Students may attend for one or two semesters and each semester they build a coherent but individual programme of study by selecting options within a wide range of concentrations. The programme is primarily for undergraduate students, but graduates are warmly welcomed.


First Semester

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.

Primary and Secondary Tutorial, and University Lectures

6 + 3 semester credits

Each student chooses his/her own primary and secondary tutorial. Primary tutorials take place weekly, and secondary tutorials take place fortnightly during the University’s Full Term. Students attend 16 University lectures which complement their tutorial work. Tutorial work is graded by tutor assessment of each student’s written and oral work.

Selected Topics in British Culture

4 semester credits (English, History, History of Art, Musicology, Philosophy, Psychology, or Theology)

Selected Topics in British Culture examines aspects of British life, landscape, and culture. It takes place in the first four weeks of the Autumn semester, and the final four weeks of the Spring semester. The course includes lectures and regional and local field trips. The course is graded by the submission of a portfolio of essays and by participation.

Undergraduate Research Seminar

4 semester credits (Classics, English, History, History of Art, Philosophy, Psychology, or Theology)

Students follow the research seminar most appropriate to their primary tutorial subject. Students attend 16 University lectures, 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.


Second Semester (Optional)

Primary and Secondary Tutorial, and University Lectures

6 + 3 semester credits

Tutorials operate in the same way as in the first semester.


4 semester credits

Students write a thesis on a topic of their choice, with the guidance of a tutor, which would normally fall within the same discipline as their seminar from the first term and which much be covered by SSO's tutorial lists.

Selected Topics in British Culture II*

4 semester credits

Students continue their studies of the British world with a new programme of lectures and field trips.

Undergraduate Research Seminar*

4 semester credits

Students follow a seminar other than that which they took in their first semester.


*Choose one: the choice of one of these two courses is only offered in the optional 2nd semester.