Gap Year In Oxford

The Oxford Gap Year

A transformative experience tailored for US Students

The Program

Established in 1988, the prestigious Oxford Gap Year program at Oxford Tutorial College is a unique study opportunity for US high school students and graduates who recognise the advantage of refining their academic skills, either before starting college or as a ‘semester abroad’ during their college course.  Highly regarded for the quality of its teaching and student-centred approach, the program provides individualized and inspiring study courses, which foster greater confidence and motivation, enabling both academic and social success in college.  The experience provides an invaluable foretaste of college life.

Students are given the opportunity to experience the more intimate method of instruction and study favoured by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge; they are able to pursue their academic interests through meeting in small seminar groups, supported by one-on-one tutorials.  They are able to explore their academic interests in a stimulating environment, with close tutor support and without a set curriculum.

Students may enrol at any time and for a course of any length; typically they join for one or two terms or a full academic year, although courses of a specifically-requested duration can be arranged, given the flexibility of the tutorial method.  Up to four classes can be chosen from a wide choice and each is tailored to suit the individual student.

Who Is It For? 

High School graduates during their ‘Gap Year’, taking courses that interest them and preparing for college-level work

College students taking an overseas study semester or year, developing subject knowledge and academic skills

High School juniors or seniors taking a semester overseas, earning additional credit towards graduation

Mature students taking ‘time out’ to undertake an academic or research project, with one-on-one tutor mentoring

Oxford itself provides a rich opportunity for joining student clubs and societies and offers its unique student-centred backdrop.  In addition, the academic life of the college is enhanced by a varied range of extra-curricular activities, including cultural and historical visits, activities, music and sports.

Program Structure

Students join the Oxford Gap Year for courses of any length, though normally for one, two or three terms, selecting up to four subjects from a wide choice.  Check the extensive course selection here.

Learning takes place through a combination of small group seminars and one-on-one tutorials, following the Oxford model.  Set reading and written preparation reinforce understanding and themes are explored in depth at weekly tutorials, with students encouraged to further explore the areas that interest them, under their tutor’s guidance.

As part of the student experience, a wide range of extracurricular activities is available, ranging from cultural immersion and visits, music, theatre and sport.  Social events are planned each term, enabling students to meet and develop friendships.

The Oxford Gap Year offers tremendous scope for academic and personal development, and  students who join the program invariably leave as more confident and academically-capable people.

Academic Approach

The emphasis throughout is to help develop academic maturity and self-reliance, with an interactive teaching style that encourages questioning and feedback.

A combination of small group seminars and one-on-one tutorials ensures student participation in the learning process.  Emphasis on the Oxford  tutorial system enables the college to offer a tailored program of bespoke courses.  Students can choose from an extensive list of course options or may request other specialist topics to create their ideal program.

Students normally take between two and four courses.  Each consists of either a daily small-group seminar, or four seminar hours plus a one-on-one tutorial each week, or alternatively three tutorials per week if a student has selected a bespoke course.

Academic Course List

The college has an outstanding faculty of permanent staff and specialist teachers, who work with students to create the exact academic options they need.  In Oxford, there are specialists in virtually all fields of study.

Bespoke Courses for Gap Year Students

Campus Oxford - Oxford Gap Year Student Testimonials“It was the best thing I’ve ever done.  I learned so much about myself and made a ton of new friends.  I really enjoyed the time I spent here.”


Campus Oxford - Oxford Gap Year Student Testimonials“It was the most amazing experience.  The staff were always happy to help in any way.  School and social was balance and the friends I’ve made will last a lifetime!”

Campus Oxford - Oxford Gap Year Student Testimonials“This program was one of the best experiences of my life.  I had never left the United States before I came here, but seeing Oxford made me want to travel the world.”

Snapshot: A typical day on the Gap Year Program

10am – 11am: History seminar with three other students

12am – 1pm: One-on-one tutorial on European Politics

1pm – 2pm: Lunch at one of Oxford’s many independent cafes

2pm – 3pm: Debating workshop

4pm – 5pm: ‘Thinking & Writing Skills’ seminar

6pm – 7pm: Preparation for the next day’s classes

7pm: Dinner followed by (for example) a visit to a cinema, the Oxford Union or a concert  at one of Oxford’s many music venues 

The Oxford Union

Membership of the world-renowned Oxford Union is granted to all students on the program.  This prestigious club has been a center of discussion and debate since 1823, hosting leading figures from the world of international politics and the arts.  Visit the Union website – Oxford Union – for more information.

The Oxford Union

Term Dates

Hilary Term 2018

Term Begins     4th January

Term Ends        29th March

Half Term         12th – 16th February

Trinity Term 2018

Term Begins      16th April

Term Ends          29th June

Half Term           no half term

Bank Holidays 7th & 28th May

Michaelmas Term 2018

Term Begins     3rd September

Term Ends        14th December

Half Term         22nd – 26th October

Teaching Patterns & Fees

A standard course consists of a study group of six hours weekly, or a seminar group of four hours plus an individual tutorial hour weekly, or three individual hours weekly.  Students have direct access to tutors to help with understanding and assimilation of material covered.

Tuition fees cover all teaching and supervised study, regular academic supervision meetings,  assessments, advice with college applications, student materials (except books), use of the internet and photocopier.  Regular weekend visits to places of interest and all activities and sports within Oxford, including membership of The Oxford Union, the prestigious student debating club, are covered by the college fee.

All program fees for the Oxford Gap Year are charged in pounds sterling (GBP).  There is a placement & support fee of $400 applicable to all programs.

Tuition Fees

Fees Per Term

One Subject

Two Subjects

Three Subjects

Hilary Term 2018




Trinity Term 2018




Michaelmas Term 2018




Accommodation Costs 

Host family or hostel accommodation is arranged by the college.  Private rental accommodation is arranged by students.  Costs are in the region of £180 to £225 per week with a host family where breakfast and evening meal are provided and a little less where students cater for themselves.

Rooms at student hostels are between £5,500 and £7,000 per academic year; priority is given to those studying for a full year although there are occasions students can be housed in the hostel for a shorter period.

Where the college assists a student in arranging accommodation, an arrangement fee of £150 and a termly management fee of £150 are payable.

A damages deposit of £500 is also charged, refundable once the student has left the accommodation, subject to any deductions.

Please contact us to discuss specific accommodation options.

Gap Year Accommodation Choices

Living Expenses

Allowance should be made for living expenses and pocket money during a student’s stay in Oxford.  Where accommodation includes breakfast and evening meal, a weekly allowance of £120 is sufficient plus a termly amount of about £120 per subject for books and stationery.  If a student is responsible for his or her own catering, an additional £80 – £100 per week will cover this.

College Fees 

This termly fee of £200 covers the social activities and visits program plus membership of the Oxford Union.

Money Matters 

Where this is preferred, the college can open a trust account which handles a student’s accommodation payments and living expenses.  The agreed amounts for each term must be deposited in the student trust account at the beginning of term

2018/2019 Gap Year Applications Are Open

Start your application for next year's Oxford Gap Year Program here.

Apply Now