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Summer Architecture Programme Ages 16-18

Cambridge Summer School 2020
Also available in London | Oxford | St Andrews

ORA's famous Cambridge architecture summer course, residential in colleges of the University of Cambridge and delivered by expert architecture academics. The perfect study-abroad programme for the architects of the future.

2 weeks | Available July - August 2020

  • Live, dine and study in colleges of the University of Cambridge
  • Expert tutoring from ORA's faculty
  • Practical study of some of the UK's finest architecture
  • Talks and debates with world-class guest speakers
  • A truly international environment - over 150 nationalities in 2019
  • Inspirational cultural programme

Course Summary

The Summer Architecture Programme introduces aspiring architects to key concepts and theories, whilst also providing an insight into what future study or a career in architecture will entail. A selection of classes and excursions will expose students to the history of architecture, as well as provide a culturally enriched programme. Planning, designing and spatial mapping skills will also ensure that students have an extensive architectural knowledge to aid them in future study in the discipline.

Taking place in the structurally fascinating and beautiful cities of London, St Andrews, Oxford or Cambridge, this two-week course will provide students with a range of essential modern architectural skills, including technical drawing and model construction in manual and digital formats.

What to expect from the Summer Architecture programme

On Oxford Royale Academy’s Summer Architecture Programme, students will learn the principles of design, mapping, spatial planning and analysis skills essential to portfolio development. Excursions will also enable students to see the evolution of architecture, from historical spires to modern glass buildings. Importantly, students will be exposed to a career as an architect and will gain a wealth of knowledge of the key theories and design terms. The basic concepts of construction and engineering will fascinate students on the course and underpin their future careers in, and studies of, architecture.

Students will learn vital and invaluable skills for the modern workplace, which they will be able to use long after they leave the summer school. Through a variety of homework tasks, presentations and focus problems, students will develop their skills of communication (both written and verbal), problem solving and analytical thought. The course could include a class visits to London or other local city, to witness the latest innovations in modern architecture and design.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have:

  • covered the basic principles behind design, planning and spatial mapping for architectural projects
  • a deeper understanding of basic engineering and construction concepts, helping them to produce a variety of architectural drawings for their own portfolio
  • constructed models to illustrate their ideas, and then present their portfolio to their peers to gain feedback
  • developed thinking and verbal communication skills required for the creation and planning of all aspects of design projects
  • participated in a group-based design portfolio competition

Topics covered

Students receive more than 20 hours of teaching per week, in classes of no more than 15. Lessons on architectural theory combined with skill-based workshops allow students to learn about all aspects of architecture and gain an impression of the undergraduate study of this fascinating subject.

Through a variety of homework tasks, presentations and focus problems, students will develop their skills of communication, problem-solving and analytical thought. The course could include a class visits to London, or other local cities, to witness the latest innovations in modern architecture and design

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.


Week 1

Week 2


Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: What is Architecture?

Lesson 3: Walking tour and drawing workshop

Lesson 11: History and theory Lecture 3 : Modernisation in focus

Lesson 12: History and theory Lecture 4: Postmodernism in focus

Lesson 13: Design development


Lesson 4: History and theory Lecture 1: Classical to neo-classical

Lesson 5: History and theory Lecture 2: Neo-Classical to present day

Lesson 14: Workshop and introduction to Adobe Creative Suite

Lesson 15: Compile design proposal using Adobe CS


Lesson 6: Introduction to site mapping

Lesson 7: Site visit

Lesson 8: Technical Drawing Workshop

Lesson 16: Continue on individual projects

Lesson 17: Finalise technical drawings

Lesson 18: Finalise scale model of proposal


Lesson 9: Discussion of design brief

Lesson 10: Design development

Lesson 19: Documentation of material throughout course

Lesson 20: Workshop- How to compile a portfolio


Field tip or Guest Speaker

Lesson 21: Preparation of presentations

Lesson 22: Finalise and pin up presentations

Lesson 23: Final crit

Take this course if...

Take this course if you are interested fascinated by the structures that make up our living environment, and would like to know more about their design and composition with a view to designing your own buildings and structures - or simply for general interest. You will also learn many great skills through the techniques applied while studying the discipline of Architecture, a discipline that is well-known and highly respected for its rigour.

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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Summer Architecture 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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