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Social Sciences, Humanities & Law


Criminology & Sociology

Crime and deviance

An insight into some of the major issues surrounding crime, deviance, victims, social control and order. How do we identify and explain crime? Why do we imprison offenders? What is the role of the police? What is the impact of crime, deviance and harm on communities and individuals? What role do victims play in the criminal justice process? Students learn about criminological issues and discuss the impact of crime and deviance on society.

Culture and identity

Discuss how different conceptions of culture and identity in society leads to debate on sociological issues including gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class, religion, consumerism and globalisation. To what extent is identity socially constructed? How does culture influence our sense of self? This session encourages students to think critically about everyday issues.

Research in practice

What is the best way to research active criminals? Is it ethical to conduct covert observation? Can more than one method be used? The practical issues faced by researchers are worth considering. Using real case studies, students explore different research methods and the ethical considerations and potential problems of each.

Education, Early Childhood & Youth

Celebrities, superheroes and saving children

Televised fundraising and hard-hitting adverts led by celebrities often urge us to help children living in poverty. In this session we discuss if this kind of marketing is about making the most of celebrities’ power of influence, or whether the celebrities are the victims of manipulation by charities? We also discuss if the children we see through fundraising campaigns can really be ‘saved’, and we ask the crucial question: can charities and aid make a difference to children living in poverty?

Parmos, pease pudding and pyjamas

This lecture considers the impact of working class culture on educational attainment, exploring theoretical perspectives and research as well as exploring controversial issues that our students consider in our programmes.


A key focus of practice when working with children is safeguarding – keeping children safe and protecting them from harm. However, can the people who work with children keep them safe always? What is it that we are protecting children from? We consider safeguarding and what this means for those working with children, including negative experiences we face in life and how children keep themselves safe or manage risks.

What is a good childhood?

Childhood is often presented as the best time of our lives and those working with children often have an ambition to provide positive and happy experiences for children. But what is a good childhood? How can those of us working with children provide a good childhood when our work is shaped by policy?

English & Creative Writing

Beautiful beasts and beastly beauties: feminism, fairy tales and Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber

From Beauty and the Beast to Little Red Riding Hood, animals play a prominent role in traditional fairy tales – sometimes representing what we most fear or desire. This workshop considers the role of animals in Angela Carter’s rewritings of classic fairy tales in her collection, The Bloody Chamber. We discuss these tales in the context of feminism and discuss how Carter challenges traditional gender ideas.

Creating your multimillion dollar narrative

Pitching an idea for a standalone novel simply doesn’t wash with publishers anymore. Just like Harry Potter, Twilight, or The Hunger Games, companies want a story that can spread out across a series of books, films, TV series, comic books, computer games, toys, even theme park rides. In this session, groups of students create a concept that can be translated across the narrative specifics of each medium.

Developing an argument

What is an argument? How can we communicate our ideas in the most effective way? This practical workshop focuses on the key essay writing skill of developing an argument. Working with examples from your curriculum, it explores the essential steps to take when preparing a coherent and persuasive argument.

From bloated beast to teenage heart-throb: the vampire in literature

In early folklore, vampires are represented as grotesque, corpse-like figures, mindlessly feeding on their victims. Absorbed into popular literature, the figure of the vampire has undergone many transformations, from aristocratic dandy to teenage heart-throb. What hasn’t changed is the vampire’s popularity. In this session we consider what accounts for the enduring appeal of the literary vampire, and ask how this versatile literary figure might be linked to a range of social and historical anxieties.

Oh! What a literary war

From Goodbye to All That to Oh! What a Lovely War and Blackadder Goes Forth, World War One has had a profound effect on our culture. And poets, novelists and memoirists have played a major role in shaping our understanding of the war and its effects. This session examines war poets such as Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas and considers how modernist writers such as Ford Madox Ford, T S Eliot and Virginia Woolf responded to the conflict.

Poetry and popular culture

Isn’t poetry outdated? Aren’t poets out of touch with the real world? In this session, we explore examples of poets writing about popular culture and using popular culture to create character and voice – from Popeye to The Simpsons and Cardi B. Through exercises and group discussion, students critically and creatively analyse their position as readers of text and consider poets’ reasons for including popular culture in their work. Students are also guided through short writing exercises to encourage them to consider these ideas in their own writing.

Safie’s Story – representations of women in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Frankenstein is told through a number of male voices – Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein and the creature. The female characters play an important role but seem to occupy the margins of the narrative. This workshop explores the representation of women in this novel, examining attitudes to gender. We focus on the often overlooked character of Safie, bringing in discussion of non-western cultures in the story.

The book is dead. Long live the book!

Can the book survive in the age of the internet? What’s the point of reading novels when there are so many other claims on our attention? Why read something hundreds or even thousands of years old when millions of new things were written yesterday? Who decides what counts as good writing? What do stories do for us and why do we need them?

Victorian madwomen in Jane Eyre and Great Expectations

In the 19th century it was believed that women were particularly prone to mental illness. In this session students explore attitudes towards gender and madness in Victorian literature and culture. We consider how so-called madwomen are represented in the characters of Bertha Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. We examine these characters and try to decide whether these women were mad, bad or misunderstood.

Law, Policing & Investigation

Mental illness and criminal law

This interactive session takes participants on a tour of the mental condition defences to see how well the criminal law deals with offenders who are mentally ill.

The effects of perception on investigation

Witnesses are a vital part of the investigative process, but can their evidence be relied on? We explore how perception can affect recall, the impact it can have on an investigation and how we can attempt to deal with it to achieve the best evidence.

The legal responses to domestic abuse

How does psychology influence the investigation and prosecution of domestic abuse cases? And how can we apply the learning of psychologists to understand the decision making of the jury in a courtroom?


Counselling psychology

Counselling psychology applies psychological theory and research to therapeutic practice. Counselling psychology is particularly useful in helping combat depression, anxiety, phobias and relationship difficulties. In this session we discuss some of the principles of the counselling process and consider how they apply to groups and individuals in a range of settings.

Introduction to psychology

Psychology studies human thoughts, feelings, motivations and behaviour using scientific methods. In this session we look at how psychology can be applied to a range of settings, to help people cope with mental health conditions, apprehend offenders, improve workplace satisfaction and enhance educational environments for example.


This session will introduce students to theories of personality by giving groups of them profiles and biographies of celebrities asking them to use skills of qualitative data analysis to provide personality profile of each celebrity. This then supports the discussion of using evidence from secondary qualitative sources. In addition to this, students will learn about the five factor model of personality and quantitative measures of this to contrast the different approaches to personality.


The session introduces students to the biological basis of stress and we consider different coping strategies. We also review the ways we can measure the level of stress a person is experiencing and students have the opportunity to try out some physiological recording equipment used to measure indicators of stress.

What can you do with a psychology degree?

The graduate marketplace is diverse, as is a degree in psychology. This session considers the varied career options and pathways available to psychology graduates. Since not all psychology graduates go onto a career in psychology we explore psychology and non-psychology roles.

Social Work

Not just being nice

Social work is perhaps the most misunderstood caring profession in terms of popular media coverage. Social workers combine their significant legal authority with trained skills in investigating, assessing and intervening with individuals and families. This talk explores social work in detail and will suit emotionally robust students seeking a challenge.

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