Frequently Asked Questions
What does Debate Chamber offer?
Debate Chamber offers aspirational school students the opportunity to explore some of the fascinating subjects on offer at university, while experiencing an exciting and engaging seminar-style approach to learning. We don’t coach students to pass their school exams, or finesse their interview technique. Instead, our events focus on developing intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and the desire to explore academic material in a more sophisticated way than is often taught at school. We encourage our own students to think independently, and to pursue their own interests and questions, rather than trying to second guess the desires of the examiner, interviewer or teacher.
How long have Debate Chamber been running events?
Debate Chamber has been providing exciting educational opportunities to school students aged 11 – 18 since 2003.
How many students attend Debate Chamber courses every year?
Every summer, over 2000 students from across the UK attend Debate Chamber Summer School courses at the University of London, Bloomsbury Campus.
What do our students say?
Debate Chamber prides itself on the quality of the educational experience provided through each of its courses. We are always looking for new ways to engage and inspire our students and highly value the feedback we receive. At the end of each course we ask students to write a short review to help inform others when deciding on which courses to attend. You can read the student reviews here.
Which subjects do you offer?
You can find out more information about the range of subjects and courses available on the Debate Chamber Summer Schools page here.
Who teaches the courses?
All Debate Chamber courses are taught by expert tutors who share a passion for exploring and communicating ideas. Most of our tutors have completed, or are in the process of completing, postgraduate research and are therefore perfectly placed to challenge preconceptions, inspire original thinking, and bridge the educational gap between secondary school and university. You can find out more about our team of tutors here.
How many students in a class?
Our classes are small, typically containing twelve to fourteen students, all of whom share a passion and curiosity to build on their existing knowledge and embrace new ideas.
How rigid are the age categories?
The age brackets for each course are recommendations only – if students slightly outside the stated bracket are keen to attend an event, and are aware that they will be working with students who may be a few years younger or older than themselves, then that is something which we will usually be able to accommodate. If you have any questions or would like to talk about the recommended age ranges for any course, please feel free to get in touch.
Are there a limited number of places on each course?
Yes, there are a limited number of places on each course, and places are allocated on a first come first served basis.
Can I attend more than one course?
Yes you can. There is no limit to the number of courses that you attend, provided there are spaces available. Some subjects offer more than one course, in which case you may wish to attend multiple parts of the same subject. Alternatively, you might want to explore a range of different subjects to help inform your decision when choosing which subject to study at university.
Where are the courses held?
All Debate Chamber events take place at University of London venues in Bloomsbury. Maps to our regular venues along with transport information can be found here.
How can I book my place?
Once you have selected the course you wish to attend from the Summer Schools page, you can book your place by completing the online Booking Form at the bottom of the individual course page.
Is there a deadline for registration?
There is no official deadline for registering, although places are allocated on a first come first served basis. Close to the summer, places for courses tend to fill up quickly.
I'm on the waiting list, when will I find out if I have a place?
If you’re on a waiting list for one of our events, we will notify you by e-mail or telephone if a place becomes available and you are next on the waiting list. We will get in touch with those who we are able to offer places to three weeks before the beginning of the event. If we do not get back in touch after placing you on a waiting list then this means that unfortunately that we are not able to offer you a place.
Can I change the dates after I have completed my booking?
Yes you can, provided there are still places available on the course you wish to change to.
How much do the courses cost?
The cost of the courses varies between £90 – £475 depending on the length and subject. All prices are inclusive of VAT. See individual course pages for detail.
Do you offer fees bursaries?
We offer a limited number of bursaries, covering up to 100% of course fees, for students who would otherwise be unable to attend. You can find out more information on the Bursaries page.
How can I pay?
Upon completing your online booking, you will be sent a confirmation email that will include a payment link. Clicking on the payment link will allow you to make full payment for the course by debit or credit card. If you prefer, you can make payment over the phone by calling 0845 519 4827. For bank transfer, please send payment to Debate Chamber Ltd, account number: 20857688, sort code: 20 97 40. If you are paying through the school please let us know the invoice details. For cheque payments, please make all cheques payable to Debate Chamber, and send to Debate Chamber, 1 Primrose Street, Bishopsgate, London, EC2A 2EX.
What is your cancellation and refund policy?
It depends how far in advance of the event you cancel. Cancellations made in writing at least twelve weeks (84 days) before the event begins will receive a full refund of any monies paid (less a £10 administration charge). Cancellations made in writing at least ten weeks (70 days) before the event begins will receive a 90% refund, at least nine weeks (63 days) before the event begins an 80% refund, at least eight weeks (56 days) before the event begins a 70% refund, at least seven weeks (49 days) before the event begins a 60% refund, at least six weeks (42 days) before the event begins a 50% refund, at least five weeks (35 days) before the event begins a 40% refund, at least four weeks (28 days) before the event begins a 30% refund, at least three weeks (21 days) before the event begins a 20% refund and at least two weeks (14 days) before the event begins a 10% refund. If you cancel your place under two weeks before an event begins then it will not be possible for Debate Chamber to offer a refund.
For bookings made over the phone, or via the website, this cancellation policy is subject to a 14 day cooling off period from the date on which the contract is made, during which time you can cancel your booking without penalty. Please see our booking terms and conditions for more details.
How can I find the venue?
Details about how to find the venue and suggestions for transport can be found here.
What do I need to bring?
You should bring a pen and pencil; lined paper for note-taking; a scientific calculator if attending Maths or Physics; a packed lunch or money to purchase food.
Is there a dress code?
There is no dress code. Most students dress casually, but please feel free to wear whatever you feel most comfortable in.
What are the options for lunch?
Lunch is not provided. Students will have time during the lunch break to eat a packed lunch or purchase lunch from nearby shops and cafes. Please note that students under 15 will only be allowed out during the lunch break with written permission from their parents or guardians.
Any suggestions for accommodation in the area?
All Debate Chamber courses are non-residential. If you require accommodation, this must be arranged independently. We are unable to make recommendations for places to stay, but you will receive a list of local accommodation when you register for one of our courses.