Choosing Your Tutorials

Worcester's visiting students pursue tutorials in a variety of subjects. Below you'll find a list of potential tutorial topics, many of which have been undertaken by visiting students in the past. 

In any given term, the availability of a tutorial in a topic will depend upon the availability of tutors who are experts in that field. When Worcester's own tutors cannot cover a topic, tutors from elsewhere in the university are sought. In the sciences, tutorials are often organized centrally by the department, so applicants should check departmental websites to learn more about what is offered when. For further information about undergraduate study at Oxford, see the information offered by the university about each undergraduate major

The list below is by no means comprehensive, and applicants should feel free to enquire about studying subjects or topics that do not appear here. The Programme Director is happy to answer questions about tutorial options. 

Applicants should note that the Oxford undergraduate programme aims for depth and rigor rather than breadth or "well-roundedness": students take courses only within the subjects in which they are majoring. Studying at Oxford is a unique opportunity to pursue specialized interests at an advanced level, so we strongly advise visiting students not to attempt to follow the American liberal-arts model by requesting tutorials in various different subjects; applicants should plan to request tutorial topics that fall within the same discipline or within two closely related disciplines.  

Almost all tutorials can be taught as a 'major' (eight meetings) or 'minor' (four meetings) in any given term.

Please note that we are currently unable to offer teaching in Chemistry, History of Art, or Linguistics. 

 

CLASSICS 

Texts are not studied in translation. 

  • Homer, Iliad
  • Early Greek Hexameter Poetry (Odyssey, Homeric Hymns, Hesiod)
  • Greek Lyric Poetry
  • Greek Tragedy
  • Aeschylus
  • Sophocles
  • Euripides
  • Herodotus
  • Thucydides
  • Greek Comedy Old and New (Aristophanes to Menander)
  • Hellenistic Poetry
  • Roman Comedy
  • Latin Didactic Poetry
  • Latin Lyric Poetry                                                  
  • Latin Historiography (Sallust, Livy, Tacitus)                                     
  • Virgil
  • Horace
  • Ovid
  • Seneca and Lucan
  • Ancient Literary Criticism
  • Greek Textual Criticism
  • Latin Textual Criticism

 

ANCIENT HISTORY

  • Early Greek World and Herodotus' Histories 650 to 479 BC
  • Thucydides and the Greek World 479 to 403 BC
  • End of the Peloponnesian War to the death of Philip II of Macedon 403 to 336 BC
  • Polybius, Rome and the Mediterranean 241 to 146 BC
  • Republic in Crisis 146 to 46 BC
  • Rome, Italy and Empire from Caesar to Claudius 46 BC to AD 54
  • Athenian Democracy in the Classical Age
  • Alexander the Great and his Early Successors
  • The Hellenistic World
  • Cicero
  • Politics, Society and Culture from Nero to Hadrian
  • Religions in the Greek and Roman World
  • Sexuality and Gender in Greece and Rome

 

PHILOSOPHY                                                          

  • Early Modern Philosophy
  • Knowledge and Reality
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Logic and Language
  • Aesthetics
  • The Philosophy of Kant
  • Post-Kantian Philosophy
  • Theory of Politics
  • Plato, Republic (in Greek or in translation)
  • Aristotle, Nicomachaean Ethics (in Greek or in translation)
  • Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein
  • Philosophical Logic
  • Plato: Theaetetus and Sophist  
  • Aristotle (in Greek or in translation)
  • Nietzsche, selected texts (in translation)
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Philosophy of Mathematics

 

THEOLOGY AND RELIGION

  • Introduction to the Old Testament
  • Apocalyptic Literature
  • Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
  • Studies in the Psalms
  • New Testament Studies
  • Reading the Bible
  • Modern Theology (Kierkegaard to Sartre)
  • Archaeology and the Old Testament
  • History and Theology of the Reformation
  • Liberation Theology
  • Theology and Ethics

 

FRENCH 

Texts are not studied in translation.                                    

  • French Literature of the Ancien Régime from Rabelais to Robespierre                                           
  • Writing the French Enlightenment - Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau 
  • Modern French Literature from Chateaubriand to Chamoiseau
  • French Literature and the Visual Arts from Diderot to Zola
  • French Language Classes

 

GERMAN 

Unless otherwise noted, texts and films may be studied in translation if necessary.

  • Late Medieval Mysticism
  • The Novel and Other Minds from Austen to Thomas Mann 
  • Heidegger's Being and Time 
  • German Film 
  • Modern German Literature (in German)

 

ENGLISH 

What follows are examples of recent English tutorials. It is in fact possible to pursue a tutorial on almost any single author, period, or movement. Applicants should feel free to request tutorials that will address their specialized interests, even if the topic isn't listed below. 

  • Medieval Drama
  • Medieval Mystics
  • Renaissance Drama
  • Sidney and Spenser
  • Shakespeare’s non-dramatic works
  • Shakespeare’s dramatic works (comedies, tragedies, and romances)
  • Shakespearean tragedy
  • Shakespearean comedy
  • Shakespeare’s Roman and History plays
  • John Donne and the metaphysical poets
  • The Eighteenth-Century Novel
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century poetry
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama
  • Eighteenth-Century Women Writers 
  • Autobiography and Biography 
  • Romantic Literature
  • The Nineteenth-Century Novel
  • Nineteenth-Century Poetry
  • Nineteenth-Century Women Writers
  • English Literature from 1880-1910
  • Modernism
  • Literary Theory
  • Modern British Drama
  • The 20th-Century Novel
  • 20th-Century Poetry
  • Literature of the Environment
  • Contemporary Literature

 

HISTORY 

In addition to the topics listed at the links below, which are part of the Oxford undergraduate history degree, it is often possible to arrange tutorials around students' individual interests. Applicants are welcome to inquire about the availability of specific topics they would like to study.  

  • History of the British Isles (first-year courses) - see topics here
  • History of the British Isles (second- and third-year courses) - see topics here
  • General History (first-year courses) - see topics here
  • General History (second- and third-year courses) - see topics here.
  • Tudors & Stuarts: British Early Modern History
  • Renaissance & Reformation: European Early Modern History
  • Conquest & Colonisation: The First 100 Years of Colonial Spanish America

 

GEOGRAPHY

  • Social Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Urban Environmental Issues
  • Coastal Environmental Issues

 

POLITICS

  • Comparative Government
  • British Politics and Government since 1900
  • Theory of Politics
  • Modern British Government and Politics
  • Government and Politics of the United States
  • Politics in Europe
  • Politics in Russia and the Former Soviet Union
  • Politics in Sub Saharan Africa
  • Politics in Latin America
  • Politics in South Asia
  • Politics in The Middle East
  • International Relations in the Era of Two World Wars
  • International Relations in the Era of The Cold War
  • International Relations 
  • Political Thought: Plato to Rousseau
  • Political Thought: Bentham to Weber
  • Marx and Marxism
  • Sociological Theory
  • Sociology of Post-Industrial Societies
  • Political Sociology 
  • Social Policy
  • The Government and Politics of China
  • The Politics of the European Union

 

ECONOMICS 

What follows is a list of topics taught as part of the Economics course for Oxford undergraduates, as well as the term in which it is typically offered. It's best to select courses taught in the terms you would be at Worcester, as lectures, seminars, etc. will be offered at that time. Some tutors, however, occasionally offer options outside the usual calendar.

  • Microeconomics (MT)
  • Microeconomic Theory (MT)
  • Money and Banking (MT)
  • Public Economics (MT)
  • Economics of Industry (MT, HT, TT)
  • Labour Economics and Industrial Relations (MT)
  • International Economics (MT, HT, TT)
  • Economics of Developing Countries (MT, HT)
  • Econometrics (MT)
  • Comparative Demographic Systems (MT, HT, TT)
  • Mathematical Methods (MT, HT)
  • Quantitative Economics (HT, TT)
  • Macroeconomics (HT)
  • Game Theory (HT)
  • British Economic History Since 1870 (MT, TT)

 

MATHEMATICS

Applicants should consult the information about which topics are offered during each term, and whether a topic has a prerequisite course, at the department's website.

  • Logic
  • Set Theory
  • Number Theory
  • Linear Algebra
  • Group Theory
  • Rings and Modules
  • Galois Theory
  • Algebraic Geometry
  • Vector Geometry
  • Differential Geometry
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • General Topology
  • Algebraic Topology
  • Real Analysis
  • Complex Analysis
  • Functional Analysis
  • Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Quantum Theory
  • Special Relativity
  • Probability
  • Applied Probability
  • Statistics

 

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Applicants should consult the information about which topics are offered during each term at the department's website.

  • Functional Programming
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Networks
  • Automata, Logic and Games
  • Computer Security
  • Compilers
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Concurrency
  • Concurrent Programming

 

PHYSICS 

Visiting students in Physics must study at Worcester for the entire academic year, and are generally advised to follow the second-year course of the Oxford Physics BA.  Applicants should be aware that a strong background in mathematics is required. For more information, see the departmental website

Second-year topics:

  • Electromagnetism
  • Optics
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Quantum Physics
  • Thermal Physics 
  • Further Quantum Mechanics 

Third-year topics:

  • Flows, Fluctuations and Complexity
  • Symmetry and Relativity
  • Quantum, Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Sub-Atomic Physics
  • General Relativity and Cosmology
  • Condensed-Matter Physics