History Summer School

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19 July – 1 August 2015
Programme Director: Dr David Smith FRHistS

A team of eminent historians offer courses that cover a wide range of problems and themes in British, European and global history. You can choose courses that complement one another or you may wish to select ones that address the broadest possible historical period.

Who can apply?

Programmes are open to university students, professionals and those with other life experience; gap-year students preparing for university may also apply (students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian if under 18 when the programme commences). Participants must also meet our language requirements.

How to apply

Applications for 2015 will open in December 2014 when the new programmes go live.

For more information about other Summer School programmes please visit:

Academic programme

  • Four special subject courses
    (two per week)
  • Plenary course LM0:
    Heroes and Villains
  • Evening lectures

Special subject courses

Courses are led by members of the University’s Faculty of History and visiting academics. You may wish to attend courses which most obviously complement one another or you may make a selection which covers the broadest historical period possible.

Week 1:

11.00am – 12.30pm

La1 - James II and the 'Glorious Revolution'
La2 - The CIA in Cold War historical perspective
La3 - Making and breaking the Soviet Union
La4 - The Victorians: the past and its personalities in a mass-media age
La5 - The reign of Henry VIII

2.00pm – 3.30pm

Ma1 - The imperial French: Napoleon and after
Ma2 - The reign of Mary I
Ma3 - Cold War flashpoints
Ma4 - The world of Samuel Pepys
Ma5 - The first British Empire, from the Tudors to American Independence

Week 2:

11.00am – 12.30pm

Lb1 - The reigns of William and Mary, and Anne, 1688-1714
Lb2 - Winston Churchill - the greatest Briton?
Lb3 - Surprise attacks from Pearl Harbor to 9/11
Lb4 - Deepening democracy: socio-political protest movements in post-colonial India, 1947 to the present day
Lb5 - Elizabeth I: the Age of Gloriana?

2.00pm – 3.30pm

Mb1 - The imperial French: Napoleon III
Mb2 - Nelson: the ultimate naval hero?
Mb3 - Latin America in the wider world since 1800
Mb4 - The word in paint and stone: the art and architecture of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, 1917-53
Mb5 - Kingdom and conquest: forging Protestant Ireland, 1540-1800

Plenary lectures

Each year, eminent historians from the University of Cambridge and beyond are invited to contribute plenary lectures related to a chosen theme. The theme of this year’s morning plenary lectures is Heroes and Villains.

Evening lectures

Additional general evening lectures will add to your enjoyment of the programme.


Accommodation is available for participants who want to stay in a Cambridge College. Please see the accommodation options available for this programme.

Non-residential attendance is also available if participants prefer to find their own lodgings.

Programme fees

Programme fees include tuition, bed, breakfast and evening meals unless otherwise indicated.

Pre-enrolment information

Booking terms and conditions


2014 brochure as a PDF (5.31MB)

Contact us

University of Cambridge
International Programmes
Institute of Continuing Education
Madingley Hall
United Kingdom
CB23 8AQ

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 760850
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 760848
Email: intenq@ice.cam.ac.uk


Teaching and assessment is in English. Students for whom English is not their first language should refer to the Competence in the English Language Policy for further guidance.

Printable versions of our brochures are available to download from the Summer Schools brochure download page.