Studying at Cambridge

As a participant in the University of Cambridge International Summer Schools, you will be guided by your Course Directors, and encouraged to discuss, debate and develop your own understanding of the issues raised in class. It is a very special experience and one that we hope you will enjoy.

Studying 2014 v1

Teaching staff

Our Plenary Lecturers and Course Directors are chosen from amongst the best communicators at the University Cambridge and beyond. Many have taught on our programmes before, and some return year after year, because our students have recommended them so highly and because they enjoy the experience.

Wherever possible, we use Course Directors currently teaching at the University of Cambridge, with College, Faculty or other connections. We also invite experts from other universities and institutions. For more information about our Course Directors please see our Teaching Staff page.

Teaching Sites

Teaching takes place on the Sidgwick Site close to Newnham College and Selwyn College.


After your programme you will receive a certificate showing the special subject courses that you have attended.

Writing essays

You may join the many participants who choose to write essays for evaluation by your Course Director – this is usually in order to gain credit from your home university, but also so that you assimilate the learning more fully, and can be assessed
against the University of Cambridge standard. In either case, writing papers is a valuable way of responding to the courses you have taken, and judging how much you have learned. Essays will normally be graded by the Course Director who teaches the course. Participants receive written feedback and a percentage mark.
You may complete one essay per special subject course. The charge for evaluation is £50 per essay.

Contact hours and credit

The University of Cambridge does not, itself, award credit to those studying on its International Summer Schools. However, a considerable number of participants on its programmes are awarded credit by their home institutions. The number of credits awarded varies from institution to institution, based on contact hours (typically c.45 hours for a two-week programme) and how many essays (if any) students choose to write. We can provide additional information for students who wish to earn credit from their home institution for the Summer School courses they attend in Cambridge.

Libraries and computing

You will have access to a variety of faculty libraries, including a small lending library set up for the exclusive use of Summer School students, and reading rights at the main University Library.

All students are given a University computer account in order to access email and write papers for evaluation. Depending on your accommodation, you may also have the option to connect your own laptop, or other devices, to the University network.

Online Resource Centre

All course materials, lecture schedules, resource lists, timetables and handbooks can be downloaded from our Online Resource Centre before you arrive in Cambridge. In addition, useful information on living and studying in Cambridge and travelling while you are in the UK is available. You will also be able to communicate with other participants prior to your arrival in Cambridge via the online forum. Information on how to access the Online Resource Centre will be emailed to participants once they have been accepted.