History Summer Programme

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17 – 30 July 2016
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.


More information about the 2016 programme will be available in the coming months. Last year's programme information is listed below.

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 This course is now full
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.

A typical day

On each weekday morning you attend a plenary lecture, followed by a class from your La or Lb special subject course. In the afternoons you attend a class from your Ma or Mb special subject course. Subject specific and joint lectures are offered in the evenings.

College accommodation

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.

Information for applicants

Programme calendar
Who can apply
How to apply
Making choices
Programme options and fees
Language requirements
Booking terms and conditions


The quickest way to apply is by using our secure online booking system. You can also apply by downloading an application form (pdf) and sending it by post or fax.