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 and in economics, 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." Oxford undergraduates do not pursue a liberal arts degree; instead, while at Oxford they study only one subject for three or four years, after having studied it intensely in high school. Tutors therefore expect a high level of expertise in a field, so visiting students should bear this in mind when they make their tutorial choices. (A second-year course in physics, for instance, is not equivalent to a sophomore-year course at a liberal arts college, since second-year students will have spent their entire first year, and much of high school, doing nothing but physics.)

Applicants should request tutorial topics that fall within the same discipline or within two closely related disciplines, and that are aligned with their major at home. Once students are in Oxford, they can occasionally study other fields in future terms; for example, a philosophy student here in Michaelmas Term could speak with the Director about doing an English tutorial in Hilary.

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

The tutorials selected on the application form are an essential part of the application process. The admissions team judge the applicant's capacity to pursue the tutorials listed on the form, and if admitted, the student can expect to take those tutorials once in Oxford.

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



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



  • 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



  • 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
  • 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



  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
  • Religion and Mythology of the Ancient Near East
  • Poetic World of the Hebrew Bible
  • Gender and Power in Biblical Literature
  • 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



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



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)



What follows are examples of recent English tutorials. It is in fact possible to pursue a tutorial on almost any single author, period, genre, 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 (general; ecocriticism; post-colonialism; etc.)
  • Modern British Drama
  • The 20th-Century Novel
  • 20th-Century Poetry
  • Literature of the Environment
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Post-War Radical Theatre
  • Contemporary Female Playwrights
  • Psychoanalysis and Literature



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.

Courses listed as 'prelims' are for first-year Oxford undergraduates. 'Final Honour Schools' are aimed at second-years and above.

       History of the British Isles:

  • Prelims and FHS: The Early Medieval British Isles: 300-1100 
  • Prelims and FHS: The British Isles in the Central Middle Ages: 1000-1300 
  • Prelims and FHS: The Late Medieval British Isles: 1130-1550 
  • Prelims and FHS: Reformations and Revolutions: 1500-1700
  • Prelims and FHS: Liberty, Commerce, and Power: 1688-1848
  • Prelims and FHS: Power, Politics, and the People: 1830-1951
  • FHS: Changing Identities, 1900-present
  • FHS: Bodies of Feeling: Gender and Sexuality since c. 1500
  • FHS: THe Making and Unmaking of the United Kingdom, 1603-present


      European and World History:

  • Prelims: Transformation of the Ancient World, 370-900
  • Prelims: Medieval Christendom and its Neighbours, 1000-1300
  • Prelims: Renaissance, Recovery, and Reform, 1400-1650
  • Prelims: Society, Nation, and Empire, 1815-1914
  • FHS: The World of Late Antiquity, 250-650
  • FHS: The Early Medieval World, 600-1000
  • FHS: The Central Middle Ages, 900-1300
  • FHS: The Global Middle Ages: 500-1500


      Optional Subjects:

  • Prelims: Theories of the State: Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx
  • Prelims: The Age of Bede, c. 600- c. 740
  • Prelims: Early Gothic France, c. 1100-c. 1150
  • Prelims: English Chivalry and the French Wars, c. 1330-c.1400
  • Prelims: Crime and Punishment in England, c. 1280-c. 1450
  • Prelims: Nature and Art in the Renaissance
  • Prelims: Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe
  • Prelims: Making England Protestant, 1558-1642
  • Prelims: Conquest and Colonization: Spain and American in the Sixteenth Century
  • Prelims: Revolution and Empire in France, 1789-1815
  • Prelims: Women, Gender, and the Nation: Britain, 1789-1825
  • Prelims: Romance of the People: The Folk Revival, 1760-1914
  • Prelims: Haiti and Louisiana: The Problem of Revolution in an Age of Slavery
  • Prelims: New Women in Britain and Ireland, c. 1880-1920
  • Prelims: The Rise and Crises of European Socialisms, 1883-1921
  • Prelims: 1919: Remaking the World
  • Prelims: Radicalism in Britain, 1965-1975
  • Prelims: The World of Homer and Hesiod
  • Prelims: Augustan Rome
  • Prelims: Industrialization in Britain and France, 1750-1870



  • Social Geography
  • Earth Systems Processes
  • Human Geography
  • Urban Environmental Issues
  • Coastal Environmental Issues
  • Geographic Controversies
  • Geographical Techniques



  • 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
  • Labour Economics and Industrial Relations
  • Government and Politics of Japan
  • Comparative Demographic Systems
  • Politics of the European Union
  • Theories of Justice



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. Most economics tutorials are centrally taught -- that is, you will be put in tutorial groups by the economics department. Some tutors, however, occasionally offer options outside the usual calendar.

  • Behavioural and Experimental Economics (MT, HT; full-year students only)
  • Development of the World Economy since 1800 (MT, TT)
  • Econometrics (MT)
  • Economics of Developing Countries (MT, HT)
  • Economics of Industry (MT)
  • Environmental Economics and Climate Change (HT)
  • Finance (HT)
  • Game Theory (HT)
  • International Economics (MT)
  • Labour Economics and Industrial Relations (HT)
  • Macroeconomics (Advanced) (HT)
  • Microeconomics (Advanced) (MT)
  • Microeconomic Analysis (HT)
  • Money and Banking (MT)
  • Public Economics (MT)
  • Quantitative Economics (TT)



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



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



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