Biology Summer Programme Overview:
Course Length: 2 weeks
Course Type: Residential
Locations: Cambridge University colleges
Website URL: Biology Summer Course in Cambridge
Biology Summer School Course Summary
Unravel the mysteries behind everything from the world’s tiniest microorganisms to the largest ecosystems known to man. During the Immerse two-week Biology programme, participants aged 16–18 will have an opportunity to study alongside fellow budding biologists. The Biology programme provides a unique insight into what it’s like to study the subject at university level with a curriculum developed and taught by expert tutors from world-leading universities.
The biology summer programme will push participants to work collaboratively as they uncover the mechanisms behind life’s building blocks, solidify new knowledge through a series of planned activities, and delve into advanced topics not typically covered in a secondary school syllabus. The curriculum starts with a deep dive into cell theory, before exploring the world of infectious diseases, and moving on to a wide range of further challenging material.
As participants work through this curriculum, they’ll spend their days studying on campus at a Cambridge University college, and will be independently responsible for their learning. This helps to ensure that by the end of the course, participants will not only have a working understanding of complex first-year Biology concepts but a new appreciation for the routines and responsibilities of university life also
Immerse is an inspirational academic programme for the intellectually curious.
Biology Summer School Key Benefits
Bolster your knowledge of cell theory as you build a more complete biological picture of the world
Visit biomedical research workers on an excursion to a nearby science laboratory
Learn how bioinformatics allowed us to map the human genome
Discuss the mechanical and biomechanical processes behind cell signalling
Critically examine the Miller-Urey experiment as you consider the implications of life on Mars
Experiment with gel electrophoresis as you discover the role DNA plays in our lives
Biology Topics Covered
Cell theory is often one of the first topics studied in high school Biology. It’s an essential concept and one that students return to many times throughout their university career. At Immerse, we start the biology summer course by delving into cell theory on a much deeper, advanced level than participants will have experienced before. They will learn what makes something, ‘alive’, how life likely originated, and the problems posed by the RNA world hypothesis. The biology programme is designed to be challenging, but our expert tutors will guide each participant in developing a firm understanding of the university-level topics that are explored.
After establishing this foundation, the course will then proceed to more advanced topics. By the end of the first week, participants will have covered how infectious diseases shape world history, why they emerge and re-emerge with such tenacity and their potential to becoming a serious threat in the near future. Other topics include the dangerous characteristics of superbugs, a look at the mechanisms of drug resistance, and an introduction to the important work currently being done to circumvent it.
Finally, as the summer biology course comes to a conclusion, participants will get a chance to explore the challenging field of Bioinformatics, before wrapping up with a hands-on visit to a working research lab where they’ll be able to ask any questions they may have about a career in biology.
Biology Summer School Course Outcomes
The Biology programme at Immerse aims to provide participants with an understanding of university-level Biology topics through a programme that is designed and taught by expert tutors from world-leading universities. Through guided lectures, excursions, in-class debate, and hands-on activities, participants will spend two weeks completely immersed in the world of cells, microorganisms, and bacteria. By the end of the programme, participants will feel confident discussing topics that have not typically been explored in a secondary school curriculum.
However, the Immerse Biology programme offers students much more than a well-rounded life sciences curriculum. Staying at a Cambridge University college, participants will quickly learn to get to grips with the new challenges of living on their own, being more responsible for their own schedules, and building critical self-study habits before university begins. This is an invaluable first-look at undergraduate life and a transformative experience for many.
At the end of the Biology summer programme, Immerse alumni will have learned to channel their passion for biology into the applied, focused study. They’ll return home with a head full of new knowledge, newfound confidence about their choice to continue studying biology, and with a clear picture of what life may look like when they begin their first year of university study.
By the end of this biology summer programme students will:
Be able to correctly describe the role of specific cell components in overall cell function
Understand the impact of recombinant DNA technology on modern medicine
Build upon existing knowledge while becoming comfortable with university-level concepts
Analyse case studies while exploring the benefits of ‘Problem/Research’ based learning
Examine at least one bacterial, viral, and parasitic disease prototype in detail
Understand the mechanisms of cell signalling and cell-cell recognition
Write and present an essay during a ‘Core Skills’ tutorial
Throughout the course, students receive tailored feedback from their tutor about their performance, the material covered, and even a list of individualised suggestions for further study.
The timetable shown below offers an insight into the typical daily schedule, although this may vary depending on the events planned on the given day.
A typical day
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 workshop / Afternoon activity
18:00 - 19:15 Dinner
19:30 - 22:00 Evening social event
Start the day with either a continental or cooked breakfast in the college dining hall. A wide variety of breakfast items helps participants prepare for the challenging day ahead.
Lauren Benseman, United Kingdom
2017 Biology Alumna
Lauren participated in our Biology programme in 2017. Here's what she has to say about her time with Immerse Education:
Within the next 12 months, I will finish high school and the next step is to travel to the UK for university, a decision that was almost entirely decided by my amazing experience at Immerse. The resources the students were offered were amazing and my tutor was passionate and very committed to helping each of his students advance not just their understanding of biology but also their desire to extend beyond the boundaries of their high school curriculum. Our mentors were generous, enthusiastic and had some of the best advice about applying to the UK. Being surrounded by young people like myself who were excited about their subject and committed to learning new things was really inspiring. It was a warm environment that encouraged me to develop both academically and socially. Attending Immerse taught me that high-quality learning and teaching at top universities are accessible to people of all backgrounds. The tutors and mentors helped me gain confidence and understand that despite the prestige and reputation of the university I was studying at, it is undeniably a very welcoming place and an institution which I should strive to one day attend. Thanks to Immerse, I have decided to apply to the UK for university, including Cambridge, for which I recently had my interview.
Graduation & Participant Assessment
The final evening of the programme celebrates the achievements of each participant in a graduation ceremony that's followed by a Gala Dinner.
Throughout the Cambridge summer programme, our Immerse tutors will monitor student engagement with the topics that they have been taught. Once the programme has finished, the tutor will write a Participant Assessment that will evaluate how the participant responded to the materials they were introduced to, what progress they made during the sessions, and offer recommendations on how to most effectively advance participant's understanding and interest in the topics that have been explored.
We strongly believe that our Participant Assessments are a crucial element of the learning process and reflective of our commitment to the highest standards of education.