Short Course: Archaeology and the Medieval University of Oxford

Short Course: Archaeology and the Medieval University of Oxford

PLEASE NOTE: This course has now been CANCELLED due to COVID-19. 


This course brings together leading experts on the history and archaeology of Oxford University to look at its formative medieval years, from its obscure origins in the 12th century to the established collegiate university that had emerged by the Reformation. The programme begins with an overview of the university’s medieval history, looking at its early development, those who studied and taught here, and where and how they lived. We will then look at the rich resource of information from archaeological research, drawing on evidence from both excavations and standing buildings. The programme concludes by looking to the future and how we can ensure that archaeological work in the city centre continues to enhance our understanding of the early university.

In addition to the programme of talks, there will be an exhibition of finds from Oxford Archaeology’s excavations of medieval sites in the city.


Programme details


9.15am          Registration

9.30am          Welcome

                      Anne Dodd

9.45am          The medieval university

                      Laurence Brockliss

10.30am        Coffee/tea

11.00am        Overview of recent excavations

                      Ben Ford

12.00pm        Pots, pans and pins: material culture

                      John Cotter

12.45pm        Questions and discussion

                      Anne Dodd

1.00pm          Lunch

                      Exhibition of finds from recent excavations and bookstall

2.15pm          Housing merchants and scholars in medieval Oxford

                      Julian Munby

3.oopm         Tea/coffee

3.30pm          Feeding the scholar: diet and environment at and around the

                      medieval university

                      Rebecca Nicholson

4.15pm          Discussion: archaeology and the medieval university

                      Chaired by Anne Dodd and David Radford

4.45pm         Course disperses


Recommended reading

L W B Brockliss, The University of Oxford: a history, Oxford University Press, 2016

L W B Brockliss, The University of Oxford: a brief history, The Bodleian Library, 2019



Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and discounted prices.


Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £70.00
Baguette: £5.00
Full Hot Lunch (3 courses): £15.00



If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses



Professor Laurence Brockliss


Emeritus Professor in Early Modern French History, University of Oxford, and Emeritus Fellow, Magdalen College, Oxford

Mr John Cotter


Medieval ceramics specialist, Oxford Archaeology


Mr Ben Ford


Senior Project Manager, Oxford Archaeology. 

Mr Julian Munby


Head of Buildings Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology

Dr Rebecca Nicholson


Environmental Manager, Oxford Archaeology

Mr David Radford


Oxford City Council Archaeologist

Leigh Allen

Exhibition Organiser

Finds Manager, Oxford Archaeology

Mrs Anne H Dodd

Speaker and Course Director

Anne Dodd is a senior manager at Oxford Archaeology with many years’ experience of post-excavation management and publication

Toby Martin

Director of Studies

Departmental Lecturer, Department For Continuing Education, University of Oxford



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