Arts and Social Sciences

If you are coming to study any of the subjects in Arts and Social Sciences, then you’ll be enrolled onto the Arts and Social Sciences T2G course. This will mean you’ll be completing your T2G course with other students from similar subject backgrounds, and you’ll get to pick from a range of electives that cover the broad range of Arts and Social Sciences subjects taught at UofG.  

The T2G Arts and Social Sciences course will allow you to take part in large lectures that cover some of the core elements of working, researching and studying in our subjects.  

In your electives, you’ll be able to select two courses that most interest you. In other words, you’ll be able to make up the course that’s most suited to what you want to study and do. You’re free to pick any of the available electives – it doesn’t matter what you’re going onto study later. Pick whatever you want to look at!  

Your T2G course will then have three parts: a core module plus your two elective modules. Your core module will run on Mondays and Fridays; your electives will run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays of each week.  


T2G Core Module

Your T2G core module will provide you with the introduction to studying and working at the University. Through large online lectures and asynchronous (access any time) materials, you’ll be introduced to things like the ways in which markers assess and grade your work, what your subjects will be looking for in your assessments, the underlying principles of research and investigation at university (including how to conduct critical evaluation and analysis in our subjects), and how to approach your academic writing.  

All Arts and Social Sciences students on T2G will complete the core module. Think of the core module as the guide to how to study for and take part in our electives and in your degree!  

Elective choices

T2G Elective: History of Argument

Have you ever had an imaginary argument with your Nemesis in the shower or come up with the perfect response to a point after the debate has finished? This elective will teach you some of the ways in which we build up effective, powerful arguments. We’ll do this by looking at Classical and modern models of rhetoric, and then applying these models to various important texts through time.  

You’ll get the opportunity to learn about topics ranging from the American Declaration of Independence and the Indians of All Tribes Proclamation at Alcatraz in San Francisco to one of the most important books on gender/sex relations and how modern politicians frame arguments to win/lose points (think: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson). 

Argumentation is all around us and is an art form. This elective will allow you to learn from the best – and go on to debate and argue with the best!  

Elective tutor: Dr Andrew Struan  

Andrew is the Writing and Study Skills Co-ordinator in SLD. Andrew manages the team of Effective Learning Advisers in the development of academic literacies for all students. Andrew is also the Programme Co-ordinator for the largest course of any university in the UK, the Academic Writing Skills Programme. Andrew’s research is in political history; he looks at the ways in which language and political debate shape our conceptions of ideas/peoples/practices, and how this changes over time. Andrew has spoken and published widely on student learning, student writing and British politics. His PhD was in networks of political knowledge at the time of the American Revolution.  

T2G Elective: Creative Writing: Exploring Writing Through Play

In this elective, you will have the opportunity to craft your writing and communication skills through creative writing. This elective will look at the elements needed to be successful at writing through the lens of creativity. It will be a chance for you to break all the rules in order to better understand your purpose in writing, and it will encourage you to use play to improve your writing skills. You will be asked to read Creative Writing texts in order to participate in class discussions and write your own short pieces of creative text. 

Elective tutor: Dr Sally Gales 

Originally from South Florida, Sally obtained a Doctorate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow and currently lives and teaches in Scotland. Her work has appeared in the anthology, Scotland after the Virus, and is forthcoming in New Writing Scotland 39. In addition to teaching creative writing, Sally has worked with SLD for almost three years and she will be hosting an Introduction to World Building Masterclass through The Guardian in August 2021. 

T2G Elective: Film Censorship in History

This elective explores historical film censorship practices. You will discuss censorship systems from different countries, films that had a hard time getting through them, experiences of being censored, and ways to resist. The elective will encourage you to consider the complexities of film censorship and see censored films as historical documents that can tell us a lot about the diversity of social, political and religious values held around the world. 

Elective tutor: Dr Julia Bohlmann 

Julia is an Effective Learning Adviser in SLD with a background in Film Studies. Julia was part of the 'Early Cinema in Scotland' research project ( which mapped cinemas and film locations in Scotland during the silent era. Julia’s research focused on how cinemas were regulated in Scotland and established that its approach differed significantly from the rest of the UK. 

T2G Elective: Let’s Play with Academia!

This elective will give you a brief overview of Game Studies as an academic discipline, but more importantly, it will situate higher education as a site of playfulness and demonstrate the ways that cultivating a playful mindset can enhance academic work. The elective will use a combination of lectures and seminars, combined with live let’s plays of video games to teach skills such as close reading and research question generation. 

Elective tutor: Gabriel Elvery 

Gabe is a Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith PhD researcher investigating the affects of single-player, narrative-driven video games using Fantasy theory. They are Vice Editor of Press Start Journal, a member of the Games and Gaming Lab at the University of Glasgow, and a GTA for SLD. 

T2G Elective: Becoming a Cultural Critic

This elective will provide a beginning to the theory and practice of cultural criticism; a field that aims to comment on and shift the power dynamics of society by critiquing the stories we tell about ourselves and others, and the way that we tell them. We will introduce wide variety of rigorous critical frameworks in a fun and accessible way, drawing on my experience in theatre, by using games and practical activities to explore weighty topics. 

This elective asks you to think deeply about such issues as identity, representation, oppression, and commodification. 
Through this elective you will encounter new insights on the cultural products you consume, as well as discovering the valuable tool of cultural criticism to make wider comments on society. If you have ever had a strong reaction to a film, a TV programme, a book, or a play, and have wanted more vocabulary and concepts to describe your response, this is the elective for you. 

Elective tutor: Simon James Holton 

Simon is in their final year of a PhD in Theatre Studies, examining artist collectives in times of austerity. They have a background in producing theatre, live art, and dance, and use this background to organise events which promote critical discussion around performance. They are fascinated by the structural conditions in which performance and culture are produced, as well as the ways in which that performance and culture might speak back to, and rework, the society of which it forms a part. 

T2G Elective: Why do we Write Like That? Understanding Academic Writing in Your Discipline

This practical course will introduce you to popular methods of corpus analysis (text analysis on a large scale), which you will use to identify features of academic writing that are common in your subject area. You will learn how to use practical tools and methods of text analysis, and build a ‘style guide’ for writing in their discipline. 

Elective tutor: Dr Elina Koristashevskaya 

Elina is the Effective Learning Adviser for the College of Social Sciences, working in SLD at the University of Glasgow. Her teaching expertise is in academic writing, assessment and feedback practice, and technology enhanced learning. Her academic background is in English Language and Linguistics, and her research interests include experimental methods in the Humanities, computer-assisted analysis of texts, and corpus stylistics. 

T2G Elective: The Power of Language

How does the language we use hold the power to change the way we see the world? Does talking about cancer as a ‘battle’ impact our experience of the disease? How can a scientific article manifest as click-bait in the media? What has Ancient Greece got to do with how world leaders respond to the pandemic? Does it matter if a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit? These are just some of the important questions we will be tackling during this course. We will be considering the power of language across five key areas – Science, Health, Politics, News Media, and Law – and in each class we will consider a different aspect of English Language & Linguistics in these spheres, for example, examining the impact of metaphors on discussions of ‘Health’. After taking this course, you will begin to think twice about the language you encounter daily and become more aware of the influence that even a single word can have. While it can be difficult to resist the pervasive pull of language, this course will enable you to encounter language from a deeper perspective and interrogate how, why, and where we use the power of language.  

 Course tutors: Dr Ewan Hannaford and Amber Hinde 

Amber is a PhD researcher in English Language & Linguistics, exploring the rhetoric of health and wellness in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain. Amber spend lots of her time in archives getting excited about old bread advertisements and menus for vegetarian restaurants. Alongside her research, she works with students as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for English Language & Linguistics and SLD. When she's not busy researching and teaching, She's usually lost in a good book or on a long walk with her Japanese Shiba Inu puppy, who is aptly named Meeko after the cheeky raccoon in Pocahontas! 

Ewan is a research assistant in English Language & Linguistics, who has just completed a PhD investigating representations of illness in the UK and US press. As some of his family have medical backgrounds, he’s always had an interest in how we perceive illness and how language mediates this perception, especially through the media. As you can imagine, there are no shortage of newspaper articles on illness to examine, so his research adopts a corpus linguistic approach, which involves gathering large collections of text (in his case, lots of newspaper articles) and computationally examining these for interesting features and patterns. As well as his research, he’s taught and lectured for SLD and the English Language & Linguistics department at the University of Glasgow for several years. 

T2G Elective: (Gender) Equality and Diversity in Organisations

“Yes, it is still an issue... People see one woman get a CEO role or voted in as Prime Minister and they think it's job done. It's not.” (Gill Whitty-Collins, British writer, speaker and consultant) 
Being aware of existing inequalities is the first step towards gender equity. Therefore, this elective will introduce the current state of gender equality and diversity and the debate surrounding inequalities within broader organisational contexts. You will learn about the different approaches to combat inequalities and their effectiveness. The course will draw on a variety of key materials, including academic journal and magazine articles, book chapters, videos, and podcasts. 

 Elective tutor: Lina Seidlitz 

Lina is a PhD student in Organisational Behaviour, researching the effectiveness of gender diversity policies in Higher Education. With a multidisciplinary background, Lina hold degrees in Psychology, Global Health and Policy, and Human Resource Management. Lina is a crazy dog mom and avid bread baker (her sourdough starter is older than her pug-pup). 

T2G Elective: ‘The Medium is the Message’: An Introduction to Critical Media Studies

Beginning with Marshall McLuhan’s pivotal proposition that ‘the medium is the message’ – that is, the medium (mode/platform/style of delivery) of any message is just as important (if not more so!) than the content of the message and requires just as much critical attention – this elective introduces the key tenets of media studies.  
In the current context, where we are constantly bombarded by information from various sources and with differing agendas, it perhaps more important than ever that we are sceptical about the content we consume and recognise the role the medium plays in how we consume it.  

Regardless of which subject you study, being able to critically analyse content across a range of sources is one of the primary intended learning outcomes of University education. 

Elective tutor: Stuart Purcell 

Stuart Purcell is the Effective Learning Adviser for the College of Arts, working in SLD. He currently lectures on most degrees across the College of Arts, focusing in particular on critical research. He is also in the process of completing his PhD in English Literature and Media Studies at the University, with his thesis addressing (very) contemporary literary practice and Twitter as ‘a future’ of the novel. He has published and presented internationally on literature, media studies, and experimental methods in the Humanities.  

T2G Elective: Key Thinkers in Education

In this course, you’ll look at some of the key thinkers in Education that have shaped the way we teach and learn. You’ll reflect on how these thinkers may have shaped your experience of education thus far. During this reflection, you’ll be invited to talk about what worked for you, what didn’t, and why. However, we’ll not only reflect on past experiences. You’ll also look forward to your upcoming studies here at the University of Glasgow. You’ll think about how the same key thinkers in education shape this. Form that, you’ll try to predict what your experience is going to be like, what will work for you and what might be more challenging.  

 Elective tutor: Dr Micky Ross 

Micky is an Effective Learning Adviser for International Students in SLD, and he has a special interest in Education and especially “how we learn as students”. This was part of the focus on his PhD in Education, where he reflected on his past experiences of education and tried to understand them. That’s been part of the inspiration for this course. He really thinks that learning more about ourselves and our experiences are the first steps toward success as a student.  


T2G Elective: Environment, Sustainability and Health

The social, cultural and economic impacts of the climate emergency and a global ageing society are some of the biggest challenges we face in the world today. This course explores how some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) around environmental sustainability and health can help us understand how we respond to these challenges. We will look at how academic research, organisations and individuals have responded to the UN SDG and explore technologies and strategies for achieving sustainable development as well as strategies of communication which can help people change their behaviour and habits for a better future.

Elective Tutors: Jennifer Challinor; Christopher Masafu; Solveiga Zibaite 

Jennifer Challinor is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in Dumfries. She is researching what makes for a sustainable, intergenerational and caring community. She has a background in anthropology and community development and has worked in both the UK and internationally. Jennifer is also the Head of Research and Development at the Crichton Trust in Dumfries.

Christopher Masafu is a scientist with experience in hydrology, hydrogeology, and hydraulics with particular interests in integrated water resources management, flood risk and water resource issues. He studies river systems from the global to infrastructure scale and is interested in what new science can be learnt from experiments with new data sources and techniques. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Glasgow on novel artificial intelligence techniques for flood hazard mapping.

Solveiga Zibaite is a Social Anthropologist. Her PhD project, based out of the End of Life Studies Group at the University of Glasgow, is an ethnography of the Death Café movement in the United Kingdom. Her research interests include existential anthropology, online memorial cultures and sociological aesthetics.

T2G Elective: Discarding the 'Dark Ages'

The ' Dark Ages' are frequently referenced as source material in the modern day: from film and TV (both historical and fantasy) to political rhetoric. But how accurate is our understanding of the period? In this elective, you will meet four figures from the medieval period and discuss some of the key issues their lives embodied - power, conflict, belief, and gender. You will gain a sense of the true breadth and complexity of the middle ages, learn how to critically analyse historical sources, and think about the relationship between Western history and contemporary culture.

Tutors: Jennifer Boyle and Joanna Royle 

Jennifer is the Writing Adviser for postgraduate researchers at the University of Glasgow, working with PhD students from across all disciplines. Her PhD is in early medieval history. Her research focuses on religious change in late sixth and early seventh century Francia, reassessing documentary and archaeological evidence, and employing alternative theoretical models to understand how and why religious beliefs and behaviour changed.

Joanna is the Researcher Development Manager, overseeing the skills programme for PhD students at the University of Glasgow. Joanna came to Glasgow as an undergraduate and decided she never wanted to leave, ultimately staying for her doctoral research.   Her PhD examined what was valued, normative, and recognisable in the visionary landscape of women in twelfth-century England, using Christina of Markyate as a case study.