Seren/Jesus College Summer School at Oxford University 2018

Seren students! Applications are now open for the 2018 Seren / Jesus College Summer School at Oxford University


This August, (Monday 20th to Friday 24th August) will see the return of the Seren Summer School and it’s going to be bigger than ever, with 75 places available.

Matt Williams, Access Fellow of Jesus College at the University of Oxford, explains what you can expect and how to apply…

What is the Seren Summer School?

The Seren Summer School is a unique collaboration between the University of Oxford and the Welsh Government’s Seren Network. You’ll get the chance to live and work with Oxford academics and students for a week in the late summer.

It started last year with 22 students from all over Wales. Feedback from the participants was very positive. Of the 22 participants last year, seven applied to Jesus, and a further nine to other Oxford colleges. The remaining six applied to other top-flight universities, including Cambridge.

This year, we have 75 spaces for students, and 11 for teachers.

Do I have to pay?

No – it will be all-expenses paid, including travel, accommodation and meals.

You won’t need to complete any paperwork about eligibility for bursaries, as the programme is free to all Seren students from any income background.

What will it include?

As with last year, we will recreate an authentic Oxford learning experience. There will be lectures, seminars, and our world-famous tutorials (teaching in small groups of two or three) as well as the chance to get a taste of student life in halls.

How do I apply?

The summer school is open to any participant in one of the eleven Seren hubs. You do not need to be considering applying to Oxford to be eligible. Those who are applying to any competitive university will likely find the insider insights particularly helpful.

What will I learn?

Last year, all of our content was themed around “Our Future”, and this year it will be the “Meaning of Life”. We’ve chosen a broad theme for two reasons:

Firstly, it’s a little different. Most summer schools, such as for UNIQ and the Sutton Trust, are more narrowly focused. Crossing disciplinary boundaries is what universities do. We look at big questions holistically, and try to resolve them.

Whether you’re a budding mathematician, a soon-to-be medical student, an English literature nut, or a philosopher, you will have some interest in analysing life itself.

Rest assured, as well as broadly themed lectures, there will also be subject-specific streams for humanities, social sciences with law, and natural sciences with medicine.

Secondly, there is huge scope with this theme. We’ll have engaging lectures on – among other things – life on other planets, the development of embryos in the womb, medical ethics, the philosophy and theology of life, and how life’s challenges are defined in law.

There’ll also be seminars to develop your research skills and strengthen your university applications. These seminars will include a session with – “The Home of Big Questions”. And you’ll get to meet some of our present and past students who will share their stories.

Will the Summer School apply to my chosen area of study?

You may be a physicist searching for a theory of everything, or you may be a geographer interested in how our changing environment affects life expectancy.

The point is, it doesn’t matter what subjects you’re studying or intend to study.

This is a summer school for anyone interested in the world and universe that surrounds them.

We will equip you with transferable skills while peering gingerly at a hugely complex problem. This, ultimately, is what university is all about.

Applications opened on Monday 23rd April, and close on Friday 1st June.

Decisions will be emailed to you on Friday 6th July.

To apply, follow this link:

If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with me via email:

This Seren Summer School has been made possible through the enormously generous funding and support of Jesus College alumni and the Welsh Government.


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