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.
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?
Debate Chamber events are based at Student Central, University of London in Bloomsbury. You can see a map along with transport information here.
How can I book my place?
Once you have selected the course you wish to attend from the Summer Schools page, you can choose your dates and book your place from the individual course pages.
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. 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 £95 – £520 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 able to make payment by debit or credit card. If you prefer, you can make payment over the phone by calling 0800 810 1058. To pay via a bank transfer, please contact us by phone to book your place and then send payment to Debate Chamber Ltd, account number: 20857688, sort code: 20 97 40. If you are paying through your school, or another organisation, then ask them to contact us and request an invoice.
What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Where the booking is made more than eight weeks in advance of the course start date, we will usually offer the option to pay a deposit payment, or to pay the full balance, whichever is more convenient for you.
The deposit, or deposit element, of the payment secures your place, and is non-refundable. Please note, if you have paid a deposit for multiple parts, and cancel one of these parts, the deposit element of this remains non-refundable and is unable to be transferred towards the balance for the remaining parts that have been booked.
The remainder of the balance is refundable up to eight weeks in advance of the course start date. For late cancellations made within eight weeks of the course start date a sliding scale applies, with a smaller percentage of the fees refunded the closer to the course date the cancellation is made.
You can read our full terms and conditions here.
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 for the course – most students dress casually, but please feel free to wear whatever you feel most comfortable in. Some of the rooms have air conditioning which can be a little bit chilly, so it might be worth bringing a jumper along.
You may need to move between buildings for some classes, and although we hope it will be sunny, this being England in the summer you might want to consider bringing a rain jacket or umbrella!
What are the options for lunch?
The teaching day will run from 10.30am till 4.30pm, with a break for lunch. There will also be short breaks in the morning and afternoon, at the discretion of the session tutor. Feel free to bring drinks or snacks to the class if you wish.
Lunch is not provided, but there are cafes inside the teaching buildings which sell salads and sandwiches, and there are a huge number of other coffee shops, cafes and restaurants within a few minutes walk. If the weather is good then you could also consider bringing a packed lunch to eat in Russell Square gardens.
Please note that students under 15 will need permission from a parent or guardian do leave the building during the lunch break, those without such permission should bring a packed lunch which they can eat in the supervised lunch space.
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 we do have a list of some local options which we can email to you on request.