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 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.

Reparations for historical injustices

Societies are significantly shaped by their histories. But how do we reckon with our past when it involves large-scale injustices such as, for example, slavery, genocide or colonialism? This module examines recent debates in moral and political philosophy that have aimed to answer this problem.

In the first week, you’ll consider the question of who might have a responsibility to make reparations. You’ll also consider to whom this responsibility could be owed. In the second week, you’ll explore the different forms that reparations can take. Throughout the module, you’ll use these philosophical explorations to assess real life historic injustices.

The module usually includes a field trip to the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. 

Read the full description of Reparation for historical injustices in the module catalogue.

The Norman Conquest: society, warfare and gender in the Middle Ages 

The Norman Conquest of 1066 is one of the most memorable events in English history. In a single battle on 14 October 1066, the Norman forces led by Duke William of Normandy defeated the English elite, including their king, Harold. The consequences of 1066 have long provoked debates among historians, especially among those who stress English continuity and those who argue for complete Norman transformation of England.

The module will focus on the newest and most innovative approaches to the Conquest and will highlight how historians and archaeologists have come to question formerly accepted understandings of the Conquest.     

Read the full description of The Norman Conquest in the module catalogue.

Business

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

Beyond biology: concepts of life and building artificial life  

Trying to understand what life is, what it means, and why it is the way that it is are arguably humankind's most enduring (and challenging) questions. They take us on a journey of personal and existential discovery.

In this module, you’ll explore what makes life such a difficult concept to comprehend. You’ll also discover ways in which we can build life-like structures. If we push against our boundaries of this knowledge we may arrive at a general theory of life and bold model of how to use it.

In this module, you’ll explore some of the steps along this journey from both a philosophical and scientific perspective.

Module subject to final approval. 

Data mining and text analytics

Big data is becoming more and more important in fields from science to marketing, engineering, medicine and government. This module introduces the principles of data mining and text analytics. You'll apply these principles in practical exercises with a data mining toolkit and real data. You'll compare a range of different techniques and algorithms and evaluate their performance. 

You'll take part in practical team work as part of a data mining and text analytics challenge. You're not expected to have previous expertise in data mining but you should be familiar with using and creating data files. For example, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos, Wikipedia web pages, Twitter/Facebook or other social media data.

Please note you're expected to use your own laptop for this module. Before the summer school, you must have set up user accounts at kaggle.com and a video streaming site eg YouTube. You'll also need to download the free WEKA data mining toolkit from the WEKA open-access website. The module usually includes a field trip to the National Science and Media Museum. 

My first time trying a totally different subject which was challenging and interesting. Data mining will be helpful for my postgraduate study in the future.

Yuheng from China

Read the full description of Data mining and text analytics 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. 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

Conflict analysis in international politics: causes, negotiation and resolution

Are you interested in gaining an understanding of the evolving field of conflict analysis? This module provides an introduction to the nature and causes of armed conflicts as well as their resolution.

Initially the module focuses on motivations driving different forms of conflict, for example, greed versus grievance and ethnicity. The second part of the module introduces types of interventions to conflicts and methods of conflict resolution. This is an interdisciplinary module with elements of traditional conflict management approaches combined with contemporary scientific studies on cooperation and conflict.

Field trips for this module in the past have included a visit to the city of York and the Cold War Bunker.

It was a fantastic course and I am very glad I chose to study it. The content, both theory and practical activities, was very good and contributed to getting to know my classmates.

Todd from Australia

Read the full description of Conflict analysis in international politics in the module catalogue.

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 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.