Oxford and Cambridge

Ref: C3743051

Oxford and Cambridge are known the world over for their learning extending back to the early middle ages, whilst the colleges and gardens create a landscape setting of great beauty. Oxford has the willow-clad banks of the Cherwell, and Cambridge the sequence of colleges or 'backs' overlooking the Cam. We will look at the architecture of some colleges and university buildings, as well as examining the development of 'town as well as gown'; Oxford renowned for its production of motor cars, and Cambridge for electronics. We will ask what forms or creates their individual character.

Course aim

This course will look at the two famous university towns of Oxford and Cambridge looking at the historical, architectural and social development using photographs, paintings and maps.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • identify architectural styles
  • outline the history of each university.
  • describe the factors that influenced the development of each town
  • describe the recent development of the towns as opposed to universities.
  • explain why they played such an important part in the development of British higher education and have become the envy of the world.

How will I be taught?

  • The course will be taught by power-point and with additional note sheets given at appropriate points.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Students will be encourage to discuss material and ask questions throughout the course.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • Students will be given a list of background reading material if they wish to take the subject to greater depth.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • The course is purely for interest, although it is assumed that most members of the class will have visited or perhaps studied in either of these two great university towns.

Download full course information sheet

Oxford and Cambridge


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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