Arts and Social Sciences

If you are coming to study any of the subjects in Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences, you’ll be enrolled onto the Arts & Humanities 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 & Humanities and Social Sciences subjects taught at UofG.  

The T2G Arts & Humanities 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 create the course that’s most suited to what you want to study. You’re free to pick any of the available electives – it doesn’t matter what you’re going onto study. Pick whatever you want to look at!  

Your T2G course will then have three parts: a core module, two electives, and one assignment. 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 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), how to deal with procrastination and perfectionism, and how to approach your academic writing.  

All Arts & Humanities 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

More courses to be confirmed!

You'll be able to select your choice of elective course after enrolment for T2G opens in August.

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 Head of Student Learning Development (SLD). Andrew manages the SLD team 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: 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 your discipline. 

Elective tutor: Dr Elina Koristashevskaya

Elina is Deputy Head of SLD, managing the team of Effective Learning Advisers and PhD Tutors who work with students in the Colleges of Arts, Social Sciences, and all UG and PGT International students 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 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: Dr 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. His PhD is 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: 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 tutor: Amber Hinde

Amber is one of the Effective Learning Advisers for International Students within SLD, and 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. 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!

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.


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.

T2G Elective: What is America?

This course will task us with answering the question: what is the United States of America?

We'll look at how the United States was founded, its core principles as a nation (if they exist), its view of itself, and how the concept of 'America' has been created since the time of the American Revolution in 1776. We'll look at some famous events in American history - from the Revolution and War for Independence, through slavery and its effects in the United States, to American foreign policy and its impact on the world. We'll look at how Americans view themselves and how non-Americans view the US, and we might even talk about how Star Trek and the Simpsons deploy American soft power across the globe.

Elective tutor: Dr Andrew Struan  

Andrew is the Head of Student Learning Development (SLD). Andrew manages the SLD team 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: Theory for the Terrified: Understanding and Using Critical Theory

'What is critical theory, what is it for, and how do I use it?'

These are perhaps questions you have asked yourself when thinking about starting your new courses of study; if not, they are likely questions that you will soon be thinking about when you do start your new courses of study! Thinking about critical theory and how to use it in an academic context can be confusing, or possibly even terrifying (if you ask course co-convenors Mona and Stuart about their experiences as students!). However, this course is designed to alleviate this uncertainty and allay these fears.

When we talk about 'critical theory', we mean a category of theories that examine and critique society and culture, typically with the ultimate aim of making improvements. They are theories that draw from an interdisciplinary base of knowledge and practice so, regardless of which subject you study, being able to understand and employ critical theory will likely be a key aspect of your courses. This course will provide the foundations for you to be able to do so, providing you with the opportunity to apply this knowledge and these skills to material relating your own subject areas.

The course will be taught via seminar-based classes, giving you the opportunity to learn, discuss, and engage with the critical theories covered in the course in a variety of ways and in relation to a range of materials.

Elective tutors: Dr Mona O'Brien and Dr 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. His PhD is 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.

Mona O’Brien is one of the Effective Learning Advisers for International Students, working in SLD. She works with students in all four Colleges, supporting them in transitioning to study at the University of Glasgow, understanding the academic context and expectations, and building key skills for academic success. Mona has a PhD in History, and her research investigates the relationships between the medical, social, and legal responses to illness and disease in Germany from the late Middle Ages until the eve of the Enlightenment. 

T2G Elective: The Art of Concise Writing: Fairy Tales and Haikus

Ever read a long email and wondered why the sender couldn’t get the point sooner? Or watched a longish video of something and wondered when the person would tell you about the content without beating around the bush? Well, this is the right course for you, then!

This course examines the art and practice of conciseness in writing by exploring the two most popular forms of concise, creative writing: fairy tales and haikus. We will investigate fairy tales and haikus to identify common elements of conciseness and then use them to formulate individual academic assignments. Borrowing from detective fiction, we will also look at the role of ‘Red Herrings’, ‘Chekov’s Guns’, and ‘MacGuffins’ in aiding concise arguments.

By working with different formats of concise literature, you will develop your style of writing concise arguments, reflecting on your practice, and collaborating with peers to learn from their good practice. This course requires no prior knowledge of literature, but a passion for fantasy and fiction is always an added advantage. Sessions will be a blend of discussions and workshops. And finally, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your learning by writing a short creative piece and a reflective piece analysing the strategies used to write your creative piece as well as its significance in developing your writing style.

Elective tutor: Rachel Lewis 

Rachel is a final year English Literature doctoral researcher with a passion for learning and teaching in the classroom. She is fascinated with depictions of gore and violence in fairy tales of the nineteenth century, and investigates how different aspects of medicine and disability are manifested behind the veil of magic. Rachel is also a PhD Tutor in SLD and in English Literature for first year students, as well as an English Language Tutor at Glasgow International College. 

T2G Elective: Theorising the Ludic Century

Theorising the Ludic Century explores how video games and video gaming have shaped contemporary literary and social life, and if the 21st century may be considered ‘the ludic century’ (that is, a century of spontaneous playfulness). The course studies fiction deploying video games as metaphors alongside critical perspectives to understand how video gaming influences today’s contemporary conflicts, as well as how video gaming has transformed concepts key to interpreting contemporary culture like escapism, work, addiction and play.

After taking this course, you will be able to engage thoughtfully with the social and cultural life of video games and gaming, as well as how new media interacts and influences older ones. This course is for anyone who wants to think more deeply about video games, gaming and their impact on our modern life.

Elective tutor: Francis Butterworth-Parr

Francis Butterworth-Parr is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. He researches how writers use video games as metaphors in contemporary literary culture. His favourite video game is either The Outer Wilds or Disco Elysium, and he is very bad at Call of Duty: Warzone. 

T2G Elective: Poetry for People Scared of Poetry

How do you feel about poetry? Many people dread this genre as much as a trip to the dentist because it seems so confusing, or because their English teacher managed it dryer than a piece of stale bread. But poetry does not have to be something you tie up, beat with a stick, and cut into a thousand little pieces.

Throughout this elective, we will survey what gives a poem energy by tasting a wide variety of poems. We’ll look at all kinds of poems, from traditional to digital forms, rap to nursery rhymes, and see how the scope of poetry can make us laugh, cry, fight, march for a cause, or just give us space to breathe. We will examine how poetry can also be found everywhere, from the memories of nan’s scones to the intricate necklaces of polypeptides. Our discussions will give you a chance to marvel at the hidden workings of a sweet factory and go home with a sample bag without having to become Willy Wonka. If you’d like to explore one of the broadest forms of art and sharpen your critical analysis skills while munching biscuits, this elective may be the one for you.

Elective tutor: Dr Jueunhae Knox

JuEunhae Knox is an early career researcher and PhD Tutor at the University of Glasgow and an External Supervisor with the Digital Humanities Institute at the University of Sheffield. She is currently studying the usage and effects of AI-produced poems against the practices of Instapoetry. Her PhD thesis at the University of Glasgow was the first of its kind to examine Instapoetry, poe(t/m)-tagging, and New Labor issues in light of post-Marxian capitalism.

T2G Elective: Freaks & Geeks, Rebels & Outcasts: Exploring the Coming of Age Narrative in Scottish and American Literature

In this creative writing course, we’ll delve into the concept of coming of age. Using readings from contemporary Scottish, British, and American novels and plays, we will explore elements of the craft of writing and how they relate to the coming-of-age narrative. We'll cover issues around voice, character, point of view, sense of place, relationships, etc.

In each class, we will engage in short, generative writing exercises to sharpen specific elements of your writing skills. All students will get the opportunity to take part in a writer’s workshop, where we will have the opportunity to read and offer feedback on short excerpts of each other’s writing. 

Elective tutor: Alyssa Osiecki

Alyssa Osiecki is an American novelist, playwright, and researcher pursuing her DFA in creative writing at the University of Glasgow. Her research has been featured in the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities Research Showcase at the University of Strathclyde and at the Oral History Society's Home Conference at London Metropolitan University. Her plays and audio dramas have been produced at Page to Stage Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Alternative Theater Festival and The Gray Hill Podcast. Her coming-of-age novel, The Rebel Grrl’s Guide to Love, was longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Prize.

T2G Elective: Whose Book is it Anyway?

This course will involve reading one novel, and asking three key questions: Who is telling the story? Whose story is being told? Whose story is not being told?

This interrogation will illuminate the constructed nature of narrative and encourage students to develop a critical stance to narratives they encounter in all areas of life. While the classes will focus on fiction, the critical perspective used can be applied to all narratives, such as other media, social conversation, news stories, and academic texts. Seminar-style classes will involve a lot of discussion and will offer you the space to share your views and respond to alternative perspectives. 

Elective tutor: Dr Mairi Power

Mairi joined the University of Glasgow as a staff member in 2018 and teaches on courses across Comparative Literature, English Literature, and SLD. She completed her MA(Hons), MLitt, and PhD at the University of Glasgow, within Comparative Literature and English Literature. Her PhD thesis explored technology and embodiment within Jennifer Egan’s fiction.

T2G Elective: Stories We Tell: Short Fiction and Identity

'We tell ourselves stories in order to live' -- Joan Didion, The White Album.

Why do we tell stories? How are the stories we tell connected to who we are? How do we express ourselves through words? This course will offer you the unique opportunity to explore the connection between fiction and identity through a series of very short stories by masters of the genre and some extracts from key critical texts on different identity theories: from nationality and race to gender and sexuality.

The course, which assumes no prior specialised knowledge, will be discussion-based. You will be asked to engage with a selection of texts and think about a series of questions ahead of each session, and the class will be a place for the exchange of ideas, discussion with others, and activities. At the end of the course, you will have a chance to demonstrate what you have learned both about the very short story form and theories of identity in two ways: by writing your own very short story and by producing a short critical analysis of your own piece informed by the theories you have learned during the course.

Elective tutor: Dr Aleix Tura Vecino

Aleix Tura Vecino is the Effective Learning Adviser for the College of Social Sciences. Aleix has a PhD in English Literature and, prior to working in SLD, taught in the English Departments of the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow. Aleix's research looks at short fiction and discourses of identity, exploring the ways in which we construct who we and others are through stories. Aleix has published book chapters and critical articles on this topic in various academic journals books.

T2G Elective: Make it Personal: Introduction to the Personal Essay & Creative Non-Fiction

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 over three years and she hosted an Introduction to World Building Masterclass through The Guardian in August 2021. 

T2G Elective: Relics in the Middle Ages and Reformation

In the early Middle Ages, relics - physical objects connected to saints - were central to the reinforcement and spread of Christianity. In the sixteenth century, however, the Protestant Reformation intentionally removed relics from churches and religious rituals. The first three seminars will apply theoretical frameworks from the Cognitive Science of Religion to study how early Christians used relics to spread the faith. The turbulent Reformation marked a break with medieval practices, and Protestants rejected relics in a search for other means to convey the traditions and history of the Church. The subsequent three seminars will examine how Catholicism and Protestantism continued to grow in a post-medieval Europe.

After taking this course, you will have gained the skills to critically analyse historical sources, while also learning new methods for the study of religious behaviours and beliefs.

Elective tutor: Jessica Leeper

Jessica Leeper is a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Student Learning Development and History. She moved to Glasgow for her MLitt. in Early Modern History and stayed for her PhD in Medieval History. Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach between the early Middle Ages and the Cognitive Science of Religion. She examined the writing of Gregory of Tours, a sixth century bishop from Tours, to understand how he reinforced the Christian religion in his 'Eight Books of Miracles'.

T2G Elective: Close Reading the Essay - An Introduction

This course engages with critically reading and analysing theoretical texts dealing with various literary and sociological topics. In doing so, we will consider approaching and analysing theoretical reading, as well as critically discussing and implementing this reading to build your own arguments.

The course will take the form of workshops. You will be expected to have read the set text for the workshop which we will then discuss and dissect. The workshops will therefore introduce you to approaching and engaging with secondary theoretical reading.

The course is open to all undergraduates from the Arts and Social Sciences. Moreover, there is no requisite of having knowledge of the subject prior to commencing the course.

Elective tutor: Jeehan Ashercooke

Jeehan is a PhD Tutor with Student Learning Development (SLD) working with students in the Colleges of Arts as well as Social Sciences. Jeehan is a DFA researcher in Creative Writing, specialising in transnational poetry to explore how as a cultural repository it can contribute to an understanding of contemporary migrant and diasporic identity. Her creative work has been published in various literary magazines and has won several awards.

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 third year PhD in Management (Organisational Behaviour) at the university, researching the effectiveness of gender diversity policies in Higher Education. With a multidisciplinary background, Lina holds degrees in Psychology, Global Health and Policy, and Human Resource Management. Lina is a dog mom and avid bread baker (my sourdough starter is older than both her pups). In her spare time, Lina enjoys wild hiking and fishing.