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Attending Cambridge Immerse has taught me invaluable lessons that go beyond the framework of classroom learning. I feel that after two weeks I have developed both intellectually and as a person in general, a result of the rapid pace of teaching and the fantastically motivated group of peers I learned alongside. – Sophie, United Kingdom

Take a look at what our students have to say about the Biology programme

Overview of course

  • Maximum tutorial size: 12 students
  • Oxbridge style teaching
  • University preparation workshops
  • Inclusive of excursions
  • Reside in a central University of Cambridge college
  • Classes designed and taught by University tutors
  • Dedicated university and subject specific advice
  • A variety of carefully planned skills workshops
  • Inclusive of all excursions and extracurriculars
  • Diverse range of international participants
  • Participant Assessment
  • Certificate of Participation

This programme is available during all three Cambridge Immerse sessions in 2018

  • Session 1: 8th July – 21st July 2018
  • Session 2: 22nd July – 4th August 2018
  • Session 3: 5th August – 18th August 2018

Summary

Cambridge Immerse is a unique two week residential educational experience with a diverse and enriching curriculum, designed and taught by Cambridge University and Oxford University tutors. Tutorials and seminars are taught by experts in an optimal learning environment that stimulates academic enquiry; yet the carefully planned schedule ensures that the programme not only meets the academic needs of the participants, but also provides a unique insight into the university city through an abundance of extracurricular activities.

The Cambridge Immerse Biology course is both challenging and engaging, with students learning in small groups to ensure that each student’s needs are addressed. In addition to covering material that is studied at the A-level and IB-level, students are also taught advanced university-level topics in a way that is approachable and easy to understand.

In addition to consolidating students’ existing understanding of Biology, the course introduces students to more advanced topics and debates that will not only spur intellectual curiosity, but will also assist in preparing to study the discipline at university level.

Learn more about Cambridge Immerse

Academic Content & Learning Objectives

Study of the biological sciences includes a diverse and exciting range of topics, from cellular structure to genetics, and even to whole ecosystems. The discoveries scientists make about life processes are crucial to tackle challenges to human welfare and environmental protection. The Cambridge Immerse programme is a unique opportunity to explore fascinating topics within Biological Sciences, to debate recent scientific advances and the potential interactions of Biology with other disciplines.

To equip participants with valuable critical thinking skills, the syllabus also examines the past and current debates occurring within the discipline, exploring the concepts of the philosophy of science and Darwin’s theory of evolution –  which has been a historical point of contention between scientists and religion. The syllabus also considers the controversial contributions of leading biologists, including the eminent Professor Dawkins, one of the world’s leading scientists and author of ‘The God Delusion’, amongst others, and to learn and debate the current assertions within the field.

The Cambridge Immerse Biology curriculum also includes undertaking a group project. This project, which is completed during the programme, enables participants to develop their research skills by exploring specific fields of interest, culminating in an assessed presentation to the programme tutor(s).

A diverse range of topics are explored during the programme, and a sample of previous topics that have been explored can be viewed by clicking on the boxes below:

life

This topic explores the scientific debate surrounding what constitutes ‘life’, and how biologists have attempted to define life. Students consider some of the most novel and fascinating ideas of how life is thought to have originated, and examine the ‘RNA world hypothesis’ and its problems.  The variety of life and the classification into a hierarchy of taxa is also explored, leading to consideration of the two basic types of cells where students are taught the essential differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, and consider how different parts of a cell can by studied by the technique of Cell Fractionation.

life

DNA is one of the most fascinating and ‘relevant’ topics in the Biological Sciences. This topic initially considers the experimental evidence surrounding DNA and subsequently explores some of the key structural features of DNA. Building upon this foundation, a more advanced discussion reveals how the double helical structure is stabilised, and students learn the meaning of the terms DNA denaturation and renaturation, and the importance of complementary base-pairing. Students will learn about the universality of semiconservative replication and look into the experiment that confirmed this mode of replication as opposed to a conservative or disruptive manner. Additionally, students learn about some of the proteins involved in DNA replication and consider how information encoded in DNA is transcribed and translated by consideration of the genetic code and RNA molecules. This is followed by an introduction to Recombinant DNA technology, learning how DNA can be amplified in the lab by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Almost all organisms show behavioural and biochemical oscillations over a 24 hour period. These rhythms are known to be evolutionarily conserved and help to synchronise biological activity with the environment of the rotating Earth. Students learn that true circadian rhythms display several key common characteristics; they are free-running in that they persist in constant conditions and are entrainable (can be re-set as when, for example, we change time zones) and are independent of temperature (temperature compensated). How do these rhythms in biological activity arise? This topic will provide an introduction to the molecular mechanisms that drive circadian timing, specifically considering the transcription-translation feedback loop model. Additionally, students explore whether an understanding of the circadian clock could have implications for health and treatment of disease states.

Why Cambridge Immerse?

Exceptional teaching

We offer participants a choice of a range of subjects, from the arts to the sciences. All the subjects taught at Cambridge Immerse are taught by tutors who are current or previous members of Oxford University or Cambridge University, and have tutored undergraduate students. Our rigorous vetting process ensures that all students are taught by tutors who are engaging and supportive - and most of all, enthusiastic to share their expertise.

Our philosophy is that our participants should be challenged with interesting academic concepts; whilst our tutors create a welcoming and supportive environment in which our participants feel comfortable and thrive.

You will be encouraged to delve into and explore the current debates and issues within your chosen discipline in carefully planned classes that emulate the unique Oxbridge system of tutor-student engagement and debate. This is an approach that goes beyond the superficial and provides unique insights that are both refreshing and intellectually stimulating.

What is certain is that you will emerge undoubtedly far more confident and knowledgeable in your chosen discipline, tackling challenging yet interesting topics that we hope will further your academic passions.

Subjects that we offer include:

Participant Assessments

Throughout the programme, our tutors monitor student engagement with the topics that they have been taught. After the programme, a Participant Assessment is written by the tutor, evaluating participant progress and also making recommendations on how to most effectively advance participant's understanding and interest in the topics that have been explored.

Interview Skills Workshops (Optional)

Within our carefully designed interview skills workshops, students will gain an insight into the core skills required to successfully articulate their viewpoints in a pressured environment. These workshops focus upon developing the confidence and intellectual tenacity required to tackle some of the key questions that might be asked during interview, in addition to addressing debates surrounding some of the most pertinent issues within the discipline at the moment. The Interview Skills workshops are included within the programme fee, though attendance is optional.

Personal Statement Consultations (Optional)

Over the duration of the Cambridge Immerse course, students will have the opportunity to develop drafts of their personal statements required for access to universities across the world with the expertise and assistance of the trained mentor team. Students learn techniques to concisely express their interest in a particular discipline, crafting a compelling personal statement that showcases achievements and interest in a subject. The Personal Statement consultations are included within the programme fee, though attendance is optional.

Extracurricular diversity

Cambridge Immerse provides a truly immersive experience of university life. Not only will you discover and further your academic interests, you will also delve into the exciting and often fascinating spectrum of cultural activities available in Cambridge. The opportunity to experience daily organised excursions also allows the chance to socialise with like-minded peers from a diverse range of backgrounds and to quickly familiarise yourself with the city.

Activities organised as part of the programme include:

  • A summer’s afternoon punting down the River Cam, a quintessential Cambridge affair.
  • A day trip to Oxford, the home of Cambridge University’s arch ‘rival’.
  • Formal dining in Cambridge’s famous medieval banquet halls.

Visit our activities page to view the full range of subjects that we offer.

Timetable

The Cambridge Immerse schedule is packed with a wide range of unique academic and extracurricular activities.

Participants start off the day with breakfast in the main college dining hall, with a variety of continental and hot breakfast choices available. This is followed by the first academic session of the day, which takes place in a seminar or lecture format. Participants are then guided to lunch at some of Cambridge’s finest sandwich bars and cafés, and are welcome to explore the city in small groups. Following lunch, academic sessions continue in the format of small tutorial groups or workshops. After all the core academic sessions are finished, students are treated to one of a wide range of excursions and cultural activities, including punting, museum visits and sports activities. A three course dinner in the college dining hall is then followed by an evening social event to help participants wind down and socialise after a packed day.

The timetable shown to the side offers an insight into the typical daily schedule, although this may vary depending on the events planned on the given day.

A typical day..

Rollover each days activity to update content to the left.
 
 
08:00 - 09:30
Breakfast
09:30 - 11:30
Morning academic session
11:30 - 13:30
Lunch
13:30 - 15:30
Afternoon academic session
16:00 - 18:00
Academic discussion / debate
18:00 - 19:15
Dinner
19:30 - 22:00
Evening social event

Unrivalled support system

We place a huge emphasis on creating a supportive and approachable environment at Cambridge Immerse. Our mentors are a team of friendly, specially trained graduates and undergraduates from Cambridge University or Oxford University, who help our participants quickly settle into the programme. The mentors have first hand experience with a variety of academic and non-academic issues and are therefore in the best position to offer friendly, confidential one-to-one advice. It’s an unrivalled support network that we’re incredibly proud of.

Mentors have studied a range of disciplines, allowing them to share their own insights and experiences of their academic careers. Each participant is also assigned a mentor, all of whom are enthusiastic to help participants to help create a ‘home away from home’.

Accommodation

Cambridge Immerse takes place in Cambridge University’s most stunning and historic centrally located colleges. To find out which college you will be accommodated in, contact us.

All participants will be accommodated in their own individual bedrooms, equipped with high speed internet access. Corridors or staircases separate male and female students, and bathrooms are en-suite or shared between just a few participants. The college site is secured and monitored at all times. Visit our ‘Campus’ page for further information.

Practical Information

Travel Information: The fee for Cambridge Immerse is not inclusive of travel to Cambridge. There are several transport options available, including arriving in Cambridge by rail, coach or flight. Please contact us if you need assistance planning your journey to Cambridge.

For international participants, we arrange a shared airport transfer service from London Heathrow Airport to Cambridge. Dedicated staff members meet the participants at the airport terminal of their arrival. Participants are able to book this service once they have secured their place on the programme.

Medical and Dietary Requirements: We are able to cater for most dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, nut allergies, halal, kosher); please do not hesitate to contact us if you are unsure if we can cater for your dietary requirements. Breakfast and evening meals are included in Cambridge Immerse, and participants are expected to make their own provisions for lunch at various delicious eateries around Cambridge.

Other information: Students must be aged between 16-18 at the time of attendance to Cambridge Immerse. Students are expected to be fluent / near-fluent in English.

Participate in 2018

Cambridge Immerse is a residential summer course consisting of outstanding academic classes, excellent skills workshops and exciting extracurricular activities in the historic university city of Cambridge. Cambridge Immerse runs in the following 2 week sessions:

  • Session 1: 8th July - 21st July 2018
  • Session 2: 22nd July – 4th August 2018
  • Session 3: 5th August – 18th August 2018

We would be happy to assist you if you have any questions prior to booking your place. For the fastest response to your enquiry, please email:

enquiries@cambridgeimmerse.com

Attending Cambridge Immerse has taught me invaluable lessons that go beyond the framework of classroom learning. I feel that after two weeks I have developed both intellectually and as a person in general, a result of the rapid pace of teaching and the fantastically motivated group of peers I learned alongside. – Sophie, United Kingdom

Enrol now