Brookes Virtual Summer Schools

Find out what it’s really like to be a university student and explore a subject that interests you!

About the summer schools

The Oxford Brookes Summer School will give you the opportunity to discover what being a university student is all about, and delve into a subject area of your choice. Don’t worry if you’re not sure whether university is for you - summer schools provide the perfect opportunity to help you decide.

All activities are free and fully accessible via smartphone, tablet or laptop. We appreciate how much you’ve all got going on at the moment, so the Summer Schools are designed to provide as much flexibility as possible. 

There will be some live sessions to welcome you to the Summer School, provide some social opportunities, and Q&A sessions, but lots of the activities will be available for you to access when it suits you! 

The benefit of a virtual event is that we can design it to give you more choice over the activities you wish to take part in, to create your own bespoke experience and direct your own learning.

The deadline for applications has now passed. Information about the 2022 Summer School will be added to this page soon.

If you have any questions about the summer school, please get in touch with us at

What will I be doing?

You’ll have the opportunity to take part in a range of sessions including subject tasters, as well as social activities to help you get to know each other. 

You’ll contribute towards a virtual project relating to your chosen subject. Our personal statement sessions will enable you to get individualised support and guidance around applying to university, and writing your personal statement. 

We’ll have activities to help you understand more about how Student Finance works, and how to budget for university life, and content which will focus on your wellbeing and learning more about the support services available at Oxford Brookes. 

You’ll also get to explore the Oxford Brookes campus virtually, and get to know more about what Oxford is really like as a city, and a place to study.

Another really useful part of the Virtual Summer School will be our online mentoring, run through a messaging platform called Brightside. For this, you will be paired with a current Brookes student, and also placed in a virtual ‘flat’ with other Summer School participants. 

You’ll be able to chat to your student mentor 1:1, to ask them any questions you have about their experience of university life, and receive advice and guidance from someone who was making the same decisions as you a few years ago! 

You’ll also be able to get to know your Virtual Summer School flatmates in group chats and by taking part in activities together. 

Brightside has enhanced safeguarding provisions, in that all student mentors are trained and DBS checked, and all messages sent via the platform are carefully moderated before being received, so this will be a safe space for you.

“On Monday I was quite nervous and I didn’t know what to expect because it was virtual, but once I started talking to my flatmates and new people, and I felt just like I was in Oxford Brookes”

Virtual Summer School participant, 2020

Humanities and Social Sciences

You will explore the theme of ‘Social Justice’, through the lens of different subjects. 

You will look at topics such as the Black Lives Matter protests, think about the meaning of statues and monuments, explore Black protest in novels and poetry, and consider what it means to decolonise school and university curricula. 

Using what you learn, you’ll then complete a project which focuses on one or more topics on social justice. This will be a combined effort working with the projects of other participants.

Healthcare, Life and Sport Sciences

In this Virtual Summer School, you’ll be exploring the impact that different lifestyles have on people's health through three lenses: biomedical science, healthcare, and sports science and nutrition. You will explore topics such as:

  • The effect an unhealthy diet has on various organs, with a focus on the liver.
  • The role exercise serves in leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • How patients' lifestyles impact the midwifery care they receive.
  • How people's lifestyles are affected by inequality.
  • How to talk to people about and support them in adopting healthier behaviours, including teaching this in school (e.g. in Physical Education).

Creative Arts

In this Virtual Summer School, you will experience a taster of the different industry areas of Fine Art, Graphic Design, and Photography, before choosing one of a range of projects to apply your new skills to. You'll have the freedom to make your own creative choices with your project, supported by a student ambassador.

Engineering and Computer Science

In this Virtual Summer School, you will get to choose from one of two pathways (or do both, if you want!):

  • Engineering - Looking at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Formula Student competition, you will learn about the importance of aerodynamics in motorsport racing, and gain an understanding of vehicle design requirements. Then, you'll have the opportunity to design your own electric racing car!
  • Computer Science - As we embrace an ever-changing world with new technological advances, you will gain an understanding of new innovative technologies, such as ‘autonomous’ or self-driving technology for cars. You will then apply your skills to come up with your own creative innovation!

Business, Management and Economics

“Business as usual? What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on business?”. 

In this Virtual Summer School, you will analyse the ways industries have adapted normal business activities in the wake of the pandemic, and how this will continue to change moving forward. 

You will learn about principles in business, management and economics, and how to apply these to an industry of your choice to create a picture of what the ‘new normal’ will continue to look like and the adaptations the sector will need to put in place for the future.

“The virtual summer school was very fun and useful because I was able to explore my course further, and socialise with different people from all over the world who have similar course interests as me. Doing the summer school made me more confident in the choice of course I would like to pursue in the future”

Virtual Summer School participant, 2020