Block 1 modules

Choose one of our block 1 modules from the following list for more information.

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

Developing leadership through sport and the outdoors

The leadership and management of sport and physical activity has never been more important. With growing levels of inactivity and the impact of COVID-19 on activity behaviours, the ability to develop and lead effective interventions is crucial. This module considers how leadership is a critical element to developing projects and working in teams. You'll reflect on and understand your own leadership skills and how they are transferable to a real-life project situation. The module will also focus the issues facing sport, physical activity and outdoor education and provide you with the opportunity to develop a researched intervention to tackle a specific issue. You'll work in collaboration with peers to develop intervention ideas and to test your leadership skills in a range of engaging team-based challenges and activities.

Read the full description of Developing leadership through sport in the module catalogue.

Entrepreneurship and society: ideas, opportunities and value creation

Entrepreneurship plays an important role in society. Across the world micro, small and medium enterprises are providing the livelihoods for millions. Corporates with their large employee base are also responding to calls to be more socially responsible. Increasingly we are seeing the emergence of new ‘for-purpose’ business forms. They seek to create social and environmental value as well as the more traditional economic benefits. These enterprises are creative in addressing acute social needs. They may leverage social innovation to build business models and products. There are a myriad of social and environmental challenges within society. These challenges, especially those framed by sustainable development goals, offer opportunities. In particular for new business start-ups, as well as the emergence of more responsible corporate forms such as Certified B Corporations (B-Corps). This module explores various types of for-purpose businesses such as social enterprises. For example, B-Corps, Fairtrade and Hybrids. You'll also consider some of the key founders that have shaped these businesses and the emergence of new ideas as microfinance. The module also considers how traditional corporates can be more socially responsible.

The teachers encouraged interaction in the lessons, and they provided plenty of opportunities for group discussion and sharing our own opinions. It made the teaching more interesting and lively, and I enjoyed my time in class.

Chris from Hong Kong

Read the full description of Entrepreneurship and society in the module catalogue.

Essentials of the music business

The music business today represents innovation, creativity, opportunities and connectivity. It is a global business that facilitates interpersonal, intercultural, and international interaction. This module provides an introduction to the music business environment. You'll explore key concepts used in categorising and analysing music business sectors, industries and organisational typologies. You'll be presented with a selection of relevant case studies and take part in class debates and discussions. You'll develop an understanding of how general business concepts apply to the context of the music business, exploring the contemporary challenges the industry is facing. This module usually includes a field trip to a music or entertainment venue. Topics include:

  • live music business organisations
  • the role of record labels
  • streaming services
  • the music publishing business

Read the full description of Essentials of the music business 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 to 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 genetically modified (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

Global challenges in the Anthropocene: health, food security and climate change 

We have now entered a new geological epoch defined as the Anthropocene. During the 20th century, humanity has transformed the geology, biosphere and atmosphere of planet Earth. Given these momentous developments, we are now confronting a range of challenges which are truly global in scale. How is the global governance system coping with these challenges? Which mechanisms, dynamics and solutions exist to confront these challenges? What are the difficulties and dilemmas in confronting these challenges?

This module will explore these questions and consider global challenges facing society. You will have the opportunity to study infectious diseases and epidemics. In the twenty-first century, global epidemics have become ever more frequent. You will also examine challenges around agricultural production and climate change. The global food system has turned into the main driver of environmental degradation. This is due to its industrialised production methods and global commodity chains. Increasing CO2 emissions have put further stress on our ecosystems. Not to mention the breath-taking loss of the last few rainforests. You will gain an understanding of how all these challenges defy key notions of the international system. How they reconfigure our understanding of borders. And how they reshape international, transnational and global political dynamics. The module usually includes a field trip to Saltaire Village, a United Nations Educational and Scientific organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. 

Read the full description of Global challenges in the Anthropocene 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'll learn how to set up a digital camera, as well as frame and compose shots. You'll then learn how to record video shots against a green screen in a Television studio. With your recorded material you'll 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'll create a series of animations to produce a show reel of your own work. As well as developing your own skills you'll 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.

Anne from The Netherlands

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'll explore the evolution of management schools of thought. From classical management, all the way through to management in the 21st century. You'll explore essential tasks such as planning, organising, staffing, controlling, and leading. You'll also study topics such as organisational culture, change management, and the challenges of managing in today’s world. You'll 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. This module is particularly suitable for students who have no previous experience of studying management.

I enjoyed the diversity within the modules. The content was taught in a student-friendly way.

Henrietta from Germany

Read the full description of Management in organisations 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'll 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'll 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.

Leeds International Summer School student feedback

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'll 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'll also have the opportunity to reflect on the nature of perception. You'll 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'll reflect on the abstract principles underlying moral decision-making. Throughout the module you'll 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. 

During The English Country House module, I learnt about the various styles of architecture used to build these houses, like the Baroque and Neo-Palladian styles. As a student majoring in Communication Studies, it was refreshing for to me to study something different.

Sharon from Hong Kong 

Read the full description of The English country house 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'll explore the impact of these factors on the making of the modern world. You'll study key drivers and repercussions of colonialism in the Americas, Asia and Africa. You'll develop an understanding of related features of the global political economy. You'll look at the expansion of colonialism and the industrial developments in Europe. You'll 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.

Leeds International Summer School student feedback

Read the full description on the Wealth and poverty in the module catalogue.

View our block 2 modules.

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