Philosophy, Politics & Economics Programme

During this programme, delegates will appreciate our strong focus on philosophy, politics and international economical related topics. They are free to explore on many research areas and may examine the implications of human decision-making, the consequences of the competitive market economy, but also the relationships between the economic, political and legal orders.

About This Programme

Length You can attend for 2, 4, 6, or even 8 weeks. Each week, you can select a different course (see below).
Available Dates Summer Session 1: 01 July – 14 July 2018
Summer Session 2: 15 July – 28 July 2018
Summer Session 3: 29 July – 11 August 2018
Summer Session 4: 12 August – 25 August 2018
Lectures, Exams & Credits Delegates will participate in one course per week.

An assignment will be given during each course (one examination per week). Course examination results will be listed in your official academic transcript. Workload of Summer Institute at Oriel College Oxford is designed to be equivalent to:

– 4-6 ECTS (2-3 US credits) per two-week session
– 8-12 ECTS (4-6 US credits) per four-week session

Oriel College (University of Oxford, UK) will award for each delegate who successfully graduates from the programme with a Certificate of Attendance and Achievement and an Academic Transcript.

The Academic Transcript will also be presented and will contain the following information:

– Courses attended and chosen lecture track
– Results of the weekly examinations
– Workload of each course

Accommodation Single dormitory room with shared bathroom, includes daily breakfast.

If you would like lunch and dinner provided for you, there is an additional charge of 420 GBP.

Fees Please see our fees & tuition.
Prerequisites This is an open enrolment course, there are no prerequisites.
In addition to lectures given, this course also includes various extra-curricular activities such as social events & spare-time activities, visits to businesses and institutions in London, and excursions to famous places and historical landmarks.

Learn more about Programme Information.


Course Details

  • Course Timetable
  • Overview
  • Course Description
  • Faculty
* Academic Programme Particulars: Each session is comprised of two weeks of tuition.
* Delegates are welcome to participate in multiple sessions. Each week, students will participate in a course of their choice in their preferred track.
* Each track offers courses in one academic discipline.
* It is possible for delegates to choose a course that is not in their track.
* As the beginning of the programme nears, enrolled delegates will be asked to select their courses.
* Delegates will be assigned to courses, subject to availability. While we are able to allocate most students to their preferred courses, on some occasions students will be allocated their second choice.
* Delegates are welcome to extend their stay by participanting in multiple sessions either in Oxford or our sister-programme Cambridge Summer Institute at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

For a typical week at Summer Institute, please click here.

Below is a draft schedule for Summer Institute at Oriel College (click to enlarge)

*Disclaimer* Changes to the course description, topics, programme structure, and schedules may occur due to the availability of faculty members at the actual time of the programme.

This course serves as an introduction to the theoretical background of international relations and politics. Delegates will examine a range of historical topics about international relations in trade, finance, and political institutions which it is possible to explore the behaviour of states of international organisations.

Through this, we can provide our delegates an in-dept understanding of international relation and politics related disciplines in the complex field between nations.

Historic Political and Economic Philosophy

This course looks at key themes and thinkers in historic, or ancient, western political and economic theory. Essential to understanding western political traditions and practice, ancient thought is both complex and fascinating. The course is designed to familiarise students with the most important thinkers and their ideas. Amongst other things, it will explore the difference between ancient and modern thought, assess arguments for and against democracy, analyse the relationship between economics and the good life, and explain how the development of different types of political units – from city states, via empires, to the modern state – impacted on social and political thinking. Ultimately, these themes point to two fundamental questions, which make ancient thought a fascinating subject to study: What does it mean to be human? And how should humans live together? As the course shows, ancient thinkers have provided thought-provoking and controversial answers to them.

Contemporary Political and Economic Philosophy / Contemporary Ethics and Global Issues

This programme is giving an insight into the modern philosophical thinking beginning with Machiavelli and the enlightenment. Various philosophical schools and their viewpoints will be discussed and the ideas of John Locke, Adam Smith, or Descartes will be analysed. Concepts of justice, equality, need, and human rights will be addressed including aspects of theories which argue that there is a duty of justice to distribute resources; justice towards future generations; national self-determination, multiculturalism, and the various concept of a ‘just war’.

Contemporary Political and Economic Philosophy: Ethics & Logic

Since its beginnings in ancient Greece, the Western philosophical reflection on how we should conduct our lives has been closely intertwined with the inquiry into logos, ‘reason’ or ‘reason-ing’, practical and theoretical, human or divine. While ethics and logic have developed into two distinct disciplines, different philosophical approaches to normative ethics and meta-ethics are often best understood as springing forth from different conceptions of the role that reason and argument (ought to) play in human morality, and from different assessments of the validity of certain key arguments (or alleged ‘fallacies’) in ethics, and of the force and implications of certain ‘dilemmas’ or ‘paradoxes’. Competing ethical theories are typically construed dialectically: they argue for the deficiency of the rival theories, and defend themselves by denouncing the shortcomings in the logic of their attackers.

Business & Legal English

This course will focus on the reading, writing, and listening skills of the English language in a business context. By being able to understand and use the business language, participants have the possibility to further their careers in both their quality of work and build relationships among colleagues and clients.

Delegates will develop the ability to communicate on an international level using precise and correct legal language. Upon completion of the course, participants will improve their confidence in explaining points of law, enhance their drafting and editing skills, and ultimately represent their organisation in a more effective manner.

Global Macro Economics: Financial Crises and Policy Responses

This course will expose the banking systems and they involvement in the financial crises, utilizing a various set of examples to illustrate key concepts such as the credit crunch and its effects in the real economy in order to later translate into the sovereign debt crises in Europe. This course will also cover subjects such as the unconventional monetary policy and the banking system reform implemented as the result of the financial crises.

Global Macro Economics: The Economics of Big Health Challenges

This course will discuss and analyse the state of health in the world and the challenges of the next 20-50 years. In addition, delegates will learn how health financing will need to adapt to the challenges of an aging population. Case studies analyzing pandemics, such as SARS, flu, and Ebola, will be looked at in detail to understand how these cross over into the financial market, looking at early warning, and response ideas.

Development Economics

In recent years, the standard neoclassical economic assumption that individual makes decisions purely to maximise their own material self-interest has been extensively challenged. A fast-growing number of studies have shown that people also care about other people’s behaviours; their self-expectation influences how they behave; some people are motivated to be helpful to others or do the right thing, whilst others like to see other people worse off than themselves; people are loss averse and bad at computation and are prone to bad habits. Psychological and social factors play an important role in human behaviours and decision-making processes. Behavioural economics increases the explanatory power of economics by incorporating these factors in order to provide more realistic psychological foundations for economic analysis.

Behavioural Economics

The course will give an overview of policy-related issues faced by developing countries from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Topics covered include economic development and economic growth; poverty and inequality; gender discrimination; governance and institutions; media and corruption; natural resources and development; and the effectiveness of foreign aid in helping developing countries.

International Taxation

The course on International Taxation will introduce participants with the key concepts in taxation bringing an in-depth understanding of tax laws affecting international business and individuals. This course will also focus in taking a look at the benefits and risks of cross-border transactions.


castagnoliProf Luca Castagnoli
Associate Professor of Ancient Greek Philosophy
Oriel College
University of Oxford, UK

Luca Castagnoli is an Associate Professor of Ancient Greek Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and a Stavros Niarchos Foundation Fellow of Oriel College. Having studied philosophy at the University of Bologna and the University of California, Berkeley, Luca obtained a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Cambridge. He was a Research Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and then a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at Durham University for eight years, before moving to Oxford. He has published one monograph on ancient self-refutation arguments (CUP 2010) and some two dozen articles on a variety of ancient philosophical subjects. He is working on his next two monographs, on Greek logic and ancient philosophical theories of memory, and editing The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Logic. He teaches ancient philosophy and ethics for Oriel College, and gives lectures on a variety of ancient philosophical topics for the Faculty of Philosophy.


maloneDr Chris Malone
College Lecturer, the Queen’s College
University of Oxford (UK)

Chris Malone is a Lecturer in International Relations at the Queen’s College, University of Oxford, and a Lecturer in Philosophy at Imperial College London. He also teaches courses for New York’s Fordham University and Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education. Prior to completing his doctoral studies at Oxford University’s Faculty of Philosophy, he studied for both undergraduate and Master’s degrees at the University of Durham (UK). His main research interests are in moral and political philosophy, international relations, and theories of group agency and responsibility.

Apply For This Programme

To apply for this programme, simply fill out our online application form. You can also download our PDF application form, fill it out, and email the completed form back to us.

Please send all completed application forms to If you have any questions regarding our application process, please feel free to contact us at anytime.

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