Science Summer School

SCI 2014 v1

Term I: 6 – 19 July 2014
Term II: 20 July – 2 August 2014
Programme Directors: Dr Rob Wallach, Dr Erica Bithell and Dr Ed Turner

We draw on the expertise of senior academics at Cambridge, to offer courses in a variety of scientific fields. The Summer School is suitable for undergraduates and graduates in sciences, as well as teachers and other professionals. The programme also welcomes those with a strong interest, but with little formal science training.

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:

Academic programme

  • One special subject course per week
  • Plenary course P01:
    Knowledge and Need
  • Practical sessions
  • Evening talks

Special subject courses

Each course meets five times. You may choose to follow a particular track by selecting courses in related subject fields, but an interdisciplinary approach is also encouraged.

Term I: 6 – 19 July

Week 1 (6 – 12 July) 11.00am – 12.30pm

P02 Conservation biology
P03 Early stage drug discovery
P04 Colourful physics: nature's paintbrush
P05 Can we geoengineer the climate?

Week 2 (13 – 19 July) 11.00am – 12.30pm

P06 Materials science: what made man
P07 The mathematics of networks and colouring
P08 Introduction to social psychology
P09 How does your immune system work?

Term II: 20 July – 2 August

Week 3 (20 – 26 July) 11.00am – 12.30pm

P10 Autism: a modern epidemic?
P11 Energy generation and sustainability
P12 Network science in biology: measuring, visualising and modelling real world complex networks
P13 The non-coding genome

Week 4 (27 July – 2 August) 11.00am – 12.30pm

P14 Approaches to diffraction and imaging
P15 Memory: psychological and neurobiological perspectives
P16 The insecticide landscape: Plan Bee - Cancelled
P17 Codes, ciphers and secrets: an introduction to cryptography

Plenary lectures

All participants are registered for a course of plenary lectures entitled Knowledge and Need. Lectures focus both on the present and past limits of current knowledge, and how the quest for knowledge has been driven by the need to find solutions to difficult questions posed by hunger, disease, conflict, and climate change.

Practical sessions

Materials Science, ecological, geological and mathematical ‘trails’ are amongst the practical sessions planned, along with visits to institutes and laboratories in Cambridge.

Term I practicals include: An ecology trail in the University Botanic Garden, a geology trail and a zoology practical session.

Term II practicals include: A botany trail in the University Botanic Garden, a mathematics practical and an astronomy site session.

Evening lectures

Lectures provide introductions to additional aspects of science.


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.