Academics | The Exeter Summer Programme
Academics

The ECSP provides not only an intellectually and culturally stimulating environment, but you will also find like-minded people from all over the world who dare to share their passion, talent, and brilliance

Junna from the University of British Columbia

Academic Package

The Exeter Summer Programme models itself on Oxford undergraduate teaching. Through lectures, seminars and tutorials, you will undertake 72hrs of research-focused tuition and assessment. The tutorial system, one of the key strengths of an Oxford undergraduate education, brings students together with Faculty in tutorials and seminars. Such teaching ensures students get direct, expert guidance as they undertake in-depth study in a chosen area of research.

The Programme offers 12 lecture courses, each comprising 12 lectures, 6 seminars and 4 tutorials of 1.25hrs each, plus a 3hr written exam, for a total of 33hrs contact teaching and assessment per course. On application, you will be asked to select two lecture courses. In addition, there will be a series of 6 x 1hr evening lectures.

You will be assessed by written exam, research essay and attendance in each lecture course.

The range of lectures and seminars offered in the arts and humanities, social science, maths, science, and engineering reflects the array of academic expertise in Oxford and has been designed to allow you to work both towards your home University degree requirements and to try something new.

Lecturers will be drawn from Exeter College, Oxford University Faculty and from other distinguished Universities. Lecture courses will be academically rigorous and challenging but accessible. Small classes, discussion-based learning and opportunities to work closely with teaching Faculty are defining features of an Oxford undergraduate education. To replicate this model lectures have been capped at 24, seminars at 8 and tutorials at 2.

At the heart of Exeter College’s Summer Programme is the tutorial system which brings students together with Faculty in tutorials and small seminars. This is your chance to undertake research-based work under the guidance and supervision of an expert in the field. For more information please refer to the ‘Tutorial System’ page.

It was one of the best academic experiences of my life…there is something about Oxford in particular that made me feel so lucky to be there, an intangible that made me never want to leave

Maggie from Tufts University

Courses were demanding, intense, yet most rewarding, and routine encounters with the brilliant minds that give this gorgeous city its soul turned the whole experience into pure enjoyment

Danyu from the University of Hong Kong

Lecture Courses

The Programme offers 12 lecture courses. There is no fixed academic path: you choose any two from the range of courses below.

Please click on the title of a course to view the syllabus.

  1. Literatures of Modernism
  2. How to Read Paintings
  3. Questions of Travel: The Social & Economic Movement of Bodies & Capital as Represented in Literature & Film
  4. Histories of Migration
  5. Introduction to International Relations
  6. Development Economics
  7. English Law in the International Context
  8. Contemporary Political Philosophy
  9. Medicine and Disease in European History
  10. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
  11. Introduction to Astrophysics
  12. Maths for Physical Sciences and Engineering

We will endeavour to place you in your first-choice lecture courses, but ask you to provide a reserve choice in your application, as your first choice may already be filled.  We limit numbers in each course so that we can ensure you receive the small-class, discussion-based learning experience we offer.

While you are free to choose any two lecture courses, we recommend selecting one lecture course within, and one course outside, your major subject, and so take advantage of the opportunity to try something new and different. Some lecture course combinations may be restricted due to timetabling constraints.

Most courses do not have prerequisites and are therefore open to everyone. Read the lecture course descriptions carefully and take time to choose wisely. You will have an opportunity to switch classes in Week 1, but if you decide to change lecture courses this will be subject to availability and you will need a good reason and the agreement of the Academic Director.

Exeter reserves the right to alter or cancel any course in the event that a lecturer becomes unexpectedly unavailable, or in the unlikely event of a course being undersubscribed. In both cases we will use our best endeavours to find an alternative teacher and/or advise you of the best alternative course.

Faculty 

Course: Literatures of Modernism: the Modernist Novel in English
 Lecturer: Dr Michael Mayo
 Dr Michael Mayo was a first-generation student at Harvard College, where he received an honours degree in English. After working as a teacher and principal at urban public schools, he received his M.A. in English from Middlebury College and an MSc in Literature and Modernity from the University of Edinburgh. For his DPhil (on Jamaes Joyce) he came to Oxford, where he was a lecturer at Exeter College; he is now the Junior Research Fellow in English at Worcester College, Oxford. He is currently writing a book based on his DPhil research on the formal relations between the texts of James Joyce and Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, the order of priests who taught Joyce at school. He uses psychoanalytic theory, particularly that of Melanie Klein, to trace the ways both Loyola and Joyce use frustration and satisfaction to drive their readers into a peculiar position, one both hermeneutic and existential, ironic and earnest, tragic and (potentially) hilarious. Still a lecturer teaching Exeter undergraduates, as a Fellow of Worcester College, he teaches Literature in English from 1830 to the present, with special focus on modernist narrative.
http://www.worc.ox.ac.uk/about/fellows/michael-mayo

Course: How to Read Paintings Lecturer: Liz Rideal Liz Rideal completed a Foundation at Brighton Polytechnic in 1972/3, a BA Combined Honours in English and Fine Art at Exeter University and Exeter College of Art in 1973/76 and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Exeter University in 1978. From 1992 she has worked in the Painting Department at University College London’s Slade School of Fine Art. Liz also lectures and writes educational material for the National Portrait Gallery.

Course: Questions of Travel: The Social & Economic Movement of Bodies & Capital as Represented in Literature & Film
 Lecturer: Dr Jenni Quilter Dr Jenni Quilter is a Clinical Assistant Professor at New York University, and also its Director of Global Awards. She is a Rhodes Scholar from New Zealand and completed her M.Phil and D.Phil at Oxford University before teaching nineteenth and twentieth century literature at Exeter College. Her most recent book is Painters and Poets of the New York School: Neon in Daylight (Rizzoli 2014), which is about collaborations between writers and artists in New York from the 1930s to the 1970s, and for which she was nominated for the “Best Criticism” category in the International Association of Art Critics Awards in 2014. Her essays have appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry Magazine, Tell You What (2016 and 2017) Agni and Nowhere Magazine. She is currently at work on a book for Riverhead Press (Penguin Books) on a cultural history of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (A.R.T) and also a photographic study of gesture in silent cinema.

Course: Histories of Migration Lecturer Dr Jamie Perry: Dr Jamie Perry is a research associate at the School of History and Cultures, University of Birmingham where he received his PhD in Modern History. His research interests lie in internationalist thought and activism, globalisation, the transnational activities of non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, and the formal and informal political structures that shape elite and public understanding of and attitudes towards international affairs and migration. He has taught on migration, social activism, imperial culture, global politics and modern world history, and worked on a number of research projects on the history of British NGOs, humanitarianism, homelessness and British diplomatic relations. He also conducts research for the international NGO Save the Children in preparation for their centenary celebrations in 2019. He is currently adapting his thesis on liberal internationalism in postwar Britain into a monograph. He wrote a journal article on British attitudes towards China during the Second-Sino Japanese War, published in Diplomacy and Statecraft in 2011.

Course: Introduction to International Relations Lecturer: Dr Elisabetta Brighi
 Dr Elisabetta Brighi was the first Bennet Boskey Fellow in International Relations at Exeter College University of Oxford and is now a Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and IR, University of Westminster. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of International Security and International Political Theory. They include terrorism, urban security, affect and mimesis. She has published, most recently, the co-edited volume The Sacred and the Political (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) and the journal article ‘The Globalisation of Resentment’, in Millennium: Journal of International Studies (2016).
https://www.westminster.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/directory/brighi-elisabetta

Course: Development Economics
 Lecturer: Dr Donna Harris
 Dr Donna Harris is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Department of Economics at Oxford Univerisity. Prior to this post, she was a  Departmental Lecturer in Development Economics at the Department of International Development, University of Oxford and a Career Development Fellow (CDF) in Economics at Somerville College, University of Oxford. Prior to Oxford, she was an ESRC-MRC Interdisciplinary Post-Doctoral Fellow at Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge. She holds a PhD and MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in Economics from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. She has been awarded research grants from the British Academy and a joint Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), UK. Her research areas are in Behavioural and Experimental Economics with applications to developing countries. Her research also uses methods in Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience using fMRI in order to understand individual and group decisions. Her current research project examines the roles of social identity, norms and narratives within social networks in the functioning of public organisations in developing countries (joint work with Prof. Paul Collier and Prof. Stefan Dercon, University of Oxford). Her other research explores the impacts of social interactions and communication on economic decisions including social preferences, financial decision-makings, and cooperation. Donna has taught Behavioural Development Economics course for the MSc in Economics for Development as well as undergraduate courses in Microeconomics, Game Theory and Development Economics.
http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/Academic/donna-harris

Course: English Law in the International Context Lecturer: Dr Damien Freeman Dr Damien Freeman is a Fellow of the PM Glynn Institute, which is the Australian Catholic University’s public policy think-tank. He was educated at the University of Sydney (BA, LLB, MA, MPhil) and Magdalene College, Cambridge (MPhil, PhD). He is a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and has previously served as a legal clerk at the Crown Solicitor’s Office, tipstaff to Mr Justice Handley at the NSW Court of Appeal, private secretary to Lord Brennan QC at Matrix Chambers and the House of Lords, and director of the Governor-General’s Prize for the Constitution Education Fund Australia. He has written or edited seven books, and has published in numerous periodicals including Public Law Review, Constitutional Law and Policy Review, and Australian Bar Review, and was a joint guest editor of the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry’s special issue on migration and mental health. In 2015, he established Uphold & Recognise, with Julian Leeser MP, a non-profit organisation committed to the twin imperatives of upholding the Australian Constitution and recognising Indigenous Australians in it, and he has published widely on this topic, including The Forgotten People: Liberal and conservative approaches to recognising indigenous peoples, which he edited with Shireen Morris in 2016.

Course: Contemporary Political Philosophy
 Lecturer: Professor Miora Gatens Moira Gatens completed her PhD at the University of Sydney. She is a fellow of the Academy of the Humanities Australia and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In 2007-08 she was a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin. In 2010 she held the Spinoza Chair at the University of Amsterdam. In 2011 she was President of the Australasian Association of Philosophy. In 2012 she was appointed the Challis Professor of Philosophy at Sydney. Her research interests include social and political philosophy, Spinoza, and philosophy and literature. For recent publications see: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/philosophy/staff/profiles/moira.gatens.php

Course: Medicine and Disease Lecturer: Dr Richard Barnett Dr Richard Barnett is a writer, teacher and broadcaster on the history of science and medicine. He studied medicine in London before becoming a historian, and has taught at Cambridge, UCL, and other leading institutions for more than a decade. In 2011 he received one of the first Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowships. His first book, Medical London: City of Diseases: City of Cures, was a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, and his The Sick Rose, an international bestseller, was described in the Guardian as ‘superbly lucid and erudite’. His latest book, The Smile Stealers: The Fine and Foul Art of Dentistry, the last instalment in a trilogy exploring the image collections of the Wellcome Library, is out now, and was the Times called it ‘gory, beautiful, probing’. Seahouses, his award-winning first poetry collection, came out in 2015. He writes for the Lancet and the London Review of Books, and has presented TV & radio documentaries for broadcasters around the world.
https://richardbarnettwriter.com

Course: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
 Lecturer: Professor Grant Ritchie
 Professor Grant Ritchie was an undergraduate and DPhil student at Trinity College, Oxford. After winning a prestigious Royal Society Fellowship, he is now a University Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at the University of Oxford, and is a Tutorial Fellow in Chemistry at Worcester College, Oxford. His (physical chemistry) research focuses on the application of laser-based spectroscopic techniques to a variety of fundamental and applied problems in the areas of gas phase reaction dynamics, optical micromanipulation and medical diagnostics (see http://ritchie.chem.ox.ac.uk/).
http://research.chem.ox.ac.uk/grant-ritchie.aspx

Course: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics Lecturer: Professor Philipp Kukura
 Professor Philipp Kukura read Chemistry at St Hugh’s College Oxford, did a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley with Rich Mathies before moving to ETH Zurich to work with Vahid Sandoghdar.He returned to Oxford initially as an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow in 2010 and was elected to a tutorial fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford in 2011 and promoted to Full Professor in 2016. He has received awards by the Royal Society of Chemistry (Harrison-Meldola 2011 and Marlow 2010) and the European Biophysical Society Association (2017) and currently holds an ERC Starting Investigator Grant. He leads an interdisciplinary research group that develops and applies new optical methodologies to study structure and dynamics down to nanometer length scales and femtosecond timescales. His research is motivated by a vigorous back and forth between pushing the boundaries of what can be measured with light and the application of our developments to fundamental questions in chemistry, physics and biology.
http://www.exeter.ox.ac.uk/teachingandresearch/chemistry/kukura.html

Course: Introduction to Astrophysics Lecturer: Professor Garret Cotter Professor Garret Cotter obtained his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge and held postdoctoral positions at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the Cavendish Laboratory before coming to Oxford, where he is Associate Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Tutorial Fellow in Physics and Exeter College. His main research interests are in high-energy astrophysics and astro-particle physics, both in theory and experiment. Much of his research group’s work at present is with the international collaboration to build the Cherenkov Telescope Array, which will be the next-generation observatory for ground-based very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy.

Course: Mathematics for Physical Sciences and Engineering
 Lecturer: Dr Martin Galpin
 Dr Martin Galpin is a Fellow and College Lecturer in Mathematics for Chemistry at University College, University of Oxford. He teaches undergraduates in Mathematics for Chemistry and, at the graduate level, organises and teaches the core maths component of the CDT in Theory and Modelling in the Chemical Sciences. His work is in the general area of condensed matter theory, the aim of which is to understand the physical properties of solids, liquids and related phases of matter. Of particular interest are so-called ‘correlated electron systems’. For a selection of publications, please see http://research.chem.ox.ac.uk/martin-galpin.aspx.
http://www.univ.ox.ac.uk/univ-people/dr-martin-galpin

 

 

The Tutorial System

By participating in seminars and tutorials you will experience the small discussion-group learning that is central to undergraduate student life in Oxford. The tutorial system will ensure you receive direct, expert guidance as you undertake study in a chosen area of research.

You will meet your seminar leader once or twice a week in small groups of no more than 8 to discuss your work with your peers and to report on progress and receive feedback, constructive criticism and guidance from your seminar leader.

Tutors are experts in their field, and tutorials are your opportunity to get individual teaching from them. In a ratio of 2 students to 1 tutor, you will discuss topics in depth with your tutor in a series of 8 x 1.25hr tutorials during the Programme. This personalised attention is at the heart of an Oxford undergraduate education and provides opportunities to test the soundness of your ideas, think critically and develop your academic skills in ways that are not possible in lectures.

Seminars and tutorials will build on themes introduced in your lectures. You will be given a list of essay titles to choose from in your first seminar and in the weeks that follow under the direction of your seminar leader and tutor you will spend time reading independently and preparing written work, leading to the production of a final 3,000-word essay.

By participating in the Summer Programme seminars, you will:

  • gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter
  • improve your ability to think critically and work independently
  • develop the skills to assess and make use of source materials
  • hone your oral and written communication skills
  • learn to formulate and justify a thesis, and to anticipate and respond to counter-arguments
  • develop individual academic interests within the context of your chosen subjects
  • have the opportunity to begin work on a senior thesis or other area of special academic interest
  • benefit from close intellectual engagement with your tutorial and seminar leader and fellow students

The tutorial system will be academically challenging but rewarding. You will be expected to undertake self-directed preparatory work before each session (e.g. reading, writing short essays, or working through a set of problems) and then to take an active part in the seminars and tutorials by presenting and defending your ideas and analysing and critiquing the ideas of your instructor and classmates.

Assessment and Academic Credit

Students who successfully complete the Programme will receive a transcript showing two grades, one for each lecture course, expressed as a grade-% and a letter equivalent, together with grading guidance notes.

Your final grades will comprise:

(1) Written exams; One 3hr exam per lecture course in which you will be asked to write 3 x essays.
(2) Research essay; One 3,000-word essay per major.
(3) Attendance.

You must complete each of these three elements in order to pass your courses.

While lecture courses have been designed to be credit-bearing and we will assist you to transfer credit home, Exeter College does not operate a credit system and ultimately the calculation of credit will be decided by your home University. As a guide, courses usually receive 6 University of California quarter credits, 3-4 US credits or 7.5 ECTS credits.

Evening Lectures

In addition to your academic lectures, seminars and tutorials, we will arrange a series of 6 evening lectures delivered by luminaries from the University of Oxford and other leading universities, as well as from public and professional life. The format of these lectures will provide time for you to question the speaker and to continue discussions over drinks immediately afterwards. In previous years, speakers have included General Sir Richard Shirreff, Baroness Helena Kennedy and Professor Frank Close CBE.

Academic Resources

To support your studies, you will have access to Exeter College Library and supplementary resources posted online by your Exeter Summer Programme Faculty. You will be advised of any pre-course reading prior to the start of the Programme.

Time Table and Workload

Classes will run Monday-Friday. You can expect to have c.10hrs of contact teaching per week and to spend time reading and preparing for your lectures, seminars and tutorials in advance. There will be time in week 6 for exam revision and writing up research essays. Generally, week-ends will be free for you to travel independently or catch up on your academic work.

The Programme time table will be available soon.