Summer School 2018

The Sophia Centre Summer School 2018 for the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology

The MA has been running summer schools for over a decade and has developed a successful model that comprises a balance of academic discussion and debate, enjoyable social activities and crucial interaction between students and tutors.

The Summer School is open to all students of the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, all PhD students associated with the Sophia Centre and all MA Alumni. Also by invitation to special guests.

Accommodation at the university

The University has reserved some bed-and-breakfast rooms on the campus for Sophia Centre Summer School delegates. This must be reserved separately to your Summer School Registration. There is a variety of rooms - some twin, some single, some ensuite, some not. In order to book please e mail Huw Thomas ( with your dates and desired accommodation. Please state that you are attending the Sophia Centre Summer School. As accommodation is limited you should make your booking as soon as possible.


9-12 July 2018


University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter, Wales

Please select the days you wish to attend Summer School

Registration is now closed.

The annual summer school is our chance to come together, socialise and study. The precise time table is always finalised at the last moment because it depends very much on which students are attending, and therefore who is giving presentations: we try to give any students who are attending and have conducted research projects a chance to present their work.

Sophia Centre Summer School

Venue: we have space in the friendly surroundings at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter.

Attendance: the Summer School is only open to Sophia Centre graduates and students, or other individuals who collaborate with the Centre, by invitation. You do not have to attend all four days. Please register for those days you plan to attend so we can plan ahead

Cost: The University of Wales subsidises the School, but we charge £35 per day Monday to Wednesday and £20 for Thursday to help to assist with expenses

Travel and Accommodation: Everyone arranges their own travel.

If you wish to book accommodation outside the university, you will find details here: Sophia Centre Conference 2018.

If you want to team up with other students you could use the 'unofficial' Sophia Facebook page to get in touch.

Draft Timetable (subject to change)

At the moment we are still finalising the summer school schedule but the broad shape of it is:

Monday 9 July

Monday Morning

Sun and Shadow watching: setting up a gnomon experiment (Kim Malville and Fabio Silva)

Then, three lectures by tutors:
Nick Campion
Laura Andrikopoulos
Chris Mitchell

Lunch Time (provided) - returning to the Sun and Shadow experiment

Monday Afternoon - The Egyptian Segment

Katerina Zinn - guest lecturer from TSD - Egyptian Religion and Cosmology
Bernadette Brady - Introduction to Egyptian Astronomy
Fabio Silva - Considering the orientation of Egyptian temples
Kim Maville - Nabta Playa - Discovering the earliest known Egyptian use of the sky

Sun and Shadow discussion

Monday Evening (if clear) Stars and Stories - Watching the Night sky

Tuesday 10 July - Field Trip Day

9:00 Lecture on the role of sunlight and the Cistercians - Fabio and Bernadette

9:30 How to measure the sky

10am - Bus to Strata Florida
Ruined Cistercian Abbey that was once considered the Westminster of Wales.
Look at the ruins, measure the structures, think about the role of the sky with the abbey.

12 Noon - bus to Aberystwyth, to the National Library of Wales

Lunch (own expense) in the Library then a special library tour of the rare books and manuscripts

Afternoon Tea at the library

15:30 - bus to Aberystwyth Castle ruins
Nick to talk at the Castle about its history
Also visit the Gorsedd Circle - visit the 19th century stone circle
erected for the Druidic ceremonies for the Welsh eisteddfod. These
are now erected around Wales every time an eisteddfod is held. We will
measure this but also talk about the idea of Welsh enchantment - a ring
of singing around the country.

Return to Lampeter

Dinner - own expense. Then you can go for a walk around Lampeter, or sky watching or simply enjoying each other's company.

Wednesday 11 July - Myth day

Luci Atta - Guest lecturer from TSD - The role of Water in Cosmologies
Frances Clynes - Pre-Celtic mythology
Bernadette Brady - Myths about the Milky Way - the water in the sky!

Lunch (provided)

Visiting the TSD Rare book library and talking about primary sources
Student Presentations and discussions

Sky Watching and using Stellarium and phone aps - Fabio and Bernadette

Bus to Aberaeron for Fish & Chip night in this wonderful seas side town.
Time to explore and enjoy the views of a busy fishing Welsh community.

Thursday 12 July - a half day

A morning of a detailed consideration of what is academic writing, literature reviews, dissertations, conclusions and a fun quiz!

Lunch (provided)

2:00pm Bus to Cardiff Central Train Station - this is a two hour bus journey so you will arriving at the train station around 4:00 pm, so look to buy train tickets for trains departing 4.30 pm or after. From Cardiff you can get a train to any part of the country. For example there are trains roughly every half hour to London Paddington that take 2 hours - most of these pass through Bristol where you can then take a shuttle to Bristol airport.

List of teachers at the summer school 2018:

Laura Andrikopoulos
Bernadette Brady
Nick Campion
Frances Clynes
Chris Mitchell
Fabio Silva
PLUS guest lecturers from Lampeter

Welcome to the public outreach page of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, with information about studying with the University, as well as links to related conferences, classes, publications and events. To go straight to the Sophia Centre's University page please go here.

Upcoming Events


30 Jul, Alumni lecture
Michelle Holgate

and check out our calendar
Upcoming Events

Lampeter Campus

University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Lampeter Campus
Ceredigion SA48 7ED
Tel: 01570 422351

London Campus

University of Wales Trinity Saint David
London Campus, Winchester House
11 Cranmer Road
London, SW9 6EJ
Tel: 0207 566 7600

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