Interdisciplinary Summer School

ISS 2014 v1

Term I: 6 19 July 2014
Term II: 20 July 2 August 2014
Term III: 3 16 August 2014
Programme Director: Sarah J Ormrod

The Interdisciplinary Summer School offers courses covering a wide variety of subjects, including archaeology, politics, philosophy, psychology, economics, education, literature, history of science and international relations. Participants may concentrate their studies on two or three courses in the same discipline or study more widely by choosing courses in differing subject fields.

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

To apply for this programme, first select the courses you wish to study from the list below.

Please download an application form and submit by fax or post. Online booking is now closed.

For more information about other Summer School programmes please visit:

The academic programme

  • Major plenary lecture series:
  • Two or three special subject courses
  • Evening lectures

Special subject courses

Courses consist of classroom sessions held on weekdays. Almost all are limited to 25 participants. You choose either two or three courses, each from a different group: A, B, C in Term I, II or III.

Term I: 6 19 July 2014

Group A: 9.00am 10.15am

A11 International politics in a global age I
A12 The Victorians in peace and war I. Peace
A13 History of science I. Ancient science
A14 A history of British political thought I. 1600-1800
A15 Britain and the world since 1900
A16 Understanding poetry I. British Romantic poetry: the spirit of the age
A17 All you need is love. Love in literature from Shakespeare to Beckett
A18 Tudor history I. 1485-1547

Group B: 11.45am  1.00pm

B11 International politics in a global age I
B12 Sir Christopher Wren: architect in context
B13 Crises in world politics since 1945
B14 History of archaeology I. From the Bible to the Bomb - Cancelled
B15 Climate change: an interdisciplinary approach
B16 Understanding poetry II. ‘Mad, bad and dangerous to know’: Lord Byron - Cancelled
B17 Shakespeare studies I. Two plays of Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice and Hamlet
B18 History of art I. Art and power: how value is made

Group C: 2.00pm  3.15pm

C11 International politics in a global age I
C12 History of art II. Surrealism and the visual arts, 1924-69
C13 Introduction to philosophy I. Social and political philosophy
C14 Russia in the 20th century
C15 History of science II. Early Islamic science - Cancelled
C16 International development: key issues in today's world
C17 All you need is love. Love in literature from Shakespeare to Beckett

Term II: 20 July 2 August 2014

Group A: 9.00am  10.15am

A21 International politics in a global age II
A22 The Victorians in peace and war II. War
A23 Global energy security
A24 A history of British political thought II. 1800 to the present day
A25 History of science III. The invention of the modern world: mathematics, 1200-1700
A26 Shakespeare studies II. Key moments in Shakespeare’s plays
A27 The Holy Roman Empire: 1500-1806
A28 Tudor history II. 1547-53

Group B: 11.45am  1.00pm

B21 International politics in a global age II
B22 The end of Britain's Empire
B23 Introduction to philosophy II. The philosophy of mind
B24 History of archaeology II. Archaeologists and the world since 1950 - Cancelled
B25 History of science IV. Science and Renaissance
B26 Understanding poetry III. Questions of belief: Gerard Manley Hopkins and Philip Larkin - Cancelled
B27 Shakespeare's political animals: politics and human nature in Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, and The Tempest
B28 Tudor history III. 1553-1603

Group C: 2.00pm  3.15pm

C21 International politics in a global age II
C22 History of art III. Performance art: 1950s to the present day
C23 Living film - a life in pictures?
C24 History of archaeology III. The rise of civilisation
C25 History of science V. Galileo and his world
C26 Understanding poetry IV. Practical criticism
C27 Introduction to philosophy III. Philosophy of religion

Term III: 3 16 August 2014

Group A: 9.00am  10.15am

A31 History of art IV. Painting Paris: French painting, 1860-90
A32 Greek heroes and gods, in literature, history and the imagination
A33 Education in Britain 1870-present
A34 Introducing psychology: mind, mental process and behaviour
A35 History of science VI. The Scientific Revolution
A36 Governance of Britain today
A37 History of archaeology IV. Rome and China
A38 Tudor history I. 1485-1547

Group B: 11.45am  1.00pm

B31 History of art V. Breaking boundaries: the art of Matisse and Picasso, 1900-50
B32 Economics of public policy
B33 English houses and gardens I. Defining ‘Englishness’ from 1130 to 1970
B34 The abnormal mind: an introduction to psychopathology
B35 History of science VII. Ancient medicine - Cancelled
B36 History of archaeology V. The ancient Aztecs and Maya
B37 Milton and the idea of freedom: Paradise Lost in context
B38 Tudor history II. 1547-53 - Cancelled

Group C: 2.00pm  3.15pm

C31 Children, teachers and education: contemporary issues, historical perspectives
C32 An introduction to macroeconomics
C33 English houses and gardens II. Personal expressions
C34 Crises and international relations since 1945
C35 History of science VIII. Science and the Enlightenment
C36 History of archaeology VI. The collapse of civilisation - Cancelled

Plenary lectures

The theme for our morning plenary series is Achievement. Lectures will interpret this theme widely, with proposed talks on topics as wide-ranging as sight, aspiration and innovation.

Evening lectures

Invited speakers and members of the University will give a varied evening lecture programme, covering a wide range of subjects.


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.

Click here to see the options available.

Pre-enrolment information

Booking terms and conditions


2014 brochure as a PDF (5.31MB)
Application form as a PDF (113KB)

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


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.