Courses

Students during interactive medical lab experiment at Cambridge

Courses

Students at The Cambridge Prep Experience can choose from 17 academic and creative courses that are specially designed to make the most of Cambridge’s world-famous resources. All courses are experiential. They typically involve museum visits, field trips, eminent guest speakers, project work, and more. Popular courses in recent years have included Social Entrepreneurialism, Robotics, and Espionage. Click course titles below to expand and read more about all our courses.

Espionage

By studying at the University that claims the Cambridge Five and the fictional spy James Bond, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of espionage through a course that blends politics and history with practice. Students examine the methods and techniques of the greatest intelligence services, such as Mossad, the KGB, the CIA, M15, and M16. Our students address the future of intelligence operations, the challenges of field work, and the ethics of espionage in terms of international cooperation, competition, and conflict during this summer course in Cambridge.

Robotics

During their summer abroad, Oxbridge students combine theory and practice to learn about the potential futures of robotics and AI. They will focus on examining the roles that robots and AI might have in business, defense, entertainment, and healthcare. Working in teams, students gain a practical understanding of analogue and digital electronics and practice manipulating the hardware and software that animate robots. At the end of the course, students and their teams will apply all the knowledge they have gained throughout the program to construct a robot. Materials fee of $150US.

Social Entrepreneurialism

Can capitalism be an unequivocal force for good? Can it be managed to serve social ends while generating profits for investors? Working from a mixture of theory and case studies, students discover what successful social entrepreneurs had in common, what rules they followed, and which they broke. As this summer course in Cambridge progresses, students identify a gap in the market and learn how to generate a business plan, canvas for support, calculate overheads, determine fixed and marginal costs, estimate break-even and future value, and to manage debts and depreciation before launching their own pop-up social businesses.

Terrorism and Modern Politics

What makes a “terrorist?" What makes one man a freedom fighter and another a criminal? Can terrorism ever succeed? How can open governments fight it? Students draw on examples from the late 19th century anarchists and the non-state actor in the early 2000s in an attempt to find answers to these questions and more. Through studying the Stern Gang, Al Quaeda, ISIS, and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, students will follow the evolution of Terror and counter-Terror. They'll come to understand its justifications, methods, mythology, networks, successes, and failures during their summer study abroad in Cambridge.

Anticipated Full Course List

Students compose fiction and poetry under the guidance of a published writer, with Cambridge’s rich literary history as their inspiration. They explore their own potential by experimenting with new forms and styles of writing. Successful poets and writers give workshops in which students learn about the creative process and the practicalities of publication. Students develop a portfolio of their best writing and collaborate to design, edit, and publish a literary magazine.

Through workshops, debates, and visits to police stations and criminal courts, students explore individual and social theories of crime, philosophies of punishment, criminal profiling, incident analysis, and basic forensic science. They consider the causes of crime, the influence of the media upon crime, and issues of race and gender within the context of the British and American criminal justice systems. 

Students learn the principles of engineering science. Both world-renowned and local examples are examined, and the findings are applied to a variety of case studies to solve mechanical, structural, and architectural problems. They complete the course by designing a model engineering project of their own. 

At the University from which the Cambridge Five were recruited, and in which the world’s most famous fictional spy, James Bond, studied, this course, which blends politics and history with practice, examines the methods and techniques of the great intelligence services – Mossad, the KGB, the CIA, MI5, and MI6. Students address the future of intelligence operations, the challenges of field work, and the ethics of espionage in terms of international cooperation, competition, and conflict.

Students explore the tools and structures of international commerce, focusing on free enterprise, economic development, and engagement with the global marketplace. Visiting the University's renowned Judge Business School, students obtain firsthand experience of a cutting-edge business education. Course projects include real-life case studies and the design of a start-up venture. 

This fusion of international relations, law, political science, and war studies challenges students to understand the order and disorder of the modern world. Technological connectivity and the spread of democracy has streamlined and strengthened global culture. But the rise of rogue states and the clash of civilizations in the Middle East has presented more challenges to the unity of nations than ever before. The Major course builds toward a Model UN. 

Students discover how the British and American legal systems reflect the values and institutions of their respective societies. They consider precedent-setting cases and delve into various branches of legal practice. Through meetings with lawyers, legal scholars, and human rights advocates, and through visits to working courtrooms, they discover how lawyers turn theory into practice. The Major course culminates in a formal moot court competition. 

This hands-on course introduces students to key aspects of medical science and modern medical practice. Combining specialist lectures with experiments and class discussions, students learn the principles of human anatomy and physiology, the pathology and significance of certain diseases, the main challenges that medical science faces today, and are introduced to the wide and growing range of possible careers in medicine. 

After reviewing molecular structure, cell biology, and the function and operation of genes and proteins, students analyze the factors underlying diseases and explore topics such as genetic engineering, cloning, and gene therapy. They visit laboratories, undertake experiments such as DNA extraction, and meet local experts. 

Students receive guidance in artistic, landscape, and portraiture photography. This helps them record their exploration of England and its culture, and to produce a comprehensive photographic record of their experiences. The class culminates in a formal exhibition. Students need their own DSLR camera with USB cable, charger, and at least one 8 GB memory card.  Materials fee of $100 US for Majors.

Speech and Debate has long been a hallmark of a well-rounded education, as being able to effectively communicate ideas is one of the most important skills a person could possess. Students will take important and relevant topics and address them through debates executed in teams and speeches delivered to class. Furthermore, through analyzing the history and theory of rhetoric, and the techniques used in public speaking, students will take the skills they learn regarding organizing their thoughts and communicating efficiently and apply them to relevant situations in their lives, such as class presentations, job interviews, and the college admissions process.

Combining theory with practice, students learn about the potential futures of robotics and AI? What roles might robots and AI have in business, defense, entertainment, and healthcare?  On the practical side, working in teams, they gain an understanding of analogue and digital electronics, and of how to manipulate the hardware and software that animate robots.  The course culminates with the construction, by the team, of a robot. Materials fee of $150US

This course addresses cutting-edge issues at the fringes of science. Participants study advances in diverse areas, including atomic and molecular physics, artificial intelligence, astrophysics, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, particle physics, space travel, and stem-cell research. They identify the possible futures that science and technology are creating for humankind, and debate how these will affect our daily lives, our society, and our planet. 

Can capitalism be an unequivocal force for good?  Can it be managed to serve social ends at the same time as it generates profits for investors?  Working from a mixture of theory and case studies, students discover what successful social entrepreneurs had in common, what rules they followed, and which ones they broke.  As the course progresses, they identify a gap in the market, and learn how to generate a business plan, to canvas for support, to calculate overheads, to determine fixed and marginal cost, to estimate break-even and future value, and to manage debts and depreciation, before launching their own pop-up social businesses.

This course focuses on human behavior and individual development within a social context. Students are introduced to major themes, including stereotyping and prejudice, cross-cultural differences, the dynamics of cooperation and conflict, conformity and persuasion, attraction, and the role of the individual within the crowd. Through case studies and interactive experiments, participants gain an introduction to psychology and learn to analyze their own peer-group dynamics. 

Students on this course spend much of their time outside the studio. They sketch medieval towers, capture pastoral landscapes, practice their portrait skills, and discover masterpieces in locations like the Fitzwilliam Museum. Meanwhile they receive formal, professional instruction in sketching and painting in a variety of media. Their best work is exhibited at the end of the program. Materials fee of $200 US for Majors.

What makes a “terrorist”? What makes one man a freedom fighter and another a criminal? Can terrorism ever succeed? How can open governments fight it? Drawing on examples ranging from late 19th century anarchists to the rise of the non-state actor in the early 2000s, via the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Stern Gang, Al Quaeda, and ISIS, students study the evolution of Terror and counter-Terror – its justifications, its methods, its mythology, its networks, its successes and failures during their summer study abroad in Cambridge.