Inspire Critical Thinking is open to all non-selective state school pupils in the UK!

Inspire Critical Thinking is a free, online course run in collaboration with Oxford for South East, and open to all pupils at non-selective UK state schools. The course focuses on a central theme which is approached from a variety of subject viewpoints, and each virtual class includes articles, interviews, recorded lectures, and challenges developed by University of Oxford academics and students! The theme for Inspire Critical Thinking 2023/24 is ‘Does Crime Always Deserve Punishment?’ By taking part in the programme, pupils will have the opportunity to explore their interests in depth, discover new and exciting topics which they might not have studied before, and develop confidence in their ability. Pupils will also have the chance to submit responses to each class’s challenges, to be in with a chance of winning prizes.

Following the online classes, all registered pupils will be invited to attend our Inspire Virtual Summer School. For pupils in Year 11, there is also a competitive application process for a free Inspire Residential Summer School at St John’s College.

The course takes place on our website Inspire Digital. You can access the course homepage by following this link where you will find registration forms.

Registration closes at 12pm on 13th of December. Confirmation of your registration will be sent out after the closing date.

Find out more about the programme

Inspire Critical Thinking is open to all pupils in Years 9, 10 & 11 at non-selective UK state schools! You do not need particular grades or be taking particular GCSE subjects to take part.

Registration opens in October of each academic year, and the link will be made available once it opens. If you are an Inspire Scholar on our Inspire Scholars Programme for Years 9, 10 & 11 you are automatically registered for Inspire Critical Thinking, and do not need to register again.

No, there is no homework for the programme. There are, however, opportunities for pupils to submit work in response to challenges for the chance to win prizes!

Yes, you can, however the competitions will no longer be live. Follow this link to access the previous years’ Inspire Critical Thinking classes.

We would be very happy to respond to any questions you have about Inspire Critical Thinking. You are welcome to contact us at