Our Verdict: The No.1 Best Elite Summer School for 2023

Our Verdict: The No.1 Best Elite Summer School for 2023

Keen to embark on the summer experience of a lifetime but not sure which summer school provider is the best option for you? There's a lot to consider: which location are you most interested in and is university accommodation important to you? What about the balance of academia and fun? In this essential guide, we reveal the no.1 best elite summer school for 2023 - with courses running in Oxford, Cambridge, London and St Andrews, as well as in the USA!



Categories: InsightsNews

March 26, 2023

There are absolutely tons of summer school providers out there clamouring for your summer 2023: there are the main players and the boutiques, the well-established and the brand spanking new, the academically-focused and the ones that are more about having a very good time. Some are more highly accredited than others (but which accreditations should you look for?!), and some have won a plethora of awards. Different providers focus on different age groups, and the accommodation can be a pivotal factor – are you yearning to live and study in a real Oxford college of the university itself, or is it more about location, location, location for you? And location indeed! Do you want to be in Oxford, Cambridge, London…or are you intrigued about going a little off-piste, as there are also fantastic summer schools in St Andrews, Falmouth, Windsor, and many other interesting UK locations (and even abroad)!

So how do you sift through the abundance of options out there and know that you’ve definitely chosen the crème de la crème; the very best for you? Well, don’t worry, we’ve split the hairs for you – read on for our official verdict on the best elite summer school for 2023!

The Best Elite Summer School for 2023: Oxford Royale 

Founded by an Oxford graduate, Oxford Royale has been around for a long time (19 years, in fact) and in that time it has welcomed over 30,000 students from 170 different nations. It has continually innovated its courses and choice of locations over the years to keep things fresh and competitive, as its rave student reviews illustrate.

Oxford Royale courses (for ages 13-19+) are academically robust with tangible future benefits, which is immensely important: your summer will be productive and worth the investment. Offering a huge range of interesting courses (choose from exciting subject titles such as Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship or Curing the Future: Medicine and Disease, or even Facing Extinction: Climate, Politics and Global Leadership) there’s also a focus on practical preparation for UK university applications, interviews and study skills. Its teaching faculty is second-to-none and boasts an extraordinary range of talent, including Oxbridge and Ivy League academics as well as leading and highly-qualified industry professionals. Something particularly special about Oxford Royale is that all courses in Oxford include the opportunity to hear world-renowned guest speakers during a debate, held in the university’s iconic Sheldonian Theatre. Past speakers have included the inspirational explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and evolutionary biologist Sir Richard Dawkins. But that’s not to say a summer with Oxford Royale isn’t also a spectacular holiday! It gets the academia to fun ratio spot on with a jam-packed extra-curricular and cultural programme that includes exciting day trips and exclusive events (and a formal graduation ball to dress up for)!

Finally, let’s talk about accreditations and awards, which is a sure-fire way to know if a provider is really veritable. Oxford Royale’s exemplary standards of education and safety have been recognised by the British Council and BAC, and it has won multiple awards including the very prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (three times)!

And the cost? Oxford Royale’s courses are competitively priced at between £4,995 and £5,995 (location dependent) for two weeks, which includes just about everything except for flights  –  so that’s accommodation, meals, activities and excursions. Bookings for summer 2023 are currently open, so register today!

Explore Oxford Royale


Other Contenders for Best Elite Summer School 2023

Of course, there are other contenders for the best summer school of 2023 and, depending on what’s important to you (a particular overseas location; are you after a highly-specialised course; are you under the age of 13?), one of these fabulous alternative summer school providers may actually be the one for you. Read on for our round up of the front-runners!

Oxford Summer Courses

Oxford Summer Courses offers 40 subjects (taught by Oxbridge academics) for students aged 9-24 in Oxford, Cambridge, London and Winchester, resident in genuine university colleges and in top UK boarding schools. Proud of its small class sizes, students receive tailored teaching and ample individual attention to achieve their full potential – possibly the best choice if this teaching style is what suits you best.

Explore Oxford Summer Courses


Oxbridge Academic Programs

Going strong for 35 years, Oxbridge Academic Programs is one of the original elite summer school providers, with on-campus locations in Oxford and Cambridge as well as Columbia in New York, Paris and Barcelona – locations not commonly offered elsewhere, so get in there quickly if you’re dreaming of fresh croissants and the Mona Lisa (and a French language or culture-specific course)!

Applications are carefully reviewed and only the most promising are selected, so this is an excellent choice for academically-ambitious students who want a thorough challenge. Its courses are also particularly interesting, including unusual ones such as Criminology, Espionage, Zoology and Screenwriting.

Explore Oxbridge Academic


Immerse Education

Immerse focus on STEM, so if you’re fascinated by engineering, science, mathematics or the ever-evolving world of tech, take a look at the 117 innovative residential courses it runs in Oxford, Cambridge, London and even Australia (most are in Cambridge and London) for ages 13-18. Looking for something home-based and more budget-friendly? Immerse also has 59 online courses available on its state-of-the-art online teaching platform – something not commonly offered by other providers, and especially not with that kind of range of subjects to choose from.

Explore Immerse


Bucksmore Education

If you’re eager to hone your English language skills in a culturally-immersive environment, take a look at Bucksmore Education. It has a whole range of English language courses in London, Oxford and Cambridge (as well as at several top independent boarding schools) to choose from, whether you’re at the beginning of your language learning journey or need some help preparing for an IELTS examination ahead of attending university in the UK. They also offer specialist industry workshops in veterinary medicine, coding, performing arts and audio production – among others – that offer additional academic certification that can be included on your UK university application.

Explore Bucksmore


Summer Boarding Courses

If you’re a younger learner, Summer Boarding Courses (SBC), the UK’s number one multi-campus summer school, is the one for you. It runs brilliant (predominantly English-language focused) courses for students aged 6-17, whereas most other providers typically start from age 13. Residential at eight top British boarding schools around the UK including world-famous Eton, SBC also offer Easter courses as well as day camps for its very youngest learners, all of which are as much about fun and sports as they are about studying – essential for this age group!

Explore SBC


Other Providers Worth Looking at 

Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) 

An official college of the University of Oxford itself, LMH’s intellectually-challenging adult courses are taught by Oxford university academics. Its focus is predominantly on artificial intelligence-related subjects.

LMH >>


Department for Continuing Education

The University of Oxford’s own in-house summer school programme, its adult courses are taught by Oxford university academics and are ideal if you’re looking for a shorter programme of study – its courses typically run for one week.

DfCE >>



ISSFT’s summer programmes for teens are located on-campus at the University of Oxford and the University of Stirling in Scotland. It also offers plenty of online learning options as an alternative.



Oxford Scholastica Academy

Oxford Scholastica runs courses in the main academic subjects for students aged 12-18, located in Oxford (but with plenty of online learning options as well).

Oxford Scholastica >>


Reach Cambridge

Reach Cambridge offers a good range of academic courses for students aged 14-18, located in Cambridge.

Reach >>