Overview of course
- Session 1: July 23rd 2017 – August 5th 2017
- Session 2: August 6th 2017 – August 19th 2017
- Residential in a central University of Cambridge college
- Classes designed and taught by University tutors
- A variety of carefully planned skills workshops
- Dedicated university and subject specific advice
- Inclusive of all excursions and extracurriculars
- Diverse range of international participants
- Participant Assessment
- Certificate of Participation
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 Philosophy 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 Philosophy course is perfect for those who wish to learn more about the fascinating topics that can be found in an undergraduate Philosophy course. The course introduces students to topics and debates that will not only spur intellectual curiosity, but assist in preparing to study the discipline at leading universities.
The course does not require that students have any prior knowledge of Philosophy.
Academic Content & Learning Objectives
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, everything we understand to be connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, the mind, and language. The Cambridge Immerse Philosophy programme provides students with a solid grounding in the key tenets of the academic study of Philosophy. By studying the works of history’s most renown philosophers – from Plato and Aristotle to Wittgenstein, Nietzsche – participants will develop a finer understanding of the workings of logic and reason, how arguments are built in order to establish conclusions, and how such conclusions can be questioned.
The course introduces students to the world of analytical philosophy, providing insights into the four main subdivisions: namely logic, metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. Our expert tutors expect students to tackle the most fundamental philosophical questions, encouraging debate and the exchange of ideas with other students. By the end of the course, participants will have gained important skills in clear thinking, argument and communication, and superior knowledge of the main arguments and concepts of modern analytic philosophy.
Prerequisites: No previous knowledge of philosophy is required
A selection of example topics that have been taught in previous years are displayed below:
The purpose of this course is to engage with one of the major strands of contemporary philosophic exploration, the revelations and effect of technology. Analytic thinkers tend to consider the question of what technology can tell us about brain function and question whether we can replicate consciousness artificially. We will examine Searl’s famous Chinese room argument for the type of argument involved and tease out potential implications. The continental school, by contrast, is worried about the effect of technology on consciousness. The Benjamin text is absolutely central to this discussion. C.S. Lewis bridges the gap between these two schools of thought by drawing on surprisingly deep insights about technology’s tendency to limit the scope of human behaviour.
Readings: Lewis The Abolition of Man Chapter Three; Benjamin ‘Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’; Searl ‘Minds, Brains and Programs’; Heidegger ‘The Question Concerning Technology’
The metaphysics is a fundamental text which has had a central influence on establishing our very notion of philosophy. Key issues are the primacy of sight to knowledge, the tendency towards encyclopaedic learning and organic metaphors for development. This manner of thinking will be fruitfully contrasted with the fundamentally metaphoric nature of dialectic. That knowledge is possible only through an awareness of causes is one of the key notions of Western thought. The nature of knowledge in Aristotle has wide- reaching implications both for the history of philosophy and within his own philosophic system. These issues will set the background for Aristotle’s famous discussion of the good life, which we will consider in detail.
Readings: Aristotle Metaphysics Book One, Nicomachean Ethics Book Ten
Rousseau’s argument about private property offers one of the first examples of a philosophic genealogy such as we are used to from Nietzsche and Foucault. In such arguments, a hypothetical original state is imagined which is not meant to be historically accurate but rather to inform philosophic discussion about a certain topic. Drawing on the discussion in previous sessions about narrative in Plato and the historical dimensions of Spirit in Hegel, we will analyze the viability of such arguments, their necessity for broaching certain kinds of issue, that they are ultimately unfalsifiable and the problems this poses for ever fully accepting or rejecting them. The topic of private property also raises key ethical issues which are new to Modernity.
Readings: Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men, Part Two
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 current or past tutors of Cambridge University or Oxford University. 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. Students can now opt to study up to two subjects during the programme. Subjects that we offer include:
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.
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.
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, 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, at a ratio of six students to one 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.
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 in 2017. Students are expected to be fluent / near-fluent in English.
Participate in 2017
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:
- Early July Session: 9th July - 22nd July 2017
- Session 1: 23rd July – 5th August 2017
- Session 2: 6th August – 19th August 2017
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:
Hear what it's like to be taught by Cambridge Immerse tutors
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