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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


Cancellation of the 2020 Summer Programmes.

Because of the impact worldwide of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s International Summer Programmes, due to take place in July and August 2020. We are working on plans for Summer 2021, and will post information as soon as possible about dates and provisional content.

We anticipate that bookings for next summer will be possible from early Autumn. In the meantime, please check our webpages for up-to-date information about online options currently available at ICE.


Open-access programmes

Over 200 open-access courses and seminars make up our programmes, providing scope to personalise your schedule of study. In 2020, around 100 of these courses are new. Most programmes run for two weeks, but one-week options are available for most. You can sign up for all six weeks, or just for one or two.

The structure of the programmes varies to provide choice and to ensure the most effective way of delivery. Courses include classroom sessions, plenary lectures which explore new ideas and will extend your knowledge of your chosen subjects, and more general evening talks designed to add to your enjoyment and introduce you to different subjects. Some courses feature visits to the University’s superb Museums and Art Collections, and a number of Science courses have integral laboratory sessions and visits to world-famous departments.

Interdisciplinary Summer Programme

Term I: 5 – 18 July; Term II: 19 July – 1 August; Term III: 2 – 15 August 2020

The ideal programme if you want to combine subjects from different disciplines. The three two-week terms are independent and offer courses covering a rich selection of subjects, including politics and international development, international busines, economics, psychology, philosophy, archaeology, art and architecture, literature, history, and science. More »

Global Challenges Summer Programme

5 – 18 July 2020

New for 2020: this programme offers a series of lectures and seminars addressing many of the major challenges we face today, including international development, migration, climate change and the perils of human existence. More »

Visions of the Future Summer Programme

5 July – 1 August 2020

New for 2020: this four-week programme, allowing for more in-depth study of how our world is changing, features plenary lectures, seminars and small-group supervisions. Lectures to include AI, climate change, economics, past predictions, medical advances and possible political futures. More »

Ancient and Classical Worlds Summer Programme

5 – 18 July 2020

This programme offers a rich selection of courses on a range of past cultures and civilisations taught by leading experts and allows you to explore and immerse yourself in the latest thinking on ancient and classical worlds. More »

Science Summer Programme

Term I: 5 – 18 July; Term II: 19 July – 1 August 2020

This programme draws on the expertise of senior Cambridge academics to offer courses in a broad variety of scientific fields which include astronomy, chemistry, climate change, earth science, engineering, evolution, genetics, materials science, microbiology, nanobiotechnology, neurobiology, physiology, plant science, psychology and zoology. More »

Literature Summer Programme

Term I: 5 – 18 July; Term II: 19 July – 1 August 2020

This programme gives you an experience of 'Cambridge English', with its emphasis on small group teaching, close attention to the actual text, and radical inquiry into why literature matters. Enthusiastic lecturers draw on writings of many different kinds and periods to offer a rich variety of voices and approaches. More »

English Law and Legal Methods Summer Programme

5 – 25 July 2020

Designed primarily for lawyers and law students who have no prior knowledge of the English legal system, this three-week programme presents the central aspects of English law, with emphasis on the general structure of the law and legal methods. Teaching is through lectures and seminars. More »

Art and Visual Culture Summer Programme

19 July – 1 August 2020

The programme offers a multidisciplinary approach encompassing art, architecture and sculpture, and draws on the magnificent collections across the University of Cambridge. For undergraduates, graduates, teachers and those with a passion for art and visual culture. More »

History Summer Programme

19 July – 1 August 2020

This programme gives you the chance to study in detail specific historical figures, periods and events. Eminent historians offer courses covering a wide range of themes in British, European and global history. More »

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summer Programme

19 July – 1 August 2020

This two-week programme combines sessions from business school academics with hands-on sessions from business practitioners and successful entrepreneurs. The programme is for aspiring entrepreneurs with a basic understanding of business. More »

Shakespeare and the Renaissance Summer Programme

2 – 15 August 2020

This programme offers a rich collection of courses, acting workshops and lectures exploring the power, beauty, and meaning of Shakespeare's plays and the wider world of Elizabethan culture, history, politics, art and science; and aspects of performance. More »

Medieval Studies Summer Programme

2 – 15 August 2020

This programme offers an unparalleled opportunity to learn from some of the finest British medievalists. Courses encompass art, architecture, history, literature, religion, trade and health. More »

Creative Writing Summer Programme

2 – 15 August 2020

This programme builds on a rich literary tradition at Cambridge and is designed for those wishing to develop their existing writing skills, either for professional use, or out of personal interest. Courses focus on the writing of fiction and non-fiction, in a range of genres and styles. More »

LMU/Cambridge Programme in Cambridge and Munich

Term I: Cambridge 2 – 15 August; Term II: Munich 16 - 29 August 2020

New for 2020This new four-week programme builds on the close relationship between Cambridge and LMU, and offers a unique opportunity for students to learn at both institutions. All students are encouraged to apply for both Terms. Established researchers and experts in each University will deliver talks, which set European issues in their historical context and go on to address the current turbulent political situation. More »

Pre-University Summer Programme

Term I: 5 – 18 July; Term II: 19 July – 1 August 2020

Our Pre-University Programme, provides 16-18 year-old high-school students an opportunity to prepare for future undergraduate study at leading global universities. This programme is intellectually stimulating and intensive; whatever your current interests, you will discover new disciplines and topics that will push you outside your comfort zone and challenge your perceptions. More »

Combining programmes

You can combine programmes and/or terms to build your own schedule of two, three, four or more weeks. For example, you could study two weeks of Literature followed by two weeks of Shakespeare and the Renaissance, or one week of Ancient and Classical Worlds followed by two weeks of History. Dotted lines in the diagram below indicate which programmes can be taken for just one week. Click on the individual programme to be taken to the relevant page.

The University's International Summer Programmes are an embodiment of our mission 'to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence'.

Professor Graham Virgo QC (Hon), Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

Browse our 2020 prospectus

Details for 2021 programmes to follow in due course.