Block 1 modules

Choose one of our block 1 modules

Building Britain, 1700-1840: Industrial ‘Revolution’ or ‘Evolution’?

In the short span between the accession of George III (1760) and the death of his son William IV (1837) the face of England changed dramatically. Roads, railways, rivers and canals sprung up across the land and country hamlets became populous towns. Factories replaced farms and chimney stacks dwarfed church spires. Technological innovations drove rapid economic growth. The structure of British society changed forever, with mass migration from country to towns and cities.  The popular idea is that these developments were rapid and ‘revolutionary’. Yet, there were significant economic and social changes in this period. Were the industrial developments in the eighteenth century a result of changes dating back to Tudor England? This module examines the processes and social effects of England’s Industrial Revolution. In doing so, the module explores the accuracy of the term ‘revolution’. Leeds and West Yorkshire are important areas in the broader history of England’s industrial past. You will usually have the opportunity to visit the National Coal Mining Museum and the Leeds Industrial Museum. The module also usually includes a field trip to the city of Liverpool.

"An excellent introduction to British history which I thoroughly enjoyed. The assessments, discussions were well paced and relevant, well explained and really stimulated my thoughts and perceptions of the role of history, economics, and social development."

Read the full description of Building Britain, 1700-1840 in the module catalogue

Business and Cultural Awareness: Bridging the Gap

What do we mean when we talk about culture? How can we describe cultures and what is their importance in business? This module examines the nature of culture, looks at culture at the national level and suggests there are other ways of examining culture. You will improve your own cultural awareness and learn how to factor in the role of culture in business situations. You will have the opportunity to consider a variety of cultural influence. You will examine their manifestation in business behaviour and every day activity. You will develop your understanding of culture though self-reflection. You will explore academic approaches to culture and you will examine the business context at a national level. You will also explore the impact of globalisation on the need for cross-cultural skills in communication and negotiation. The module usually includes visits to local companies and businesses.

"I enjoyed working in groups together with so many different people from different countries."

Read the full description of Business and Cultural Awareness in the module catalogue

Creative Writing: Finding Voices 

To be a great writer you must find your voice – or so the received wisdom tells us. But what does it mean to ‘find your voice’ on the page? As a writer, is it our own voice we are searching for or the voices of our narrators and characters? When it comes to our narrators, are we crafting the ‘inner voice’ of the mind or the voice as articulated to the outside world? And what is the influence of language, dialect and accent on the written voice? As a bilingual or multilingual writer, how does this impact your use of language on the page? Voice in writing is difficult to define and tricky to capture, but during this module you will take up the challenge of voice-craft. You will read exemplary contemporary texts from around the world and engage in writing exercises to play with voices in your writing. Bilingual and multilingual students are encouraged to use all their languages in their writing on this module. Equally, you don’t need to speak any language other than English to take this course. All voices welcome! The module usually includes a field trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Read the full description of Creative Writing: Finding Voices in the module catalogue

Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Plants 

In the next 50 years, we will have to produce more food than we have produced so far in all human history to feed a global population of more than 10 billion. This is against the background of climate change and reduced land for arable cultivation. We also have increasingly limited resources. Phosphate reserves will be depleted in 50-100 years. Current production of nitrogenous fertilisers is heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Plant biotechnology has an important role in meeting these challenges. It can aid in the production of high yielding, stress tolerant, nutrient rich new crop varieties that need fewer inputs. This module will discuss these challenges to global food security and the potential solutions. This will include the role of GM plants. You will develop practical skills in the synthesis of a recombinant DNA and insertion into a plant cell. You will gain first-hand experience of developing a GM plant and you will assess current projects to engineer enhanced crops. You will consider their potential to provide greater food security in the decades to come.

Read the full description of Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Plants in the module catalogue

Introduction to Special Effects in Filmmaking

Have you ever wondered how special effects are created and produced in films? This module provides an insight into special effects and the opportunity to develop practical filmmaking skills. You will learn how to set up a digital camera, as well as frame and compose shots. You will then learn how to record video shots against a green screen in a Television studio. With your recorded material you will be taught how to use professional special effects software to create some animated sequences using your photographs and video shots. As you progress through the module you will create a series of animations to produce a show reel of your own work. As well as developing your own skills you will have the opportunity to explore special effects used in films and TV shows such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Doctor Who. The module usually includes a field trip to Manchester and the BBC Tour of MediaCityUK.

"For the Filmmaking module, I enjoyed the practical approach of the classes and the teacher was very kind and helpful."

Read the full description of Introduction to Special Effects in Filmmaking in the module catalogue

Management in Organisations: Theories, Techniques and Decision Making

Are you interested in exploring the key functions of management? Do you want to learn about the challenges managers face and develop your management skills? This module introduces some of the key concepts and theories in the field of management. You will explore the evolution of management schools of thought. From classical management, all the way through to management in the 21st century. You will explore essential tasks such as planning, organising, staffing, controlling, and leading. You will also study topics such as organisational culture, change management, and the challenges of managing in today’s world. You will also have the opportunity to develop your management skills by taking on management tasks as a team and presenting a group project. The module usually includes a field trip to Manchester United. During the visit you will gain insight into how real-world business put in place concepts and issues studied in class. This module is particularly suitable for students who have no previous experience of studying management.

"I thought the module was laid out well and was easy to follow. I enjoyed the trip to Manchester United Football Club and thought it was a really good supplement to the course material."

Read the full description of Management in Organisations in the module catalogue

Music in Film

Since the Lumière brothers screened the first ‘moving pictures’ in Paris in the 1890s music has always played a key role in the presentation of film. During the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries music helped shape the filmic experience. Yet, film music is traditionally ‘unheard’ in the cinema. This module will explore the history and function of music in film from the silent era to the present day. You will study the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s. You will consider the rise of popular music starting in the 1950s, and the more recent use of electronics and innovative sound in the ‘New Hollywood’. Key composers include Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Henry Mancini, Vangelis, John Williams and Hans Zimmer. You will also consider specific examples from the work of Trevor Jones (The Dark Crystal, Last of the Mohicans, Notting Hill, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Trevor Jones' archive of film-music materials is currently the subject of a large research project based in the School of Music. This module usually includes a field trip to the National Science and Media Museum. 

"Interesting module to take as it was an eye opener learning how music functions in a film, how one can interpret the music and how music gives us small hints along the way as to what will happen next."

Read the full description of Music in Film in the module catalogue

Natural Sciences: Global Challenges and Scientific Skills

Do you have an interest in the sciences and want to learn more about how the natural world works? Are you interested in scientific discovery and applying practical skills to solve global issues? Are you keen to see how fundamental principles of mathematics and physical science continue to affect and shape the world we live in?

This module gives an introduction to a range of sciences. It provides an understanding of the impact of interdisciplinary study in natural sciences on the world around us. Topics include atmospheric changes, chaos theory, the mathematics of voting systems and estimation. You will explore global challenges including the use of agrochemicals and antibiotics.

The module will highlight the importance of communicating the benefits (and risks) of new technologies. You will develop your science journalism and scientific writing skills. You will also gain practical scientific skills in world-class facilities and laboratories. Students enrolled on the module will need to create a FutureLearn account.

"For a course that was quite short the content was broad and always stimulating."

Read the full description of Natural Sciences in the module catalogue

Philosophy of Mind and Ethics: Dilemmas and Thought Experiments 

This module introduces key issues in contemporary analytic philosophy of mind and applied ethics. You will explore connections between abstract philosophical principles and matters of contemporary concern.

The first week of the module will look at thought experiments. These are fictional scenarios designed to test ordinary beliefs and concepts. You will also have the opportunity to reflect on the nature of perception. You will compare and contrast ordinary perception (where there is no evident intermediary between perceiver and object perceived) with mediated perception. This is where devices such as mirrors, telescopes, cameras, or films are used. This topic links to a field trip usually to the National Science and Media Museum. 

The second week will look at practical ethical dilemmas. This includes a mixture of thought experiments and actual medical cases, such as organ donation, and euthanasia. You will reflect on the abstract principles underlying moral decision-making. Throughout the module you will learn how to present central issues as well as your own views. This module will give you greater confidence in engaging in independent discussion and argument.

Read the full description of Philosophy of Mind and Ethics in the module catalogue

The English Country House: A Social History

Country houses (stately homes) are one of Britain’s greatest contributions to world culture, but who created them and why? Have they always functioned as ‘containers’ for art collections or have they had deeper meanings and a wider social impact? Using Yorkshire’s world-class country houses as case studies, this course will introduce you to:

  • the builders of the country house
  • the rise and fall of the great estates
  • the ‘upstairs’ lives of the men, women and children who lived in the country house and the ‘downstairs’ world of the men and women who served them
  • the idea of a ‘court style’ and its regional variations
  • the often difficult relationship between patron and architect
  • the allied arts of interior design and decoration
  • the relationship between the aristocratic great house, the more modest gentleman’s house and the villa

Tutor-led visits to houses such as Temple Newsam, Harewood House and Castle Howard are an important feature of this course.

"The field trips were an amazing part of this course. It made our in-class learning experience come to life."

Read the full description of The English Country House in the module catalogue

The Path to Justice: Criminal Law and Legal Skills

Law is a diverse and stimulating discipline which is integral to everyday life.  Every person in society has experience of how the law affects their lives. From crime and policing to the courtroom, or from banking to individual rights.  This module provides the fundamentals of knowledge and an introduction to the English Legal System. The module examines a range of core subject areas of law, such as human rights, constitutional and criminal.  You will explore and challenge your own understanding of law. You will also have the opportunity to practise legal skills to take with you beyond the classroom. Practical activities will include statute-building, debates on law and ethics and mooting.  This module usually includes a field trip to the Yorkshire Law and Order Museums in Ripon, a stunning cathedral city in North Yorkshire.

"This module was intellectually stimulating. I enjoyed the discussions and activities in the class - they were interesting and not too difficult. Also I learned many things while preparing for the mooting activity."

Read the full description of The Path to Justice in the module catalogue

Wealth and Poverty: The Making of the Modern World

What is the relationship between wealth and poverty? How did the current global hierarchy of wealth and power come about? Are countries in the Global North powerful because they dominated, plundered and exploited the Global South? The module analyses the profound socio-economic and political effects of European colonialism. You will explore the impact of these factors on the making of the modern world. You will study key drivers and repercussions of colonialism in the Americas, Asia and Africa. You will develop an understanding of related features of the global political economy. You will look at the expansion of colonialism and the industrial developments in Europe. You will consider the link between these factors and the effects on wealth and poverty. The module concludes with an analysis of the economic dynamics of the post-independence period. The module usually includes a field trip to the People’s History Museum in Manchester and a walking tour. 

"The module has changed our perception and stimulated our thinking in wealth and poverty issues, especially in colonialism and imperialism."

Read the full description on the Wealth and Poverty in the module catalogue

View our block 2 modules