Harness your powers of communication to make a difference

Created by sustainability and communication experts in collaboration with the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), University of Oxford

Effective communication is one of the most important skills you can master. Young people at school today are aware of the global challenges they are inheriting and while this presents them with challenges, it also presents them with exciting opportunities to work together to improve their futures. To work effectively in teams, to bring people along with you, to make a difference, you need to be a masterful communicator. We are using climate change and linked global issues as a test case for learning how to communicate complex issues to a non specialist audience - a skill which is needed in all professions. This course is led by professional journalist and Oxford University academic, Dr James Painter, a communication expert who is passionate about teaching others to use communication to change the world.

2018 DateS

One week (6 nights)

Arrive Sunday 15th July by 5pm

Depart Friday evening after 5pm / Saturday morning


via our STUDENT MANAGEMENT PROVIDERS (Oxford Study Courses)   |    +44 1865 512802

James Painter is a journalist, academic and consultant, specialising in the study of climate change in the international media. He advises key organisations such as Oxfam, UNDP and Conservation International. In his role as policy advisor, he has given evidence to two recent select committees of the UK Houses of Parliament.

James joined the BBC World Service in 1992, and worked as head of the Spanish American Service, head of the BBC Miami office, and Executive Editor Americas. Prior to joining the BBC, he was a correspondent in Bolivia for four years working for various media in the UK and USA, including the BBC, Reuters, the Independent and the Christian Science Monitor.

James teaches graduate students on the MSc module on the “Media and the Environment” at the School of Geography, Oxford University, and is excited to take his teaching to a younger audience of enthusiastic students.

— Dr James Painter, Research Fellow Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford


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  • Engage with Oxford University’s world class academics
  • Hone your communication skills with the support professionals in the field
  • Develop your skills in rapid assimilation and analysis of relative complex information such as new scientific findings
  • Gain an understanding of how professional science is done, and appreciate its strengths and weaknesses
  • Learn how to interview experts and fight your way past the jargon to bring real understanding to your readers
  • Expand your own network of fascinating and passionate individuals
  • Live and breathe Oxford student life
  • Feel safe with full time care from our professional pastoral team


Aims and outcomes

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The aim of this initiative is to enable any students who wants to use the spoken word to create change. It will teach them how to be an effective, and trusted, conduit between those with complex ideas and those with short attention spans.

Working with communication experts, this experience will be of enormous benefit to any student whether specialising in arts or sciences, and whatever field they chose to pursue in future.

This experience will support university applications for any subject. 

Students will spend their days engaged in active learning, and their evenings being Oxford students. We hope to inspire them to aim high in their academic and professional careers.


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This is a unique opportunity. In an increasingly competitive and global environment it is essential for ambitious students to take advantage of every opportunity they can for personal development and personal resume building. Students will develop transferable skills and knowledge which not only sounds great on paper but is a real experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.