Computer Science Summer School

‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’  

This is classic sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke’s famous third law, and few phrases better sum up how the outsider must view the remarkable progress being made in the domain of computer science. From artificially intelligent cars, to translator software capable of creating its own intermediary language, the technology we interact with every day is increasing in complexity at astonishing speed.

It is likely already impossible for any one person to understand it all, but at the heart of every one of these developments one can find the core fundamentals of computer science. Once mastered, these open the gateways to a field which is, without a doubt, going to be one of the most significant drivers of our future.

The Computer Science Summer School is a chance for students to venture further into this world, and in particular to explore some topics that they may not have encountered at school. We will do this, as is only appropriate, by respecting one more piece of sci-fi prescience, Clarke’s second law: “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”

As part of this course, students will explore both the foundations of computer science, and its potential to produce transformative innovations. It should be noted that this is neither a software engineering course, nor a strictly theoretical one. The subject will be explored in a holistic manner: with theory informing practice; and practice, in turn, targeting our theoretical efforts. Most days will explore a theoretical topic in the morning, followed by a practical project in the afternoon.

Sessions take place in small classes (typically 14 students) led in a seminar-style by an expert tutor. Theoretical sessions will place emphasis on student-led group discussion, and practical sessions on engaging with others to explore new ideas, and solve problems.

Amongst other things, topics for the week will include: The History, Future, and Social Implications of the Computer; Computer Music; Number Systems and Logic; Quantum Computing; Algorithms; Artificial Intelligence; Computer Ethics; Software Analysis and Design; and Cryptography.

A schedule for this course will be available soon.


‘I fell in love with computer science when I discovered the satisfaction of being able to sit anywhere, with a computer, and create. The realisation of theory in programming offered a creative outlet other subjects couldn’t match. What has made me stay is the infinite variety within the discipline – there truly is something for everyone, it’s impossible to become bored! For the problem solvers there are algorithms; for the creative there is design; for the hands-on there is hardware and programming; for the hands-off there is logic and ethics.

What gives computer science the edge, however, is the knowledge that you are working in the most influential, and fastest evolving discipline today. Every day, computer science drives the world, both technologically and socially, farther into a future previously only dreamt of. From artificially intelligent personal assistants to self-driving cars – computer scientists are changing the way we live. Best of all, more than ever before, anyone can become a part of it.’

Alec Howells, Computer Science Tutor

Practical Details

The Computer Science Summer School is open to students aged 15 – 18 who have completed a full GCSE in Computer Science, or at least one year of a Computer Science A-Level.

Interested in Computer Science but not currently studying it at school? See here for detailed requirements for the course. Students with a sufficient level of independent study are welcome to apply.

Dates for this course will be available soon.

The venue for this course is the University of London, Bloomsbury Campus, Central London – you can see more venue and travel details here.

The cost of the five day Computer Science Summer School is £495 per student. Please note that accommodation is not included, and must be arranged independently if required. Bookings for any event may be made by individual students or parents or through the school.

Please note that students will require a Windows laptop for this course. To ensure that your computer is capable of running the necessary software we recommend the following minimum specifications:
– Windows OS (7+)
– i5 Processor
– 4GB Ram
– 500GB Hard Drive

Partial fees bursaries are available for students who would otherwise face financial barriers to attending the course – please see here for details. Where necessary, laptops will be provided for students in receipt of a fees bursary for the course.

To book a place or places at the Computer Science Summer School, or if you have any further questions, simply call on 0845 519 4827, email, or use the form below.

Booking Form

Debate Chamber offers a limited number of full and partial bursaries to students who could not otherwise afford to attend. If you are applying for a bursary please do not complete this form, but instead complete the ‘Bursary Application Form’ here.

Please note that we have been experiencing some issues with sending our booking confirmations to hotmail accounts. If possible, please use a non-hotmail address or if you do enter a hotmail address please check your spam folder for the booking confirmation.
Please see the notes under 'practical details' for information on the level of individual study sufficient for this course.