Shakespeare Summer School

Midsummer 200x155

2 – 15 August 2015
Programme Director: Dr Fred Parker

The 2014 Shakespeare Summer School celebrated the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth – as well as its own 20th 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.

For reference, the following courses ran in 2014:

Week 1

9.15am – 10.45am

- "And kinde with kinde confound": Shakespeare's bending of genre
- The Tempest in performance: "O brave new world..."
- Two problem comedies: All’s Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure
- Shakespeare and other sonneteers

2.00pm – 3.30pm

- Shakespeare and love
- Love's Labours Lost: "the wonder of the world"
- An essence that’s not seen: appearance and reality in Othello

Week 2

Group Rb: 9.15am – 10.45am

- Justice and fortune in The Merchant of Venice
- The Tempest in performance: "O brave new world..."
- First world, (not so) green world
- King Richard III and Macbeth: tragedies of tyranny

2.00pm – 3.30pm

- King Lear
- Two Roman tragedies
- Shakespeare's late plays

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 in 2014 included such eminent Shakespeareans as Catherine Belsey, Kate McLuskie and Catherine Alexander, as well as members from the English faculty in Cambridge.

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.