• What will I learn?
  • Who will I be taught by?
  • Who is this course for?
  • What can I do after?
  • Our History course will give you an exciting taste of some of the key issues and big questions that face historians. As well as providing you with the important tools of historical analysis, our history course will allow you to explore times and places you won’t have encountered at school, and will open you up to new sources of historical information.

    In past years our courses have covered subjects as diverse as the Enlightenment, Sino-Tibetan-Mongolian relations, and the issue of health and disease during the development of capitalism.

  • All our tutors are current Oxford and/or Cambridge PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. You will have the opportunity to learn about their original research and our tutors will take you beyond your school curriculum to investigate their subject at a higher level - this is great preparation for university/college study!

    Rachael, one of our tutors in 2016 and 2017, is completing a PhD in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford, where her research focuses on Sino-Tibetan-Mongolian relations in north-eastern Tibet in the 18th century. She previously completed a Bachelor’s in History and Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Master’s in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at the University of Oxford.

    Kasia, one of our tutors in 2015, completed a Bachelor’s in International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney with First Class Honours, before completing a Master’s degree in Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge. Her research focused on public health politics in Germany and the UK post-1945. She now works at the New Zealand Treasury.

  • This course is ideal for students interested in studying History, or related and joint courses at university, or who are interested in exploring the past. Students have a wide range of interests and may choose to pursue more political avenues, for example through our current affairs seminar, or may wish to learn more about cultural, such as by studying film.

    You may also be interested in our Law, English or Politics and International Relations courses.

  • Our students go on to studying a wide range of subjects at undergraduate level, including History, and joint courses, at universities across the UK, as well as those abroad, including in the US.

  • What are the requirements for applying to this course?

    As an academic summer school, we invite all students to complete a short application form and short interview with one of our staff before booking. We recommend students enjoy debate and making arguments, but any specialised reading will be provided.

    English Language requirements: all students need to be able to engage with the course material, which normally means a level of English equivalent to an IELTS score of 5.5 and above, or B2 in the Common European Framework. Don't worry if you don't have a formal qualification - when you chat to one of the team they'll be able to assess your level and answer any questions you may have.

    Not sure about which course is the best for you? Our friendly team is here to help – contact us and we will help you choose the subject that is best suited to your needs.

Studying History at OISS


Students doing History at OISS benefit from a combination of small group and one-to-one tutorials, assessed work and individual research. Below is an example of a typical day at the Summer School, to give you an idea of the challenging variety that we offer our students.


 0800   Wake up and go down to breakfast with my friends from my staircase. Have some toast and cereal to start the day, and grab a piece of fruit for a snack later.
 0915   I have some free time this morning, so a few of us hang out in the common room, playing table football and hanging out.
 1000   It’s Friday so it’s time for my individual weekly tutorial with Rachael, our tutor. Rachael’s speciality is the history of Tibet, and we’ve been learning more specifically about the historical relationship between religion and politics in the region. I’ve written an essay on the relationship between political institutions, religion and society in the region and it’s great to get such personalised feedback.
 1045   I head back to the accommodation to drop off my stuff and relax for a bit before getting on with my day. Tutorials are great, but now I know why everyone says Oxford is so intense!
 1130   I catch up with some of my friends who’ve had their tutorials this morning too and we all head into town together. We grab some bagels and ice-cream from G&D’s - Oxford’s famous ice cream shop - before heading down to Christ Church Meadows for a walk along the river. Friday is the most chilled out day at the Summer School so we spend a bit more time than usual walking around town, and we end up climbing up the University Church Tower, which has an amazing view!
 1515   It’s back to my room to freshen up and I do a bit of reading before evening activities start.
 1600   We head out to University Parks for a cricket tournament. Everyone ends up getting ridiculously competitive, but it’s loads of fun to be running around for a bit.
 1800nbsp;  Run back home for a quick dinner with everyone, still laughing about how silly we were during cricket.
 1900   Head to the classroom for my seminar on film studies. It’s not something I’d ever studied before, but it’s given me a whole new perspective on movies I’ve seen, and how historical events are portrayed.
 2100   Pop into the dining room for an optional Q&A on studying in the UK. Led by our Activity Coordinators, who all study at Oxford and Cambridge, and Sijana, our Head of Academic Affairs, I ask loads of questions about life as a university student in the UK.
 2200   Hang out for a bit and have a quick shower before bedtime.
 2300  Lights out.