Source -


9 July - 19 August

Director of Studies: Dave Beard
Administrator: Shirley Fawdrey
Secretary: Jacqueline Darvill
To live and study at historic Christ Church, Oxford, is considered by many to be the experience of a lifetime.

Courses making up "The Oxford Experience" are selected to reflect the interests of adults, regardless of formal educational accomplishments. Students participate in small seminar groups led by tutors specially selected for their teaching skills by the University's Department for Continuing Education. Within any week participants may choose one of several different subjects. These cover the history of Britain from Roman times, literature, art and art history, the history of Oxford and many other topics.



As you walk through the main gate at the foot of Christopher Wren's Tom Tower and view the great quad with its Mercury statue and lily pond, you enter the unique academic world of Oxford's largest college, Christ Church. You may be lodging in the remarkable Peckwater Quad, one of Britain's finest examples of Palladian architecture, or your room may be in one of the other interesting buildings within the college. While at Christ Church you will dine in hall and sit under portraits of the college's famous former students. You may like to stroll in Christ Church Meadow beside the River Thames, listen to the Cathedral Choir in evensong or sit quietly in the garden where the original Alice in Wonderland played.


The programme comprises a total of 36 week-long seminars spread over six weeks. Each week starts with lunch on the Sunday and finishes with breakfast on the following Saturday. All meals will be provided, except where the meal-time in question coincides with an excursion.

Tutorials will normally contain a maximum of 15 students and will meet each weekday morning, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study or exploring the many beautiful places in and around the city. Details of the courses offered are set out on the following pages.


You will be accommodated in the student rooms of Christ Church which are arranged up a staircase; each room is serviced by a house-keeper and has a wash-basin and tea and coffee making equipment. Bath, shower and toilet facilities on each staircase are shared. A limited number of rooms with private bathroom facilities are available for an additional fee. It is also possible for two people to share if they so wish and normally this would be in a "set" which has two single bedrooms that open off a shared sitting room.

The majority of the bedrooms in Christ Church are on upper floors and are accessible only by climbing a staircase. Please note on the application form if stairs will be a problem for you.

Applicants should note that due to the historic nature of many of the buildings, there may be difficulties of access for those with some kinds of disability. For further information please contact the Programme Administrator.


Most of the courses include excursions. The destinations of these excursions are shown in the course descriptions. Please note that when a course includes excursions with a supplement, these excursions form an integral part of the course and students are expected to participate in them. The Department for Continuing Education does, however, reserve the right to change any excursions if circumstances require.


The deadline for enrolment is 1 May 2000. Places may, however, be available after this date; please contact the Programme Administrator for details. Please read the brief course descriptions on the following pages and, when you have come to a decision, fill out the application form at the back of this brochure. 

Please complete the enrolment form and indicate (if possible) two course choices in any one week. We will endeavour to place you in your first choice; however, as there is a limit on the number of places on each course, this may not be possible.


If you have any further questions please contact:

The Programme Administrator, The Oxford Experience, University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA, UK; Tel: 01865 280351 (+44 1865 280351, if outside UK), Fax: 01865 270314 (+44 1865 270314, if outside UK), e-mail:

Course List

WEEK 1 (9-15 July) 

(1) Film Art Tony Aldgate
(2) The Colleges of Oxford Julian Munby
(3) Drawing at Christ Church Peter Rhoades
(4) An Age of Innovation: Restoration to Regency Dinah Reynolds
(5) Great Artists of the 20th Century Mary Acton
(6) Inspired by Oxford: A Creative Writing Course Angela Hassall

WEEK 2 (16-22 July)

(1) The Crusades: Reality and Myth  Jonathan Phillips 
(2) Anglo-Saxon Art  Dave Beard 
(3) The Cotswolds  Mike Breakell 
(4) Oliver Cromwell: Myth and Reality  Rosemary Kelly 
(5) Learning to Look at Modern Art  Mary Acton 
(6) Oxford: Town and Gown  Tom Hassall 

WEEK 3 (23-29 July)

(1) The English Country House  Malcolm Airs 
(2) The Tudor Age  Jackie Duff 
(3) The Rise and Fall of the British Empire  Chandrika Kaul 
(4) The Architecture and History of Oxford  Nicholas Doggett 
(5) The History of British Gardens  Toby Musgrave 
(6) English Cathedrals  Athene Reiss 

WEEK 4 (30 July - 5 August)

(1) From Wordsworth to Hardy: Ten Romantic and Victorian Poems  Rikky Rooksby 
(2) The English Face in the 16th Century  Rosemary Kelly 
(3) Music at the Court of Queen Elizabeth I  Jonathan Darnborough and Claire-Louise Lucas 
(4) Stonehenge and Avebury  Paul Garwood 
(5) Oxford Murder  Michael Harrison 
(6) The English Pub through the Centuries  Toby Musgrave 

WEEK 5 (6-12 August)

(1) Elizabethan England  Jackie Duff 
(2) English Castles  Michael Hughes 
(3) Writing Oxford Murder  Michael Harrison 
(4) Defining Style: English Furniture, 1500-2000  Antony Buxton 
(5) King Arthur: Fact and Fiction  Dave Beard 
(6) Seeking the Good: The Novels of Iris Murdoch  Janfarie Skinner 

WEEK 6 (13-19 August)

(1) Jane Austen: Realist or Romantic  Rikky Rooksby 
(2) The Royal Palaces of England  Steven Brindle 
(3) Four Statesmen of the Victorian Age  Ian St John 
(4) Medieval Saints  David Farmer 
(5) Towns through the Ages  Dave Beard 
(6) Exploring Stars and Planets  Christopher Taylor