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Castle Summer+

Dates: May 3 2019 - June 15 2019
Based: Herstmonceux, UK
Apply by: April 1 2019
Cost: $10,347 (2018)

Accelerate Your Degree
Drive Your Future

  • Castle Summer+ is a six-week study abroad program during which you'll gain 9.0 units towards your degree in the unique setting of Herstmonceux Castle in Southern England. All students spend three nights/four days in London.
  • A carefully-curated list of courses gives credit towards many Majors, plus some Queen's certificates, plus a chance to design a research project course in your chosen Major.
  • All students have an opportunity to do primary research, increase their profile for entry to professional schools, and to present at an undergraduate conference.
  • Castle Summer+ prepares second through final year students for the graduate school experience and gives them the workplace skills to impress employers.

Plus: learn intercultural skills in a vibrant and supportive academic community.

Plus: enjoy extracurricular sports, social activities, and personal travel in Europe.

Studies indicate that international education is associated with higher academic scores and degree-completion rates as well as higher employment rates and salaries after graduation.

Global Education for Canadians Report, 2017

Research at the BISC

At the BISC we help you prepare for success. From learning how to undertake archival research, to digital archiving, to honing your public speaking and debating skills for law school at the end of term conference, the skills you develop will help you long after the program has finished. Using our instructors' connections, we will help you in your primary research in places such as the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, South London and other major cultural institutions in London, and support you as you prepare for the end of term conference. We will also support you in publishing your work in undergraduate journals.

The social sciences and humanities are indispensable to understanding and addressing contemporary global challenges and to grasping emerging opportunities.

Leiden Statement, 2014

Program Brochure APPLY NOW!This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Gain real, useful skills for grad school and employment
  • One-on-one access to expert supervisors in your field
  • Propose, research and write about a topic of your choice
  • Reduce your course load for the following semester(s)
Fees based on 2018 and subject to change. A view of St Paul's cathedral at sunset from the South Bank across the Millenium BridgeSt Pauls' Cathedral from the Millenium Bridge


Students take 9.0 units (3 courses) in the Castle Summer+ program.

Course codeCourse nameUsable in Major/Medial/MinorTerm offered
ASTR 101/3.0 Astronomy I: The Solar System
Elective, PHYS (minor only) Summer 2019
GNDS 350/3.0 Feminism, the Body and Visual Culture
PREREQUISITE Level 3 or permission of the Department.
GNDS, ARTH, LLCU, SXGD Summer 2019
HIST 273/3.0 New Imperialism
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above.
HIST, DEVS Summer 2019
IDIS 304/3.0 British Studies I
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above
ENGL, HIST, POLS Summer 2019
INTS 306/3.0 Culture, Identity and Self
NOTE Administered by the Department of Philosophy.
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above
INTS 307/3.0 Intercultural Relations
NOTE Administered by the Department of Sociology.
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above
SOCY, PSYC, INTS Summer 2019
MUSC 171/3.0 Social History of Popular Music Elective, MUSC Summer 2019
POLS 261/3.0 International Politics
POLS, DEVS, PPEC Summer 2019
POLS 338/3.0 European Integration
PREREQUISITE (12 units in POLS at the 200 level or above) and (a GPA of 2.0 on all units in POLS), or permission of the Department.
POLS, PPEC Summer 2019
RESEARCH 594/3.0 Independent Study
See section below for more information
ANY Arts and Science Summer 2019
Queen’s University students should consult their Faculty or Faculty Academic Calendar to ensure that they meet prerequisites. Students who do not meet stated prerequisites for a preferred course, but who think they have the appropriate background to take the course, should seek permission from the relevant Queen’s Department offering the course. Permission is not guaranteed, and applicants may be asked to select another course.

Your academic level is determined by the number of passed units completed:

  • Level 2: 24.0 - 47.9 units
  • Level 3: 48.0 - 83.9 units
  • Level 4: 84.0 units and above

When you submit your application for Castle Summer+, you will be asked to indicate which three courses you intend to study, and one of these may be XXXX 594/3.0 Independent Study. The XXXX may be any course code (e.g. ENGL, POLS, etc.) in Arts and Science. 

If you wish to take this course, please download the Independent Study Course – Registration Form (DOTM, 63KB). You are encouraged to contact the BISC's Deputy Academic Director, Dr. Anna Taylor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to initially discuss your research interests and to obtain a recommendation for an appropriate supervisor. Potential supervisors can be found under 'Meet your Summer+ Faculty', and Dr. Taylor can make alternate suggestions if there is no-one listed who appears to cover your area of interest.

Participants wishing to enrol in Research 594 must be level 3 or higher by the time the program starts. Full instructions, including how to submit, can be found on the form.

Download an Independent Study Course – Registration Form (DOTM, 63KB)

Students talking about homework

Prior to term commencing Contact a supervisor in your chosen discipline using the email given in their faculty profile below. Work with them to prepare a one-page research proposal for a topic of your choice on this form. Have your form approved by submitting it to the undergraduate chair of the relevant department on main campus. (Research 594 students only)
May 3 Students arrive
May 4 - 5 Orientation, including keynote speaker Alice Proctor, inspiring founder and guide of the Uncomfortable Art Tours
May 6 Classes start
Week 1 Classes in progress;  plus: begin your research skills training in dedicated seminars
Week 2 Classes continue; plus: take part in experiential learning and primary research training in the local area; begin planning for your research trip to London
Week 3 Classes continue; more experiential learning and primary research training in the local area; plus: intercultural skills seminar
Week 4 Three nights/four day research and cultural trip to London for all students
Week 5 Classes continue; students prepare projects and presentations for the two-day undergraduate conference; plus: outreach dialogues beyond academia using social media.
Week 6 Classes end; present and discuss your ideas at the BISC Summer+ Undergraduate Conference; plus: hear keynote speaker Dr. Joanne Paul on her journey from studying at BISC to an exciting career; digital archiving of your project to use for graduate school and employment applications. End of term celebration!
June 15 Students depart
Schedule is subject to change without notice based on availability

Our experienced faculty are happy to supervise you in your independent study project. If you don’t see a research area that doesn’t necesarily mean we’re unable to support it – contact the Deputy Academic Director, Dr. Anna Taylor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Honey Salvadori

Honey Salvadori

Journalism and Multimedia Practice

I can supervise projects on:

  • Practice-based photography and/or video projects
  • Journalism research and writing
  • Media Studies and Visual Communication theory
  • Editorial and commercial photography

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • A multimedia journalism project on a UK-based issue or UK travel
  • A creative visual photography or video-based project with theoretical research into visual communication

Anna Taylor

Dr. Anna Taylor


I can supervise projects on:

  • Behavioural psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Animal behaviour
  • Human sexuality

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • Observational or survey-based animal behaviour research (E.g. Domestic animal communication / welfare; evolutionary frameworks applied to captive/domestic animal behaviour, etc.)
  • Learning theory in domestic dogs
  • Survey-based research on human sexuality (e.g. Attitudes, social influence, etc.)

Kathrine Cuccuru

Dr. Kathrine Cuccuru


I can supervise projects on:

  • History of philosophy, especially Early Modern British Philosophy
  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
  • General philosophy and philosophical practice

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • Analyse philosophical theories of art in relation to actual artworks in Brighton and/or London galleries
  • Develop a focussed, close reading of a philosophical text of own choice, with the potential to discuss material with academics working on that material
  • Research an Early Modern British philosopher, reading original texts in the British Library

Charan Rainford

Charan Rainford

Political Studies

I can supervise projects on:

  • Nationalism and national identity
  • Ethnic conflict and ethnic conflict management in divided societies; power-sharing
  • International security; regional security; IR theory; critical IPE
  • Regional international organization; European Union politics

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • “Brexit and the Irish Border: The Consequences of Britain’s European Exit on Northern Ireland’s Good Friday Agreement”
  • “Why do the English hate Federalism?: Interrogating Englishness in the Post-Brexit United Kingdom”
  • The crisis of multiculturalism in Western Europe as far right parties begin to make gains in national elections or have a magnified effect in referendums. Is this phenomenon here to stay or a passing phase?

Ruth Cereceda

Dr. Ruth Cereceda

Art History and Experiential Learning

I can supervise projects on:

  • Art and Architecture in the 19th to 21st century
  • Landscape schools in Europe and North America
  • The market and business of Art
  • Teaching and Learning – Models and implementation of Experiential Learning strategies

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • Experiential Learning and university graduates’ employability, using resources from the Experiential Learning office at BISC and the EL Hub at Queen’s
  • Curation and exhibition practices in the modern museum / gallery, using primary sources and direct observation in London galleries
  • Roland Penrose’s art collection on Picasso and Surrealism, deposited at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Diorella Islas

Diorella Islas

International Security and Transnational Organised Crime

I can supervise projects on:

  • International Security and strategic risk analysis
  • Transnational Organised Crime and counter-narcotic policies
  • Intelligence studies and intelligence analysis techniques
  • Security crisis management

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • A research project on the analysis of the application of security strategies, including counter-criminal policies.
  • Analysis of national security issues, and how these issues are affected by and affect other players and circumstances in the international community.
  • The development of transnational organised criminal groups in the international scenario, such as the interaction of drug-trafficking routes in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.
  • Risk assessment of national security threats to country, concluding forecast analysis and possible policy advice.

Peter Lowe

Dr. Peter Lowe

Literature and Cultural Studies

I can supervise projects on:

  • English Literature and Culture in the 20th and 21st centuries
  • European Culture between the World Wars
  • Russian Literature (in translation) of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • The cultural legacies of Ancient Greece and Rome

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • The concept of ‘Englishness’ in art and literature after of the First World War, drawing on the holdings of the Imperial War Museum, Tate Gallery, and British Library, London, and the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne
  • The experience of exile and emigration in Russian culture after the 1917 Revolution, in conjunction with Pushkin House, the Russian cultural centre in London
  • The revival of ‘classical’ art, architecture, and literature in the 1920s and 1930s, in conjunction with the Tate Gallery and the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

Barbara Holler

Dr. Barbara Holler

Global Development Studies

I can supervise projects on:

  • British Imperial History and Global
  • History
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Gender Studies
  • Global Development Studies

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • I can’t believe they show this…’ Critical exploration of museums as spaces rooted in imperial and colonial histories, using sources from local, national and internatioanl museums
  • Creating museum exhibitions and presenting to wider audiences, exploring Herstmonceux and local archives
  • ‘Revealing histories of violence’ Creation of visual material exploring poverty and inequality in the UK, using primary sources collected during research activities
  • ‘Telling stories with a purpose.’ Primary research on poverty and inequality in the UK including interviews, life stories and participant observation techniques.
  • ‘The past is always glorious’: Remembering the British Empire in local communities.
  • ‘History and Cultural Memory of Twentieth-Century Wars; Contesting Britain at War,’ using primary sources from the Mass Observation Archive collections, the British Library and the East End Women’s Museum
  • General introduction to conducting primary research on poverty and inequality in England, including possible explorations of gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.

Lucas Villegas-Aristizabal

Dr. Lucas Villegas-Aristizabal


I can supervise projects on:

  • Medieval British, French, Portuguese or Spanish History
  • Religious Conflict Studies
  • Military History
  • Crusades
  • The ‘Reconquista’
  • Maritime History
  • Frontier Society

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • Interaction between the core and the periphery: Social impact of the crusading movement on the Iberian/Latin East frontier settlements.
  • Primary research on naval itineraries: Western European sea journeys to the Levant and the development of navigating techniques and astronomical observations.
  • Shifting priorities: Norman involvement in the Iberian frontier 1064-1191.
  • The Fifth Crusade and the ‘Reconquista’: Conflicting visions of crusade in the aftermath of the Fourth Lateran Council.
  • Crusading propaganda and the role of women: Textual or material culture-based research.
  • The Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons: Research project on the cultural assimilation of Norse communities England in the tenth century.
  • Herstmonceux Castle: A research project on the original function of the castle in its political and/or cultural landscape in mid-fifteenth century England.
  • At the end of the programme students could also participate in the Leeds International Medieval Congress (1 July – 4 July 2018).

Shannon Smith

Dr. Robert Hyland

Film and Media

I can supervise projects on:

  • Narrative cinema
  • Television studies
  • Popular culture

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • This summer the British Museum is doing a massive exhibition on the art and history of Japanese comics. This is the largest exhibition on that form, ever held outside of Japan. This could provide a fantastic opportunity for film students to do some high quality research on Japanese popular culture.
  • Japanese Animation: A history of Japanese animation and comic books. Role of gender and identity in text. Students would conduct primary research at the British Museum, analysing scripts and texts in the museum’s special retrospective on the Manga form
  • Japanese Horror cinema: Local idiom / international style. How Japanese culture has invaded the Western imagination
  • Chinese blockbusters: Chinese cinema is following a Hollywood model – big stars, big explosions, big money
  • Film Propaganda and War: The Sussex area has a long history of action in both wars, and the local landscape and mediascape were heavily affected
  • British Cinema; special topics. Early British cinema was highly influential on global cinema. An exploration of text and intertext

Shannon Smith

Dr. Shannon Smith

Digital and Media Studies, Literature, Gender Studies

I can supervise projects on:

  • The history of computers and the Internet
  • Social media and social justice
  • Popular and fan cultures
  • Bodies and identity (in performance, in sport)
  • Feminist theory, practice, and history
  • Theatre history

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects

  • An investigation of the role social media plays in grass-roots political activism with the assistance of the British Library’s Digital Labs
  • A study of how popular young adult fiction has been adapted for screen and stage (i.e. Harry Potter) using material at the British Film Institute’s archive
  • Primary research on how women in professional and international-level sport are depicted in media in the holdings of the British Library
  • Research into the representation of “Englishness” in contemporary theatre productions at the National Theatre’s archive.

Phil Round

Dr. Phil Dodds

Cultural Geography, Urban Studies and History

I can supervise projects on:

  • British urban studies and urban history
  • Cultural geographies of the British landscape
  • Creative and critical heritage studies
  • Eighteenth-century culture and political philosophy
  • Histories and legacies of the British Empire
  • Pop music and popular culture
  • Brexit

Suggested ideas for Summer+ research projects:

  • The British Empire and Brexit: a cultural and intellectual history
  • Ruin and redevelopment: a cultural and historical geography of English piers (e.g., Brighton, Hastings)
  • Writing place: a creative geography of East Sussex (e.g., the Weald; the South Downs National Park; Pevensey Levels)
  • Sounds of the city: hearing urban Britain through pop music
  • Reading Enlightenment London: exploring the archives of London’s eighteenth-century bookshops
  • A study of the 1984–5 Miners’ Strike in popular culture
  • A micro-history project using the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex

Sarah McKenzie

Dr. Sarah McKenzie

I teach the Introduction to the Biology of cells and Introduction to the Biology of organisms courses at the BISC.

My PhD from the University of Sussex, was on Landscape Ecology. I am particularly interested in how species interact at a landscape scale and how landscape connectivity is being disrupted by new roads, housing and intensive agriculture.

I have worked closely with the Sussex Wildlife Trust on their West Weald Landscape Project https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/what-we-do/living-landscapes/west-weald-landscape-project

I am currently working with the land owners of The Knepp Estate on a project to ‘rewild’ 3,500 acres of former arable farmland in West Sussex. We aim to produce a summary report of all the surveys since 2001. https://knepp.co.uk/the-drivers/

If you are a biology/ecology/environmental science student who is interested in conservation and biodiversity, likes looking at maps generated using GIS and wants to help make a contribution to this fascinating and exciting project, then please contact me at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Here are some more links that might inspire you:


Grazing Ecology and Forest History

Rewilding of Cattle and Horses

Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet the basic prerequisites:
    • Minimum 1.6 GPA
    • Good academic standing
    • Level 2 standing (by time program starts)
  • Request to change campus
  • Receive campus confirmation from Undergraduate Admission
  • Register in class on SOLUS after Feb 1 (pre-reqs may apply to some courses)
Apply Now

Non-Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet the basic prerequisites for studying abroad at your home institution.
  • Apply online
  • Register online for your chosen program
  • Submit Letter of Permission
  • Accept your offer
Apply Now

Meet your classmates!



3rd year, BAH

Medial in Politics and History

Interests: Heather wants to apply do her Master’s degree at a high-profile graduate school. She is also interested in Art History and visiting some major galleries while she is in the UK.

Goals: Over the summer, she wants to raise the sophistication of her work and increase her chances of getting into her chosen graduate program.

Possible Castle Summer+ courses: Research Course HIST 594, Plus: POLS 261 (POLS/DEVS); GNDS 350 (ARTH/LLCU/GNDS/Sexual and Gender Diversity Certificate)

Heather will undertake research at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, South London to understand the history and politics of 20th century immigration to the UK from the Caribbean Commonwealth countries. She will then study the National Portrait Gallery to critique its representation of immigrant populations and use her archival research to curate a slideshow of her chosen images at the end of term student conference.


2nd year, BAH

Major in Psychology, Minor in Music

Interests: Ravi is interested in a career in digital media when he graduates.

Goals: In the 6-week program, Ravi wants to get some first-hand experience in the way UK cultural institutions promote their education programs.

Possible Castle Summer+ courses: Research Course PSYC 594, Plus: MUSC 171 (MUSC); INTS 307 (SOC/PSYC/International Studies Certificate).

Ravi will meet with the curators at Handel and Hendrix in London to see how they engage diverse public and education groups with digital outreach to encourage museum visits. He will also meet with a BISC alumna to discuss the Historic Royal Palaces’ digital strategies to promote inclusion and diversity among visitors. He will then write a report for Handel and Hendrix in London to review their current strategy and suggest how they might appeal to particular potential visitors. Ravi will create a presentation on his findings for the student conference that he can also add to his digital resume for job hunting.


4th year, BAH

English Major

Interests: Julia wants to reduce her course load in her final year and take three Queen’s courses that help to complete her degree while also taking advantage of an international experience.

Goals: Julia is looking to take advantage of the small class sizes to get the best possible grades for her law school applications, and learn critical skills that will be useful for her future.

Possible Castle Summer+ courses: MUSC 171 (MUSC), INTS 301 (ENGL/POLS), INTS 307 (SOC/PSYC/International Studies Certificate), INTS 306 (LLCU/PHIL/PSYC/International Studies Certificate), IDIS 304 (ENGL/HIST/POLS).

Julia will use the end-of-term conference to hone her public speaking and debating skills for law school. The intercultural skills she practices while in England should strengthen her case for being hired by a high-profile international law firm.
Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
Fax: +44 1323 834499
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
Fax: (613) 533-6810
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