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The John Locke Institute is hosting three Oxford summer schools in August 2023: 1. Philosophy Politics & Economics (PPE), 2. History, Politics & Law (HPL), and 3. Foundation Certificate.

Our philosophy is the same for all three: to bring together the very best young students from all over the world and invite inspiring professors to challenge them to listen generously, to think critically, and to develop and deliver robust responses with clarity, precision and persuasive force.


Our summer schools are not chiefly concerned with communicating facts; instead we seek to nurture intellectual skills and help our students cultivate habits of mind that will make you a better philosopher, a better political scientist, a better economist, or a better historian.

After two weeks at a John Locke Institute summer school we expect that you will be a more subtle and sophisticated thinker, more flexible and open-minded, and - in what might appear to be paradoxical (but isn't) - we think you will acquire not only more intellectual confidence but also more intellectual humility. 

Read on to choose which academic programme is right for you. In the meantime, please put these dates in your diary:

6 – 19 August, 2023
AGES 16 - 19


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The PPE summer school covers ethics, metaethics, logic, epistemology, political philosophy, history of political thought, political economy, micro and macroeconomics, maths-for-economics, and game theory; our interdisciplinary curriculum uses the material and methodology of each subject to illuminate the others. 


PPE offers an excellent combination of disciplines to develop complementary thinking skills. The patient reflection required to grasp elusive philosophical concepts like the origin of justice, or to reason about the nature and implication of moral responsibility is quite different from, say, the analytical skills necessary to anticipate how a rational agent might respond to new knowledge or changing incentives. 

PPE also offers valuable opportunities to engage with people whose intuitions or conclusions conflict with one's own. We deliberately engineer circumstances in which our students will have to work hard to understand each other, and to make themselves understood.     


We will give you a deeper appreciation of what you don’t know, and help you to test what you think you know in order to bring to light any unexamined assumptions. We hope to ignite your passion for learning, strengthen and refine your thinking skills, and cultivate the kind of intellectual humility that enables you to learn from people with whom you disagree.


To register to receive a detailed timetable for the PPE Summer School, please click below: 



It is impossible to be a skilful historian without developing a good understanding of the theory and practice of politics. Equally, the competent political scientist and the successful politician must have a broad knowledge of the rich treasury of case studies to be found in an exploration of our past. Both historians and political scientists need to be acquainted with the legislative process that produces the laws that govern us.  


Legal scholars, in turn, know that jurisprudence is a first cousin of political theory and that one cannot grasp the principles of Common Law without understanding how case law traces its origins to a time very different from our own.

The History, Politics & Law summer school covers three overlapping and related disciplines.

History modules include historiography, the academic historian's craft, which is concerned with the hierarchy and evaluation of primary sources. It also includes intellectual history, from Classical Greece to the Eighteenth Century Scottish Enlightenment, and the history of progress, growth and prosperity. 


Politics modules include theory of politics, political economy, international relations and public policy. Political history includes the history of government action in the economy, including the case studies of past episodes of inflation from Diocletian Rome to Weimar Germany to 1970s and 1980s Britain. We will also study how Churchill's biographical research of his illustrious ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough, had a direct influence on Churchill's prosecution of World War II. 


Law modules include jurisprudence, the principle of Unintended Consequences in the design and application of laws, and the role of incentives in the legal system. You will consider a radical proposal to replace tort law with contract law.

To register to receive a detailed timetable for the History, Politics & Law Summer School, please click below:



This course covers the whole of the John Locke Institute's core curriculum in philosophy, politics, economics and history, with minor elements of law and psychology.


It is a good choice for students who have not yet begun their final year of secondary school and who are still exploring options for undergraduate degree courses. It is particularly suitable for students who are joining one of the Institute's summer programmes for the very first time.


Much of the teaching is done in very small groups, called Precepts. Because precept groups (and accommodation) are organized by age and ability, we can cater equally well to the needs of young students encountering some of these subjects for the very first time. 


Most of the students enrolled in the Foundation Certificate programme will be sixteen, but applications are open to anyone between sixteen and nineteen. Candidates who will be fifteen or younger this summer are invited to apply for our Junior Summer School.

To register to receive a detailed timetable for the Foundation Certificate, please click below:



All three senior summer schools are invited to the home of His Grace the Duke of Marlborough, the magnificent Blenheim Palace, for a cricket match between the JLI Alumni Association cricket team, The Philosophers' XI, and the Blenheim Palace Cricket Club on the South Lawn of the Palace. During the game we will serve a picnic lunch.

Blenheim Palace was a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, as a reward for his military victory over the French and the Bavarians in the War of the Spanish Succession in the early Eighteenth Century. It was the place of Sir Winston Churchill’s birth, when his grandfather, the seventh Duke, lived there. He described it as ‘the finest view in England’, but he might have been a little biased.



"And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,

She needs not June for beauty's heightening" 


Seat of the oldest English-speaking university in the world, Oxford is also one of the world's most beautiful cities: manicured lawns enclosed within mediæval quadrangles of honey-gold stone, grand towers and halls, pretty walled gardens, and the stately progress of the Cherwell where it meets the Thames. These have become symbols of all that is finest in a proud tradition of academic excellence.


The student accommodation and most of the summer school activities take place at Radley College, which was founded in 1847 by William Sewell, sub-Rector of Exeter College, Oxford. 

In obedience to the Tractarian principles of the High Church 'Oxford Movement', Sewell held that education should be conducted in an environment replete with beautiful buildings and gardens and objets d'art. For this reason he selected 800 acres on the edge of Oxford, in what must be one of the most beautiful campuses in England.

On three occasions during the course, you will have an opportunity to explore Oxford and its colleges, and experience as much as possible of what the City of Dreaming Spires has to offer.


We think the spirit of Oxford will infuse your learning experience and will invite our students to aspire to a higher standard. We hope, like many before you, you might succumb to Oxford's enchantment!



  • Accommodation is in single rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Male and female students will stay in different buildings. Students will also be living with people of the same age. 

  • Meals are served in the college dining hall (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner), except when we provide a picnic lunch on the punting day and when we are hosted by an Oxford College. 

  • Free WiFi.

  • Personal laundry service once during your stay.

  • Access to campus sports facilities (swimming pool, athletics track and astro turf pitch).​





You should plan to arrive at the summer school on Sunday, 6 August. The check-in time is between 10 am and 11.30 am. We advise you to arrive early to give you enough time to check in, been shown to your room and receive your course timetable. A welcome talk is scheduled for 12 o'clock midday. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend.

If you would like to be met by a driver at the airport on 6th August, we are offering a shuttle service from Heathrow airport at an extra charge. If you plan to take the shuttle please book a flight that arrives no later than 8.45am.

It is your responsibility to determine whether you need a visa and, if so, what kind of visa you need and how you should apply for it. Every overseas student must have a valid passport to enter the United Kingdom. You can find all the information about UK visas here. For attending a short course in the UK, the Standard Visitor Visa is the one you would need. We can provide individual support on request for those who will need a visa.

We advise you to purchase travel insurance.


On the departure day, Saturday, 19 August, check out is at 10am. 

We will be running a shuttle to Heathrow airport at an extra cost. If you plan to take the shuttle please book a flight that departs no earlier than 12 midday.

Our staff will be available to help you on the departure day so you don't miss your flight! 


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