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Engineering Preparation Ages 16-18

Cambridge Summer School 2020
Also in Oxford | St Andrews |

An intensive Engineering summer course residential in colleges of Cambridge University, designed to introduce students aged 16-18 to Engineering and help them apply to Engineering courses at UK universities.

2 weeks | Available July - August 2020

  • Live, dine and study in colleges of the University of Cambridge
  • Expert tutoring from ORA's faculty
  • Study the fundamental elements of a range of Engineering disciplines
  • Talks and debates with world-class guest speakers
  • A truly international environment - make friends from all over the world
  • Inspirational cultural programme

Course Summary

Future-facing and intellectually challenging, Engineering is an exciting and rewarding discipline. This summer Engineering course aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of Engineering and give them a taste of the wide range of options they have when studying Engineering at university. Students will examine the challenges facing the modern engineer and explore some of the major unsolved problems that contemporary Engineering faces.

This course uses an applied approach, designed to give students as much opportunity as possible to stretch their academic skills, test out their understanding of theoretical concepts through practical tasks and university level problem-solving methods, and to explore different branches of engineering. They will be encouraged to consider engineering as a multi-disciplinary subject, drawing on scientific theory and mathematics to understand and develop technical solutions.

What to expect from the Engineering Preparation course

This course is designed to give students a deeper understanding of the real-life issues and challenges faced by modern engineers, putting students in a better position to give intelligent answers to questions they might be asked in future job interviews, as well as providing a head-start in understanding what students might be up against in a future career.

Students will have the opportunity to explore what degrees are on offer from different university engineering departments and understand how courses differ. The course will help students to narrow down their options to a particular branch of engineering that they are most interested in studying, and will assist them in finding out which universities offer a course you think would best suit them. They will work on their university application, and Oxford Royale’s excellent teaching staff will be on hand to assist with aspects of their application such as personal statements and interview techniques.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have:

  • Explored calculus, applied fluid mechanics and dynamic modelling
  • A head start towards a successful University application and admissions interview
  • Learned how to use vital software and apply this knowledge in conjunction with essential engineering concepts to solve problems
  • Learned how to use software such as GNU Octave
  • Gained fundamental problem-solving skills that they can use across the disciplines of engineering, finance, the sciences and mathematics
  • Explored the core principles of engineering, including thermodynamics and how to apply these principles to key engineering systems
  • Participated in a robot competition using LEGO Mindstorms sets

Topics Covered

Students will explore calculus, applied fluid mechanics and dynamic modelling. They will learn how to use vital software and apply this knowledge in conjunction with essential engineering concepts to solve problems. By learning to use software such as GNU Octave, students will gain fundamental problem-solving skills that they can use across the discipline of engineering and other disciplines like finance, the sciences, and mathematics.

Also students will delve further into the core principles of engineering; their academic ability will be stretched as they explore advanced applied thermodynamics and how to apply these principles to key engineering systems. Students will have the chance to showcase and test their understanding of the material as they will present technical content to the class and be questioned on it. To round up the course, students will participate in a robotics competition! Using LEGO Mindstorms sets, they will build their own custom programmable robot and race them against each other. The competition aims to give students an appreciation for everyday challenges of engineering, and is part of their continuing assessment and general feedback given throughout the programme.

The table below gives an indication of the subject areas that will be covered in each day’s lecture and seminar. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, please note that topics and timings may be subject to change.

Day Week 1 (Scroll right for week 2) Week 2
Monday Lesson 1: Introduction to the course
Lesson 2: Calculus 1
Lesson 3: Calculus 1
Lesson 14: PAT mock (optional)
Lesson 15: Feedback workshop and modelling experiment
Lesson 16: Presentations
Tuesday Lesson 4: Calculus 2
Lesson 5: Calculus 2
Lesson 17: Introduction to stress analysis
Lesson 18: Introduction to stress analysis
Wednesday Lesson 6: University applications and practical tips
Lesson 7: Personal statement: writing and practice
Lesson 8: Interview techniques and mock interview practice
Lesson 19: Applied thermal dynamics (advanced)
Lesson 20: Applied thermal dynamics (advanced)
Lesson 21: Applied thermal dynamics (advanced)
Thursday Lesson 9: Introduction to applied fluid mechanics
Lesson 10: Introduction to applied fluid mechanics
Lesson 22: Robotics workshop
Lesson 23: Robotics workshop
Lesson 24: Robotics workshop
Friday Lesson 11: Dynamic modelling coursework
Lesson 12: Dynamic modelling coursework
Lesson 13: Dynamic modelling coursework
Lesson 25: Robotics workshop
Lesson 26: Robotics competition and course summary

Take this course if...

Take this course if you would like to explore Engineering as a career, if you would like to experience life as an Engineering student in a top university, and if you want to prepare for university Engineering interviews.

Welcome to the City of Cambridge - your home this summer

students walking through a small street in front of the King's College, Cambridge

Cambridge has been recognised for centuries as one of the most beautiful academic locations in the UK. With its soaring gothic buttresses, green lawns, gently meandering river, and quiet little coffee shops, Cambridge has a lot to offer in terms of quality of student experience.

Students will live, dine and study in a college of the University of Cambridge, providing them with the ideal opportunity to discover what life in a top UK university is really like. Students can immerse themselves in the teaching of knowledgeable academics, many of whom have studied at top UK institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford. They will have plenty of opportunity to explore the city in their free time, and take part in educational excursions in and around Cambridge.

Students residential in Cambridge will experience life in a top UK university city, while fulfilling their educational ambitions and enjoying the summer experience of their lives. Learn more about all that our Cambridge Summer School has to offer.

A Cambridge college dining hall
Punts lined up on the River Cam in Cambridge
Students smiling at the camera in front of the King's College, Cambridge?

Useful information for students & parents


Students will be accommodated in comfortable single or twin rooms depending on their allocated college - please contact our admissions team if you would like more information. Twin rooms are strictly between students of the same gender, and males/females are separated by corridor and/or staircase. Accommodation is the standard accommodation for university undergraduates who study at the university, so students are able to get a flavour for what being an undergraduate at the university might be like. Bathrooms are typically shared between students of the same gender, though in some cases en-suite facilities are available.

Pastoral care & student welfare

The programme is overseen by the Programme Director, who implements the day-to-day running of the programme. The Director is assisted by a team of Counsellors who very often are current members of the University of Oxford or University of Cambridge. The Counsellors ensure that students are looked after pastorally, culturally and socially during their programme. Students are able to talk informally and frankly to the Counsellors in order to raise concerns or to discuss university applications. Each campus has members of residential staff who live in the college throughout the programme and are able to assist students at any time of the day or night.

Eligibility & pre-requisites

Students on this course:

  • Must conform to our age policy.
  • Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Admissions Team on [email protected] and they will be able to assist you.
  • Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Admissions Team for more detailed information.

Our Teaching Faculty

At Oxford Royale Academy we are committed to providing our students with the most qualified and high-calibre teaching faculty available. All Oxford Royale Academy teachers are passionate about their subjects, and are looking forward to passing their knowledge on to their students this summer! For full details of last summer’s teaching faculty, please click here.

Guest Lectures & Debates

At ORA, we go the extra mile to enhance the study abroad experience of our students. As part of this, every year our dedicated Events Team organises a series of fascinating guest lectures. Guest speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds and specialisms, including the worlds of online media, television and academia. Our students also have the opportunity to watch and participate in a number of debates, which take place on campus. These range from formal Panel Debates, involving teaching faculty and other staff, to informal discussions about current “hot topics” led by Counsellors.

Coach Excursions

The United Kingdom has a rich cultural heritage, and a course with Oxford Royale Academy is the perfect way for a young learner to explore this. All ORA courses include at least one coach excursion to places of historical and social significance in the UK.

Extra-curricular Activities

At ORA, we never forget that our students are on holiday! Included with every ORA course is an extra-curricular timetable, carefully designed by our dedicated Events Team to ensure our students have fun, make friends and get the most out of their time with us.

Find out more

Find out more Immigration & Visas

Information and advice on securing your visa.

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Find out more Arrival & Departure

Information about how to travel to and from an ORA summer course.

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Find out more Airport Transfers

Details of transfers between ORA and Heathrow Airport.

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Find out more FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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Engineering Preparation Programme for Ages 16-18 | Cambridge is residential in the following venues:

(If your course takes place in more than one campus in the same city and you would like to know more about which location you will be allocated, please call our admissions team)

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