Hidden Oxbridge: Colleges, Gardens, Art and Alumni

Ref: C3741196

The course includes study of the universities over 800 years. The early college system and the role of patrons - church, women and royalty- is assessed. The position of Oxford in the Civil War is followed. Work by Wren, Gibbs and Hawksmoor is seen in both universities. Some history of stained glass and gardens is demonstrated. The importance of the development of early modern empirical science and renowned libraries is evaluated.

Course aim

To introduce the history and some remarkable alumni of the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge through architecture, art, gardens and libraries

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • 1. Name several women influential as patrons or alumni of Oxford and Cambridge
  • 2. Describe an important library in Oxford or Cambridge
  • 3. Give an account of the contributions made to early modern science by Oxbridge alumni
  • 4. Assess the contribution made by Oxbridge colleges to the development of British gardens

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • enthusiastic sharing of personal research is welcomed

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • Handouts are provided in advance for every session and a notebook would be useful There will be a visit to Oxford during the course which will include walking and an extra cost

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • You may enjoy Peter Sager, Oxford and Cambridge An Uncommon History, pub. Thames and Hudson as a lighthearted accompaniment to the course

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course outline

Hidden Oxbridge: Colleges, Gardens, Art and Alumni Course Outline

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has started and there are no online enrolment places available.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing