Block 2 modules

Explore the exciting range of academic modules you can choose from for Block 2 of Leeds International Summer School.

Arts and Humanities

British literature and the Brontës

During the 1840s and 50s the Brontë sisters wrote some of the most original and challenging fiction of the Victorian period. Their work is still popular and still inspires criticism, fiction, popular culture, and film adaptations.

This module provides an introduction to British literature with a focus on well-known authors, including the Brontës. The module also includes British authors such as Elizabeth Gaskell, Oscar Wilde and the Pre-Raphaelite poets. You'll read a range of texts by these authors and explore these writings in class. You'll take part in group discussions and a workshop on writing a critical commentary.

You must read the novel 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë and the play 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde before the start of the summer school.

Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë lived at Haworth Parsonage, only a few miles from Leeds. You’ll usually visit the stunning Yorkshire village that was their home during the module. 

Read the full description of British literature and the Brontës in the module catalogue.

British popular music in the north of England

Joy Division, The Smiths, A Guy Called Gerald, the Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys. Oh, yes, and a little band called The Beatles! The trouble is the list is just way too long. 

It’s true that the North of England has a most formidable reputation for innovation in pop music, but why is this the case? How do these ground-breaking and acclaimed musicians and performers speak of their region and the wider culture in their music? This module will explore these questions and more through a mixture of presentations, workshops and visits, with a focus on musical and lyrical content, culture and heritage, identity and iconography.

This module usually includes a field trip to the city of Manchester.

Read the full description of British popular music in the module catalogue.

Intercultural encounters: skills and concepts

Intercultural skills and awareness are essential in our increasingly globalised lives. This module will introduce key issues and concepts in intercultural studies. You’ll examine these issues from cultural, historical, political, and theoretical perspectives.You’ll also have the opportunity to develop your intercultural skills.

The module explores intercultural practices in digital environments. In particular, you’ll consider issues of power, creativity and manipulation.

This module usually includes a walking tour of ‘Little Germany’ in Bradford. During the field trip, you’ll examine the city’s multicultural past and present. 

Read the full description of Intercultural encounters in the module catalogue.

Introduction to colour 

Whether it is natural or digital, we are always surrounded by colours. However, have we ever thought about: What is colour? Do we all see colour in the same way? How to (re)produce colour accurately? Does colour have any effect on our psychological states? Is colour an integrated part of the rules of the universe? Colour is much more complex than its aesthetic side we usually come across. 

This module introduces core knowledge that is the foundation to fully appreciate colours by understanding its formation, technological applications, and historical and cultural origins. Topics to explore include colour vision and deficiency, colour communication and measurement, colour reproduction and management, colour psychology and meaning, and colour harmony and Wu Xing (the five elements). 

The module usually includes a field trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park or the National Science and Media Museum. 

Introduction to digital photography

Are you interested in digital photography and making photographic images? Do you want to develop your practical digital camera skills? This module will give you an understanding of how a digital camera works and how to interpret and evaluate photographic images.

You'll also learn how to compose a photographic image and how to expose a photograph correctly. You'll gain critical insight through the study of existing photographic images and the work of key photographers. As you progress your digital photography skills you'll produce a portfolio of your own images. Please note you're expected to use your own digital camera for this module. 

This module usually includes a field trip to Fountains Abbey.

The field trips for this module give an extra practical experience to the things that you learn in class which is fantastic.

Anne from the Netherlands

Read the full description of Introduction to digital photography in the module catalogue.

Miracles and magic in medieval England 

Step back in time and explore the mystical and enigmatic aspects of medieval England. In this course, you will uncover medieval records that chronicle extraordinary experiences, which in today's terms might be seen as supernatural – think miracle healings, journeys to the afterlife, and encounters with mystical beings.

This module delves into the obscure corners of England's past, inviting you to engage with tangible historical texts that provide a window into these extraordinary events. You will tap into the exclusive resources of the University of Leeds' special collections, giving you hands-on experience with historical documents. This module challenges aspiring historians to apply their skills to events that might initially seem beyond belief.

You will analyse the evidence, decipher the narratives, and gain a deeper understanding of the supernatural beliefs and experiences that shaped medieval England. The module includes a field trip to a location within Leeds or the local region. 

Module subject to final approval. 

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. This topic links to a field trip, usually to the National Science and Media Museum or Thackray Medical 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. This module will give you greater confidence in engaging in independent discussion and argument. 


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'll improve your own cultural awareness and learn how to factor in the role of culture in business situations. You'll have the opportunity to consider a variety of cultural influences. You'll 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.

While I come from a History and Politics field of study, I wanted to broaden my horizons and allow myself to think about my post undergrad years. This module seemed like a perfect way to get my feet wet in business studies while taking in an unfamiliar culture.

Ian from Canada

Read the full description of Business and cultural awareness in the module catalogue.

Ethics for business and society

Have you ever wondered about the true purpose of business? Is it purely to maximise profit, or are there other reasons we may want businesses to succeed? Do businesses have a duty to benefit society, or is their only purpose to benefit shareholders? How does this impact on real life business decisions? How does this impact on you, the consumer?

You’ll consider real world case studies outlining some of the ethical challenges faced by businesses and society. Ethical theory will include consequentialist theories such as utilitarianism and deontological theories such as Kantian ethics.

You will develop an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing business in modern society, from managing a complex supply chain, to considerations of sustainability.  

The module usually includes a field trip to the Marks and Spencer archive on the University campus and Kirkgate market in Leeds city centre. 

I enjoyed communicating with students from all over the world, and cooperating with them to finish group tasks and discussions.

Jiamin from China

Read the full description of Ethics for business and society in the module catalogue.

Engineering and Science

Cardiovascular health and diabetes: an introduction 

In our modern world, the rising prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, as well as diabetes, is a critical global health concern. This module provides an introduction to these complex health issues. You will explore the essential basics of the cardiovascular system's functioning and the intricate regulation of glucose and energy within the human body. These foundational insights will lay the groundwork for a deeper understanding of the biology of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

You'll delve into the pressing need for innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients, emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach. This knowledge is essential not only for future healthcare professionals but also for students pursuing non-medical and health-related programmes. Real-world examples will illustrate how individuals from diverse educational backgrounds can contribute to advancements in cardiovascular health and diabetes care.

The module includes a trip to a hospital or research laboratory. 

Module subject to final approval 

Computational thinking: unlocking the power of problem solving   

In a world where technology impacts every aspect of our lives, computational thinking is an invaluable skill. It's not just for computer scientists but for problem solvers in every field – from business to biology, from arts to engineering. In today's interconnected global landscape, computational thinking has become the universal language of innovation.   

This module will empower you to think like a computer scientist and discover how to approach complex challenges with clarity, creativity, and confidence. You will explore fundamental concepts such as decomposition, pattern recognition and abstraction. You will develop essential skills such as logical and algorithmic thinking and algorithm design. You will dive into real-world problems, breaking them down and solving them step by step. You will learn to harness the power of algorithms and abstract thinking to tackle even the most intricate challenges.

The module will include a field trip, industry visit, campus-based workshop or other practical activity. 

Module subject to final approval 

Engineering solutions for a sustainable world

In our ever-changing world, we encounter pressing sustainability issues, from ensuring affordable and clean energy to finding sustainable ways to produce food, manage water, and manufacture products for a growing global population. Solving these challenges calls for innovative engineering solutions grounded in the knowledge of chemical and process engineering.

In this module you will delve into the vital role of chemical engineering in tackling the global issues outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Throughout this course, you'll explore a wide range of sustainability challenges, such as carbon capture, renewable energy production, and the evolving field of biochemical engineering in healthcare. You'll engage with these topics through a mix of lectures, thought-provoking case studies, simulations, and interactive group discussions. The module places a strong emphasis on the latest research and real-world applications, giving you the chance to uncover cutting-edge engineering and technological solutions for sustainability challenges.

The module includes a field trip to a chemical and energy production facility in the Yorkshire region. This will provide you with a taste of the intersection between sustainability and engineering in action. 

Module subject to final approval 

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. Plant biotechnology has an important role in meeting these challenges. 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’ll develop practical skills in the synthesis of a recombinant DNA and insertion into a plant cell. You’ll gain first-hand experience of developing a GM plant and you’ll assess current projects to engineer enhanced crops. You’ll consider their potential to provide greater food security in the decades to come. The module usually includes a field trip to Yara Pocklington or Stockbridge Technology Centre.

Read the full description of Genetic engineering and genetically modified plants in the module catalogue

Social Sciences

Introduction to psychology: perception, cognition and emotion

Why do we do the things we do? Are we in control of our behaviour, or is the mind subject to influences we cannot control? How does the mind influence our behaviour, our reactions to our environment and the people we meet, and even how we perceive art? This module analyses how human behaviour has evolved and explores what makes us both human and fallible. 

You'll also gain an understanding of how our mind can play tricks on us, for better and for worse. You'll discover how developmental and social factors influence our behaviour. You'll explore core topics in psychology including neuroscience, perception, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, and social, developmental and abnormal psychology. 

The module usually includes a field trip to The Hepworth in Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The lectures were amazing and interesting and I really enjoyed the group presentation. It not only helped me to learn a lot of information about the topic but it also helped me to make great friends. 

Krishika from Canada

Read the full description of Introduction to psychology in the module catalogue.

View our block 1 modules.