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You are here: Home Courses Middlebury-CMRS Semester Programme The Research Course

The Research Course

IMG_10061.jpgThe research course focuses on a specific topic, chosen by the student with the assistance of the regular academic staff.  The topics span the history, literature, spirituality and scholarship of the middle ages and early modern eras. Topics are researched through the extensive Bodleian Library system as well as the many world-class museums of Oxford.  Students receive individual supervision from an academic expert while carrying out their research.  The course culminates is a long essay that will be double-marked by the supervisor as well as by a second tutor.

The purpose of the research course is to encourage independent research and critical thinking as well as to prepare students for senior-year projects they may have to write at their home institutions.  In addition, the Autumn research course gives students preparatory training in the type of academic writing that will be required in tutorials, while the Spring research course is a capstone experience that winds up the semester.

The Autumn research course, entitled The Making of Europe, 400 to 1750, considers the European history from the end of the western Roman Empire to the eve of modernity. The Spring research course, Europe and the World, considers European interaction with the wider world, and how European understanding (and misunderstanding) of the rest of the world contributed to the formation of European self-identities.

Lectures from renowned Oxford academics combine with other academic and experiential elements to provide a background to issues and events, and multiple approaches to discovery.

Experiential Learning

Oxford is a vital resource, and students engage with its wealth through talks, visits, or hands-on experiences.  In addition, a specialist tutor leads field trips to other places of historical importance within easy reach of Oxford.


Thankful for every moment
I devoured the integral lectures, the seminars, the tea and biscuits, and the charming streets of Oxford. Aided by my tutors, my passion for the human...
Mike Rectenwald, Summer 2000, Geneva College