Providing insight into seven fascinating centuries of English literature, the English Literature Summer School focuses on an array of significant literary movements and figures over a three week period.

Core Academic Program

  • Daily lectures led by renowned speakers and leading scholars.
  • Small seminar groups led by literary specialists

If you are an undergraduate applicant, you’ll participate in two mandatory courses, which include Critical Reading and Shakespeare on Stage and Screen.

Graduate level applicants may select two seminars from the following:

  • Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture
  • Shakespeare and Politics: Then and Now
  • The English Romantic Poets
  • Jane Austen
  • Victorian Fiction
  • Modernist Fiction
  • Contemporary Fiction

With small class sizes, usually under 12 students, each seminar is highly focused and rewarding. Seminars involve two two-hour meetings on a weekly basis.

* Details of the 2018 program are still subject to final change *

Additional Course Information

Contact Hours

The program provides a minimum of 46.5 contact hours including:

  • 22.5 hours of lectures (15 lectures of 1.5 hours each)
  • 24 hours of seminar meetings (12 per course)

Who is it for?

The program is for postgraduate students or senior undergraduates with at least 2 years’ study at university level in English literature.

Level and Demands of the Program

This is an intensive program of study taught at Master`s level to an informed international audience. Applicants should be confident that they are academically and linguistically prepared for such a program. Non-native speakers of English are required to submit evidence of their English language competency with their application.

Participants are expected to

  • Undertake preparatory reading in advance of the programme
  • Attend all lectures and relevant seminar sessions
  • Be actively engaged with their seminar topics
  • Submit an assignment of 2000-3000 words in length for each course taken
  • Undertake approximately 96 hours of private study during the programme (elements of private study will include: reading and other preparation between seminar meetings, work in the library, writing papers, etc)


All students who satisfactorily complete the program will receive an ‘Attendance Certificate’. If seeking credit at your home institution you will also receive a ‘Detailed Certificate’ detailing contact hours, grades achieved, and private study hours.


  • Participants will be enrolled as readers at the University`s main reference library, the Bodleian
  • They will also have access to the English Faculty and Continuing Education Libraries

Teaching Staff

Undergraduate Courses

  • Dr Edward Clarke – Critical Reading
  • Dr John O’Connor  – Shakespeare on Stage and Screen

Graduate Courses

  • Dr Janina Ramirez – Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture
  • Dr John O’Connor – Shakespeare and Politics: Then and Now
  • Dr Tom MacFaul – The English Romantic Poets
  • Dr Sandie Byrne – Jane Austen
  • Dr David Grylls – Victorian Fiction
  • Dr John Ballam – Modernist Fiction
  • Dr Michael Molan – Contemporary Fiction

University and Faculty

Oxford University

First recorded as far back as the 12th century, the University of Oxford is noted as the world’s second oldest university. The first studies which took place at the University were translations and interpretations of the work of Greek philosophers, which paved the way for much development of society as we know it.

The colleges of the university were backed by the Christian Church, which can be clearly seen when observing that the buildings located on university grounds consist of various chapels and churches. Notable alumni include novelist and literary critics C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, demonstrating that studying at Oxford allows students the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of true greats in literary works.

Founded in 1314, Exeter College is Oxford University’s fourth oldest college. Still situated in its original location on Turl Street in the heart of Oxford, Exeter was founded by Walter de Stapledon of Devon, the Bishop of Exeter and later treasurer to Edward II, as a school to educate clergy. Exeter College strongly values its long standing traditions, especially during special occasions.

Site Visits and Cultural Activities

With Oxford Royale Academy, you might have the opportunity to take in the sights with an in-depth guide to the history of the city and the university, sprinkled with amusing anecdotes about Oxford life. You might also like to take a night-time tour with the award-winning Bill Spectre, who dresses as a Victorian undertaker to tell students the terrifying stories of Oxford’s ghosts.

Throughout the summer school, a variety of optional social events and excursions will be offered such as after-dinner talks, weekend excursions to fascinating historical and literary sites and peer-led workshop sessions. These activities will give you a great opportunity to really get into the vibe of this incredible student town.

(Please note that most of these activities incur additional costs, which are payable upon arrival in Oxford).

Tour Oxford



One of the highlights of this program is the ability for you to live and take your meals in one of Oxford’s regular colleges: Exeter. You will have a single study bedroom in Exeter College – bedrooms are typically located between floors four to nine, and each floor shares a bath and/or shower and toilet facilities. Each room is equipped with a tray with a kettle, tea cup and saucer, teaspoon and glass.

There are a few rooms which offer private bathroom facilities available for an additional cost of $580 and require early application. Linen and towels are provided.


The program includes most meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and you will take these in the college’s dining area. The college dining hall offers an excellent array of food, and can also accommodate those with special dietary requirements. Alternatively, dine out with friends to experience the regional cuisine of Oxford.

Student Blogs

Hear the experiences of other students on this program

“So on the warm weekend evening five of us headed down to give punting a try. I volunteered to be the punter, while the others sat, legs splayed out in the wooden boat, playing music on their phones and drinking wine. I thought that punting would be similar to paddle boarding, but I was entirely wrong. Think of a gondola ride down the canals in Venice – a strong Italian man with a low singing voice, striped shirt and, one would guess, a moustache, rowing people smoothly through the water, ducking under bridges and serenading them while he effortlessly guides the pole through the river. Now picture a five-foot-four girl holding a 16 foot, 5 pound aluminium pole and balancing on the back of a flat-bottomed wooden boat, trying to push and turn the boat through the water without running into any other boats, bridges or the riverbank. It is a hilarious sight.”
- Annaliese Abela, Double Degree in Journalism and Creative Writing

Destination Information

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Oxford, England

First settled in Saxon times, Oxford, located 92 km from England’s capital, is internationally known as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the country and the English-speaking world. The city retains features reminiscent of the period in which it was founded, with many examples of Saxon architecture found throughout its streets and university buildings. Oxford has a diverse economic base and its industries include education, motor manufacturing, publishing and numerous science-based and information technology businesses. Majority of the iconic landmarks which define the city and attract numerous tourists yearly are associated with the universities of the city, including the University of Oxford Botanical Garden, Museum of Natural History and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin among many others.

Here are some reasons why Oxford is a fantastic place to have your English experience:

  • Home to over 150,000 people, a large amount of which consist of students across the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University.
  • Oxford University is currently ranked as number one university in the world.
  • As a university city, Oxford University’s buildings and faculties can be located all across the city centre, allowing the chance to travel around and still be on campus grounds.
  • The university is in charge of a variety of museums, including the Museum of Natural History, Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of the History of Science and Pitt Rivers Museum.
  • Oxford possesses a culture rooted in theatre and the arts, home to numerous theatres, including Oxford Playhouse, O’Reilly Theatre and New Theatre (formerly known as the Apollo).

Arrival Information

Most students choose to arrive at Heathrow Airport in London.

If travelling directly to Oxford from Heathrow (as opposed to spending some time in London first), you can take a National Express bus directly from the airport to the centre of Oxford. Travel time is approximately 1-1.5 hours (depending on traffic) and costs about $40 one way.

More information is available from the Oxford Bus Company website:


Credit and Funding


All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Course convenors will not be able approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus, so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive this in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack, along with information about how to apply for credit at your university.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Application Information

Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.

We’ve included for your convenience below the initial stages of the application process.

1. Apply online
2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results
3. We’ll review your results and application and if you are eligible, will invite you to an initial consultation by phone with an advisor.
4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation with an advisor.
5. The phone consultation lasts about 15 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.
6. Once you return any necessary documents (which we’ll advise you of in the consultation), we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, we’ll send you your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.
7. Your acceptance pack will contain the course syllabus, steps on applying for credit and funding, and an invoice for the program down payment. Your place is secured once you’ve paid your down payment.

Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.

Students who wish to apply after the official application closing date (2nd April) are required to email or call us directly on (02) 9975 7792. Please note, that late applications are subject to a $100 late fee (inclusive of the $55 phone consultation fee). For more information, please refer to the AIM Overseas Late Application Fee Document.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions.