind the total program costs billed to you through your school may differ, depending on your campus’s policies.

Note: Schools or individuals who pay with a credit card will also be charged a credit card service fee.

Expenses Covered by Oxford Semester Programme Fees:

  • One-on-one tutorials in two subjects and seminar classes
  • Field trips to historical destinations of academic interest 
  • Transcript or grade report from Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford
  • Access to University libraries, including the Bodleian borrowing privileges where appropriate
  • 17 hours of academic credit
  • Status of Associate Member, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
  • Accommodation in student housing
  • Use of programme computers, unlimited wireless internet access, and printing facilities
  • Free on-site laundry facilities (must provide own detergent, etc.)
  • Social events including multiple weekly afternoon teas with staff and other funded student events
  • Optional bike rental for Vines’ residents

Additional Anticipated Expenses*:

  • Travel between home and Oxford (estimated $800-1,200 from U.S.)
  • International medical insurance (can be purchased through CCCU GlobalEd) valid in the U.K. for length of stay/programme dates. This is required for participation in CCCU GlobalEd’s international programs. Note: Some campuses will provide this for students studying abroad; check with your study abroad office to see if this is provided by your home campus.
  • Meals (approx. $80/week)
  • Personal medical expenses, if incurred, including preparatory vaccinations
  • Personal discretionary expenditures, including personal travel (expect twice as much as normally spent during one semester in the U.S.)
  • Optional bike rental for North Wing residents (80 GBP)
  • Passport required for program participation
  • U.K. Student Visa, if applicable (year-long students and an occasional one semester student)

International Travel

Participants are responsible for arranging travel to and from Oxford. Student housing check-in time is between 9am and 5pm on arrival day; departure is before 11am on checkout day. Student accommodations are closed outside of official program dates/times. Travel information from London’s major airports to Oxford Semester Programme housing is provided in a pre-departure packet.

HOW DOES BILLING WORK FOR OXFORD SEMESTER PROGRAMME PARTICIPATION?

The Oxford Semester Programme is an extension campus of each member institution of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU); each school grants the academic credit for program participation.

The CCCU invoices campuses for the cost of participation in the Oxford Semester Programme and in turn campuses bill their students following the campus’s established policies and procedures. (For example, some schools charge the exact fees of the off-campus program, other schools charge the campus tuition price, while others charge full on-campus fees plus an additional off-campus study fee. And there’s every variation in between!)

Since each school determines their own policies regarding off-campus study costs and the applicability of institutional scholarships and other aid, you should confirm your school’s policies with the Off-Campus Study Coordinator on your campus.

*Anticipated expenses are estimates, which will be updated should local costs shift significantly. You may spend more/less depending on your personal spending habits.

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For the latest updates on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 Response page.

Wycliffe Hall

Staff at Wycliffe Hall are available and equipped to provide support for students. Peter Heim is a registered social worker (England), student welfare officer, safeguarding lead, and learning and disability support officer. Katy Routh is a senior tutor, learning and disability support lead, and safeguarding deputy officer.

Nightline Oxford 

Nightline is a listening, support, and information service run for and by students, and it aims to provide every student in Oxford with the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence. They are available to everyone from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., but only during Oxford term time. Nightline does not provide advice or tell callers what to do; it is a service that listens and talks about whatever the caller wants, big or small, in complete confidence. Nightline also offers a wide range of information related to mental health and general health issues. You can contact Nightline from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. by phone (270270) or in person.

Health Services

Students have access to professional medical, surgical, and psychiatric services at their own cost. Semester-only students pay per appointment or service at time of use, and year-long students pay a one-time fee up front to participate in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). General pastoral care and support is provided by SCIO staff, who can also assist in helping students get connected to the specialized care they need.

Know Before You Go…

Studying off campus can be an exciting time filled with adventure and personal growth. Prepare yourself in advance for challenges you might face on the programme. Students at SCIO should anticipate: 

  • Walking in and around the city may include uneven terrain, such as cobblestone walkways, in unpredictable weather and frequent rain.  
  • Living in a residence of multiple occupancy with shared bathrooms, kitchens, and communal spaces. Living (and other) spaces are not air-conditioned, though this is very rarely problematic in the cool British summers. Living and other spaces are heated in winter. 
  • North Wing, Wycliffe Hall, is a 10-minute walk from the city centre. Students with mobility challenges are often housed here. This residence is only available during the spring and fall semesters.  
  • The Vines is located on a hill from which Oxford city centre is accessible via a 35-minute walk, a 15-minute cycle ride, or a 20-minute bus ride accessed via a 5-minute walk to the nearest bus stop (with buses passing by every 6–7 minutes). The Vines has a bathroom for use by students in wheelchairs and generally with limited mobility and can offer ground floor accommodation. 
  • Students are responsible for purchase and preparation of their own food, transportation, and chapel/church requirements.  
  • Traffic drives on the left side of the road. 
  • Students may be unused to cycling or to cycling in traffic. Full cycle orientation is given. 
  • Historic buildings can present difficulties to students with mobility challenges but professional staff help with such challenges. 
  • Living away from family, friends, and other support networks. 
  • Managing and following a demanding study schedule with substantial independence, and attending lectures, one-on-one tutorials, and day-long field trips. 
  • Experiencing potentially challenging personal, religious, and cultural learning, lectures, field trips, and assignments. 

Safety

Oxford is generally a safe place in which to study and explore; nevertheless, you should minimize any risks by remaining alert and taking precautions. Read more on the University of Oxford website: Personal Safety. You can also familiarize yourself with any current travel or health advisories for the United Kingdom by visiting the U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) websites.

Many of the faculty and staff have lived in Oxfordshire for years. During orientation, we will discuss basic guidelines to follow to help you feel confident and safe during your time here. If you have any questions prior to departure, please contact your admissions advisor.

PROGRAMME LOCATION

You’ve probably heard a great deal about the U.K., but what makes Oxford stand out? Read the FAQ below to find out.

Where does the programme take place?

“Oxford still remains the most beautiful thing in England, and nowhere else are life and art so exquisitely blended, so perfectly made one.” —Oscar Wilde

The programme is in the heart of the academic community at Oxford, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. You will study at Wycliffe Hall and enjoy all the benefits of the great city of Oxford.

Oxford is located 60 to 90 minutes from the centre of London by train or bus.

Will I get to travel throughout the semester?

Day trips to local historical sites are a part of the British Culture course, and vary from year to year, but have included trips to Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Bath, and the HMS Victory moored in Portsmouth. You can also travel in your free time to London, a short bus or train ride away, or any number of other local destinations. During mid-term break, students may travel anywhere they choose, including Ireland, mainland Europe, or other U.K. destinations.

What is the climate like?

Weather in Oxford is much like weather in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Winters are mild, and snow accumulates rarely, with cool and mild summers. Rain and misty days are not infrequent.

What is the geography like?

The area surrounding Oxford is rural with farmland, but Oxford itself is a city with a small-town feel. Bordering the academic castles are cobbled streets with small shops; bicyclists weave in and out of traffic. The libraries contain so many volumes that the stacks must be housed below ground—so as you walk, you walk over books. It is flat enough that you can bike everywhere and small enough that you can walk nearly anywhere in Oxford in around 30-45 minutes!

ACADEMICS

Oxford revolutionizes the way students learn — the way they read books, write essays, make arguments, and think. Are you ready to enter this gauntlet and emerge as a newly minted scholar? Read the FAQ below to find out more.

How many credits will I receive?

You will receive 17 credits for your time in Oxford. Nine of those credits will be comprised of tutorials: the primary tutorial (six credits) and the secondary tutorial (three credits). The British Culture course (four credits) and the Undergraduate Research Seminar (four credits) are the other two courses which complete your curriculum.

Where will I be taking classes?

You will be in four courses throughout the semester. The heart of the Oxford Semester Programme is the tutorial. During the full eight-week Oxford term, you will be enrolled in a primary (6 credits) and a secondary (3 credits) tutorial, which meet every week and every other week, respectively.

The British Culture course (4 credits) examines aspects of past and present day Britain. Students attend discussion and gobbets (gobbet is Oxford’s word for a small mouthful of text for close reading or translation and then discussion) classes in the tutorial seminar of their choice, participate in field trips, and have two tutorials, but spend most of their time doing independent study to produce detailed, scholarly essays. The Undergraduate Research Seminar (4 credits) allows for reflective discussions to integrate material covered in tutorials and lectures. It will likely be in the area of your primary tutorial.

What will I be studying?

Oxford has many concentrations from which to choose: biology, classics, chemistry, English language and literature, history, history of art, mathematics, modern languages, musicology, philosophy, physics, psychology, theology, and more! Many students choose both tutorials within a single topic, but cross-selection between topics is allowed.

Who will be teaching my classes?

You will be taught by staff of Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO). These are scholars of the highest order: well-regarded and well-published. Learn more on the Faculty & Staff page.

Who will be in my classes: local or CCCU GlobalEd students?

Your British Culture and Undergraduate Research Seminar courses will be comprised of other Oxford Semester Programme students from North American universities. Your tutorials will be a one-on-one discussion with your tutor, an intellectual luminary in the field of your choosing.

TRAVEL

What do you need to know before you step on that plane? Read the FAQ below to find out!

How will I get to and from the programme?

You will purchase your flight to the U.K. a few months before the programme. If you are accepted, we’ll send you more details on when to book the flight and how to find your way to your new home. If you fly from the East Coast of the U.S. to London, it’s about a seven-hour flight, and from London’s Heathrow airport to Oxford city center, it’s an hour and a half bus ride.

Will I need a passport?

Yes! Make sure to check the expiration date. You will need a passport that does not expire within six months of your return from the programme. Start your immigration stamp collection now!

Will I need a visa?

Well, that depends on your nationality and how long you will be studying in the U.K. Usually, U.S. and Canadian citizens coming to study in the U.K. for less than six months do not need to apply in advance for a visa. There is a helpful checklist on the U.K. government website. Staff at the CCCU and in Oxford will be able to help you through the process and guide you to further information if required. 

Will my family and friends be able to visit me during the semester?

In the past, students have found it prohibitively difficult to host visitors during the semester due to the amount and intensity of their academic work. For this reason, we suggest that friends and family visit before or after the semester, when you will have free time to tour the country. Hosting visitors after the semester ends can be especially valuable, as you’ll already be an expert in the area!

DAILY LIFE

Students are sometimes surprised by how different day-to-day life in Oxford can look. In this FAQ series, we’ll answer some common questions about living in Oxford.

Where will I live?

You can learn more about residence options on the Experience page! There are two options for housing:

The Vines, a modest mansion with a beautiful view, is a 35-minute walk to the city centre of Oxford. It also has a common room, dining room, large kitchen, and laundry facilities.

The North Wing is a part of the main building of Wycliffe Hall and is a short 10-minute walk to the city centre of Oxford. The dorm-style North Wing has bathrooms on each floor. There are common rooms, laundry facilities, a dining room, and a large kitchen.

If you are accepted to the programme, you will be asked to fill out a housing form in which you may indicate the housing option you prefer.

What will I eat?

You will prepare your own meals in the community kitchens and shop at the main supermarkets. Students often join meal groups to rotate making dinner for each other. Oxford also has many wonderful cafés and pubs, including the famous Queen’s Lane Coffee House (reputedly the oldest café in Europe) and The Eagle and Child, where Tolkien and Lewis met weekly to discuss their writing with the other Inklings.

You will get plenty of invites to tea times throughout the week. Many students acquire such a taste for tea, and for the social rejuvenation of these respites, that they bring the custom back home at the programme’s end.

How will I get around?

Bikes and your own feet. Start breaking in your shoes now! Oxford is city of bicyclists and pedestrians. Buses are also easily accessible, but many students prefer the freedom and pace of foot travel. If you live in The Vines, you’ll have the option to use a bike (without cost) for the semester for easy access to Wycliffe Hall and Oxford city centre. For students in the North Wing, you’ll have the option to rent a bike to access city centre even more quickly.

Will I be interacting with local people?

On a daily basis! You will be studying in the library, attending church and lectures, walking/cycling alongside, and purchasing coffee from locals.

Will my cell phone work in England?

Many students find it refreshing to be without a cell phone for a semester. However, if you would like to bring your own, make sure to talk to your service provider about your options. If your phone is unlocked and compatible with overseas SIM cards, you can purchase this card upon arrival. More information on this is given during orientation.

COMMUNITY AND SPIRITUAL LIFE

As you prepare for this uniquely challenging opportunity, know that you are not alone. Oxford and its faculty, staff, and fellow scholars will join you and equip you as you face the challenges—and celebrate the gifts—of life as a student in Oxford. Read these FAQs to find out more about the community and spiritual life of the Oxford Semester Programme.

What is the programme community like?

Fifty to sixty North American students will make up your new community. As expats, you’ll form quick bonds within a British culture that may seem familiar at first, but in time reveals fascinating differences in custom, humor, faith, and more. The JCR (Junior Common Room) is a group of elected fellow students who organize regular fun events for the group. Each semester’s group chooses different activities, but the end-of-term “open mic night” is an enduring classic.

Can I attend church?

Absolutely. We encourage you to find a church home in one of the many local cathedrals, house churches, or other diverse places of worship. Not only will these communities support you spiritually, but they will connect you to other students, faculty, and families in Oxford and the University.

Are there clubs and sports I can join?

There are many opportunities in Oxford. In the past students have played club sports, joined orchestras and ensemble groups, sung in choruses, or joined theatres featuring productions at end of the term.

Contact Us

Have questions or want more information about Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford?
Please call us at 202-548-5201 or fill out the form below, and one of our team members will contact you soon!

Stan Rosenberg

BA (Colorado State University), MA, PhD (Catholic University of America), FISSR

Stan Rosenberg is the founding director of Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO), the U.K. subsidiary of the CCCU. He is also an academic member of Wycliffe Hall, on the faculty of theology and religion at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of the International Society of Science & Religion. He has published on Augustine’s thought, early Christianity and Greco-Roman science, and ancient preaching and popular religion. Rosenberg is on the editorial board of the journal Religions, and on advisory councils for BioLogos and the Museum of the Bible. He has overseen numerous science and religion projects for faculty, funded by major granting bodies, and directs the Logos program on biblical manuscripts, texts, and reception. Recently, he co-organized a funded project that led to his edited book, Finding Ourselves after Darwin: Conversations on the Image of God, Original Sin, and the Problem of Evil

Elizabeth Baigent

MA (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon), PGDipLATHE (Oxon), FSA, FRHistS, FRGS, FHEA

Dr Baigent is the university reader in the history of geography.  She was educated at the universities of Oxford and Münster.  She has held research fellowships at the universities of Oxford and Stockholm and a visiting professorship at Johns Hopkins University, with funding from bodies such as the British Academy and the Fulbright Commission.  From 1993 to 2003 she was research director of the Oxford dictionary of national biography, and research lecturer in the history faculty.  She has 550 scholarly publications, including a (co-authored) book which won an international prize.  She is fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Geographical Society, and the Higher Education Academy. 

Kathryn Goetz

BA (Hope College), MA (Georgetown University)

Kathryn studied German and philosophy at Hope College and completed a master’s at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. After studying and working in Germany for three years, she served as director of two not-for-profit organizations in Washington, D.C.: the Buxton Initiative (interfaith dialogue) and PathNorth (leadership development). Prior to joining SCIO, she worked in international affairs for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees the audits of public companies in order to protect the interests of investors.

Simon Lancaster

BMus (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) GradDipMus. (ANU Canberra), Cert Christian Counselling (CWR), MSc (Oxon)

Simon has worked as a historical researcher and contributor for some of the most prestigious presses in the world, and was an academic member of the modern history faculty at Oxford University, working as the chief bibliographic editor for the Oxford dictionary of national biography. He is one of the authors for the New Hart’s rules, Oxford University Press’s official style guide, and probably knows as much about style and bibliography as anyone in Oxford. His MSc dissertation in English Local History was awarded the Critchley prize by Kellogg College in Oxford, and he is now working towards his DPhil. He has been a member of the Christian Counselling Association and is trained as a professional Christian counsellor.

Jonathan Kirkpatrick

BA (Oxon), MSt (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Kirkpatrick graduated BA in classics, MSt in oriental studies, and DPhil in classics from Oxford, and his research interests currently centre on pagan religious cults in Roman Palestine. From 2004 to 2006 he was departmental lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University. He is writing a book on C.S. Lewis’s connection with the classics, and co-ordinates SCIO’s activities with the Green Scholars’ Initiative.

Paulina King

BA (Universidad San Francisco de Quito), MBA (INCAE), CGMA

Paulina studied business and administration at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador and completed her MBA in economics and sustainable development at INCAE in Costa Rica, in connection with which she was an exchange student in Leipzig, Germany. After having lived and worked in different countries in Latin America, she moved to England where she has been involved with sustainability projects, volunteering for MNDA, and teaching vocational qualifications at an independent college in Oxford. She is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and honorary treasurer of her son’s primary school.

Kirsten MacKerras

BTh (Brisbane School of Theology), MA (Macquarie University)

Following her undergraduate degree in biblical studies, Kirsten read for a master’s in ancient history, with a thesis on Irenaeus. Her studies have focused on the interaction between religion and politics in the ancient world, and the context and content of early Christianity. Kirsten is currently completing a DPhil in patristics in Oxford’s Faculty of Theology and Religion, where she is exploring how the church father Lactantius uses Roman ethical ideas to argue against the persecution of Christians.

Sarah Coogan

BA (Wheaton), MA (Wheaton, IL), PhD (Notre Dame)

Dr Coogan graduated BA in English and philosophy from Wheaton, IL and MA and PhD in English from the University of Notre Dame. Her research explores global Modernist poetry, focusing on twentieth-century responses to the cultural past. She has published in Religion and Literature (2017), New Hibernia Review (2017), and in David Jones: A Christian Modernist? ed. Erik Tonning et al. (2017). She is Advising Editor of Religion and Literature.

Primary Tutorial

Credits: 6

Each student chooses a primary and secondary tutorial. Primary tutorials take place weekly, and secondary tutorials take place fortnightly, which follows the University of Oxford's Full Term. Tutorial work is graded by tutor assessment of each student’s written and oral work. Learn more and find course descriptions on the Tutorials page.

Secondary Tutorial

Credits: 3

Each student chooses a primary and secondary tutorial. Primary tutorials take place weekly, and secondary tutorials take place fortnightly, which follows the University of Oxford's Full Term. Tutorial work is graded by tutor assessment of each student’s written and oral work. Learn more and find course descriptions on the Tutorials page.

Undergraduate Research Seminar

Credits: 4

Seminar discussion classes enable students to reflect on methodological issues within their discipline, and integrate material covered in tutorials and lectures.

Seminars are offered in the following disciplines:

Students develop their research skills by writing a term paper for which they must formulate a hypothesis or question; plan their research, paying particular attention to questions of sources, method, and approach; and produce a substantial paper using an appropriate range of scholarly resources. The process offers training in preparation for the rigorous research and writing required of graduate students and is supported by classes in bibliographic methods and editing as well as individual consultation with specialist advisors.

The Vocation and Scholarship course and seminar discussion classes prompt reflection on the relationship between vocation and scholarship in its subject matter within different Christian traditions.

Students typically follow the research seminar most appropriate to their primary tutorial subject. Students attend discussion classes which address methodological questions in the students’ subject area, and consultations to help in planning and writing a substantial term paper. The course is graded by a long essay and a proposal for that essay, and participation.

Selected Topics in British Culture

Credits: 4

This course is offered as tutorial seminars. You will attend discussion classes in the topic of your choice and have two tutorials. You will develop your close reading skills with study of gobbets (short pieces of text which epitomise an argument or illustrate a technique), hone your writing skills by producing two tutorial essays after extensive reading, and polish your presentation skills with an oral presentation to the group. Assessment is by the submission of one short answer, two essays, and a presentation.

In addition, you will join the whole student group on field trips to memorable sites in Oxford and the south of England. The field trips change from year to year, and in the past have included trips to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Bath, and HMS Victory moored in Portsmouth.

The course is taught by specialists in each of SCIO’s major academic concentrations. Credit is offered in 11 disciplines of which you’ll choose one. Each course will help you understand Britain and appreciate the rich past and present of the country where you live while on the programme.

Selected topics in British culture Discipline(s) in which you can earn credit
Contemporary British culture: history, politics, and society History
Political science
Sociology
Creative writing English
C.S. Lewis and the classics Classics
Faith and reason in the British enlightenment Philosophy
Theology
Intellect and imagination: the rational religion and theological stories of C.S. Lewis Philosophy
Theology
J.R.R. Tolkien: Oxford's creator of other worlds English
Jane Austen in context English
Gender studies
Oxford and the pursuit of beauty: art and criticism in the 19th century English
Gender studies
History
History of art
Philosophy
Prohibition and transgression: the 18th and 19th century novel English
Psychology and literature: from Margery Kempe to Sylvia Plath English
Psychology
Science and the Christian tradition History of science
Philosophy
Theology

 

Primary Tutorial

Credits: 6

Each student chooses a primary and secondary tutorial. Primary tutorials take place weekly, and secondary tutorials take place fortnightly, which follows the University of Oxford's Full Term. Tutorial work is graded by tutor assessment of each student’s written and oral work. Learn more and find course descriptions on the Tutorials page.

Secondary Tutorial

Credits: 3

Each student chooses a primary and secondary tutorial. Primary tutorials take place weekly, and secondary tutorials take place fortnightly, which follows the University of Oxford's Full Term. Tutorial work is graded by tutor assessment of each student’s written and oral work. Learn more and find course descriptions on the Tutorials page.

Thesis

Credits: 4

Second term students further develop their ability to research and write independently by submitting a thesis, with specialist guidance, on a topic of their choice, normally chosen from amongst those in which tutorials are offered.

Undergraduate Research Seminar

Credits: 4

Seminar discussion classes enable students to reflect on methodological issues within their discipline, and integrate material covered in tutorials and lectures.

Seminars are offered in the following disciplines:

Students develop their research skills by writing a term paper for which they must formulate a hypothesis or question, plan their research paying particular attention to questions of sources, method, and approach, and produce a substantial paper using an appropriate range of scholarly resources. The process offers training in preparation for the rigorous research and writing required of graduate students and is supported by classes in bibliographic methods and editing as well as individual consultation with specialist advisors.

The Vocation and Scholarship course and seminar discussion classes prompt reflection on the relationship between vocation and scholarship in its subject matter within different Christian traditions.

Students typically follow the research seminar most appropriate to their primary tutorial subject. Students attend discussion classes which address methodological questions in the students’ subject area, and consultations to help in planning and writing a substantial term paper. The course is graded by a long essay and a proposal for that essay, and participation.

Selected Topics in British Culture

Credits: 4

This course is offered as tutorial seminars. You will attend discussion classes in the topic of your choice and have two tutorials. You will develop your close reading skills with study of gobbets (short pieces of text which epitomise an argument or illustrate a technique), hone your writing skills by producing two tutorial essays after extensive reading, and polish your presentation skills with an oral presentation to the group. Assessment is by the submission of one short answer, two essays, and a presentation.

In addition, you will join the whole student group on field trips to memorable sites in Oxford and the south of England. The field trips change from year to year, and in the past have included trips to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Bath, and HMS Victory moored in Portsmouth.

The course is taught by specialists in each of SCIO’s major academic concentrations. Credit is offered in 11 disciplines of which you’ll choose one. Each course will help you understand Britain and appreciate the rich past and present of the country where you live while on the programme.

Selected topics in British culture Discipline(s) in which you can earn credit
Contemporary British culture: history, politics, and society History
Political science
Sociology
Creative writing English
C.S. Lewis and the classics Classics
Faith and reason in the British enlightenment Philosophy
Theology
Intellect and imagination: the rational religion and theological stories of C.S. Lewis Philosophy
Theology
J.R.R. Tolkien: Oxford's creator of other worlds English
Jane Austen in context English
Gender studies
Oxford and the pursuit of beauty: art and criticism in the 19th century English
Gender studies
History
History of art
Philosophy
Prohibition and transgression: the 18th and 19th century novel English
Psychology and literature: from Margery Kempe to Sylvia Plath English
Psychology
Science and the Christian tradition History of science
Philosophy
Theology

 

Biology Icon

Biology

All students wanting to study biological sciences in Oxford should have studied biological sciences at their home universities for at least two years. Teaching for biological sciences will happen in a mix of lectures, which play a key part in biological science teaching; tutorials (one to one meetings with a specialist tutor); and, if possible, group tutorials with other undergraduates. Students will prepare work for individual and group tutorials in biological sciences, typically in the form of problem sheets. Group work and discussion are warmly encouraged. 

Download the handout to learn more

ChemistryChemistry

All students wanting to study chemistry in Oxford should be competent in the basics of calculus and linear algebra. Some knowledge of physics would be beneficial but is not required. For specialist study, such as quantum mechanics, further mathematical competence would be strongly recommended. Students should have studied chemistry at their home universities for at least two years.

Download the handout to learn more

Classics

Classics

The study of classical languages, literature, history, philosophy, archaeology and art is long established in Oxford. The large number of specialists, the rich library resources, and the fine classical collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Britain’s oldest public museum, make classical enquiry in Oxford particularly rewarding. SCIO offers tutorials for experienced classicists but its ‘classical literature’ tutorial offers those who have not previously had the chance to study classical languages the opportunity to read texts in translation.

Download the handout to learn more

Computer Science

Computer science in Oxford focuses on the principles behind current computing technology, not the technology itself, and so demands a very high level of competence in the relevant areas of mathematics. Students should have studied computer science and/or relevant areas of mathematics at their home universities for at least two years.

Download the handout to learn more

Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences

SCIO is pleased to announce that it is expanding its disciplinary expertise and offering further provision for the STEM fields, including Earth Sciences. Following the successful integration of psychology into the SCIO curriculum in 2011, SCIO is excited to expand its scientific and technical offerings by making available world-class STEM tutelage drawing on the high calibre teaching and research of the University of Oxford. Students taking STEM tutorials will be able to attend non-lab based lectures and classes.

Download the handout to learn more

Engineering

Engineering

Oxford’s department of engineering science is a large and thriving department with very highly rated teaching and world class research. The building is in the University’s science area, close to Wycliffe Hall and the University Parks. Research is focused in biomedical engineering, chemical and process engineering, civil and offshore engineering, electrical and opto-electronic engineering, energy engineering, information, control and vision engineering, solid mechanics and materials, and thermofluids and turbomachinery, and focuses on applying hard science to established and emerging problems. Numerous spin out companies reflect the success of the department in applying creative solutions to real world problems.

Download the handout to learn more

English Language and Literature

English Language
and Literature

English is one of the largest and most vibrant faculties at Oxford. Students studying English have the chance to take tutorials in a wide variety of specialist subfields, hear lectures by some of the discipline’s foremost scholars, and use excellent library facilities. Students can also become literary tourists, visiting the homes of authors as varied as Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, the Brontë sisters, Robert Burns, and William Wordsworth, and seeing the places which inspired their work.

Students taking English language and literature tutorials will read only texts which were written originally in English (though this does not mean only British English as there are opportunities to study English texts from Anglophone north America, the Caribbean, etc). Students wanting to read texts by non Anglophone authors should consult the modern languages tutorial lists, being aware that they must be able to read the texts there in the original language, not in translation. The exception to this rule is that English students may study Old English and Old Norse without previous experience, and they will be helped to become competent enough to study literature in Anglo Saxon and Old Norse in the original.

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History

History

Oxford's faculty of history is one of the largest in the country with about 100 permanent teaching staff, 1,200 undergraduates, and 500 graduates, all served by a large teaching collection of books and electronic resources as well as the Bodleian Library. The size and quality of the department allow for a broad range of subfields to be studied; British history is at its core, but American, European, Asian, African and other histories are also studied, supported in some cases by specialist collections such as the Vere Harmsworth Library for Americana (the largest collection outside north America) or the collection of the Indian Institute. Students have the opportunity to study primary texts as well as secondary literature across a broad range of tutorial options.

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History of Art

History of Art

Oxford is a vibrant centre for the study of the history of art. The collection in the Ashmolean is particularly rich, ranging across many centuries and many cultures. There are in addition important collections at the Christ Church picture Gallery and the Bodleian and other libraries. The architecture of the city is also rich, and membership of Wycliffe Hall allows semester programme students to see inside many distinguishing buildings not normally open to the public. Access to London galleries is easy, and field trips show students other cities of architectural note.

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Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics
and Statistics

Mathematicians have always been fascinated by numbers, but the subject is so much more. We can use maths to explain how a leopard gets its spots, to explore quantum theory and relativity, and to predict the movements of stock markets.

Studying maths in Oxford will teach you to think mathematically and provide you with the tools needed to construct theorems and proofs. You will be encouraged to ask questions and to find solutions for yourself. Above all, you will learn how to argue clearly and concisely as you solve problems. For some of you, this way of thinking or solving problems will be your goal. Others will want to see what further can be discovered. Either way, it is a subject we want you to enjoy.

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Modern Languages

Modern Languages

The languages and literatures of Britain’s European neighbours are the focus of well established and internationally recognised scholarship in Oxford. Students have the chance to study medieval as well as contemporary forms of each language and early literary forms as well as European cinema. The Language Centre provides resources in various media for independent language study, the Taylorian Institute has rich library resources, and proximity to Europe enables students to travel independently to practice their language skills among native speakers during the mid-term break.

Tutorials provide individual tuition for students with substantial existing language competence, as texts and films are always studied in the original language, not in translation. Modern linguists will normally join the English language and literature seminar, but may consider joining other seminars if that would be more appropriate for them. Tutorials are available in the following languages: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian.

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Musicology

Musicology

The music faculty in Oxford is small but distinguished, and includes the Bate Collection of rare instruments. The University and city have numerous concert venues and everything from grand opera to solo recitals may be heard, though vocal, chamber, and early music are particularly well represented. Instruction in performance is not offered as part of the University's academic course, but musicians are advised to bring their instruments with them and join one of the many ensembles. Wycliffe Hall has a piano and organ which may be used for practice (subject to their use for other Hall events). SCIO will try to help students of large instruments (harp, double bass, etc.) to hire or borrow instruments, and to help students find practice space, but cannot guarantee to do so. It is intended that musicians use their time in Oxford primarily as a time to further their studies in the intellectual rather than practical side of music.

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Philosophy

Philosophy

 

The study of ancient and modern philosophy is well established in Oxford. The faculty is the largest in the country and is home to over 150 professional philosophers as well as a specialist library. In addition there are several specialist research centres which explore such themes as practical ethics for the future of humanity.  

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Physics

Physics

The physics department at Oxford is one of the largest in the world. Over 100 faculty members lead research projects in areas ranging from astrophysics to quantum mechanics, directed towards theoretical questions or pressing practical problems such as climate change. Research and teaching happen in several buildings, including a new state of the art building, in Oxford’s lively Science Area, close to Wycliffe and to the University Parks. Faculty, research staff, and students can socialise in one of the nearby University cafes.

PREREQUISITES

All students wanting to study physics at Oxford should be competent in the basics of calculus of one or more variables, complex numbers and differential equations, matrices and linear algebra, normal modes and waves, and vector calculus (including multiple integrals). Students should have studied physics at their home universities for at least two years. We recommend looking at L. Lyons, All you wanted to know about mathematics but were afraid to ask (2 vols, 1995, available online under licence), which was written by an experienced Oxford mathematics tutor: if you are comfortable with its contents, or could be with extra study, you are ready to study physics at Oxford.

TEACHING

Teaching for physics will happen in a mix of University lectures, which play a key part in physics teaching; tutorials (one to one meetings with a specialist tutor); and, if possible, group tutorials with other Oxford undergraduates. Students will prepare work for individual and group tutorials, typically in the form of problem sheets. Students will not write essays (papers) for physics tutorials, but will present their work in mathematical form. Group work and discussion are warmly encouraged. Full lecture notes and other supporting materials are available on the University’s virtual learning platform to which students will have full access once they are in Oxford.

For practical reasons it is not possible to arrange lab or other practical work or to undertake internships or practicums.

CHOOSING TUTORIALS

More information is available on the Oxford physics department’s website. Please ignore information about how to apply, interviews, the acceptance rate, examinations, etc. as this is all intended only for matriculated students registered for degrees at Oxford. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is called a ‘BA’ in physics. All normal first degrees at Oxford are BA degrees, whether the discipline is in humanities, social science, or science.

Psychology

Psychology

Psychology has been taught in Oxford since the nineteenth century, and the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology now occupies an extensive modern building in which distinguished research and lively teaching take place. SCIO’s psychology courses offer advanced psychology students the chance to explore the analytical, philosophical, and theoretical bases of their subject, as well as its history and its influence on literature.  

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Theology

Theology

Theology has been studied in Oxford for many centuries. The traditional focus on biblical studies (including the study of biblical languages), church history, and church doctrine is now complemented by work on other religions and new ways of considering religion influenced by sociology and psychology.

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