Queen's University

Castle Summer+

Dates: May 2021 - June 2021
Apply by: April 2021

Accelerate Your Degree
Drive Your Future

  • Castle Summer + is a six-week online program run by Queen’s study abroad campus from the unique setting of Herstmonceux Castle in Southern England.
  • Weekly Synchronous classes in a small group with dedicated and enthusiastic faculty
  • A carefully-curated list of courses gives credit towards many Majors, 
    • + Qualifying Queen's certificates
    • + A chance to design a research project course in your chosen Major
  • All students have an opportunity for Virtual Experiential Learning, including engaging with online sources to boost their profile for entry to graduate schools or the workforce, and to present at a virtual undergraduate conference.
  • Castle Summer Plus 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.

Get an Inside Look at the BISC's Online Programming

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 through institutions 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.

Questions Info Sheet (PDF)APPLY NOW!

Web BISC Thrive mentors
  • 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)

Virtual Experiential Learning

    Learning through experience is a key component of a term at the BISC both on campus and online. You will participate in course-specific virtual experiential learning opportunities, and these online excursions will allow you to see your learning in action. In the past classes have discover how to work with medieval manuscripts using 21st century digitalisation and transcription software, and others have worked collaboratively on projects with other UK universities.

Upper Year Program Fees

Meet our Castle Summer + Grads

Yanping 2020


FILM 594 / BISC Castle Summer + 2019

Yanping describes her time at the Bader International Study Centre as one of the most memorable periods in her life. Taking the Castle Summer + program has been, and continues to be, a rewarding, enriching experience.

"I'm really glad that I chose to take the Castle Summer + program with Dr. Robert Hyland. Under his guidance, I not only got to focus my research projects on the topics that interested me the most, but I also gained so much from the different experiential learning opportunities."

While developing her research project, Yanping had the opportunity to visit a conference on Japanese animation and a Japanese Manga exhibition at the British Museum. At the end of the course, she presented her findings to the student body at the BISC end of term conference.

"I feel like this program has prepared me really well for my future studies. I have invaluable hands-on experience and it has taught me the skills I will need to research absolutely any topic I choose to study."
Sebastien 2020


POLS 594 / BISC Castle Summer + 2019

Sebastien plans to continue on to a Master's degree in Political Studies. He was drawn to the Castle because it represented an opportunity to pick up some credits towards his major along the way.

"You can work hard and have a lot of fun along the way." says Sebastien. "I set myself quite a task and it was incredibly challenging, but I wouldn't change a thing."

As part of a research project into the Arctic Council, Sebastien carried out interviews with experts in the field and drew from a mixture of primary and secondary sources. "Carrying out an independent research project is a great opportunity to really dive into a topic." says Sebastien.

"Living and working with a small group of peers in a picturesque environment was phenomenal. You could debate politics in a wonderfully small class, grab some dinner, then go out for a sunset hike together."
Samantha 2020


PSYC 594 / BISC Castle Summer + 2019

Samantha plans to continue her studies and pursue a career in Forensic Psychology.

"I chose to spend my summer at the Castle because I was searching for an opportunity to immerse myself in an entirely different culture, both socially and academically," she says, "I feel like I have had an amazing opportunity to make meaningful connections with people."

Samantha's research project involved a series of literature reviews on the effects of age, gender and race on the ability to perform as an accurate eyewitness. Results across the literature demonstrate the need for further research and highlighted a barrier between scientific literature and the criminal justice system - "A gap I wish to fill in the future!" says Samantha.

"The most rewarding part about Summer at the Castle was that the classes were so small allowing me to develop meaningful and productive relationships with my professors over the short course of six weeks. These relationships allow you to dive deep into the material and truly get the most out of each course taken."

Students take one or more 3.0 unit courses in the Castle Summer + program.

Course codeCourse nameUsable in Major/Medial/MinorTerm offered
ARTH 293/3.0 Image and Self
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or permission of Department/BISC instructor required in advance.
ARTH, LLCU* (*Pending departmental approval) Summer 2021
ASTR 101/3.0 Astronomy 1: The Solar System
PHYS (option) / Con-Ed Teaching Subject (Science-Physics) Summer 2021
ENGL 279/3.0 Literature and Censorship
ENGL (core) / MDVL (supporting) / Con-Ed Teaching Subject (English) Summer 2021
FILM 214/3.0 Mobile Communications
FILM (option) Summer 2021
FILM 303/3.0 World Cinemas
PREREQUISITE (Registration in a FILM Plan, STSC or COCA Specialization) or (FILM 236/3.0 or FILM 240/3.0 or FILM 260/3.0) or (LLCU 209/3.0 or DEVS 240/3.0) or permission of the Department.
FILM, DEVS Summer 2021
GNDS 350/3.0 Feminism, the Body and Visual Culture
PREREQUISITE Level 3 or permission of the Department
GNDS, ARTH, LLCU, SXGD Summer 2021
HIST 241/3.0 Issues in History: Playing WW1: Computer Games and Memory
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above.
HIST Summer 2021
HIST 289/3.0 Britain since 1851
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above.
HIST Summer 2021
IDIS 304/3.0 British Studies
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above.
HIST, ARTH, POLS, ENGL Summer 2021
INTS 306/3.0 Culture, Identity and Self
NOTE Administered by the Department of Philosophy.
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above.
PHIL, PSYC, LLCU, LANG, International Studies Certificate Summer 2021
INTS 312/3.0 Journalism in the Twentieth Century PREREQUISITE Level 2 standing or permission of the instructor. POLS Summer 2021
MUSC 171/3.0 Social History of Popular Music Elective, MUSC, Media Studies Certificate Summer 2021
PHIL 271/3.0 Phiilosophy and Literature
PREREQUISITE Level 2 or above or completed 6.0 units in PHIL
PHIL, ENGL Summer 2021
POLS 263/3.0 Introduction to International Security
POLS Summer 2021
POLS 431/3.0 European Politics
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 Summer 2021
PSYC 335/3.0 Positive Psychology
PREREQUISITE PSYC 203/3.0 and PSYC 235/6.0.
BIPS (option) / PSYC (Developmental, Social & Clinical option) Summer 2021
XXXX 594/3.0 Independent Study
XXXX 594 is the course code formally used to grant credit towards your independent research study at the BISC. See our Guide to Independent Study section below. 
Your chosen Major, Medial or Minor Summer 2021

NB: Course offerings are subject to change for reasons including, but not limited to, enrolment numbers. Students will have access to academic advising services if changes impact their course selections*. (*To guarantee a place on each of your first choice courses, be sure to enrol by 15th March 2021. Applications will be accepted up to 1st April 2021, but please note that the BISC's timetable will be created on 15th March.)

If you are registering for at least one other BISC Summer+ 2021 course, you may also apply to take XXXX 594/3.0 Independent Study. The XXXX may be any course code (e.g. ENGL, POLS, etc.) in Arts and Science.  Note that for Summer+ 2021, we have only limited XXXX 594/3.0 spaces available, so you will need to declare your interest as early as possible, and in all cases before 19th March 2021.

If you wish to take this course, please download the Independent Study Course – Registration Form (DOCX, 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 Castle 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 registration form.

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

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.

Read more Contact me

Jacob Round2



Dr Jacob Bloomfield

Gender Studies

I can supervise projects on:

  • Gender, Sexuality and Queer Studies
  • British Cultural History
  • Theatre and Performance (especially in relation to gender and sexuality)

Suggested ideas for Castle Summer + research projects:

  • Key topics relating to Women’s History, such as the suffrage movement, reproductive rights, and the so-called ‘sexual revolution’. Students could utilise resources housed in the LSE Women’s Library, Wellcome Collection, The Keep archives, and/or other applicable archives.
  • How the law has shaped understandings of sexuality; this could include discussions of the law and its relation to sex work, same-sex desire, ‘obscene’ publications, gender nonconformity, or other relevant areas. This research could be undertaken at the Bishopsgate Institute, the British Library, the LSE Library, and/or other applicable archives.
  • Sexual expression and repression in the British theatre; students could focus on the censorship of the British stage, what histories of erotic performance tell us about the changing nature of British national identity, feminist attitudes towards erotic performance, a history of British cross-dressing performance, or other relevant areas. This research could be undertaken at the British Library, the V&A Archive, The National Archives, and/or other applicable archives.

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 Castle 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

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 Castle 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

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Tim Round


Dr Tim Huzar


I can supervise projects on:

  • Political philosophy and theory
  • Feminist philosophy
  • Critical race theory
  • Continental philosophy
  • Narrative ethics
  • Philosophy of violence

Suggested ideas for Castle Summer + research projects:

  • Are recent feminist theories of vulnerability a politics, an ethics, or both?
  • How do the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade affect canonical understandings of politics?
  • What is the relationship between colonialism and the European Enlightenment? Focus on a specific theorist.
  • Does torture dehumanise?
  • What is the political or ethical value of narrating the life of another?

Dr. Robert Hyland

Film and Media

I can supervise projects on:

  • Narrative cinema
  • Television studies
  • Popular culture

Suggested ideas for Castle Summer + research projects:

  • This summer the Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting a retrospective on the Kimono. This would provide a fantastic opportunity for students interested in Japanese popular culture, to research the impact of fashion on contemporary Japan
  • 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, and through the analysing of scripts and texts would explore how Japanese animation is constructed.
  • 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. The V&A exhibition Concealed Histories: Uncovering the story of Nazi Looting provides an excellent research opportunity to refine a research essay on the role of art in the second world war. 
  • British Cinema; special topics. Early British cinema was highly influential on global cinema. An exploration of text and intertext in British cinema would provide a rewarding research experience

Dr Chris Kempshall


I can supervise projects on:

  • The First and Second World Wars
  • British and European history
  • The portrayal of history in modern media

Suggested ideas for Summer Plus research projects:

  • How the First World War centenary has impacted different national understandings of the conflict
  • How the memory of conflict is used in Britain doing the Covid Pandemic
  • How computer games have evolved to portray different moments in history and what they tell us about the modern world

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Dr. Poppy Kyriakopoulou


I can supervise projects on:

  • Post-Brexit Politics
  • European Politics
  • Nationalism and Europe
  • Liberalism in Europe

Suggested ideas for Castle Summer + research projects:

  • Post-brexit Britain and Europe: a relation in the making, transition politics and fragmentation. 
  • Popular Brexitology: Media, Identities and Everyday Life in post-brexit Britain
  • ‘Global Britain’: Foreign Policy agenda after Brexit
  • Brexit as a symptom of a broader European fatigue
  • Brexit and Forces of (Dis)integration: the future of Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • The EU and Forces of (Dis)integration: the future of the Union
  • Geopoltical challenges and security concerns: How safe is the UK outside the EU, and how secure is Europe without the UK
  • Covid policies and the future of liberal democracy in Europe: how robust is the European Democracy

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 Castle 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

Emily Montford

Literature and Cultural Studies

I can supervise projects on:

  • Literature, letters and culture
  • Historical manuscripts and the material text
  • Early modern literary culture
  • The history of intelligence and espionage
  • Smugglers and local Sussex histories

Suggested ideas for Castle Summer + research projects:

  • A History of Magic: Using digital resources from the British Library and Early English Books Online to examine manuscript spell books and printed texts, students could produce an interpretation of alchemy and witchcraft in early modern England.
  •  Smugglers in Sussex: Grounded in original sources in the State Papers Online, students could create a short cultural history of organised criminals on the shores of eighteenth-century Sussex, including folklore and sea shanties.
  • Period Dramas: By studying original historical texts and film adaptations of the period, students could create a comparative study of how history is portrayed on screen, and how this mode of reception influences our contemporary understanding of the past. Examples could include: A Discovery of Witches, Pride and Prejudice or Poldark.
  • Burn this Letter: Using the State Papers Online, students could look at historical spy letters to chart the development of the British intelligence services and reveal the secrets of international espionage.

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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 Castle Summer + research projects:

  • This summer, the Imperial War Museum in London is running a Refugees season. This includes a major exhibition: "Refugees, Forced to Flee," as well as "History of Bombs," an exhibit around the work of artist Ai Weiwei. The museum, both at its London and Manchester sites, will also have a series of talks and events examining the relationship between migration and conflict, politics and power.
  • Brexit, Englishness and National Identity: As the UK leaves the European Union, there is opportunity to examine the historical and cultural underpinnings that have catalyzed its exit. There are myriad ways of approaching this, from looking at Brexit as one element of the rise of right-wing populism in Europe (and elsewhere); as a resurrection of ideas of Little England standing alone; of the importance of language and discourse, and "speech acts" underpinning the Leave campaign, etc. Given it is also 75 years since the end of World War II, several exhibitions will be commemorating that occasion, offering an opportunity to study how these narratives have shaped British national identity today.
  • The British Library is running a summer-long program "Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights", on feminist activism's roots in the history of the women's rights movement. This summer then offers an opportunity to combine these events with primary, archival work related to feminist politics in the United Kingdom at sites like the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex.
  • Non-Traditional Security in International Relations. For example, the British Museum is running a massive summer exhibition on Climate Change and the Arctic ("Arctic: Culture and Climate") while the present moment is shaped by fears around the rapid spread of the latest potential pandemic, the novel coronavirus. Both environmental and health security are becoming increasingly important research concerns in security studies, a field traditionally dominated by great power politics.

Honey Salvadori

Journalism and Multimedia Practices

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 Castle 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

February 15: course enrolment opens

March 15: deadline for students who wish to apply to do a Research 594 project. Students wishing to take 594 must have either contacted a potential supervisor, or Dr Anna Taylor, by this date to ensure they have sufficient time to construct a viable research project.

April 1: last day to apply for Castle Summer + program.

Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet the basic prerequisites:
    • Minimum 1.6 GPA
    • Good academic standing
    • Level 2 standing (by time program starts)
  • All Queen’s students will have access to register in these courses in SOLUS when enrolment opens on Monday, February 8th. When searching for BISC courses on SOLUS, change the campus default from “Main” to “Bader International Study Ctr.” Any questions about course registration can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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

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What is a Letter of Permission?


A Letter of Permission (LOP) is an official document issued by your home institution. The LOP allows you to take courses for credit at the BISC for a specified semester/program, transferring the credits back to your home institution for the purpose of completing your university degree.

Your academic advisor or the person issuing the LOP will typically look at the course content and your current transcript to assess whether you will be academically prepared for the course/program. Pre-requisite courses listed on the BISC website are therefore not necessarily mandatory for non-Queen's students, but may be used as part of the assessment process by your home institution when granting an LOP.

We will also make admission decisions based on current transcripts, but please note that without an LOP you may not be able to transfer credits back to your home institution.

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
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