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Course details

Currently not taking applications for this summer school.  2020 information will be available soon


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At the heart of the Summer School is an intensive academic programme. It is aimed at increasing your knowledge of the very latest Imperial advances in response to some of the world's biggest challenges.

You will be inspired, challenged and supported throughout the programme by our experienced academics, researchers and Summer School ambassadors.

There will also be lots of opportunities to ask questions and discuss your thoughts with our experts and with each other.

Teaching timetable

Our teaching timetable runs from Monday–Friday. Saturday and Sunday are kept free of teaching to give you the chance to explore London.

Each teaching day is divided into a morning and afternoon session, with a break for lunch. Each session described below will last either for a morning or an afternoon.

The programme also includes two field trips:

  • Silicon Roundabout and Tech City UK – London Walking Tour in week one
  • Visit to The Design Museum in South Kensington in week two

Week one

Working in a multinational team

Integrated into week one are a couple of sessions aimed at exploring best practice in team working, particularly culturally-mixed team working. You will take away valuable insights that will help you prepare to become global leaders and valuable citizens of today and tomorrow.

Ice breakers

The Summer School brings together a global network of learners.

This session, facilitated by our current students, aims to help you get to know your classmates better and understand different ways of working across cultures. It aims to:

  • Identify intercultural study/working interests
  • Provide tips on what works (and what doesn't) in multi-national teams – this will be useful preparation for week one's team-based task
  • Identify cultural norms: assumptions, what is being polite?
  • Set some initial ground rules


This session uses practical exercises and guided review to explore ways in which you can enhance the performance of a team.

You'll take part in a range of tasks designed to highlight common ways in which team performance can come unstuck and the behaviours that can stop this happening.

You will work in groups of seven or eight to give as many people as possible the chance to lead, participate and observe – all elements that contribute to understanding and learning.

Learn from our experts

The following expert-led sessions offer a unique insight into current research work that is taking place at Imperial to address some of the world's biggest challenges. You'll also hear from some of our entrepreneurs whose contribution to progress has led them to start a business and launch their idea into the commercial world.

More information

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges to development today.

While climate change poses a number of risks to vulnerable communities and businesses around the world, many opportunities are unfolding for private companies to implement actions towards reducing risks to their business operations.

There are also opportunities for businesses to invest in adaptation action in vulnerable regions in a sustainable and profitable manner.

This session will give you an understanding of what climate change is, its impact and the challenges businesses and academia face as they find innovations to tackle these problems.

The aim of this session is to provide you with an understanding of current challenges in global health and the latest innovations to meet these challenges.

This session will cover:

  • What is Global Health?
  • Problems and challenges
  • Solutions with case studies examples
  • Current innovations in global health

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve several billion users worldwide.  Whether for business or leisure, use of the internet is becoming part of our daily lives. 

To understand what impact this have, the session will cover:

  • An introduction/overview of the internet and its power
  • Current challenges of the internet and problems faced by companies
  • What businesses are doing to overcome these challenges?
  • Current innovations in managing internet challenges (academic and business)

Modern science typically involves big data, taking advantage of high-throughput data capture and high-performance computing capabilities.

Data science is therefore an essential element of all modern interdisciplinary scientific activities.

It acts as the glue to facilitating collaborative scientific discovery and involving the whole life cycle of data, from acquisition and exploration to analysis and communication of the results.

Data science is not only concerned with the tools and methods to obtain, manage and analyse data, it is also about extracting value from data and translating it from asset into insight.

This session aims to showcase data science and its applications to address data-driven scientific grand challenges.

This session provides an insight into machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). 

You will learn about the latest real-world application and innovation in the area and see how robotics can reshape the future and transform the world in different sectors.

This expert-led module will help your understanding of how businesses differentiate and compete in global markets.

You will learn to define and build business models and how to market ideas to establish competitive advantage.

Topics covered will include:

  • Building and improving business models that drive growth and innovation
  • Evaluating ideas to determine which to pursue
  • Creating strategies to differentiate and market products/brands
  • Leveraging market insights to strengthen competitive position
  • Identifying the most appropriate marketing mix, considering: product, price and global position

This session lays the ground work for the group presentations at the end of week two. Working in teams, you will identify an idea to address one of the global challenges which you have explored during week one.

You will be required to present a business model and marketing plan for this idea as a group as a way of consolidating your learning. We hope it will also produce some great ideas which you may be inspired to take further beyond the Summer School.

You’ll hear from our Imperial entrepreneurs their journey to start up their own companies.

Week two

This week focuses on skills that will assist your personal development, from creativity and ideas generation to negotiation and influencing skills.

The week will culminate in a group presentation task from week one's Business model innovation session. This is a chance for you to draw together knowledge and inspiration from week one's academic sessions and personal skills from week two's personal development sessions.

More information

This session helps you "to think outside the box" to generate ideas.

The techniques presented and tried during the session are particularly useful for people who do not believe they have time to think differently due to the pressures of daily life.

The workshop will take you through a pragmatic six-stage problem solving process. You will apply the process from problem definition through to implementation.

This workshop will look at applying design thinking to one of the global challenge themes drawing on the museum’s resources for context and inspiration. 

You will also have the opportunity to visit the museum.

This workshop will take you on a journey through fundamental principles of communication and presentation.

Through interactive exercises, plenary and interaction you will learn more about your strengths and natural abilities, and how to perform at your higher level.

The session will allow you to work experientially within a group setting and will give you exercises, ideas, tips and practises for inclusion in your presentations on the last day.

The ability to negotiate solutions and influence people so that everyone involved agrees and commits to those solutions requires thought, analysis and practice.

Good negotiation skills are a key aspect of personal effectiveness.

Linked to persuasiveness, conflict handling, assertiveness and active listening skills, success in negotiation can be increased by learning and applying key behaviours.

This workshop emphasises the need for careful thought and planning before negotiations.

Key topics covered are:

  • the situation
  • who is involved
  • their motives and objectives
  • styles of communication
  • preparation: bargaining and planning
  • signs of conflict and dealing with conflict

Negotiation exercises allow participants to practise and identify key improvement opportunities.