Hidden Oxbridge; Colleges, Gardens, Art and Alumni of Oxford and Cambridge

Ref: C3741343

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

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • handouts will be emailed in advance or in hard copy if desired a walking visit to the Bodleian Library in Oxford will be arranged at an extra cost

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Peter Sager Oxford and Cambridge An Uncommon History Pub Thames and Hudson A lighthearted accompaniment to the course

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

Hidden Oxbridge; Colleges, Gardens, Art and Alumni of Oxford and Cambridge


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
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