• What will I learn?
  • Who will I be taught by?
  • Who is this course for?
  • What can I do after?
  • In this course, you’ll take a look at global networks of trade, influence, and power, covering topics ranging across natural resources, colonialism and aid, to name a few. International Development goes far beyond geography or economics - it is a truly multi-disciplinary course which can cover aspects of history, law, politics, social anthropology, and more.

    Last year’s course explored International Development from a number of different perspectives, investigating the economic, legal and social aspects of development.

    This year’s course will be an excellent opportunity to investigate the effectiveness of various development strategies and we will explore the task academics face in analysing and quantifying the challenges faced in this area.

  • 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 the subject at a higher level - great preparation for university/college study!

    Janina, one of this year’s tutors, is completing a PhD in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of economic strengthening programmes for poor families in South Africa. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations from University of Konstanz, and a Master’s degree in Evidence-Based Social Intervention from the University of Oxford.

    Alex, one of our tutors in 2016, completed her Master’s in International Development in Canada, after finishing a degree in PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at the University of Oxford. She is currently working at the British Foreign Office.

  • This course is ideal  for students considering studying International Development or any social-science related subjects at university, and teaches a method of thought and research that is beneficial to all disciplines.

    This course can be combined with our Current Affairs seminar to provide you with an additional insights into real-life application of International Development.

    You may also be interested in our Economics or Politics and International Relations Courses.

  • Our students go on to studying International Development and other related subjects at undergraduate level, either at universities across the UK, or 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.

    Ideally, you will show interest in International Development and current affairs, enjoy debating and be confident when articulating your opinions.

    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 International Development at OISS


Students doing International Development 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.
 0900   Go to my small group tutorial with our tutor for this session, Kate. Kate is a teacher with an undergraduate degree from Cambridge and a Master’s degree from Harvard. We’ve been learning about the issues global educational inequality and its potential solutions - it’s really interesting to hear everyone’s views on the subject
 1100   We head back to the accommodation to drop off our bags before we head into town for lunch and some free time. Today we’ve decided to explore Jericho and we take a picnic to Port Meadow. We walk around, admiring the lake (and cows!) before strolling back to the accommodation.
 1300   Now it’s time for Independent Research. Kate’s asked us each to produce a short summary of a type of educational innovation in the field of international development for debate. I’m looking at low-cost private schools, and can’t wait to get stuck in!
 1500   One of the Activity Coordinators, Ella, goes to Oxford and has agreed to take us on a tour of the Oxford colleges. It’s really great to learn about the city from someone who lives there.
 1600   For our activity this afternoon we can pick one of a few of Oxford’s famous museums to wander around. I love art and artefacts, so I choose the Ashmolean Museum, which has one of the largest collections of Near and Far Eastern artefacts in the UK.
 1800   Back to the dining room for dinner and a chance to catch up with everyone.
 1900   The famous OISS Alternative Olympics! Lots of falling over and fun (and everyone being ridiculously competitive)!
 2200   Hop in the shower to rinse off and chill with my friends before bed.
 2300   Lights out!