This is my first year to work with the Summer School. Although I have taught Modern European History for four years at King’s College, I am very excited at the prospect of teaching a truly global module with the course ‘A History of Revolutions: From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring.’
Myself and my colleague, Giuditta Fontana created this course with an international audience in our minds. Too often revolutions are studied separately in different academic departments, yet we felt that it is time that a course addresses the contemporary phenomenon of revolutions since we are living in historic times where revolutions and insurrections from Egypt to Ukraine are common day appearances in the news. Each of our international students will be able to contribute to the course by sharing the history of the country they come from, thus making it truly global.
We are lucky that our course will take place at the Strand Campus, a prime location in London. With this advantage, we have access to the Imperial War Museum, the British Library and the extensive historical archives in King’s College. Both myself and Giuditta are very excited to announce our collaboration with the Archives Centre at Kings: they are helping us to develop a workshop on revolutionary propaganda, including exclusive access to documents on the British Fascist movement and India’s transition to from colonial rule to national independence.
This is a wonderful time to be studying the underlying causes of revolutions and their course in historical and contemporary perspectives. We will be examining the politics, culture and society of Europe and the Middle East over the past two centuries, and how revolutions have defined the unique development of these two diverse continents. Whether you want to understand the Russian revolution or the Arab Spring, we hope you are ready to take up the challenging and complex world of revolutionary history.
London always comes alive when the weather gets warm and sunny, and this is making me excited for my upcoming Summer School course, ‘London and the British City: Past and Present.’ The sunshine and long Spring days lend themselves to walking around this historic city, and each walk reveals a new layer and a myriad of surprises, even on streets that are familiar. Students on the upcoming course will be encouraged to find their own surprises and hidden corners of London to claim as their own, as so many have done in the past. They will walk the streets of kings and queens, Dickens, Wilde, and Shakespeare. London has long had the ability to bemuse and inspire; to perplex and also trouble. London challenges and sometimes makes one uncomfortable, with history and a loud, sometimes jarring contemporary city existing side by side. Each walk through London is rife with contradiction and paradox: Ferraris and Ferragamo next to homeless sleepers; pollution next to pristine parks; glassy, new spaces of the modern economy next to shabby, forgotten landscapes and pubs. A bus full of 50 people, each from a different country, speaking a different language. Unable to communicate, perhaps, but Londoners, each one. Such is the wonder, and complexity, of modern London.
Spring is also a great time to venture beyond London and explore Britain’s Green and Pleasant Land. When one leaves London, it can be like leaving one planet and entering another. There are towns and villages little-changed since the industrial revolution, left behind by contemporary life. There are inventive vibrant provincial cities like Manchester and Leeds, able to reinvent themselves, while just miles away stand abandoned mills and ghostly smokestaks. Beyond the Borders lies the land of Scotland, at once crucial to Britain’s modern and historical identity and yet immediately different, facing a crucial juncture as voters there prepare to determine whether (yes) to become independent, or (no) to remain in the Union with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
What an exciting summer, then, for students to come to King’s College London and learn about British cities and the role they play, have played, and must play in the world. London will be, in Shakespeare’s world, a stage – and all of its inhabitants like players, for students to observe and (for a short time), become a part of.
I look forward to welcoming students to London and with them, beginning our three week exploration.
London and the British City: Past and Present (Leading, Inventing and Reinventing).
Let me start by introducing myself, I’m Megan and I’ll be helping out with the Summer School this year, so any enquires you have, whether that be information about the courses or even tips on great places to visit in London, send them my way.
It has been a great month to start working at Kings, as with the sunny weather, I have been able to eat my lunch outside, listen to the hustle and bustle of the students and explore the local area.
With Somerset house being a stone’s throw away I have already had a stroll around the beautiful grounds and got to see the free Derreck Jarman (A former King’s student) exhibition. There will be many events going on at Somerset House this summer so I would recommend students to visit in their free time. The Summer Series has just been announced for 10 – 20 July 2014, where you can get tickets to see some unmissable live music acts in the attractive surroundings of Somerset house.
It’s amazing that the vibrant South Bank is a 10 minute walk across Waterloo Bridge. The South Bank has lots of places to eat, drink and see. I recently watched the sunset while sitting outside the BFI bar and then went inside to see a late night movie. Whether you want to see a theatre production at the National theatre or just watch skateboarders do their thing, the South Bank is defiantly worth a visit. The Timeout London website is not only great to keep up to date with events going on at South Bank but it is great to get tips of things going on all over London.
With Summer School accommodation close to campus, you are in the prime spot to visit the above places and many other famous London landmarks such as The Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral.
If I was to study at the Summer School, the courses combining London with a subject would be most appealing to me as I believe it would add to the experience of studying in the city. These courses include, Museum of London: curating the city and Victorian London: high culture & low life. What is extra exciting is that these courses are in collaboration with The Victoria and Albert Museum and The Museum of London and you will gain behind the scene access to the world famous museums.
King’s College London is a wonderful place to work and will be an even more wonderful place to study and I’m sure that the staff and students will make you feel as warm and welcome as they have made me feel.
“Sunshine reflecting on the beauties of London that have been hidden over the long cold winter, students from all over the world still crawling at the café, debating the last lecture they just had, and that rigorous, yet friendly, unusual academic atmosphere.
This is all what sums up my experience at the Summer School module on Media, Gender & Culture at King’s: one of my best formative experiences so far. Not only was the course itself a great opportunity to further focus on my personal interests and explore disciplines that were not offered by King’s during the first year, but it was also a fantastic way to get to know people from different parts of the world in a setting that is very unlike the regular King’s classes. Our professor was extremely engaging, the content she offered was of exquisite quality and the balance between theory and practice was just about right, demonstrating that academy and activism can, or perhaps should, mix together with brilliant outcomes. However, thanks to the variety of modules offered at King’s Summer School, students with an interest in more theoretical subjects are not let down and are able to choose a course that matches their specific preferences.
The teaching dynamic was also different to regular King’s classes: during the intensive 3-week period, with more in-class hours than any of my other academic modules, we were provided with the opportunity to truly concentrate on one topic and immerse ourselves into the relevant issues. Also, in case you have excess time, Summer School organizes various events and trips which means that you will have the opportunity to relax and strengthen the relationship with your coursemates. Most courses even include trips to different London locations which will enable you to visit spots of the city you perhaps haven’t had the time or the chance to see during the busy academic year.
Personally the Summer School has been one of the experiences I’ve had since I arrived at King’s: I gained a deeper knowledge of what I intend to do after my degree, my grades have gone up considerably after the course thanks to the close teacher-student relationship we all experienced, and I became more aware of social problems both within Britain and Europe as well as in places such as Taiwan, India and Russia. It is a perfect fit for Liberal Arts students, and I would highly recommend give it a shot and take on a module there … if you just have the time!”
‘My remarkable journey with King’s College started in November 2010, when I was a foundation student in Queen Mary University of London. I attended a University Fair and came across the King’s College London Summer School prospectus. Upon finishing my IFP programme, I accepted an offer from the Law School in Southampton University. I had little knowledge of the peculiarities of the English legal system and of what common law is in general, consequently, I have decided to get some background before engaging into actual law studies, and by that time it was clear to me that King’s is the place to be if you want to do Law. I applied for two sessions: An Introduction to English Legal System and European Union Law, the latter being a compulsory module for all the major UK universities. As it turned out this decision was one of the most crucial in my life.
The first thing to strike me was obviously the position of the campus, centered at the heart of London, surrounded by major political and legal institutions such as Westminster, Royal Court of Justice and Inns of Court, the location truly provides the spirit of vibrant political and academic community with fundamental constitutional cases decided just across the street. Moreover, living in King’s accommodation in Stamford Street, while having classes in the Strand Building, I enjoyed the picturesque walk across the Waterloo Bridge every day.
King’s College is well known for its academic excellence and I was fortunate enough to experience it first-hand. The first session, An Introduction to English Legal System, provided me with the much-needed explanation of the basic concepts of English law, and legal systems in general. The programme successfully combines the academic analysis of the law as well as its practical side (so it’s not just dry discussions all day long) with visits to all main legal institutions including the Supreme Court, Royal Court of Justice and Old Bailey. I would like to highlight the admirable devotion of the course leader, Dr. Thomas McManus, who offered an unparalleled guidance and insight into the legal profession, being a practitioner, himself. The course denoted to the Study of the EU law was an important experience as well, providing a valuable overview of the differences in approaches to the law-making between the UK and the European Union. This programme also included lively discussions on a large variety of topics ranging from the specific EU Directives to the more abstract issues such as the position of human rights within the Community Law. Generally the both sessions were more than useful experience for my future studies in Law.
The knowledge I have acquired in Summer School gave me a sufficient head start in the Southampton Law School, where I proved myself as a strong LLB student. However I was so fascinated by the manner of teaching in King’s that I have decided to reapply for the first year again. I cannot possibly describe my feelings when I have received a UCAS update stating that King’s College of London had given me an Unconditional Offer. So in 2013 I entered the main hall of Strand Building as a proud King’s student.
Applying to an academic course can sometimes feel like an intimidating process, but the reality is far from that. Applying to our Summer School is a really simple process that takes just a few steps.
You can read a guide on how to apply for our Summer School on our website, but below are some of the most common questions we get asked in the office.
Why do I need to make a first and second choice when picking my course? Can I only pick one?
Of course we wish all the courses that we offer to our students would run each summer. However all courses need to attract a minimum number of students in order to run, and this combined with last minute events can cause courses to be cancelled. When you apply to our Summer School you are always asked to chose a first and second choice course, in case your first choice does not run.This means that when you are accepted by the admission panel, you are accepted onto the Summer School itself and not a particular course.
We confirm all courses running by the end of May, and if your first choice course does not run, you will automatically be allocated your second choice. You will have a period to make a decision on whether you want to leave the programme and be refunded – full details and dates are in our Terms and Conditions – or continue on with your second choice.
Why do I need an English language certificate?
If your first language is not English and you do not attend an English speaking university, you will need to provide us with proof of your language ability. All our courses are intensive and taught in English, and are not designed to act as substituent English language classes. The certificates we accept can be found here on our website. If you have another English language certificate that you feel proves your ability, please get in contact with us.
What kind of transcript do you expect?
Your most recent available transcript. You should speak to your home university about providing you with this. If the most recent transcript you have dates from the previous academic year then that is fine. If you are at all worried, we recommend attaching your high school grades if possible.
What should I write in my motivational statement?
Your motivational statement does not need to be very long. We are looking for the reasons why you are applying, what you think you will bring to the course and what you wish to get out of the experience. Please also include any other information you feel is important for us to know.
What else should I know?
Once you submit your application you need to pay a nonrefundable application fee. You can pay your fee using a credit or debit card. Once you make the payment, please don’t click away from the page or refresh as this can block the payment. If you do experience any issue with the payment, contact your bank to confirm they are allowing the payment before contacting us.
You will receive an answer regarding your application within 7 working days of submitting your application.
Don’t be tempted to apply without all your documents. Applications missing documents won’t be processed.
If your file is too large to upload, please try resizing it before attaching. Alternatively you can email this to us.
And finally remember if you have any questions, we are always here to help!
It’s that time of year again! Applications are open for the King’s College London Summer School. We hope that this blog will once again be a source of extra information for all potential students, and give you a better insight into why you should come to King’s, and what you will get out of your time here.
Why come to King’s for Summer School?
There are many reasons why we think you should join us this summer. Not only do we offer one of the largest varieties of summer courses in the UK, we are also one of the top 20 universities in the world* and based right in the heart of London, a truly global and vibrant city.
Our Summer School is different because we want your experience with us to be a total one, not limited just to the classroom. On top of your studies with wonderful tutors in small seminars, you will be offered the chance to experience a full social programme, and will get to explore London as part of your course and as a real Londoner. We hope the three weeks you spend with us will be some of the best of your life, and our team aims to help you as much as possible.
How do I find out more?
Well you can start with this blog! Here you can read student profiles, interviews with tutors and Summer School staff. We will be updating the blog weekly with lots of new content so please keep checking in!
Our website is where our most up-to-date news can be found. Details on courses, accommodation and more can be found here. We recommend reading all this information thoroughly before applying.
‘Hi! My name is Nuralyah Razali and I am a year 3 bio-medical undergraduate from the National University of Singapore. A year ago, my family and I visited London for the Queen Diamond Jubilee. My parents wanted to give me an opportunity to see and experience the everyday life in the UK in hopes that I would like to study here in the future.
Fast forward to the following year, I came across the Kings College Summer School website by chance and found out that King’s is a partner school with my university, the National University of Singapore. I’ve always had plans to pursue a post-graduate medical degree in the UK and I felt that King’s offered a really good programme which I hope to apply to in a few year’s time. King’s is not only a highly respected and reputable university for bio-medical research, but it is also the largest healthcare education center in Europe.
Coming from a science background, I wanted to study something that was related to my course of study but also had a historical aspect because I love reading about medieval medical history. That is why I decided to apply for the History of Medicine course at King’s. I believe that learning the history itself will provide me insight on how to better the lives of others through future medicine and clinical research, which I hope to be part of in the near future.
Imagine people running against you, the wind blowing with temperature of 18 degrees every morning, yet you get to feel the comfort of the sun rays while enjoying the walk down to school! On the left side is the panoramic view of Westminster, the London Eye, Big Ben and the River Thames. On the right, you get to see the Southbank, where locals do street performances like dancing, playing the guitar and even selling potted plants in small cute mini gardens by the river.
Small vans selling the finest Danish ice cream, Belgium waffles and hot dogs. Little kids playing bubbles while their parents have Twinning tea for brunch at the cafes: these are the many sights that I get to see while walking to school.
On the first day of school, we made our way through crowds of Summer School students from over 90 universities from around the world, got our timetables and headed to the auditorium for a welcome speech. I felt butterflies in my tummy the whole time, especially the part when the speaker welcomed ‘students from partnering universities: National University of Singapore’. I was about to stand up and wave for a standing ovation! We met Dr. Anna who was our professor for History of Medicine, along with the smallest group of students in a course – 6 of us to be exact. We had classmates from the USA, Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia, and amongst them were PHD students in Philosophy and History of Medicine and undergraduate in medical or pre-med school.
The first session was really mind opening for a science student like myself in the sense that we get to read Shakespeare and were allowed to express our ideas on pictures of early Modern Europe-dating back to the 16th century. What I found most peculiar personally is that whatever explanation or reasoning I shared with the class, there was no wrong or right answer to the theory imposed. I felt really at ease in class and as the days went by I began to feel less afraid to share my own thoughts and views.
We got to discuss primary sources of Vesalius, Galen, poems from the 1500s, and stories on how the medical market was so busy with quacks trying to sell off their goods (black market of the medical industry in Europe). The great thing about studying history in London is that it really IS the place to study history: not only did we have class activities; we visited museums like the Hunterian, Gordon and Florence Nightingale Museums. Every single museum has its own murky past to tell but what was common between all these museums is that they helped to mark out and define what the medical industry we see today is about. We take for granted the difference between a physician and a surgeon, the Christianity-era influenced background of the professionalism of a nurse, how hospitals back then only admitted the poor… how then did everything change to what it is today?
We ventured through the dark halls of Gordon Museum where we got to browse through ancient medicine books dating back to 1400s. Books in the past were made of copper-based material, and it was a very chilling yet wonderful feeling to be able to hold the finest medieval books of the ancient Roman and Greek history.
The Summer School also offered a social programme during the weekends which I was thrilled to be part of and to be able to get to know the other Summer School students. It also gave me a chance to learn and be exposed to the rich and diversified lifestyle that the UK has to offer to a student.
The first weekend we had a boat trip from Westminster all the way to Greenwich and back. There was music and good food, and the company was simply lovely; getting to know each other better under a wonderful panoramic sunset view.
The following weekend, I signed up for the trip to Oxford and Windsor. Our tour guide was like a walking encyclopedia! It was a lovely day exploring two of the most magical places in UK.
The loveliest memory that I will always hold dear to me is that I celebrated my 21st birthday on the 14th of July while studying at King’s! AND I MET NATALIE TENA who acts as Osha in Game of Thrones and Nymphadora Tonks in Harry Potter series!! I took the time over the weekends and after school to explore different parts of London, browsing through street markets and tasting the local delicacies.
During my stay at London I constantly update my personal blog http://aleejustsaid.blogspot.com and I recommend anyone who intends to go on a KCL summer programme would do the same thing to! I hope to come back to King’s one day in the future. It was the best summer experience of my life and I know that there are many others out there who would love to have had the same experience. The most important thing is to be brave, be bold and take the time to discover yourself in the three weeks!
Thank you King’s for providing a platform for us to share our wonderful experiences! Am already missing the school adventures!’
After another wonderful summer, our students are back at their home institutions. Hafezah from Brunei, who was one of our my #kingssummer winners, shares her experiences with us:
“I’ve always wanted to go to King’s College London as the university is very well-known for its academic excellence and its perfectly convenient location – at the heart of London! I planned on continuing my post-graduate at KCL so last Autumn when I was browsing through KCL’s website looking at the available courses the university offered, I came across a section about the ‘Summer School’. I was intrigued but what really caught my attention was the fact that the summer school offered a short Shakespeare course, a course that I’ve always wanted to study again but couldn’t because of my current degree. I simply couldn’t pass on that opportunity so when the application to the Summer School opened, I applied right away without hesitation! I can now say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
When the 30th of June came, I arrived at the Stamford Apartment, one of the student accommodations for students attending the KCL Summer School, without any idea of what to expect. My doubts were cleared when I entered the Franklin-Wilkins building the following day, along with other students, for the registration and orientation. Shortly after the lunch break, the first class started and this was when I got to meet my classmates for the first time. My class consisted of 14 other girls so initially I thought the small size could be beneficial to my learning experience as class discussions could be made easier.
Walking to class was one of the highlights of my summer school! Let me explain – because I lived at the Stamford Apartment, every morning from Monday to Thursday I had to cross the Waterloo Bridge to get to class. From the bridge, if I were to look to my right I could see some of London’s landmarks like the London Eye as well as the House of Parliament, and to my left, I could see the National Theatre among other tall buildings along the South Bank. This isn’t something I could do everyday so that to me was phenomenal; the view was simply breathtaking and I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my day. Covent Garden, a popular shopping and tourist location, is only less than 10 minutes away from the Strand Campus too!
As a student of the Shakespeare in London course, aside from the walking tours around places near the Strand Campus and visiting near-by museums, I loved the fact that we got to watch Shakespeare’s plays being performed live on stage. Out of the three plays we’ve watched (Macbeth, the Taming of the Shrews, and Romeo and Juliet), my favorite would most definitely be watching Macbeth at the Shakespeare’s Globe.
What was unique and ‘special’ about this particular play was that we had to stand throughout the entire play. Although having to stand for over 2 hours out in the open may sound tiring, it was the fact that we got a sense and feeling of how the audiences back then might have felt when they watch plays being performed; it was interesting and exciting at the same time! In addition to that, the characters’ performances, the way they delivered their lines, the music and the way they attracted with the audience – it was all incredible.
Overall, attending the Summer School has exposed me more to different cultures and different landscapes while gaining new skills – such as knowledge and research skills. I also learned how to think critically and deeply through the course. I found the teaching to be of a very high standard – Sarah, my tutor, and the other guest lecturers she invited to class were always ready to lend a helping hand. I felt that spending a part of my summer break studying abroad has helped me grow as a person and broaden my horizons; I got to travel and had a more complete cultural immersion experience at the same time. What I loved about being a part of the summer school programme was that I felt like I got to experience the real ‘London’ in just a short amount of time; from crossing the Waterloo Bridge almost every morning to getting coffee at Cafe Nero or Starbucks before class started, as well as making our way through the crowd and busy London streets to get to the tube stations for our class trips.
Most importantly, any Bruneian student who is able to put on their CV that they have studied abroad in a prestigious university like KCL is at a great advantage in terms of impressing the people working with Brunei’s Ministry of Education as well as future employers. KCL’s Summer School has taught me to become more independent; living in London and being an alumni of KCL with the Summer School programme was no doubt an opportunity of a life time – it was incredible how much a place and the people can have an impact on me.”
Thank you so much for letting me write a little about my summer school experience!
This Summer King’s hosted the British Council 9/11 Scholarship fund, which is tailored for students who endured the death or serious injury of a parent or guardian in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Read more here.