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Summer University


Applications for Art History Summer University 2020 will open soon!

Spend five days experiencing student life at a world-class university specialising in Art History, Conservation, and Curating.

The Summer University is part of The Courtauld Institute of Art’s widening participation initiative, funded by a charitable trust to give students who attend a non-selective state school or a FE college the opportunity to find out more about Art History and the possibilities of studying the subject at degree level.

We are excited to announce that by completing Summer University 2020, you will have a chance to work towards an ASDAN universities award.

Applications for this year’s Art History Summer University will open soon!

To apply for Summer University 2020 you must:

  • Be a current Year 12, AS Level student
  • Attend a non-selective UK state school
  • Have a broad interest in visual culture
  • Be interested in subjects such as History, English Literature, Art, Classics, Languages and Politics (or other subjects that involve essay writing, research and presentations)
  • Be considering applying to Higher Education Institutions in Year 13

Please note: you are not applying for a place at university at this point. This course will give you an experience of university life and help you make a decision about applying to study Art History or another Humanities subject in future.

The Summer University is part of The Courtauld’s widening participation initiative, funded by a charitable trust to give students who attend a non-selective state school or a FE college the opportunity to study art history. Priority will be given to students whose parents or carers have not previously gone to university, who currently receive Income Support or Tax Credits, and/or are disabled. Students who are currently in Year 12 and meet this widening participation criteria can apply by returning the application form.

As this is a non-residential course (where students commute every day to The Courtauld Institute), we cannot currently offer places on this course to students living outside Greater London. 

Information for teachers

The Summer University is part of The Courtauld’s Widening Participation strategy. The programme aims to encourage those from non-traditional HE backgrounds to consider the opportunities available to them for undergraduate study. We welcome applications from students who are interested in applying to a selective university and we provide academic support during and after this Summer University to course participants.

In assessing which of your pupils would benefit from attending, you may wish to consider the following:

  • Does the student qualify for widening participation support (as outlined above) and would they benefit from the opportunity?
  • Do they have a good academic track record?
  • Are they taking any AS or A-level subjects that are relevant to the study of Art History (for example Fine Art, History, English Literature, Languages…)
  • Would they take advantage of the range of opportunities offered by the course, attending all sessions and engaging with information/discussions/activities?

The course is always over-subscribed and requires a commitment so please discuss the Summer University with any student who might be interested before encouraging them to submit an application. You will need to sign the application form. We will also need to know if your student qualifies for Widening Participation status, so please add any information you think is relevant.

If you and your student live outside of Greater London, we are not able to offer them a place on this Summer University. However, we may be able to organise an Outreach Study Day for you and your students during the academic year.

Need more information?

For more information please contact Helen Higgins, Oak Foundation Young People’s Programme Manager:

The Art History Summer University is part of The Courtauld Institute of Art’s Access Agreement.

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The course covers an introduction to art history and runs from Monday 1 – Friday 5 July, from approximately 10.00am until 4.00pm each day.

Click here to see a sample timetable from last year

This course is designed to give you:

  • a better understanding of Art History as a subject, through lectures, seminar discussions and group work;
  • the opportunity to meet tutors, museum professionals and current undergraduate students;
  • an experience of university life, with the opportunity to find out about both London and The Courtauld first hand;
  • space to think about whether this might be the right option for you;
  • the confidence and support to apply to The Courtauld Institute of Art for your BA should you wish to do so.

Students who participate will be eligible to attend a series of Study Skills Workshops at The Courtauld during Autumn Term 2020.

Watch this video to hear what three students have to say about their experience of attending The Courtauld’s Art History Summer University:

The course is non-residential, but you will receive complimentary refreshments and lunch every day, free entrance to a number of galleries and exhibitions, social activities and basic materials.

An Oyster Card for travel within London can be provided on application for students from families on income support or receiving tax credits.

Applications for Art History Summer University 2020 will open soon.

For any queries please write to the address below or contact us directly at

Helen Higgins
Oak Foundation Young People’s Programme Manager
Public Programmes
The Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House, Strand
London, WC2R 0RN

+44 (0) 20 3947 7648

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