The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.
Centred around specific themes these allow you to bring your unique knowledge, skills and perspectives to bear on examining issues and solving problems.
Introduction to Liberal Arts
This year one module will introduce you to interdisciplinary thinking. We will examine how we can develop insights and generate creative solutions by working across subject areas.
Space, Place and Belonging in the City
This year one module explores the way in which cities have been designed, built and experienced in the modern era. Drawing upon history, sociology and politics, we will examine how cities have been created and how they change the people who live within them.
Objects: Design and Communication
We use this year two module to build skills in design, creativity and communication as we examine how our lives are dominated by the objects we buy, use and exchange.
Migration and Identity
In this module, we will explore how global patterns of migration has led to a world divided into citizens, immigrants and refugees, and how these identities shape society, politics and economies across the world.
Power and Protest
In this year three module, we explore how power and protest operate within society. Working across disciplines, we assess how societies and individuals are governed and how some resist that authority.
The year three Synoptic Module gives students the opportunity to take part in a piece of interdisciplinary project work within a group setting with Natural Science students. Students will work together on an issue defined with tutors such as environmental issues, biotechnology, robotics or sustainability, to develop a cross-disciplinary response which will be delivered as a group presentation and a popular article.
Examples of existing Natural Sciences projects
In year three students work with their tutors to develop their own unique projects. The dissertation module allows them to conduct independent interdisciplinary research and analysis.
The Liberal Arts programme is about choice but with so many modules to choose from timetabling complexity means not all combinations are available.
We have protected spaces on certain modules in almost all subject areas, so should your first choice be unavailable you will still be able to take the subject.
The protected modules are listed below while other typical subject modules can be found using the links provided.
American and Canadian Studies
American History 1
You will be provided with a broad introduction to the history of the United States of America, from its colonial origins, through revolution, civil war and industrialisation to the end of the 19th century. You'll spend around four hours per week in lectures and seminars studying this module.
American History 2
You’ll examine the history of the United States in the 20th century, assessing changes and developments in the lives of the American people who have faced the challenges of prosperity, depression, war, liberal reform, political conservatism, minority protests, multicultural awareness, and international power. Around four hours per week will be spent in lectures and seminars studying this module.
North American Regions
This module will deploy the concept of "region" and, more broadly, "place" to explore key North American texts - primarily drawn from the spheres of film, television and literature. The notion of the "regional" will be applied expansively as well as conventionally to incorporate everything from the urban to the suburban/exurban, border territories and the transnational. Possible areas of study may include the American West, the Pacific North-West, New York City, the black inner city "ghetto", "mountain" people and the Appalachians, Hispanic-America, first nations, French-Canada, Texas, Chicago, New Orleans, California, and the transnational impact of extensive US Military occupations (post-war Japan, South Vietnam, 21st-century Iraq).
African American History and Culture
This module examines African American history and culture from slavery to the present through a series of case studies that highlight forms of cultural advocacy and resistance. Examples may include the persistence of African elements in slave culture, the emergence of new artistic forms in art, religion and music during the segregation era, and the range and complexity of African American engagement with US public culture since the 1960s across art, literature and popular culture. You will spend three hours per week studying this module.
'Ethnic' and New Immigrant Writing in the United States
This course examines the development of 'ethnic' and new immigrant literature from the late nineteenth century to the contemporary era. It examines life-writing, short fiction and novels by writers from various ethno-cultural backgrounds, including Irish, Jewish, Caribbean and Asian American. Issues for discussion include race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality and regionalism; the American canon and multiculturalism. You will spend three hours per week in lectures and seminars.
You'll explore the United States' experiment with Prohibition during the period 1918 to 1933, with particular focus on crime, disorder and policing. The rise of organised crime will be considered, along with gangsters and G-men, the expanding crime fighting role of the state, the federal crime crusade of the early 1930s and the inglorious end of Prohibition. You'll spend around four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Other typical American and Canadian Studies modules
Classics and Archaeology
Introduction to and Approaches to Archaeology
Archaeologists are interested in all aspects of the human past, from ancient landscapes and changing environments, buried settlements and standing monuments and structures, to material objects and evidence for diet, trade, ritual and social life. This module provides a basic introduction to the discipline of archaeology, the process by which the material remains of the past are discovered, analysed and used to provide evidence for human societies from prehistory to the present day. The module introduces the historical development of the subject, followed by a presentation of current theory and practice in the areas of archaeological prospection and survey, excavation and post-excavation analysis, relative and absolute dating, the study of archaeological artefacts, and frameworks of social interpretation. By the end of the module, we hope that you will have developed a good understanding of the concepts used in archaeology, the questions asked and methods applied in investigating the evidence.
Studying the Greek World
This module provides a wide ranging interdisciplinary introduction to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from c.1600-31 BC; that is from the Bronze Age to becoming part of the Roman Empire. As well as examining all the major chapters of Greece's history from the Mycenaean Period and the Dark Ages, to the rise of the polis in the Archaic period, to the height of Greek civilisation in the Classical and Hellenistic periods, and finally its conquest and absorption into the Roman Empire, it also explores synchronous developments in Greek literary and artistic culture, and considers aspects of the reception of ancient Greece in modern western culture. This module will also examine the relationship of the Greek world to the Roman World, and will be complemented by the Spring semester module Studying the Roman World. No prior knowledge of the Greek world is assumed.
Greek and Roman Mythology
This module will introduce students to the interpretation of ancient Greek and Roman myth by focusing on a representative range of texts and themes. The module will be team-taught exposing students to a wide range of material and approaches to the use of myth in the ancient world. The module will consider how mythology is used not only in ancient literature such as epic and drama, but also in historical texts, in religious contexts and in the material culture of the ancient world such as statuary, paintings and sarcophagi. It will also introduce students to the variety of methodologies that scholars have used over the years to help interpret and understand these myths and their usages.
Empires and Identity
This module will examine the archaeology of empire, hegemony and identity in three different historical periods, exploring how archaeological material can shed light on ways in which empires were experienced by both colonisers and colonised. We will start with Rome, arguably the model for many later imperial projects, and assess the evidence for the expansion of the empire and the ways in which Roman and other identities are manifested. We will then consider the medieval empires of northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the relationship between the Islamic world and the Crusader kingdoms of the Latin east. Finally, we will consider the Age of Discovery and the growth of European trans-Atlantic empires in the early modern era, exploring archaeological evidence for early colonial settlements, the growth of slavery, and the impact on native peoples.
Human Osteology and Evolution
What can we learn from the human skeleton and how can we tell the stories of past people from their bones? In this module you will handle real archaeological skeletons and learn how to identify their age, sex, stature and pathologies, and how we can reconstruct past populations from burial evidence. We also consider the skeleton in terms of human evolution, examining the anatomical differences between human and non-human primates, as well as the archaeology and life ways of our earliest ancestors.
Archaeology of the Medieval City
The aim of this module is to provide you with a broad knowledge of the archaeological evidence for the development of cities and urban life in the later medieval period AD 1000-1500, with a focus on English towns and cities in their wider Europe context. The module will explore the integration of varied sources of archaeological evidence including urban landscapes, buildings and material culture, covering key themes such as urban growth, trade and industry, households and daily life, guilds and the Church.
Rome and the Mediterranean
In this module you will examine the archaeological evidence for the Roman period in Italy and the Mediterranean from 300 BC to AD 550. The major social, cultural and economic changes of the region in this period will be discussed as well as in the context of wider historical and archaeological approaches to the Mediterranean. Through a combination of lectures and seminars you will learn about Rome’s expansion into Italy and the Mediterranean, and the changes that occurred in towns, domestic building, rural settlement, religion, economy and society across the period from the Republic until Late Antiquity.
Other typical Classics and Archaeology modules
English Language and Applied Linguistics
Language and context
The module Language and Context teaches you about the nature of language, as well as how to analyse it for a broad range of purposes, preparing you for studies across all sections of the School.
During the weekly workshops you will learn about levels of language analysis and description, from the sounds and structure of language, through to meaning and discourse. These can be applied to all areas of English study, and will prepare you for future modules. Weekly lectures and seminars provide the Context part of the module. In the lectures you will see how the staff here in the School of English put these skills of analysis and description to use in their own research. This covers the study of language in relation to the mind, literature, culture, society, and more. The seminars will then give you a chance to think about and discuss these topics further.
- To provide you with methods of language analysis and description for each linguistic level (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse)
- To prepare you for conducting your own language research across your degree
- To introduce you to the areas of research and study within the School, with particular focus on psycholinguistics, literary linguistics, and sociolinguistics
Medieval Languages and Literatures
Beginnings of English
The module Beginnings of English introduces you to the varied languages, literatures and cultures of medieval England (c.500-1500). You will read a variety of medieval texts which were originally written in Old English, Middle English and Old Norse. We study some texts in translation, but we also introduce you to aspects of Old and Middle English language to enable you to enjoy the nuance and texture of English literary language in its earliest forms.
We will read texts in a variety of genres, from epic and elegy, to saga, romance and fable. We will discuss ideas of Englishness and identity, and learn about the production and transmission of texts in the pre-modern period.
- To introduce you to linguistic vocabulary and terminology.
- To enable you to become proficient in reading Old English and Middle English.
- To give you an understanding of the complexities of English grammar, past and present.
- To give you an understanding of the origins of English, and its development over the medieval period.
- To familiarise you with the themes and genre of medieval English literature.
Literature 1500 to the Present
The module Studying Literature introduces you to some of the core skills for literary studies, including skills in reading, writing, researching and presentation. The module addresses topics including close reading, constructing an argument, and handling critical material, as well as introducing you to key critical questions about literary form, production and reception. These elements are linked to readings of specific literary texts, focused on poetry and prose selected from the full range of the modern literary period (1500 to the present).
Across the year you will learn about different interpretive approaches and concepts, and will examine literary-historical movements and transitions.
- To introduce you to selected literary texts, to deepen your imaginative engagement and analytic response.
- To provide you with a basis of knowledge, working methods and appropriate terminology for subsequent work at university level.
- To provide you with knowledge and understanding of the literary, cultural and historical contexts for literature from the period 1500 to the present, and the relationship between period and genre.
Drama and Performance
Drama, Theatre, Performance
The module Drama, Theatre, Performance explores the extraordinary variety of drama in the Western dramatic tradition. You will examine dramatic texts in relation to their historical context, moving from the theatre of ancient Greece, English medieval drama, the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, the Restoration stage, to nineteenth-century naturalism. In addition to texts produced by writers from Sophocles to Ibsen, you will also consider a variety of extra-textual features of drama, including the performance styles of actors, the significance of performance space and place, and the composition of various audiences.
You will study selected plays in workshops, seminars and lectures, during which we will explore adaptation and interpretation of the texts through different media resources.
You will also have the opportunity to engage in practical theatre-making, exploring extracts from the selected play-texts in short, student-directed scenes in response to key questions about performance.
- To provide you with an understanding of drama as a performance medium, in which real people and objects are presented to other people in real, shared space.
- To introduce you to a range of historical performance conventions, including Ancient Greek tragedy and nineteenth century naturalism.
- To enable you to recognise and analyse the varied elements which constitute performance.
- To provide you with knowledge and understanding of the social, historical and cultural contexts of various play-texts.
Years two and three
English modules available in years two and three depend on the modules completed in year one. There are a wide range of options and we will discuss your interests and goals to help you make the best choices.
See the English BA prospectus page for examples of the of modules available.
Film and Television Studies
Producing Film and Television
This module engages with the narrative histories of film and television, from their origins to the present day, a period involving many significant transitional moments in production histories. The module looks at the coming of sound, the rise and demise of the Hollywood studio system, and the emergence of the TV network system. It asks what transition means at different historical moments by raising questions such as: what are the industries producing at these moments, and how are cultural products marketed and distributed? The module also introduces historical method and the idea of historiography. It provides examples of different critical approaches to film and television history and interrogates the key debates around the periodisation of that history.
Reading Film and Television
This module introduces you to formal aspects of screen narratives and the language of textual analysis, enabling you to 'read' and illuminate film and television texts. It also sheds light on the people who work on the production of film/TV texts and some of the key features of their collaboration in areas such as directing, cinematography, editing, production design, sound design and performance.
Film/Television in Social and Cultural Context
During this year-long module you'll think about industries, audiences and surrounding debates from a social and cultural viewpoint. You'll learn about the way that social and cultural meaning is produced by film and television programmes and explore the social practices that surround the consumption of media, such as movie going and television viewing.
Throughout this module, you'll build on your awareness of film and television as cultural products and discover new ways to do historical research into screen practice. You'll begin to see film and television as cultural artefacts that result from artistic and commercial collaboration and focus on the production, circulation and consumption of film and television around the world, spending around five hours a week in workshops.
Film and Television Genres
You'll be introduced to the key concepts and theoretical work on specific film genres. Each year, the module investigates a particular genre or cycle such as action cinema, television drama, low-budget film productions and TV movies, and more. Combined with what you have learnt on previous modules, you will look at genre in the context of production and consumption, spending around five hours a week in workshops and seminars.
The New Hollywood
You'll learn about key changes in Hollywood since the 1960s and develop critical thinking about the status and meaning of the 'New Hollywood' through comparisons with the so-called 'Old Hollywood' and 'New New Hollywood', attention to audience demographics, and study of evolving cinemagoing practices and cultural representations. You'll also consider industry marketing materials and film-review media to further your engagement with the subject, spending around four hours a week in seminars and workshops.
Other typical Film and Television Studies modules
Due to timetable issues there are no protected modules in Year one. If there is no clash with core Liberal Arts modules students are welcome to select from the following:
Exploring Human Geography
The module provides you with introductory knowledge about current issues in human geography. It critically examines the complex relations between people and places through key themes and concepts in current human geography.
Attention is given to innovative work in cultural, historical, medical, environmental, economic and development geography and to the traditionally broad perspective of human geography as a whole. The module will examine a variety of key themes that may vary from year to year. This module provides a foundation for more specialised human geography modules at levels 2 and 3.
Tracing Economic Globalisation
The module introduces you to contemporary and historical approaches to understanding economic globalisation and its spatial unevenness. You will develop knowledge relating to globalisation as a set of discourses and practices using case studies relating to key themes of relevance.
Lectures will outline the key debates relating to globalisation as a phenomenon and will interrogate the relevance of the concept through an examination of commodities, labour and work, governance and money and finance.
You will also explore the spatial unevenness of globalisation, and develop understandings of the ways in which globalisation has contributed to an increasingly unequal and differentiated society at a variety of scales. Alternatives to globalisation will also be discussed, focusing upon various counter-globalisation strategies in the forms of localism, activism and protest.
Throughout the module, staff will draw upon their own research as well as the wider academic literature, giving you a sense of the complexity, and importance, of globalisation as a set of theories and a set of sited realities.
The module introduces you to geographical research on place, conveying current research in the field, including that carried out within the School of Geography. You will gain knowledge of key concepts and methodological approaches, with understanding developed through the examination of place-based case studies.
Lectures will outline developments in the geographical study of place in recent decades, and explore key themes such as place and memory, place and knowledge, and place and identity. The challenges and opportunities offered by the digital exploration of place will be outlined, using case studies of digital mapping and the public display of geographical information. Regional case studies will show how the research themes presented in the module can be brought together around the study of specific places and landscapes.
Throughout the module, staff will draw upon their own research as well as the wider academic literature, giving students a sense of the possibilities of geographical research exploring place.
Economic Geography (semester long module)
This module will cover the following topics:
- Economic globalisation
- Changing geographies of the world economy during the 20th century
- Economic geographies of advanced producer services
- Global cities, financial geographies
- Alternative economies and criminality
Geographies of Money and Finance (semester long module)
This module explores the economic geographies of money and of contemporary processes of financialisation. Competing theories of money, and the changing landscapes of finance and the financial services industry are explored at a variety of spatial scales.
Spaces examined include the global financial system, the UK retail financial market, the City of London and the emergence of local currency systems. More specifically, the following core topics are covered:
- Financial crisis
- The history and theory of money
- Financial services and financial intermediation
- Globalisation and the international financial system
- The City of London as international financial centre
- Landscapes of retail financial services
- Alternative and imagined landscapes of money
Other typical modules on the BA Geography
Other typical modules on the BSc Geography
This module will provide students with the learning skills necessary to make the most of their studies in History. It concentrates upon their conceptions of the subject and their strategies as learners, in order to enable them more effectively to monitor and develop their skills and understanding. Students will be introduced to different approaches to the study of History as well as to different understandings of what History is for. The module aims to encourage more effective learning in History, bridge the transition from school or college to university, prepare students for more advanced work in the discipline at year two, and enhance the skills listed.
Roads to Modernity: An Introduction to Modern History 1789-1945 (Part 1)
The module provides a chronology of modern history from 1789 to 1945 which concentrates principally on key political developments in European and global history such as the French Revolution, the expansion of the European empires and the two world wars.
Roads to Modernity: An Introduction to Modern History 1789-1945 (Part 2)
The second semester will look more broadly at economic, social and cultural issues, such as industrialisation, urbanisation, changing artistic forms and ideological transformations in order to consider the nature of modernity. You will spend three hours in lectures and seminars each week.
The Contemporary World Since 1945
The module surveys and analyses some of the main developments in world affairs since the end of the Second World War. This includes major international events, particularly the course and aftermath of the Cold War, as well as national and regional histories, especially in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East; the module also looks at key political and social movements. Attention is paid to political, economic and social forces.
History and Politics: A Problem or a Solution?
This unique and innovative module invites students to think for themselves about the relationship between two seemingly different disciplines, both theoretically and empirically, by encouraging them to reflect on broader conceptual and methodological issues and then apply these to their own understanding of the concept of ‘consensus’ as it is often applied to post-war British history. The module has two principal functions. First, it provides students with an understanding of various methodological approaches that have been applied to the study of political phenomena. In doing so, it will encourage them to develop a more sophisticated critical engagement with the arguments that they encounter. Second, it enhances students’ understanding of some of the concepts that are central to the study of history and politics.
- Marxist analysis
- Feminist analysis
- Structure and agency
To encourage participants to engage critically with these themes and approaches, they will be required to apply them to a particular empirical setting, namely the political history of post-war Britain. They will do this individually but also collectively in the form of group work and in particular an assessed group presentation, one adapted from Fielding’s work as convenor of the Politics module Power and the State.
The Rise (and Demise?) of Capitalism
This module examines the development of capitalism from the 15th century to the 21st. It uses England/Britain as its case study, looking at both imperial developments and England’s/Britain’s wider role in world trade. In particular, this module charts the varying manifestations of capitalism (commercial; industrial; financial; consumer) and how and why the character of capitalism has changed over time. It also looks at who benefitted/benefits and who lost/loses under each form of capitalism and how it worked/works in practice. The first section of the course looks at these developments chronologically, whilst the latter considers the changing character of capitalism through key themes such as entrpreneurialism, accounting, and bubbles and crises. Key words are: Empire; Trade; Globalisation; Networks. Through looking at capitalism over the long durée, this module aims to show that whilst various forms of capitalism have arisen and decayed (rise and demise), capitalism is a constant, in which many things are unchanging (hence the question mark).
Vice, Crime and Culture in Modern Britain
Module content to be confirmed
Other typical History modules
History of Art
Introduction to Art History I
History of Art is a broad discipline that encompasses many different approaches. This module takes as its basic premise that there is no one true history, but rather that there are various ways of approaching the past. With this in mind, we will examine key terms that have shaped the discipline of art history, in order to consider some key issues and debates that shape writing about art. The module is designed to get you thinking about how and why histories are written. Over the course of the module, we will consider broad questions, such as: What counts as art and what should be included in history of art? Should a history of art be a history of artists? What about patrons, viewers, critics, historians, and museums? How important is artist intention in defining the meaning of art? How useful are “-isms” in writing history of art? How should we understand art in relation to social, political, and economic contexts? How and why does art change? How have chronological, geographical, and gender biases affected histories of art? What makes “good” art and should we care? The module also includes weekly workshops, designed to help you develop the academic skills required to study History of Art at undergraduate level.
Introduction to Art History II
This module builds on the foundation laid in Introduction to Art History I. It examines the study and interpretation of objects by considering different forms of writing on art. Each lecture will focus on a single work of art, examining a variety of ways in which it has been analysed. The artworks studied will cover the historical breadth of teaching in the Department of History of Art, from the Renaissance to the present day. The aim is to highlight diverse methodological approaches to art history, and different perspectives in dialogue across periods, geographies, and backgrounds. Integrated weekly workshops will allow you to develop and refine the academic skills acquired in Introduction to Art History I.
Realism and Impressionism, ca.1840-1890
This module examines two of the most influential movements in Western art, Realism and Impressionism. We will consider the major figures and critical debates in the history of modern art. Among the artists to be studied are Courbet, Bonheur, Millet, Manet, Morisot, Degas, Cassatt, Renoir, and others. This module includes the study of different critical approaches to the study of art works and visual culture.
Visualising the Body
This module examines the visual representation of the human body from antiquity the 21st century. It will entail close study and analysis of visual images, combined with critical readings in the histories and theory of art, society, film and visual culture. Key themes will include: health and the politics of ‘normality’; the sexual body; the modified body; ideal and grotesque bodies; and the ‘foreign’ body. The particular concerns of the module are; visualising social differences of gender, class and race; the cultural formations of ‘difference’; and the ways these are negotiated and secured in images of the body.
This module examines the development of photography in America from roughly 1945 onwards. The module breaks the period down into themes and considers:
1. the transformation of ‘documentary’ photograph;
2. the emergence and importance of colour photography;
3. experimental, conceptual and post-conceptual photography;
4. issues of serialism and seriality;
5. landscape photography;
6. the photobook
The module will draw on the work of a diverse range of photographers, including Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Ed Ruscha, Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, Robert Heinecken, Stephen Shore, Todd Hido, William Eggleston and Doug Rickard.
This module examines a range of artistic practices and projects from the late 1960s to the present, that sought to critique, question, or otherwise intervene into the physical, conceptual, social, and political space of the institution. We will situate the practices of a number of American and European artists in relation to historical debates about the art museum, the art market, the academy, and the art historical canon. We will also study Institutional Critiques key theorisers and commentators, relating works to a range of theoretical models of the institution and networks of cultural production. Finally, the module will consider the effectiveness of these critiques, asking whether the practices of Institutional Critique might be complicit in the institutional activities that they seek to subvert.
Other typical History of Art modules
International Media and Communications
Communication and Culture
This module surveys the field of communications theory and provides an introduction to the key methodologies and topics of cultural studies within the context of contemporary life. Students will be introduced to key theoretical approaches to the communications process and encouraged to develop literacies across a wide range of visual and written sources, including advertising, TV, and journalism. Students will also be encouraged to assess the gains and shortcomings of particular theoretical models and to consider the processes that obstruct and frustrate the ambition of establishing clear channels of communication. The module also introduces approaches to cultural studies through the following key themes: 'high' versus 'popular' culture; race and ethnicity; feminism, Marxism and postmodernism; and the internet.
Communication and Technology
This module takes a detailed look at debates around the impact of new information and communications technologies such as the internet, digital TV, and mobile and wireless communications on processes of communication. The module emphasises the social, economic and political implications of information communication technology adoption, such as the ongoing 'digital divide' between the information-rich and -poor. It also investigates issues surrounding human-machine interaction, exploring the reshaping of communication forms and practices together with notions of posthumanism and cyberbodies.
Digital Communication and Media
Digital communication and media are significantly transforming the ways our societies operate. This module critically explores key issues behind this transformation. The module tracks the emergence of digital communications and associated media cultures, engages with issues and practices that differentiate digital communication from older forms of media and their associated forms of communication, and draws on a range of theories and methodologies. The module investigates theoretical and practical foundations of digital communication and media and their relationship to contemporary culture. Students also study the cultural, political, economic, technical and regulatory contexts from which digital communication and media have emerged and in which they continue to operate. To link conceptual frameworks to real-life experiences and situations, the module provides opportunities to explore the interactive forms and practices that result from the use of digital communication and media through a range of both individual and group activities.
You'll learn about the concepts of ‘transnational’ and ‘postnational’ media, taking into account the movement and interactions of people, finance, technology and ideas around the world. The module addresses in particular global media interactions emerging from tensions between forces of cultural homogenisation and heterogenisation. You'll develop a foundation of theoretical knowledge to be applied to case studies in global film, television and other screen and print media.
This module introduces students to the cultural and social role of sound and listening in everyday life. Scholars have argued that, since the Enlightenment, modern societies have privileged sight over the other senses in their desire to know and control the world. But what of hearing? Until recently, the role of sound in everyday life was a neglected field of study. Yet Jonathan Sterne argues that the emergence of new sound media technologies in the nineteenth century - from the stethoscope to the phonograph - amounted to an 'ensoniment' in modern culture in which listening took centre stage.
Beginning with an examination of the relationship between visual and auditory culture in everyday life, this module introduces a variety of cultural contexts in which sound played an important role, including:
- how people interact with the sounds of their cities
- how new sound technologies allowed people to intervene in everyday experience
- why some sounds (such as music) have been valued over others (such as noise)
- the role of sound in making and breaking communities
- the role of sounds in conflict and warfare
- the importance of sound in film and television from the silent era onwards.
We use a variety of sound sources, such as music and archival sound recordings, in order to understand the significance of sound in everyday life from the late eighteenth century to the present.
Gender, Sexuality and Media
This module examines the politics of gender and sexuality in media and popular culture. It offers advanced inquiry into the intersectional fields of feminism, queer theory, and media and cultural studies. This module asks the key questions: how gender and sexuality are represented in media and popular culture, how media and cultural industries structure gender and sexual inequalities, how identities and practices of media audiences and users are gendered and sexualised, and what are creative and radical ways of resistances to gender and sexual norms?
Other typical International Media and Communications modules
Calculus and Linear Algebra
The module consolidates core GCE mathematical topics in the differential and integral calculus of a function of a single variable and used to solving some classes of differential equations. Basic theory is extended to more advanced topics in the calculus of several variables. In addition, the basic concepts of complex numbers, vector and matrix algebra are established and extended to provide an introduction to vector spaces. An emphasis in the module is to develop general skills and confidence in applying the methods of calculus and developing techiniques and ideas that are widely applicable and used in subsequent modules.
Major topics are:
- differential and integral calculus of a single variable;
- differential equations;
- differential calculus of several variables;
- multiple integrals;
- complex numbers;
- matrix algebra;
- vector algebra and vector spaces.
Analytical and Computational Foundations
This module introduces students to a broad range of core mathematical concepts and techniques. It has three components.
- Mathematical reasoning (the language of mathematics, the need for rigour, and methods of proof).
- The computer package MATLAB and its applications.
- Elementary analysis.
Statistics and Probability
Module content to be confirmed
Introduction to Scientific Computation
This module introduces basic techniques in numerical methods and numerical analysis which can be used to generate approximate solutions to problems that may not be amenable to analysis. Specific topics include:
- Implementing algorithms in Matlab;
- Discussion of errors (including rounding errors);
- Iterative methods for nonlinear equations (simple iteration, bisection, Newton, convergence);
- Gaussian elimination, matrix factorisation, and pivoting;
- Iterative methods for linear systems, matrix norms, convergence, Jacobi, Gauss-Siedel.
- Interpolation (Lagrange polynomials, orthogonal polynomials, splines)
- Numerical differentiation & integration (Difference formulae, Richardson extrapolation, simple and composite quadrature rules)
- Introduction to numerical ODEs (Euler and Runge-Kutta methods, consistency, stability)
Module content to be confirmed
Game theory contains many branches of mathematics (and computing); the emphasis here is primarily algorithmic. The module starts with an investigation into normal-form games, including strategic dominance, Nash equilibria, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma. We look at tree-searching, including alpha-beta pruning, the ‘killer’ heuristic and its relatives. It then turns to mathematical theory of games; exploring the connection between numbers and games, including Sprague-Grundy theory and the reduction of impartial games to Nim.
Other typical Maths modules
If you want to take any of these protected Modern Language modules you may need to take additional language learning modules. This will depend on your existing language capabilities and applies in each year of the course.
Students should look ahead as to not limit their module choice in the future.
If you think you might want to take Modern Languages modules please feel free to contact the Liberal Arts team to discuss your options.
This module consolidates and develops students' command of the French language, both written and spoken. The language work focuses in particular on grammar, listening and speaking skills.
Building on the four skill areas of A-level work (writing, reading, listening and speaking), this module aims to develop students’ command of German towards the level required in year 2. It consolidates students’ understanding of grammatical structures, and improves their spoken and written German. We will work with authentic texts and media (including journalistic articles, poems and short stories, videos, clips from TV programmes in German, news items). You will have three contact hours each week including oral classes, and will be assessed in a variety of different exercises including an oral exam, a listening comprehension test, essay writing, translation into English, grammar exercises and a presentation in German.
Russian and Slavonic Studies 1
In this module students consolidate and develop the knowledge of Russian which they gained at A level. This module focuses on practical application of language skills, including reading, writing, listening comprehension and oral communication. Students also study some grammar topics in depth. The module involves practical classes, workshops and tutorials, and is taught by experienced teachers, including native speakers of Russian.
Spanish and Portuguese 1
This module aims to consolidate students' understanding of grammar and their ability to comprehend both structures and meanings in a variety of written texts, journalistic and otherwise. They will be encouraged to broaden their range of discursive strategies in both written and spoken Spanish and will also be trained in the comprehension of broadcast items on current affairs.
- At a minimum, Year Two Post-beginner students to complete Introductory Year One modules. If their timetables allow for it, they may take Year Two modules at the discretion of the Liberal Arts tutor.
This module seeks to consolidate and build on the skills and knowledge and skills acquired in the Year 1 language module. The various language skills required for competence in French language – reading comprehension, listening comprehension, creative writing, summary, review, translation and oral production – are developed through a variety of means and exercises.
This module will consolidate students’ proficiency in the four skill areas of German 1 (writing, reading, listening and speaking) and develop these further. Working on texts from newspapers and other sources, we will discuss translation issues, grammatical structures, linguistic analysis and textual comparison, oral presentation, and essay and CV writing. The module will use texts that cover a broad range of general, journalistic and academic topics, as well as those that will help to prepare you for work or study during your year abroad.
Russian and Slavonic Studies 2
In this module, students consolidate and develop the knowledge of Russian gained in the year one beginners’ course. The module focuses on practical application of language skills, including reading, writing, listening comprehension and oral communication, with some grammar topics taught in depth. The module involves practical classes, workshops and tutorials, and is taught by experienced teachers, including native speakers of Russian.
Spanish and Portuguese 2
This module will build on grammatical knowledge and communication skills developed in Spanish 1 (R41105). There will be one written and one laboratory class per week. Written classes will concentrate on developing essay writing skills in Spanish using a range of Spanish texts as stimuli. Special attention will be given to developing complex sentence structures and rhetorical devices. Laboratory classes will use a range of contemporary audio-visual materials from Spanish and Latin-American sources to develop aural comprehension and conversational ability in Spanish. It will include preparatory work for the Year Abroad
This module develops the following language skills: oral and written skills, the written skills to include translation into and out of French, creative writing in different registers, linguistic commentary, production of summaries. The module will also focus on perfecting an advanced knowledge of French grammar and developing a sophisticated range of French vocabulary.
This advanced German language module will further enhance students’ practical command and effective understanding in writing, reading, listening and speaking. Working with the support of native speakers, we will use seminar time to engage in class discussions as well as work on texts and practise writing skills in a variety of registers. Students are encouraged to reflect on their year abroad. We will also work on translation skills in this module. Classes will use a variety of authentic German texts to develop students’ translation skills towards professional standards for translation into English.
Russian and Slavonic Studies 3
This module allows students to develop a high level of Russian language skills, both written and oral. The written skills include English-Russian and Russian-English translation, business Russian, summaries and creative writing in Russian. Oral presentations draw upon and extend the practical language experience of the year abroad. Students also cover the most advanced grammar topics of Russian.
Spanish and Portuguese 3
Students will work orally and by means of written tasks in order to build up their knowledge of and confidence in this register. This module will draw on a selection of stimulus texts to enable students i) to produce written and spoken Spanish of high quality, and ii) to analyse and understand how texts are put together and as a result, to achieve maximum clarity and strength of argumentation.
Other typical Modern Languages modules
Elements of Music 1
This core module will consolidate your knowledge of the fundamental building blocks of music across all periods and genres. Topics will include notation, mode, chord, time and texture.
Repertoire Studies 2: Twentieth-Century Music
This core module introduces you to key developments in 19th- and 20th-century music. Through a combination of lectures and seminars, you will become familiar with fundamental developments in these areas of the repertoire, cementing basic knowledge essential for all trained musicians.
Approaches to Popular Music
Module content to be confirmed
Jazz: Origins and Styles
Module content to be confirmed
Narrative and Emotion in Art and Music
Module content to be confirmed
Music and Health
This module will address issues relevant for professional performing musicians including injury prevention and treatment, nutrition, exercise and integrative medicinal approaches. We will explore research on topics such as healthy movement for musicians (including Tai Chi / Qi Gong and Yoga), therapeutic approaches such as physiotherapy and Alexander Technique and the latest directions in working with performance anxiety and stage fright such as visualisation, mindfulness and “smart practice” methods as well as time and stress management.
Other typical Music modules
Reasoning, Argument and Logic
This module introduces a series of key skills relevant to the aims and methods of philosophical inquiry. It is designed to (a) help students understand the nature and structure of arguments, (b) acquire critical tools for assessing the arguments of others, (c) improve their ability to present their own reasoning in a clear and rigorous manner, particularly in essays, and (d) supply the basic minimum knowledge of logic and its technical vocabulary which every philosophy student requires.
Mind, Knowledge and Ethics
This module covers issues in ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. Topics might include the mind body problem, the nature of persons, perception, knowledge, free will, the nature of ethics, normative theories, the problem of moral motivation, and the nature of ethical judgements.
We all have opinions about moral matters. But for most of us, our moral opinions are not very well-organized. Indeed, upon reflection we may discover that some of our beliefs about morality are inconsistent. One of the main projects of moral theorizing over the past few hundred years has been the attempt to systematically denominate right and wrong actions. In this module you will examine some of these, including consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics. Teaching will be via a weekly two hour seminar and one hour lecture.
Philosophy of Science
What is science? Is there a scientific method, and if so, what is it? Can science tell us what the world is really like? Is it the only way to know what the world is really like? Does science progress? What is a "paradigm" and when/how does it "shift"? Is science "socially constructed"? Can a sociological study of the practice of science tell us anything about the nature of science? Is science "value-neutral"? Should we "save society from science"? What are "the science wars" and who won?
These are some of the questions we will explore in this module. We will start with the positivism-empiricism of the early 20th century and culminate with the postmodernism-relativism of the late 20th century and its aftermath. Readings will include seminal works by Ayer, Hempel, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Feyeraband, Bloor, and Laudan.
Advanced Philosophy of Science
Module content to be confirmed
Advanced Topics in Social Philosophy
This module addresses some key issues in social philosophy, or key ideas from thinkers in social philosophy. Each year, there will be a focus on one or two topics for advanced examination of that/those topic(s). Indicative topics that might be covered include: philosophy of race, philosophy of gender, philosophy of disability, oppression, institutions and structure, etc.
Other typical Philosophy modules
Politics and International Relations
Understanding Global Politics
This module introduces global politics through the major theoretical, historical and empirical ways of seeing international relations. We consider how different approaches understand global politics, the role of different actors in global politics and different approaches to organising international relations. In particular, the module highlights the major issues of war and peace, and global poverty.
Modern Political Theory
This module introduces you to the ideas of some of the canonical thinkers in the history of political thought, such as Burke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, and Marx. The module considers the impact of these thinkers on modern political thought and practice, with reference to key political ideas and historical developments (such as liberty and equality, and the Enlightenment). The module will be text based.
Political Theory from Ancient to Modern
This module introduces students to the ideas of some of the canonical thinkers in the history of political thought, such as Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli, and Hobbes. The module considers the impact of these thinkers on modern political thought and practice, with reference to key political ideas and historical developments (such as liberty and equality, and the Enlightenment). The module will be text based.
Problems in Global Politics
This module explores some of the major problems that exist in contemporary global politics. It introduces you to a wide range of challenges faced by states and non-state actors in the international system and engages with topics ranging from security concerns to economic issues.
The module draws on a wide range of ideas and examples from around the world to help you to better understand global politics.
International Politics in the 20th Century
The module will examine key issues and themes in 20th century international history from 1918 to the end of the Cold War. We will examine themes such as the League of Nations, the Second World War, colonialism and anti-colonialism, the emergence of the Cold War, the space race, the Cuban missile crisis, détente, and the end of the Cold War.
Social and Global Justice
'Justice' has been one of the key themes of political theory at least from the time of Plato, as questions of who gets what, when, and why are absolutely central to political discourse. Should people be able to keep what they earn with their talents, or is it only fair to take wealth away from those who have it to give to those who have little? Do different cultures deserve equal 'recognition'?
Recently these questions of distributive and social justice have taken on a global dimension. Does the developed world have obligations to distant others, and do they have rights against it?
This module will look at these questions from a contemporary perspective, looking at ideas about justice from thinkers such as the utilitarians, John Rawls, Thomas Pogge, Susan Moller Okin, and Bhikhu Parekh.
International Politics of Race
This module is designed to provide an introduction to the international politics of race for final-year students.
The module begins discussing changing historical meaning of race and the changing historical critiques of race focusing on the shift from universalist to relativist approaches. The module goes on to discuss the historical meaning of race in international politics; the colonial experience, Second World War, after the Second World War, and the discrediting of racial theories.
The module then considers the evolving international policy approaches toward race and culture, in particular looking at UNESCO's approaches. Finally the module analyses the changing international debates over the politics of race in light of the election of US President Obama.
The rights and wrong of climate change
Module content to be confirmed
Other typical Politics and International Relations modules
Psychological Approaches to Therapy
You will gain a broad overview of some key theoretical approaches in psychology, in the context of their application to therapy. Three fundamental schools of thought will be examined: the psychodynamic school, the humanistic-existential school, and the cognitive behaviour school, which have strongly influenced the development of contemporary psychological therapy. Lectures will examine the historical context and philosophical origins of a range of different therapies (e.g. psychoanalysis, person-centred therapy, rational-emotive therapy) which may be used in the treatment of common mental health issues (e.g. anxiety, depression, phobias). The theoretical basis of each approach will be addressed, with a consideration of how important concepts are applied in therapeutic interventions.
This module introduces you to the core topics in social psychology, which is concerned with trying to understand the social behaviour of individuals in terms of both internal characteristics of the person (e.g. cognitive mental processes) and external influences (the social environment). Lectures will cover topics including how we define the self, attitudes, attribution, obedience, aggression, pro-social behaviour and formation of friendships. You will have a one-hour lecture weekly.
Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology
You’ll learn about the scientific, historical, and philosophical underpinnings of psychology as a discipline, which will demonstrate the inherent variability and diversity in the theoretical approaches to psychology. By the end of the module, you will have a good knowledge and critical understanding of the influences of history on psychological theories. There will be two hours of lectures per week.
Social and Development Psychology
You will examine theories and experimental studies of social processes and human development. Topics relating to social processes will include: social cognition and social thinking, conformity and obedience, intergroup behaviour, theories of attraction and relationships, prosocial behaviour and intrinsic motivation, and self-determination, among others. Human development topics are also explored in depth such as the development of phonology, the importance of social referencing in early language acquisition, and atypical socio-cognitive development in people with autism. You will have four hours of lectures weekly.
This module provides an introduction to the contexts in which educational psychologists operate by examining the historical development of this profession within a set of major legislative and policy contexts, such as the recent drive to increase social inclusion. The module will concentrate on assessment and intervention work with specific populations such as young people who display challenging behaviour in schools, vulnerable adolescents, and bilingual learners. You will also examine psychological approaches to group work with teachers and pupils as well as the application of system theory in helping transform aspects of schools and other organisations. There will be two hours of lectures per week.
Applied Psychology: Road User Behaviour
The course will cover road user behaviour from a number of psychological perspectives. Topics will include a critical review of brain scanning studies of driving, the visual skills required for driving, the effects of aging and experience, distraction (from in-car devices such as mobile phones, and from out-of-car objects such as road-side advertisements), and the skill of hazard perception (and whether this can be adequately measured as part of the licensing procedure). The course will also cover memory for driving events (from everyday driving to road traffic accidents), influences of emotion on driving (e.g. does the aggression-frustration hypothesis explain road rage?), and social and individual differences related to crash risk (e.g. sensation-seeking and risk propensity).
Other typical Psychology modules
Sociology and Social Policy
Introducing Social Policy
Focusing on the main concepts and approaches to social policy, this module assumes little or no background knowledge. It looks at the means by which something is framed as a social problem, with particular reference to poverty and issues of exclusion.
You will be introduced to the main areas of social policy, mainly in the UK, and explore how different social groups experience social policies, the interaction of public, private, voluntary and informal sectors in welfare provision, and ways in which it is financed.
Citizenship and Rights in a Globalising World
This module first focuses on matters of citizenship and pays particular attention to which groups are included and entitled to citizenship and who is excluded.
It also enables you to develop an understanding of the key theoretical approaches and concepts associated with the analysis of processes of globalisation (social, economic and political) and their implications for human rights. Finally, a third strand is devoted to human rights.
Sociology: Identity, Self and Other in a Digital Age
Module content to be confirmed
Ethnicity, Race and Everyday Life
This module examines the intersection of three key concepts in contemporary sociology - ethnicity 'race' and everyday life. It particularly considers:
- existing sociological theories of everyday life concerning its political relevance and historical specificity as well as methodological issues as to how 'the everyday' has been researched
- sociological models of ethnicity and 'race', the construction of ethnic boundaries and identities, the relationship between 'culture' and 'ethnicity', and its relevance in the contemporary world
- a series of empirical case studies illustrating the experience and complexities of ethnic and racial identities in the realm of everyday life
Migration and Transnationalism
This course examines key issues and concepts connected to the movement and settlement of people in Europe and beyond. Informed by a transnational studies perspective, the module considers migration debates and practices in a critical, comparative and historically informed manner.
The first part of the course explores the political, social and economic factors that cause people to move in an increasing interconnected world. The second part of the course is dedicated to the examination of the different theories of integration and settlement and processes of inclusion and exclusion.
The key issues and concepts addressed will include those of transnationalism and diaspora; gender and intersectionality; transnational families and global care chains; multiculturalism, integration and assimilation; identity, home and belonging.
Alternative Responses to Crime and Conflict: Restorative Justice
Module content to be confirmed
Other typical Sociology and Social Policy modules