Visiting Scholars Programme in Oxford

1 Sept - 30 Sept 2021 

This is a tutorial-based course to explore your chosen subjects in-depth and details, with the benefit of the close attention of senior academics. The course consists of tutorials (2:1) and precepts (6:1), chosen from a list of available options, plus compulsory seminars in three core subjects, and optional small-group workshops and

one-on-one training for students preparing to make an application to Oxford or Cambridge. We also have two London days and one trip to Warwickshire. 


Places are limited to just twelve students. If you would like to be part of this very special experience, please apply now. 

Tutorials (2:1)


The two or three tutorials each week form the centrepiece of the learning experience. Students choose up to three topics to explore in a connected series of tutorials. For each of the three tutorial topics there are either two or three tutorials, giving students a chance to go into considerable depth and detail. Tutorials normally have two students and one tutor, but occasionally they will be one-on-one or three-on-one. Before each tutorial students submit a piece of written work, either an essay of 1200 - 1500 words, or a completed problem set. This written work will provide the material on which to base the tutorial.

Below are the tutorial topics currently available, from which each student will choose three. (Other topics may be added, if there is sufficient demand, so please get in touch if you have a specific request.) 

  • Metaethics: J.L. Mackie & Error Theory

  • Epistemology: Truth, Knowledge & Belief

  • Philosophy of Religion: God, Faith, Reason & Miracles

  • Comparative Politics: UK and USA

  • History of British Politics: C19th & C20th

  • History of Political Thought: Ancient & Modern

  • Macroeoconomics: Fiscal & Monetary Policy in a crisis

  • Economic Growth: Endogenous & Exogenous Theories

Precepts (6:1)


Each student chooses up to three topics from the list below, which will be studied in a series of small, interactive 'precepts', typically with no more than five or six students in the group. Each series will consist of three, four or five precepts. Students will be expected to do some pre-reading before most precepts, and sometimes to submit a short piece of written work.

Elective Precepts 

Ethics: Character, Duty & Effects [5] 

Philosophy of Language: Frege, Russell & Wittgenstein [3]

Theory of Politics: Liberty, Authority & Legitimacy [4]

Mathematical Microeconomics: Economic Models, Optimisation & Price Theory [5]

History of Oxford: 900 - 1900 [3]

Historiography: Analysing Sources [3]

English Civil War Political History: the Rise and Fall of the Levellers [3]

In addition to the electives, above, all students take the following compulsory precepts.

Common Precepts

The Rules of Logic: How to Argue Well 

Game Theory: Strategic Decision-Making

Political Economy: What everyone needs to know about how the world works

Meetings with Experts


During your three weeks in Oxford you will have the opportunity to meet with experts in London and in Oxford from at least five of the following organisations:

In Oxford

The Ashmolean Museum

Opportunity International 

Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

Pitt-Rivers & Natural History Museums

In London

Adam Smith Institute

Institute of Economic Affairs

HM Treasury

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Amnesty International

Royal Institute of International Affairs ('Chatham House')

Meeting with the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade

Palace of Westminster Terrace



We go to London one day in Week I and again in Week III. During the middle of the course, in Week II, we will travel up to Warwickshire to visit Stratford-upon-Avon (birthplace of William Shakespeare) and Warwick Castle (built in 1068 by William the Conqueror and rebuilt in the 12th century), stopping off en route at Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill and now the home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough) and the Rollright Stones (a neolithic monument 2,000 years older than Stonehenge).


Students of history and students of political theory will visit Burford, a beautiful Cotswold town a short distance from Oxford, for a very special precept on a group of English pioneers of democracy, equality, and religious tolerance. 

Optional University Admissions Preparation


Some of our students are preparing to submit an application to competitive universities in Britain and/or America. For those students we offer intensive training in the relevant admissions tests, including the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA), the History Aptitude Test (HAT), and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).  

We also offer editorial advice and critical feedback on UCAS personal statements and US admissions essays. We advise students on which degree courses and which colleges and universities to apply to, and make introductions to students, alumni and faculty from several colleges and universities. For students applying for Oxford or Cambridge we provide a series of mock interviews, followed in each case by detailed expert critical feedback; our interviewers have conducted admissions interviews for Oxford and Cambridge in recent years, so you will have an experience very similar to the interviews you will face in early December.


What should I do next?

You can apply, request more information or browse our other programmes.

Katy Bennett

B.A. in History (2018 - 21)

Pembroke College, Cambridge

"The university-style tutorials and lectures I had access to really gave me a chance to do something relevant to my subject during my gap year. The course was exactly what I'd been looking for: an academic experience that               supported my university application and interest in history."

Alexander Krespi

B.A. in Philosophy, Politics & Economics (2018 - 21)

Keble College, Oxford

"Studying with the John Locke Institute has been transformative. The lectures and tutorials given are simultaneously approachable and challenging. It strikes the right balance between encouraging independent work and guiding pupils along. You won't just learn new things, you'll learn new ways of thinking. "

Beatrice Ralston

B.A. in Philosophy & Theology (2018 - 21)

Trinity College, Oxford

"The John Locke Institute genuinely made me a better candidate and all the extra tuition and help gave me the extra edge that I needed. The teaching opened me up to new ideas that I have a proper grasp of now and made their way into my essays and interviews in my application."

+44 (0)1865 566166 (UK)

+1 (609) 608-0543 (US)