English plus Academic Subjects

English plus Academic Subjects combines English for academic purposes with university level subject classes

Our Semester Course and Compact Course combines English Language classes with academic study

English for Academic Purposes+Academic subjects (suitable for beginners)
10 lessons per week Choice of 3 academic subjects (3 hours a week per subject)

English plus Academic Subjects is a stimulating alternative to the traditional English language course, and is ideal if you are on a gap year or would like to prepare for further study at university. This course is for you, if you would like to:

  • Prepare for university study in an English-speaking country: Develop your academic study skills for higher education or improve your English language skills in a supportive environment
  • Enhance academic knowledge: Deepen your understanding of an academic subject you’ve studied before or learn something new
  • Build academic literacies for further study: Improve your essay writing, debating, critical thinking, researching & presenting skills
  • Prepare for a Cambridge (CAE/CPE) or IELTS exam: Develop your language skills to take an externally validated language exam

The key benefits include:

  • Intellectually-engaging offering: Choose from a wide range of undergraduate level academic subjects
  • Small class sizes: Interactive academic study groups of 6-15 students and language tutorial groups of 1-2 students.
  • Quality academic and language teaching: Benefit from our 65+ years experience
  • Improve your language confidence, fluency, & accuracy: Learn through engaging topical themes through the medium of English
  • Supportive study environment: Dedicated academic support from a Personal Tutor
  • Excellent results from college inspections: ‘The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learner’ achievements is excellent.’  – ISI PFE December 2022
  • Academic and cultural Study Visits: Go beyond the classroom with our inspiring and engaging Study Visits in Oxford
  • Excellent Careers and Higher Education guidance: Specialist support from our CDI (Careers Development Institute) accredited Careers & Higher Education Advisers who help you apply to universities around the world
  • St Clare’s Seminar Series: Experience university-style lectures on intellectually engaging topics
  • International Community: Build your international networks or make friends for life while you live and study
  • Gain more from your study experience: Engage in team sports, socialise with classmates or travel to popular places in and around the UK with our wide range of activities and excursions.
  • Specialist membership: A member of Quality English and English UK
  • Accredited by the British Council (BC) and the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) for the teaching of English.

English plus Academic Subjects – 14 week semester course

You will benefit from being able to study alongside international students as well as native English speakers. We offer a wide range of academic subject options:

Academic SubjectsCourse
English LiteratureIntroduction to English Literature
 Oxford and Fantasy Fiction
Communications and FilmFilm Studies
 Cross-Cultural Communication
Politics and PhilosophyIntroduction to Politics
 International Relations
 Introduction to Philosophy
 Ethics, Values and the Law
Psychology and SociologyIntroduction to Psychology
 Introduction to Sociology
HistoryIntroduction to British History
Art History and Visual ArtsOxford Art and Architecture
 Fundamentals of Drawing
Business and EconomicsInternational Business in the News
 Introduction to Economics
 Fundamentals of Marketing
MathematicsCollege Algebra
Language tutorialsChinese, French, Spanish and Italian
Semester seriesTopics updated every semester

When submitting your application please select 6 courses, numbered in order of preference. We make every effort to give you your first 3 academic subject choices.

We also offer a EAS Compact course starting in May. If you would like further details please click on tab below.

Progression options

If you are interested in enrolling for the full academic year, and have IELTS 5.5 (upper intermediate), you may take English plus Academic Subjects in the autumn semester and progress to the Undergraduate Programme in the spring semester.

Semester course: Pick 3 academic subjects below + language tutorial + semester series

Introduction to English Literature

Course code: ENGL01

Refine your English as you learn from England’s greatest writers and poets.  This course will take you on a journey through English literature from Shakespeare to the present day and is intended to foster close critical readings of significant works in their original literary and historical contexts. Students will be given the opportunity to engage in detail with different kinds of texts, including poems, plays, novels, and essays.  They will learn appropriate technical terms as they proceed and will be encouraged to reflect on the development of English literature while focusing on individual writers and their critical reputations.  The course includes field trips to sites in Oxford to explore the city’s famous authors and literary settings.

Oxford and Fantasy Fiction

Course code: ENGL02

The literary genre of ‘fantasy fiction’ was forged in Oxford.  The four most successful and influential fantasy worlds were created in here: Lewis Carroll’s ‘Wonderland’, J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Middle-earth’, C.S. Lewis’s Narnia’ and the darker, contemporary world created by Philip Pullman for ‘His Dark Materials’; so, these texts form the heart of this class.  We will explore the physical and intellectual landscape of Oxford and how it influenced the imaginary worlds of these authors.  The course considers the nature of myth, allegory and symbolism in the fantasy genre; also, we will study the medieval literature which inspired it – from the Anglo-Saxon riddle and elegy to medieval romance and Arthurian literature.  We will also consider film adaptations, and whether fantasy is less an escape from the modern world than a way to understand and criticise its values.

Film Studies

Course code: COMM01

‘Cinema is truth twenty-four times second’ (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963).  The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theory, history and criticism of film.  We will be discussing different ways of interpreting movies, and applying some of these ideas to various film texts.  Some of the analytical models we will employ, such as semiotics or psychoanalysis, will explore the complex language of the medium (how film communicates); others, such as genre and auteur criticism, will examine the ideological relationship between cinema and society (what film communicates).  Special emphasis will be placed on the multiple relationships between Hollywood and World Cinema, and between literature and film.  There will be screenings throughout the course, and clips from a diverse range of exemplary films will be shown in class.

Cross-Cultural Communication

Course code: COMM02

‘Cross-cultural communication is a process of creating and sharing meaning among people from different cultural backgrounds using a variety of means’ (The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods, 2017). Drawing on a broad range of critical tools and theoretical perspectives – literary theory, cultural studies, anthropology, media studies, film studies, and the digital humanities – we will apply these methods and concepts to a wide variety of cultural texts and media forms (including literature, journalism, photography, film, television, music, and digital media). In particular, we will examine the ways in which individuals tend to define themselves with and against ‘others’, and consider the implications of this psychosocial and political dynamic. In so doing, this course will provide students with theoretical and practical frameworks through which to explore and understand cross-cultural issues in the contemporary world.

Introduction to Politics

Course code: POLS01

What is Politics? How do different political systems work and what do terms like ‘state’, ‘democracy’ or ‘civil society’ really mean? Is the politics of today less ideological, or are ideologies now just less visible? These and other questions will be addressed in this introductory course in Politics. The class will consider the nature of democracy, constitutions and political parties and how presidential, parliamentary and authoritarian systems are constructed and function. The course also analyses how politics relates to religion, the media and wider society and relates models and ideologies to real case studies and contemporary issues. Students look beyond the classroom with field trips, such as a visit to the Houses of Parliament, and supplementary lectures at the Oxford University Blavatnik School of Government. Students are drawn from a variety of countries and bring knowledge of their own diverse political cultures to the classroom.

International Relations

Course code: POLS02

International Relations is now more important to the study of politics than ever as our world becomes more economically integrated and connected, and yet less politically stable.  This course examines how globalization, ideology, political culture and religion influence the dynamic relationship between states — and how political theory can help us to understand this constantly changing global landscape.  Topics discussed during the course include: the roles and functions of international bodies such as the UN, the nature of armed conflict, the Cold War and international role of a ‘superpower’ and the threat posed by international terrorism.  This course takes place in a very international classroom and draws on the different perspectives expressed by our diverse student body.  Seminars are supplemented by lectures and talks organized by the Oxford University Islamic Studies Centre, the Oxford Union and Oxford Brookes University’s Human Rights Centre.

Introduction to Philosophy

Course code: PHIL01

The Introduction to Philosophy examines chronologically some of the key thoughts and thinkers in the history of Western Philosophy to see how philosophical thought has progressed, and how it applies to other disciplines. Beginning with the question of what Philosophy is, the course moves through Classical and Modern eras to contemporary Continental thought. Philosophers considered include Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. Throughout the course the central ideas of key thinkers are examined at an accessible introductory level. By the end of the semester students will have a good grounding in areas such as knowledge of the external world, the existence of God and existentialism and will have learned ways of improving the quality of their critical thinking. The course will not only question what we think we know and how we come to know it, but allow students to identify the application of philosophical ideas and how they operate in the applied fields of religion, politics and morality.


Course code: PHIL05

Ethics considers, from a philosophical perspective, what is meant by ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. By approaching different theories concerning these concepts, including Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics, the nature of moral problems in everyday life will be illuminated and examined. Over the duration of the semester students will develop a multi-faceted appreciation of what is at stake in moral debates. The course considers both ethical theories and ‘practical ethics’, debates concerning how those theories may be applied. The first few weeks will focus solely on theoretical ethics, to equip the students, then the bulk of the semester will alternate between theoretical and practical ethics as the class considers crime and punishment, euthanasia, war and peace, freedom of speech and other ethical challenges we face both as societies and as individuals.

Ethics, Values and the Law

Course code: PHIL06

Do we have free will? How far should we be bound by the law? Are there ‘natural’ rights? How do we find a balance between giving an individual liberty and ensuring this does not cause others harm? These and other questions will be considered in Ethics, Values and the Law as we address the relationship between political and moral philosophy. The course examines the notions of authority, freedom and responsibility and how individual freedom and moral responsibility is measured against the role of the state and the practice of the law. There are practical examples considered from environmental ethics, freedom of speech and medical ethics and students will be encouraged to consider and debate these subjects during the seminars.

Introduction to Psychology

Course code: PSYC01

How does the human brain work? Why do we sleep? What do dreams mean? What do babies think? How do humans learn language? Does our behaviour change in a group? How do we study human thought and behaviour? This course is designed to answer these questions, and many others, by providing an overview of the scientific study of human thought and behaviour. Students will also be introduced to key theories and concepts across biological, developmental, cognitive and social psychology covering topics such as learning, memory, language, thinking, sleep, motivation, personality and social influences. Students supplement their in-class education with relevant study visits including the Wellcome Collection, to study health and medicine, and the Freud Museum in London to explore the origins of psychoanalysis. Students will also have the opportunity to experience ‘real life’ psychology by taking part in psychology experiments at a university psychology department.

Introduction to Sociology

Course code: SOCL01

Sociology is the study of the development and structure of society: how we form social relationships, how we organize into groups and how those groups behave.  This course will survey the emergence of the discipline, through Marx, Durkheim and Weber, to its present form and understand the methods and theories of this social science.  Students will learn social research methods and examine the individual in various social contexts, and through a range of topics, from gender, family, race and ethnicity to religion and the media.

Introduction to British History

Course code: HIST01

Oxford is the perfect place to survey 1,000 years of British history, from the reign of King Alfred, who built the first city walls here, to the First World War, which transformed Britain’s place in the world and its social order.  This history course is a topic-based survey and will show the development of Britain from the creation of a single English kingdom, to the Norman invasions of Britain, Magna Carta, the Black Death, Reformation, Queen Elizabeth, the 17th century civil wars and the emergence of modern Britain, with its empire and colonies.  Each week we will examine how historians use a variety of materials as source material: coins, jewels and archaeological treasures; written sources such as chronicles, laws, and government documents; private letters and portraits; oral history, film and propaganda.  We will visit historic sites in Oxford and London, Blenheim Palace and Oxford University’s world class Ashmolean Museum.  The course gives you the opportunity to learn about Oxford and Britain, understand our history and appreciate how historians have used both written sources and material culture to tell the story of Britain.

Oxford Art and Architecture

Course code: ARTH01

Matthew Arnold famously said of Oxford that she is a ‘sweet City with her dreaming spires’ and ‘Lovely all times she lies.’ This course gives students an opportunity to explore those dreaming spires and many other significant buildings and art collections in a city famed for its architectural beauty and history. There is a continuous tradition of civic, ecclesiastical and collegiate architecture in Oxford spanning over a thousand years. Our broadly chronological survey of art and architecture in Oxford will also allow you to understand developments in art and architecture across Europe. The course will be taught primarily through study excursions to Oxford colleges, buildings and museums. Students will have the opportunity to focus on a particular architect, artist, building, collection, or individual work of art, for further independent study in greater depth.

Fundamentals of Drawing

Course code: ARTS01

This introductory course develops students’ skills and techniques while they engage with Oxford’s rich culture: visiting museums, galleries, exhibitions and working outside by rivers and in parks. The course aims to initiate or develop the students’ practical abilities in drawing and other creative processes. It is suitable for all levels of ability, including beginners, and adapts to the student’s personal interests and aptitudes. The student builds up a body of artworks in the school’s award-winning art studio using a variety of techniques which can include etching, silk screening and textiles. Projects typically include response to an exhibition at The Ashmolean Museum, landscape drawing in the Oxford Botanic Gardens and responses to the human figure, from both the Ashmolean Museum’s ‘Cast Gallery’ and life drawing. Students keep up their personal artists’ journal, improving their skills as they discover Oxford.


Course code: ARTS02

This course approaches painting from practical and historical viewpoints, and the student’s personal development interweaves investigations into art history and contemporary practice.  We work in Oxford’s museums and galleries, including the Ashmolean Museum, or go painting outside ‘en plein air’ as well as using the many facilities in the college’s award-winning studio.  It’s suitable for all levels of ability including beginners and adapts to the student’s personal interests and aptitudes.  An experimental and eclectic approach is encouraged, to increase the students’ visual thinking and imaginative response.


Course code: ARTS03

How does photography capture and communicate our experience of the world? Why are some photographs better than others? These and other questions will guide a lively exploration of photography on both a practical and theoretical level. We will investigate some inspiring ways to improve the quality of our pictures, and make full use of Oxford’s galleries and uniquely photogenic environment. This will be consolidated by college-based lessons that use both digital editing and older, darkroom techniques. The course introduces the students to contemporary critical theory, with emphasis on questions of meaning, power and identity and the production, distribution and consumption of the photograph within various media. The course will conclude with students making a portfolio of their best images, and displaying them in a small exhibition for others to enjoy.

International Business in the News

Course code: BUSN01

International Business in the News examines global economies and markets, multinational businesses and foreign trade practices. Students will study the global challenges companies face. They will learn to appreciate how economic developments and political decisions have profound impacts on the pattern of world trade. This course will help students develop a global perspective and will allow them to see how globalisation has brought about an increasing ‘connectedness’ of businesses, markets, people and information across countries. Yet we will discuss how we cannot take globalisation for granted, especially given circumstances like the pandemic crisis, which may lead us into a more protectionist world. We will analyse the repercussions of these new challenges for international business. We will use case studies from current affairs to discuss the economics and politics of international trade.

Introduction to Economics

Course code: ECON01

Economics is a significant social science which not only prepares students to study business but helps us understand the world around us.  This introductory course will give you an understanding of the range of behaviours that economists investigate, introduce you to the basic tools that we use to analyse the economy, and apply these tools to public policy issues.  It offers students the opportunity to explore microeconomic concepts such as market supply and demand, externalities, and industrial organisation, as well as macroeconomic concepts such as money, interest rates, inflation and unemployment.  The course will examine, through readings and case studies, different economic models, the impact of globalization, what makes an economy grow and how –  and if – a state should intervene in the market.

Fundamentals of Marketing

Course code: MKTG01

Fundamentals of Marketing is an introductory course designed to help students understand the exciting, dynamic, and challenging field of marketing.  Primary emphasis will be focused on providing the student with the traditional and contemporary elements of marketing: specifically, how marketing relates to an organization’s strategy and decision-making.  Topics include market research; branding, consumer behaviour, digital marketing and understanding the ‘marketing mix’ of product, price, place, promotion, physical evidence, people and process.  The course will consider how businesses strategize and create a competitive advantage in a global marketplace, but also how business increasingly needs to consider sustainability, ethical issues and ‘corporate social responsibility’.  Teaching will comprise a mix of methodologies and include discussions and presentations based on readings or case studies.

College Algebra

Course code: MATH01

College Algebra is intended for students who wish to improve their understanding of basic mathematics or who wish to attain the standard level of College Mathematics required for general courses.  The course is designed to highlight the application of Mathematics to everyday life problems and is particularly useful for students who intend to study social sciences, management, business or other courses that do not require the additional topics of Trigonometry and Calculus.

VWO Mathematics B

Course code: MATH03

If you plan to apply to Dutch universities with specific requirements in maths, and don’t have the required level equivalent to the Dutch VWO Mathematics B (Wiskunde B) option, you can prepare for the James Boswell and other Mathematics deficiency tests in a small class here at St. Clare’s. Courses with this requirement include International Business Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Maastricht University.


St Clare’s is an International College and offers a wide range of language courses at all levels: Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian and Spanish are available and other ancient and modern languages may be available on request.

Languages are taught as tutorial classes, usually one-to-one, and the tutorial can either follow our syllabus or be adapted to your level, needs or the demands of an external exam you may be working towards.

Other ancient and modern languages may be available on request: Latin, German, Japanese, Russian. Contact us to discuss your options.

  • Chinese Beginners – course code: LANGC1
  • Chinese Intermediate – course code: LANGC2


  • French Beginners – course code: LANGF1
  • French Intermediate – course code: LANGF2
  • French Advanced – course code: LANGF3


  • Spanish Beginners – course code: LANGS1
  • Spanish Intermediate – course code: LANGS2
  • Spanish Advanced – course code: LANGS3


  • Italian Beginners – course code: LANGI1
  • Italian Intermediate – course code: LANGI2
  • Advanced – course code: LANGI3


Seminar Series: Experience university-style lectures on intellectually engaging topics

The St Clare’s Seminar Series provides an opportunity for students to explore a stimulating range of issues and ideas; to deepen their knowledge on a subject or learn something new. Each semester the Seminar Series topics are updated to a new common theme, which links all of the talks together. Our last theme was ‘Unity and Disunity’ and provided a series of very interesting thought-provoking lectures. Themes in previous years have included ‘Youth and Age’, ‘Fact and Fiction’ and ‘Arts and Science.’

Our Seminar Series is an invaluable resources for our students, as they can expand their knowledge and experience university-style lectures outside of their academic study areas.

This event runs weekly throughout term time. Each week we invite a new speaker to share their knowledge on their specialist academic subject. We encourage all students to attend.


At a Glance



English language level

From upper intermediate (CEF B2) to advanced (CEF C2)

Semester course start dates

2 September 2023 and 6 January 2024

Compact course start dates

5 May 2024

Semester course length

14 weeks

Compact course length

6 weeks

Class size

Maximum 15 students

Lessons (hours)

19 (17.4) Monday to Friday

Lesson type

10 of English for Academic Purposes and 9 of academic subjects per week

Semester tuition fees

From £8260 for 2022-23 / From £8596 for 2023-24

Compact tuition fees

From £3540 for May 2023 entry / From £3684 for May 2024 entry


Sample timetable

Term dates

Entry requirements

16 years of age or over. English language level from IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent = B2 European Common Framework)

Optional extras

Lunch available – £49 per week
Breakfast and dinner everyday – £99 per week
One-to-one English language classes – £59 per lesson
Excursions/Activities – £5 to £30
Airport transfers depend on pick-up from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton or Stansted – From £120
Courier charge for visa support documents – approx £25

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