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All courses are taught within the College by faculty from Cambridge and other UK universities in small classes that are ideal for discussion and debate. The academics are designed to be stimulating and inclusive while allowing time for a wider appreciation of the country and its culture.

The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. Live and study on campus, in buildings surrounded by serene gardens and courtyards, while complementing coursework with relevant excursions.

Additional information on Academics is also available.

Session I Courses

Choose any two courses


Renaissance Art and Architecture in Florence and Venice

Art History 121 (4 units)
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The diversity and ingenuity of Renaissance masters like Donatello, Leonardo, and Titian continue to inspire. Nurtured in the artistic hotspots of Florence and Venice, the fascinating development of their skills will be set against the backdrop of an art work’s function, location, and patronage in order to place this astonishing period of creativity in its historic context. Instructor: Dr. David Oldfield, Lecturer in History of Art, Cambridge University.

Literature and the Politics in Britain 1890-1940

Cross-listed course: choose Political Science 159 or English 103 (4 units)
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This course will engage with the ways in which British writers both shaped and reflected the politics of their country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Necessarily interdisciplinary, this course will provide fascinating insights into the ways in which the modern nation was imagined. We will investigate the difficulties in using literary documents as historical sources and discuss the ways in which scholars have tackled this subject. The course as a whole will engage with wider questions which have been the focus of academic controversy in a number of disciplines such as the role of literary intellectuals in British culture, the making of literary reputations, the responsibilities of the writer, and the influence of extra-parliamentary ideas on the formation of political debate. Prereq-uisite (English 103): satisfactory completion of the lower division writing requirement; upper division standing recommended. Instructor: Dr. Tom Villis is a Senior Lecturer in History and Politics at Regent’sCollege, London.

Psychology of Language

Cross-listed course: choose Psychology 155 or Linguistics 155 (4 units)
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How does our language affect our thinking? Why does visual and other non-auditory information affect what we (think we) hear? How is it that split-brain patients can name objects without being consciously aware of seeing them, or be able to write but not name them? What can language disorders, Alzheimer’s Disease, dyslexia, speech errors, and tip of the tongue states tell us about regular linguistic processing and production? This course addresses these and other linguistic mysteries as part of a larger examination of how the mind constructs and deconstructs language. Instructor: Dr. Bert Vaux, University Reader in Linguistics, Fellow in Linguistics, King’s College, University of Cambridge.

Shakespeare on Film

Cross-listed course: choose English 160 or Film and Media 113 (4 units)
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Since 1899, cinema has produced an almost infinite variety of Shakespeare adaptations. Film-makers from all over the world have found ingenious ways to bring Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies, Roman and history plays to the screen, from the original-text epics produced in Hollywood and Britain in the 1930s and 1940s (e.g. MGM’s Romeo and Juliet, Laurence Olivier’s Henry V), to the many American genre adaptations: Westerns, high-school comedies (10 Things I Hate About You and She’s the Man) and gangster thrillers that use the plays’ plots and characters as a template, but replace Shakespeare’s language with contemporary dialogue. Through close analysis and discussion of Shakespeare’s texts in comparison with contemporary stage productions and a wide range of Shakespeare films (original-text and genre adaptations), the course aims to illuminate the playwright’s themes, language and stagecraft, the possibilities of stage-to-screen adaptation and the cultural and commercial factors that have influenced international trends in Shakespearean film production. Prerequisite (Film and Media 113): Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. Instructor: Mr. Daniel Rosenthal, Freelance Lecturer on Shakespeare and Film, and author of Shakespeare on Screen (2000) and 100 Shakespeare Films (2007).

Introduction to the History of European Political Thought in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Cross-listed course: choose History 112D (Fulfills UCI GE Requirement VIII) or Political Science 139 (4 units)
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This introductory course surveys key political ideas, with a particular emphasis being given to 1750-1830, years that included major revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, the concert of Europe, as well as important intellectual movements such as the Enlightenment and Romanticism. We will focus on analyzing interdisciplinary primary sources to understand these movements. Students will be exposed to competing approaches to intellectual history so that they may better understand historical argument and practice and how these inform the nature of historical inquiry and explanation. Instructor: Dr. P. Kerry, Associate Professor in the Department of History, Brigham Young University, and has been awarded visiting fellowships at Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford, and Edinburgh and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Reformation, Regicide and Revolution: England in the Age of Religious Conflict, 1529 – 1689

History 112D (4 units) (Fulfills UCI GE Requirement VIII)
When Henry VIII announced his intention to break from Rome in 1533, he put in motion a process of events which were to change England in ways that neither he nor his subjects could have imagined possible. In the hundred and fifty years which followed Henry’s declaration, the structure of English religious life was transformed beyond recognition and, with it, many of the certainties which had underpinned traditional social and political relations. This course explores the political ramifications of religious change which, it will be suggested, initially appeared to strengthen royal power but ultimately led people to question and challenge the authority of kings. Topics covered will include: the ‘break from Rome’ and the establishment of the royal supremacy over the church; the rebellions against the Tudor crown in the sixteenth century; the Civil Wars and the execution of Charles I; the establishment of the English Republic and the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell; the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660; and the overthrow of James II in the Glorious Revolution. Instructor: Dr. Matthew Clark is a Fellow and College Lecturer in History at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge.  Dr. Eoin Devlin is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.

Secret Intelligence 100 Years of Spooks and Spies: A History of the British and U.S. Intelligence Communities from 1908 to the Present

Political Science 159 (4 units)
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Recent research has helped to document the role of secret intelligence in twentieth century political history and international relations. From Germany’s spies before World War I to the post 9/11 anti-terrorism operatives, examine the growth of modern British and American intelligence communities. Focus on the intelligence they have provided; its use by governments; and its influence on policy and events. Discover how the British and American intelligence services forged a unique alliance during World War II that continues to flourish. Instructor: Dr. Peter Martland, Lecturer in the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge and Lecturer in History, Pembroke College, Cambridge.

International Relations of the Two World Wars, 1914-1945

Cross-listed course: choose History 114 or International Studies 189 (4 units) (Fulfills UCI GE Requirement VIII)
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The era of the two World Wars persists in fundamentally informing the contemporary imagination, providing powerful tropes and guideposts for thought. In Western Europe and North America, the Second World War (WWII) is portrayed as the ‘good’ war, fought to defend civilization from barbarism and catastrophe. Its events, symbols and personalities are invoked repeatedly in public and governmental discourses. The aim of the course is not only to introduce students to the history of the 1914-1947 years, but also to the historiographical debates and theoretical approaches (particularly within International Relations) to explain key events of the period. While focusing on central themes and debates addressed in the conventional historiographical and IR literatures, an objective of the course will be to simultaneously problematizes these issues in pushing analyzes toward often over-looked sources of inter -state rivalries of the age: tracing the historically unique social, economic, political, and cultural roots of putatively discrete ‘geopolitical’ phenomenon. The course is intended for the non-specialist audience unfamiliar with the either history of the period or a background in political science. Students should, however, come prepared to read heavily in both history and theory. Instructor: Dr. Alexander Anievas completed his MPhil and PhD at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge and is now the Anna Biegun Warburg Junior Research Fellow at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford.

Fundamentals of Empirical Finance

Economics 139 (4 units)
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Have you ever wondered why finance has become intricately involved with our lives? Do you want to know what financiers do, and how they have come to have massive impact on the world economy? If your answer is ‘yes,’ this course might be just right for you! Empirical Finance deals with real-world issues, and actual financial data. During these five weeks, you will learn this vibrant discipline by following an ‘investment route’ – which addresses the interaction between investors and financial markets. We will examine financial concepts, as well as the language and mathematical tools that facilitate the analysis in economics and finance. Lectures will be accompanied by practical Excel sessions where you will gain hands-on experience in financial modeling. This is an introductory course in financial economics: No previous knowledge of economics or finance is assumed. Nevertheless, you should be numerate and Microsoft-Excel literate (you don’t have to be an expert user; only need to be aware of the very basic operations like entering and editing data). Instructor: Dr. Warapong Wongwachara holds a PhD in Economics from Cambridge, and currently teaches finance at the University of East Anglia.

Session II Courses

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Art in England 1700-1800: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

Art History 120 (4 units)
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Thanks to an increasingly literate and wealthy audience, art thrived as never before in 18th century England. The emergence of a fascinating range of pictorial genres will be explored in all its colourful diversity. The witty moral satires of Hogarth will be contrasted with Reynold’s preening portraits of pillars of the establishment, an elite who were later lampooned mercilessly in the cartoons of Gillray. We finish with the early landscapes of Turner and his contemporaries and their poetic visions of England. Instructor: Dr. David Oldfield, Lecturer in History of Art, Cambridge University.

Basic Painting I

Studio Art 30A (4 units)
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Experiment in a variety of painting techniques including color, surface, and space. We will discuss how we see, how to compose, drawing sight-size and drawing from memory. You’ll be inspired by in class slide presentations and you’ll be stimulated and encouraged to develop your artistic expression from constructive critiques of your work. The class will include an introduction to the use of painting materials and equipment, and students will explore color and tone, form and format, figures and objects as material for narrative and making decisions in painting. (We have arranged for small packages of paints and brushes to be put together for students’ use. These are to be paid for, and can be collected on the day we start painting from the art materials store in Cambridge. This will save students from having to bring paints with them on the flight from the US. Students will be given detailed instruction in the use of materials. Apart from the package mentioned, which will cost around £30 for a basic set to £60 for a more comprehensive one, all other materials, such as paper, boards, pencils, easels, palettes, will be provided free of charge. All the work students make on the course can be taken home with them). Instructor: Mr. Thomas Newbolt is a practicing Artist who has taught at the Anglia Ruskin University and The Prince’s Drawing School, London.

British Documentary Filmmaking

Film & Media Studies 160 (4 units) (Fulfills UCI GE Requirement VIII)
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This course examines the theory and practice of documentary filmmaking, focusing on the work of Humphrey Jennings. The Pembroke polymath (1907- 50) created some of the most vivid and enduring portraits of Britain at war and at peace, and his innovations permanently transformed the genre in ways that shape contemporary documentary practice. A surrealist, poet, actor, and co-founder of the Mass Observation movement, Jennings’ short life bears testimony to a political and imaginative exploration of the collective symbols of British identity that is in the tradition of Blake. Students will produce a short film that responds to his work. Instructor: Mr. Charlie Ritchie, Lecturer in Film, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge and Head of Visual Arts at the Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies.

Psychology and the Law

Cross-listed course: choose Criminology, Law and Society C105 or Psychology & Social Behavior 193E (4 units)
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Explore the key issues within criminology and criminal justice. Focus on three core themes; The Criminal Justice Process, What Makes a Criminal? and Crime and Punishment. Examine questions about the concept and nature of crime, the media’s treatment of crime, the criminal justice process (including how “criminality” can be assessed and measured). The course also includes a focus eyewitness testimony experiments, the confession as evidence, wrongful convictions, women, crime and criminal justice, the psychological pains of imprisonment, and restorative justice. The teaching is interactive and includes watching and discussing relevant films and a visit to the local courts and/or a visit to the local CCTV control center. Prerequisite: Criminology, Law and Society C7 or C101. Instructor: Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe, Fellow, Pembroke College; Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Director of the M.Phil Programme in Criminology, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.

"The Play’s the Thing": Shakespearean Drama

English 103 (4 units)
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Work with Dr. George Yeats (a teacher of Shakespeare) and Mr. Thomas Secretan (an actor) on a representative selection of Shakespeare’s plays. As well as benefiting from Cambridge’s academic resources, students will attend performances at Shakespeare’s Globe in London and at the RSC, in Stratford. Dr. Yeats’s lectures will offer an introduction to nine texts, their language, style and reception; in Mr. Secretan’s seminars students will consider how directors and actors might bring them to life on stage. Instructor: Dr. George Yeats is a Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies in English at Girton College, University of Cambridge. Mr. Tom Secretan is currently training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Perspectives on Globalization

International Studies 189 (4 units) (Fulfills UCI GE Requirement VIII)
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The phenomenon of globalization has fascinated scholars, diplomats, international organisations, and the world of business in recent decades. It has been forcefully claimed that globalization is the cause of the declining power of the nation state in the face of the increasing integration of the world’s economies, the ascent of multinational corporations, international and supranational bodies. Terrorism and environmental crises have also challenged the notion that states may counter threats to their security alone. Increased flows of information and migrants and the claims of ethnic groups within multi-ethnic states have contributed to re-evaluations of citizenship in the context of globalization. Globalization has indeed challenged some of the key tenets of the discipline of international relations. The course’s key objectives are that students should: be familiar with various conceptualizations of globalization such as interdependence, mobility, technological interconnectedness and homogenization; be conversant with key theories that explore globalization such as hyperglobalism, globoscepticism and transformationalism; be able to assess claims about the changing nature of sovereignty and the rise of global governance; display understanding of the role that globalization is thought to play in the evolution of war and terror-ism; demonstrate knowledge of scholarship on the impact of globalization on culture and identities. Instructor: Ms. Lorraine Macmillan, Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and MSt. in International Relations Module Leader, University of Cambridge.

Financial Markets and Institutions

Economics 139 (4 units)
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This course is an introduction to the theory and principles of international financial markets and institutions. It covers basic theory and operation of financial systems from an economist’s view-point. A practical approach is adopted in this course through the use of case studies and real life examples. The aims of the course include introducing students to the theory and practice of financial markets and institutions, enabling a thorough understanding of the workings of financial markets and of financial instruments, and introducing students to the management of financial markets and institutions in an international context. Instructor: Dr. Helen Bao, University Lecturer in Real Estate Finance, Department of Land Economy, Cambridge University.

The Reconstruction of Europe, 1945-1960

Cross-listed course: choose International Studies 189 (Fulfills UCI GE Requirement VIII) or History 114 (4 units)
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Since the end of the Cold War, the period immediately following the Second World War has gained new prominence. Historians have become particularly interested in the question of how Europe, which emerged from the war as a physical and moral wasteland, could rebuild itself so dramatically. In this course we will explore reconstruction agendas, policies and experiences in Europe in the decades after the Second World War. Throughout the course we will examine issues surrounding the physical reconstruction of material life, as well as aspects of the political, economic, social and psychological reconfiguration of European states and the idea of Europe itself. The broad themes tackled in the lectures will be complemented by the seminars, each of which will examine a particular country’s experience of the post-war years. The course integrates the two halves of the divided continent and aims to provide ample possibilities for comparative perspectives. Overall, students will be able to read widely and gain a broad understanding of Europe’s and European countries’ post-war history. Instructor: Dr. Jessica Reinisch, University Lecturer in Modern European History, Department of History, Classics, and Archaeology, Birkbeck College.