United Kingdom, Cambridge

Science Summer Programme

when 8 July 2018 - 4 August 2018
duration 4 weeks

The University is renowned for scientific achievement and innovation. We draw on the expertise of senior Cambridge academics to offer courses in a broad variety of scientific fields. This year sees a huge expansion of the programme with many more courses and subjects to choose from including astronomy, chemistry, climate change, cryptography, earth science, evolution, genetics, microbiology, nanobiotechnology, neurobiology, nutrition, physiology, plant science, psychology, quantum mechanics and zoology.

The academic programme
• Two courses per week
• Series of plenary lectures: Impact and Responsibility
• Evening talks

Programme description
Taught by leading Cambridge academics, courses can be combined to give up to four weeks of study. You may choose a particular track by selecting courses in related subjects, but an interdisciplinary approach is also encouraged. Some courses are taught in the relevant University Department. Many have an integral practical session, or visit exclusive to that course.

"The Science Programme brings you face-to-face with world-leading researchers pushing the boundaries of scientific excellence."
Dr Tom Monie, Joint Programme Director, Science Summer Programme

You choose one course per week, each has five sessions. The maximum class size is 25 participants. You can write one essay per course for evaluation.

Courses marked * require a knowledge of differential calculus, some integral calculus and fluency in high school level algebra and geometry.

TERM I (8 – 21 July)

Week 1:
11.00am – 12.30pm
Pa1 - It's all in the genes: introduction
Pa2 - An introduction to social psychology
Pa3 - Building blocks of astronomy
Pa4 - How nanobiotechnology is revolutionising healthcare
Pa5 - Introduction to the chemistry of the transition metals

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Qa1 - Life at the Poles: adaptations in extreme environments
Qa2 - How does your immune system work?
Qa3 - Understanding the Universe: a multi-wavelength approach
Qa4 - Solar energy science and technology
Qa5 - The future of electronics

Week 2:
11.00am – 12.30pm
Pb1 - It's all in the genes: intermediate
Pb2 - Autism: a modern epidemic?
Pb3 - Curious physics: rotational mechanics and special relativity*
Pb4 - Small worlds: an inroduction to microbiology
Pb5 - The science and technology behind adhesive bonding and composite materials

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Qb1 - Exciting cells: an introduction to neurobiology
Qb2 - Antarctica: Ocean, ice, animals and climate change
Qb3 - Curious physics: waves and quantum mechanics*
Qb4 - An introduction to common biochemical assay techniques
Qb5 - The medicinal properties of plants

TERM II (22 July – 4 August)

Week 1:
11.00am – 12.30pm
Pc1 - Hidden partners: symbioses and the success of plants on land
Pc2 - Stem cells
Pc3 - Codes, ciphers and secrets: an introduction to cryptography
Pc4 - From micro to macro: understanding our planet

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Qc1 - Restless creatures
Qc2 - Forests in a rapidly changing world
Qc3 - More than hot air: fundamentals of air pollution and climate science
Qc4 - From micro to macro: understanding our planet

Week 2:
11.00am – 12.30pm
Pd1 - An introduction to animal behaviour
Pd2 - Fossils, evolution and the history of life
Pd3 - Unveiling the Universe
Pd4 - Palaeopathology: the study of ancient health and diseases

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Qd1 - Memory: psychological and neurobiological perspectives
Qd2 - Nutrition Science: from core concepts to health applications
Qd3 - Unveiling the Universe
Qd4 - The Periodic Table: patterns and predictions

Planned practicals and visits

TERM I (9 – 22 July)
Visit to the Whipple Museum of the History of Science
Visit to the world-renowned Gurdon Institute with a short practical
Practical in the Department of Biochemistry
Explore engineering I in the new Dyson Centre for Engineering Design
Diffraction and the discovery of DNA practical at the world-famous Cavendish Laboratory
Guided visit to The Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute

TERM II (23 July – 5 August)
Visit to the award-winning Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Guided tour of the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
Demonstration and visit to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Diversification of Life demonstration in the Department of Zoology
Explore engineering II practical in the Department of Engineering
Tour of the Institute of Astronomy

Plenary lectures
Lectures from leading Cambridge scientists will explore this theme, as well as providing introductions to the afternoon practical sessions and visits.

Evening talks
Eminent speakers will present a variety of general interest talks. These are shared with students on our other programmes.

Course leader

Dr Tom Monie
Dr James Grime
Dr Robin Catchpole

Target group

We welcome applications from all adult learners including university students, professionals and those with other experience who have an interest in the subject, regardless of educational background.

Credits info

The University of Cambridge does not use a credit system for the awarding of its internal degrees, and cannot award credit directly for its International Summer Programmes. Students wishing to obtain credit as a result of our evaluation should consult their own institutions in advance about the acceptability of the Summer Programme evaluation for credit purposes.

Fee info

GBP 0: See official website