The Oxford Strategy Challenge

The Oxford Strategy Challenge (TOSCA) is a hackathon inspired consultancy challenge.

You will work with a small team providing consultancy to an organisation. The project you will work on will be important to your client. It is a chance to gain hands-on client work experience and make a real contribution to an organisation.

This is a challenge. Once you have received your client brief get ready for some intensive work with your team. You will have five days to tackle the problem your client has set. At the end of the programme you will have real life examples of key employment skills that you can deploy on your CV, cover letters, and in your interviews.

What will you get out of it?

TOSCA provides you with real-world client work experience and development opportunities across eight key employment skills: team working, communication, initiative, creativity, planning, leadership, self-management and business awareness.

You also have the opportunity to develop skills in working effectively as part of a remote team, managing a client relationship, collecting data under time pressure, reacting quickly to unexpected changes, and summarising and presenting your findings to a client.

Applications to the September/October programme have now closed.

November/December Programme – Apply now on CareerConnect

We have now opened applications for all of our programmes through 2020 on CareerConnect. The schedule for each programme and application links can be found under 'Programme dates' below. Early applications are advised.

How does it work?

TOSCA is a team-based, experiential learning event. Every aspect of the process will present a learning opportunity. This is a remote working programme.

Assessment and Training

The programme begins with an assessment centre task and two training sessions. You will then be placed in your team (usually of four people) and given a short case study to complete as a team before each training session.

Once you have completed both training sessions you will be given your client brief.

Project work

The challenge starts with a briefing call with the client on a Thursday. Your team will work over the weekend though to Wednesday when you will present your findings to your client. You have the option of an additional check-in call with your client on the Friday.

Graduation event

We will wrap up TOSCA with an online graduation event for you to network with others and share your experience and feedback.

Expand All

What will it cost me?

There is no cost to you for taking part. You won’t be charging for your projects so there will be no charge to the organisations either.

Does it matter what subject I’m studying or what year I am in?

Absolutely not – we welcome current students from 1st years to DPhils and researchers; from English to Economics students – with everything in between.We also welcome alumni who graduated in 2020.

Unfortunately, due to high demand, we cannot accept applications from Said Business School students, Visiting Students or those who have previously participated (you can apply if you have applied before but were not accepted).

How long will the assessment centre last?

The assessment centre task consists of a short video which you will be asked to record and submit via Canvas. You will be given 24 hours to complete this task.

What do I need in order to take part?

The programme will be delivered entirely online via Canvas. You will need internet access for the duration of the programme. The assessment centre will consist of a short video submission which can be completed using Canvas software and laptop/device with a camera. Training will be delivered live via Teams. Client meetings will take place remotely.

I was looking for The Student or Researcher Consultancy programmes. Are these programmes still running? 

At this time of Covid-19 disruption The Oxford Strategy Challenge (TOSCA) is an alternative to our regular team-based client experience programmes: The Student Consultancy (TSC), Researcher Strategy Consultancy (RSC) and The Agency. TOSCA is open to Oxford undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers as well as alumni graduating in 2020.

November/December Programme - applications now open on CareerConnect

Activity schedule Key dates (times are GMT)
Applications Close By noon on Fri 13 Nov
Selection Assessment submission by applicants online By midnight Tues 17 Nov
Successful applicants invited to training Thurs 19 Nov
Training Participants confirm they will attend training By end of Mon 23 Nov
Online training sessions (x2) Tues 24 Nov & Weds 25 Nov (both 13:00 - 14:30)
Project work Meet the client online Thurs 26 Nov (meeting scheduled between 13:00 - 15:00)
Client ‘check-in’ meeting (optional) Fri 27 November
Client presentations Weds 2 December
Graduation event Wrap-up and review event Thurs 3 December (13:30 - 15:00)

If you have any questions about the programme or about accessing either the assessment centre, training sessions, or client meetings please email courses@careers.ox.ac.uk

Looking for more?


Check the CareerConnect platform for all our upcoming events and opportunities, book appointments, find jobs and internships, and more.

Login to CareerConnect