United Kingdom, Cambridge

Interdisciplinary Summer Programme

when 8 July 2018 - 18 August 2018
duration 6 weeks

The three terms of the Interdisciplinary Programme offer courses covering a wide variety of subjects, including philosophy, economics, international politics and relations, literature, history, film, art history and history of science.

The academic programme
• Two or three courses (one from each group)
• Series of plenary lectures: Impact
• Evening talks

Programme description
Each two-week term is independent, for an immersive experience, we suggest you study for four or six weeks, combining two, or all three terms. However, you may enrol for just one term if you prefer. You can focus your studies on two or three courses in the same discipline, or choose courses in differing subjects. With hundreds of possible course combinations, you can devise your own personalised study programme.

"A great opportunity for cross-disciplinary study: the wealth and breadth of these courses reflect Cambridge at its very best." Sarah J Ormrod, Programme Director, Interdisciplinary Summer Programme


Select two or three courses per term. Teaching takes place on weekdays; the maximum class size for all courses is 25 participants, except for International politics in a global age which is 40. You can write one essay per course for evaluation.

TERM I (8 – 21 July)

Group A: 9.00am – 10.15am
A11 - International politics in a global age I
A12 - The world of Napoleon
A13 - Rome and China
A14 - Myth, magic and make believe in the English Renaissance
A15 - British politics and political thought, 1600-1800
A16 - Hollywood cinema: five films from the 1920s to the 1960s

Group B: 11.45am – 1.00pm
B11 - International politics in a global age I
B12 - The Cold War: clash of the Superpowers
B13 - Great ancient and medieval philosophers
B14 - Art and power: how value is made
B15 - The politics and economics of the European Union: past, present and future
B16 - Violence and the royal figure in Shakespeare: King Lear and Macbeth

Group C: 2.00pm – 3.15pm
C11 - International politics in a global age I
C12 - The Scientific Revolution
C13 - The British Home Front in the First World War
C14 - Achilles, Odysseus and Aeneas: Ancient Greek and Roman epic heroes
C15 - Bob Dylan’s lyrics: a literary exploration

TERM II (22 July – 4 August)

Group A: 9.00am – 10.15am
A21 - International politics in a global age II
A22 - Wellington to Churchill: the British at war, 1815-1945
A23 - Principles of macroeconomics: countries and systems
A24 - The abridged history of English
A25 - Words, deeds and democracy: British politics and political thought, 1800 to the present
A26 - An introduction to animal behaviour

Group B: 11.45am – 1.00pm
B21 - International politics in a global age II
B22 - Three great Young Adult fantasists: Pullman, Rowling, Nix
B23 - Economics of public policy
B24 - Living film: a life in pictures?
B25 - The philosophy of mind
B26 - The origins of Stonehenge: new discoveries and fresh perspectives

Group C: 2.00pm – 3.15pm
C21 - International politics in a global age II
C22 - 20th-century country house fiction: Forster’s Howard’s End, Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and McEwan’s Atonement
C23 - Great modern philosophers
C24 - Making film: media theory and practice
C25 - International development: key issues in today's world

TERM III (5 – 18 August)

Group A: 9.00am – 10.15am
A31 - Science, superstition and religion: key questions
A32 - The landscape history of Britain
A33 - Early Islamic science
A34 - J R R Tolkien and modern fantasy
A35 - The human mind: the 'normal' and beyond

Group B: 11.45am – 1.00pm
B31 - English houses and gardens: defining Englishness
B32 - Metropolis and imperialism, Roman and Aztec
B33 - A history of medicine from the Ancients to the 19th century
B34 - Political Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, King Lear and The Tempest
B35 - The human mind: the 'normal' and beyond

Group C: 2.00pm – 3.15pm
C31 - Castles, palaces and houses of British monarchs
C32 - British politics at the dawn of a new era
C33 - The Scientific Revolution
C34 - Philosophy, humour and the absurd

Plenary lectures
All participants also attend the morning plenary lecture series, this year the theme Impact is applied across politics, scientific discovery, literature, art, economics, conflict, climate change and a wide variety of other topics.

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

Course leader

Sarah J Ormrod

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 Programmes evaluation for credit purposes.

Fee info

GBP 0: See official website