Shakespeare Summer School

Midsummer 200x155

2 – 15 August 2015
Programme Director: Dr Fred Parker

The 2015 Shakespeare Summer School celebrates its 21st anniversary with a rich collection of courses, lectures, and special events.

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:

The academic programme

  • Four special subject courses
    (two for each week)
  • Plenary course RS0
    Truth and Fiction
  • Evening lectures

Special subject courses

You choose two courses per week, each has five sessions. You are expected to engage in preparatory work to gain the greatest benefit from your studies.

Week 1

9.15am – 10.45am

Ra1 - The Falstaff plays: Henry IV and The Merry Wives
Ra2 - Slow reading: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ra3 - Hamlet's problems
Ra4 - "Love is merely a madness": As you Like It

2.00pm – 3.30pm

Sa1 - "So much blood ...": Macbeth
Sa2 - The Taming of the Shrew and other early comedies
Sa3 - Romanticising Shakespeare
Sa4 - Mortality and mercy in Measure for Measure

Week 2

Group Rb: 9.15am – 10.45am

Rb1 - Shakespeare’s strange last plays
Rb2 - Shakespeare and the shapes of history
Rb3 - Antony and Cleopatra: a Roman thought about Egypt
Rb4 - Shakespeare’s troublesome endings

2.00pm – 3.30pm

Sb1 - 'So much blood …": Macbeth
Sb2 - Much Ado About Nothing and Othello
Sb3 - Justice in King Lear
Sb4 - Shakespeare and friends

Plenary lectures

The theme of the morning lecture programme is Truth and Fiction. Lectures will open up new connections both within and beyond the works. Speakers will include such eminent Shakespeareans as Catherine Belsey, Kate McLuskie and Catherine Alexander, as well as Martin Best, lutenist with the Royal Shakespeare Company..

Evening lectures

These lectures are broader in scope and include introductions to the optional excursions.


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


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.