Ancient vases

Being Human


Being Human: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on Humanity


Is a robot a human? What happens after we die? Why do humans tell stories? Would you rather be free or safe? Would it be better if we all spoke the same language?

The Faculty of Classics, Corpus Christi College and Worcester College invite students in Year 12 at state schools in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber to join Oxford academics in thinking through some of the modern world's biggest questions - by looking back to the ancient world. 

Being Human is a university preparation programme for Year 12 students in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber who are thinking about studying the humanities subjects at university level. The programme consists of:

1. Five seminar discussions led by Oxford academics; monthly November 2020 to March 2020.

2. A Three Day Residential in Oxford. All costs covered, including travel.

3. Personal Statement and University Application Support.

Students cannot apply to attend individual events: students apply for the entire programme. There are 60 places available, 30 in Manchester and surrounding area and 30 in Huddersfield and the surrounding area.

Applications are open until October 30th 2020. Before applying, please check with your school and parent(s)/guardian(s) that you would be able to attend the seminars and residential visit. If you are successful in gaining a place, you and your nominated teacher will be contacted with the full details of the programme.

To download the flyer, please click here.

To apply for a place on the programme, please fill in this form

If you have any questions, please contact Claire Sims, the college's Admissions and Access Officer:


Is Being Human for me? 

The Being Human programme will help you to develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills you will need for your humanities degree. Each session will be led by an Oxford academic. The sessions will be discussion based and will involve tackling engaging big questions through a mixture of philosophy, linguistics, literature, history, art and archaeology.

Seminars will run from 17:00 – 18:00. Because of the COVID19 pandemic, we anticipate running the seminars online this year.

Is a robot a human?  November 9th (Manchester) // November 10th (Huddersfield)

What happens after we die? December 7th (Manchester) // December 8th (Huddersfield)

Why do humans tell stories? January 11th (Manchester) // January 12th (Huddersfield)

Would you rather be free or safe? February 8th (Manchester) // February 9th (Huddersfield)

Would it be better if we all spoke the same language? March 8th (Manchester) // March 9th (Huddersfield)

There will be a three-day residential stay in Oxford in April (full details to follow), where students can experience life as an Oxford student, staying at an Oxford college and being taught in the style of a university student. Develop your knowledge and skills working on a group project and gain insight into university and Oxford admissions. You’ll also get to know a like-minded group of students from across the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber through social activities.

Further support with university applications will be provided in July and August. Students on the Being Human programme will be offered priority booking for the night before the Oxford University summer Open Day (free; dinner and breakfast provided). On the day of arrival before the Open Day the Being Human staff (Oxford academic, admissions and outreach staff) are able to offer bespoke Personal Statement support, regardless of the subject/university the student is applying to. There will be a further event in August for applicants who are interested in applying for Classics specifically. 


Who should apply?

If you …

Are in Year 12 at a UK state-maintained school and are able to attend the seminar sessions;

Are interested in studying ancient or modern humanities at university;

Have read all the above information carefully;

Have spoken to the relevant teacher(s) and your parent(s)/guardian(s) to check you will be able to attend the above events ...

… then please apply to participate in the Being Human Programme !


We asked some of our current Being Human cohort what they thought of the programme, and they said...

"It's a fantastic programme! It's really encouraged me to think beyond my A-Level syllabus, meet new friends with similar interests and expand my intellectual curiosity. The tutors have been fantastic and the sessions have been accessible but challenging. Appy!"

"The Being Human programme allowed me to explore subjects and ideas that were completely different from anything I had ever studied in school. It gave me a great insight into what studying a humanities subject at a top university would entail."

"This programme is incredible. Over the course of the programme, the idea of studying classics becomes much more realistic and interesting. The questions discussed are fascinating, and the further research never felt like anything other than enjoyable. This definitely helped me to understand my other subjects better."