UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute


Training: Summer learnin'

1 October 2020

In September 2019 and September 2020, UCLQ opened its doors for a week to an international cohort of summer school students. Two schools, two different experiences.

Screenshot of virtual lesson

For a week every September undergraduates can attend UCLQ for an introduction to the exciting field of quantum technologies. Aimed at students with a background in engineering and computer science (but also open to those studying Natural Sciences), the summer school provides a comprehensive introduction to topics including quantum computing and quantum communication.

Students have the chance to work hands-on in quantum technologies, including fabricating nanoscale devices and programming current-generation quantum processors.

Additionally, students are able to meet with UCLQ staff and students and have the opportunity to take part in smaller tutorials in quantum information and quantum technologies.

The EPSRC funded school has now seen four cohorts, with the 2020 cohort experiencing the school virtually from their own homes.

With students logging in live from across the globe, including West Coast America, Brazil and Indonesia, the school organisers adapted the on-site week long course to be delivered remotely via Microsoft Teams. Laboratory and practical sessions were adapted to be delivered online with lab tours delivered live by on-site researchers and students.

“I was amazed how well the program worked in COVID times. I had a really fascinating week and have learnt a great deal,” said one attendee in their post-course feedback. 

The school aims to introduce students to the vibrancy and breath in quantum technologies, targeting those with computer science and engineering skills. Skills needed by the rapidly expanding quantum sector in the UK and around the world.

Another of this year’s cohort said: “The course’s content has been useful in teaching me more about the depths of quantum technologies and its applications. The different talks helped showcase the different career options within this field. It certainly inspired me to pursue a career in quantum computing.”

With increased demand and the positive reviews for the summer school programme and increased accessibility gained from an online course, UCLQ is exploring running an online version of the summer school programme alongside an on-site version in the future, for the benefit of those unable to travel to London.

Find out more about our summer school and application information.

This article was featured in UCLQ’s 2019/20 annual report.