English Literature Summer School

Young woman reading a book outsideIf you are a keen reader, then you will know that there are few pleasures like finding a new book or poem that you love, or discovering a fresh perspective that transforms your appreciation of an old favourite. 

This Summer School will guide you to some fantastic work that you might not yet have encountered, while at the same time showing you how to apply the essential tools of literary criticism, from historicism to psychoanalysis.

This journey will be all the richer for being undertaken alongside your fellow students, with seminars, close reading, and debates all giving the opportunity for you to work together in a friendly and supportive environment to explore your reactions and understanding. Groups will be small (maximum 12 students), to give plenty of opportunities for personal engagement and connection.

The tutors for this course are selected for their exceptional communication skills, outstanding academic record, and passion for literature – you can see our tutors page for some example profiles. Throughout this adventure, your tutor will act as guide, facilitator and mentor.

This Summer School is most suitable for students at the end of Y12 or Y13, as we will be undertaking undergraduate level work throughout, but we also welcome GCSE students who are broad and confident readers and who would welcome a challenge.

The English Summer School – Part 1 will cover early English literature dating from 650 to Shakespeare, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer and The Renaissance. We will also be introducing students to Historicist and Feminist critical approaches as part of this Summer School.

See a more detailed outline for Part 1.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will cover Romanticism and the Gothic Movement, the Rise of the Novel, and the Imperialist age and the development of Modernism. We will also be covering ‘Death of the Author’, and Post-Colonial theories as part of this Summer School.

postage stamp showing the globe theatre

See a more detailed outline for Part 2.

The English Summer School – Part 3 will cover twentieth century and contemporary literature including post-modernism, literature and place, adaptation and inter-textuality and spoken word poetry. We will be covering psychoanalytic criticism, theories of the canon and political censorship as part of this Summer School.

See a more detailed outline for Part 3.

Please note that students can attend any single individual Part of the Summer School, or all three, depending on their literary interests. Although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand alone events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for later Parts.

For full practical and booking details just scroll down past the reviews.

If you are a keen reader, then you will know that there are few pleasures like finding a new book or poem that you love, or discovering a fresh perspective that transforms your appreciation of an old favourite. 

This Summer School will guide you to some fantastic work that you might not yet have encountered, while at the same time showing you how to apply the essential tools of literary criticism, from historicism to psychoanalysis.

This journey will be all the richer for being undertaken alongside your fellow students, with seminars, close reading, and debates all giving the opportunity for you to work together in a friendly and supportive environment to explore your reactions and understanding. Groups will be small (maximum 12 students), to give plenty of opportunities for personal engagement and connection.

The tutors for this course are selected for their exceptional communication skills, outstanding academic record, and passion for literature – you can see our tutors page for some example profiles. Throughout this adventure, your tutor will act as guide, facilitator and mentor.

This Summer School is most suitable for students at the end of Y12 or Y13, as we will be undertaking undergraduate level work throughout, but we also welcome GCSE students who are broad and confident readers and who would welcome a challenge.

The English Summer School – Part 1 will cover early English literature dating from 650 to Shakespeare, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer and The Renaissance. We will also be introducing students to Historicist and Feminist critical approaches as part of this Summer School.

See a more detailed outline for Part 1.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will cover Romanticism and the Gothic Movement, the Rise of the Novel, and the Imperialist age and the development of Modernism. We will also be covering ‘Death of the Author’, and Post-Colonial theories as part of this Summer School.

See a more detailed outline for Part 2.

The English Summer School – Part 3 will cover twentieth century and contemporary literature including post-modernism, literature and place, adaptation and inter-textuality and spoken word poetry. We will be covering psychoanalytic criticism, theories of the canon and political censorship as part of this Summer School.

See a more detailed outline for Part 3.

Please note that students can attend any single individual Part of the Summer School, or all three, depending on their literary interests. Although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand alone events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for later Parts.

For full practical and booking details just scroll down past the reviews.

‘This was such an amazing course! I think the thing that made it so enjoyable were the staff running it. Although challenging, the course opened my eyes to a whole different perspective on literature – and the speakers really helped  me to understand some of the harder texts. I would definitely recommend this course as it is worth every minute.’

‘I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone doing A-Level English or considering studying English at University. The week left me feeling inspired and wanting to learn more about the subject areas we covered, most of which are not even touched upon at school. The teachers encouraged us to discuss theories and philosophies of literature that piqued our interests, and several of these debates spilled over into lunchtime and even after class! The other students were really friendly and easy to get along with. I went home feeling equally uplifted and educated by my time here… Thank you to everyone for making the experience so enjoyable!’

‘The Debate Chamber Summer School was a fantastic experience and one well worth applying for. Not only was it made thoroughly enjoyable by the effort and expertise of the tutors, but will undoubtedly prove invaluable in the future when drawing on the variety skills learnt.’

Click here for more reviews of our literature courses, or on the trustpilot link below for general reviews.

Practical Details

The online English Literature Summer School is open to students aged 15 – 18. Teaching hours on each day will run from 10.00am till 3.30pm, with a lunch break.

Part 1 (Origins to Renaissance) will take place on the 12th – 14th August.

Part 2 (Romanticism to Modernism) will take place on the 19th – 21st August.

Part 3 (Post-Modernism to Contemporary Literature) will take place on the 27th – 29th August.

These are live online events, with small seminar groups offering fully interactive classroom discussion and debate. The events will not be recorded, so it is essential that you are able to attend during the course hours, and that you have a reliable audio and video internet connection.

The fee for each three day course is £325, and you can reserve your place with a 25% non-refundable deposit (up to the end of the deposit period). The remainder of the payment is due eight weeks in advance of the course start date. Please see here for full booking terms and conditions.

If you have any questions, simply call us on 0800 810 1058 or email us at [email protected].

Debate Chamber offers a limited number of full and partial bursaries to students who could not otherwise afford to attend. If you would like to apply for a bursary then please complete your bursary application here.