Enrol now

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

International Relations

  • Maximum tutorial size: 12 students
  • Oxbridge style teaching
  • Personal Project and Assessment
  • Certificate of Participation
  • University preparation workshops
  • Inclusive of excursions
Enrol now

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


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 International Relations course is both challenging and engaging, with students learning in small groups to ensure that each student’s needs are addressed. Students are taught university-level topics in a way that is approachable and easy to understand.

The Cambridge Immerse International Relations course is perfect for those considering studying International Relations, Political Science, Social Sciences or related disciplines at university level. The course introduces students to key topics and debates within the discipline that will not only spur intellectual curiosity, but also assist in preparing for study at leading universities.

Academic Content & Learning Objectives

The Cambridge Immerse International Relations course provides a vital theoretical grounding in contemporary International Relations and Political Science and tackles key questions and debates related to the politics that continually shape our modern world.

International Relations may occasionally sound like an academic and austere topic, but the Cambridge Immerse course places importance in the fact that we already have a role to play: because of our identity, cultural, social and religious, the resources we have grown up with and the place in the world we live. International Relations encompasses everything. Put simply, it is about war and peace, conflict and cooperation, wealth and poverty, power and change, and understanding patterns of behaviour in different societies across the globe.

By analysing neo-realist, neo-liberal, constructivist and post-structuralist approaches, students will be able to uncover the variety of relations between states. This unique approach to learning equips students with the intellectual curiosity and skills that are vital for studying International Relations or related disciplines at the undergraduate level. Topics have previously included:

  • The EU as an International Actor
  • The External Dimension of the EU’s Migration Policy
  • The UN, regional organizations and global order
  • Collective Identities in a Global Age
  • China’s Rise and What it Means for the World

The Cambridge Immerse International Relations 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:


This class will look at the two dominant spheres of IR analysis: Neoliberalism and Realism. It will also touch upon the critical schools of thought, such as marxian, feminist and post-colonial theories.

Neoliberalism – this theory asserts that states are not the only actors on the international sphere, and that the movement of capital by private individuals and corporations are also of great significance. The most influential theorists in the school of thought are Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. Policy makers have pioneered their work, led by the radical stances held by Margret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan during the 1980s. They argued that markets are the motors of economic power, the primary agent in dictating international relations. The state in fact places a barrier on global markets, preventing capital from flowing between different economies efficiently. If states drop economic regulation, then the market will be able to function at maximum efficiency. This will create an environment of economic interdependence between states, reducing the likelihood of conflict.

Realism – this theory argues that states are the primary actors on an anarchic international sphere, and are self interested, sovereign actors. The primary theorists in this field stem from the work of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Lock, and extend today to the work of Samuel Huntington, Kennith Waltz with the policies of Henry Kissinger being a prime example of Realism in action. One of the key theories within Realisim is the security dilemma, which draws on the build up of armies and weapons by rival factions during the Cold War, and beyond.

The rise in power and influence of Asian economies, particularly China, has changed the way we think about international political economy. Rather than employing the neoliberal school which Western nations uphold as the most efficient, East Asian economies in particular employ a centrally managed approach. This requires the theories of Cambridge political economist Ha Joon Chang, and his heterodox school of thought. We will look at case studies in China and Taiwan, in addition to returning to South Korea. We will critique their policies using neoliberal theory, and look at their reliance on Western markets. What will their continued rise been for the Western world? How is their investment in Africa changing development models in this part of the world?

Although not a major actor in power politics, Africa is increasingly central to the major players on the international sphere due to its wealth of natural resources. The conflicts in regions such as the Congo have seen the US and EU play a major role, both in terms of the human rights agenda, made famous by Stop Kony, in addition to the extraction of natural resources in the region, such as coltan, essential for every electronic product produced today.

Africa is also a site in which the global war on terror is playing an increasingly significant role – the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Nigeria, Somalia and neighbouring regions such as Chad has led to an increasing international presence on the continent. We will use realist, neoliberal and postcolonial theories to analyse the role of international actors in this region of the world.

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.


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
09:30 - 11:30
Morning academic session
11:30 - 13:30
13:30 - 15:30
Afternoon academic session
16:00 - 18:00
Academic discussion / debate
18:00 - 19:15
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’.


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:


Students favourite moments at Cambridge Immerse

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