Information for Current Undergraduate and Study Abroad Students

students on campus

What can Is study?

You can choose any course, up to a maximum of ten credits from the following subject areas. Once you have chosen your preffered course, you can register below.

Creative Writing

+++

Intermediate short story writing

As Julio Cortázar once put it, ‘The novel wins by points, the short story by knockout.’ But how do you learn to deliver that killer line, vivid scene, unforgettable character or haunting ending? The pressure to condense the storytelling into fewer words pushes story writers to innovate and harness every stylistic, technical and formal muscle they can to bring it to life. For those already interested in creative writing, they offer a powerful training ground to develop new skills and produce stronger, more compelling writing. For those already honing their short story craft, learning new tricks is important to continually refresh and re-energise their practice. 

 Join this intermediate course for developing writers to learn further how to write short stories with drive, depth and ambition. Building on your previous experience of writing, this course offers a chance to kickstart your practice, hone your skills and discover inspiring new texts and techniques to take your work to the next level. 

 Over a series of talks, close-readings and stimulating writing exercises, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • more in-depth features of short stories including plot pacing, characterisation and narrative focus 
  • how to hone these techniques in your own writing 
  • how to more confidently share what you’ve written and improve with more detailed mutual feedback  

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars. 

 Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • more about what makes short stories work 
  • more intermediate skills to help you write short stories 
  • how to share your work and improve with mutual feedback 
  • (for those who submit for assessment) how to improve with written feedback, how to reflect on your writing process and how to build your own editorial skills 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Saturday)

Delivery: Online-live

Start date/time: 24th September: 10.00-12.00

---

+++

Introduction to Creative Non-Fiction: life writing, memoir and autofiction

Everyone has a story to tell about their life, but it can be hard to get down on paper. Life-writing, memoir, and autobiographical fiction (or autofiction) bring our real experiences to life on the page in different ways, helping us make sense of events and share our most important moments as compelling stories and reflections.  

Join this practical course to learn how to write about your life in new ways, from personal memories and engaging adventures to imaginative musings on your life. In other words, learn how to write what you know, well.  

Over a series of talks, close-readings and approachable writing exercises, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • the key features of life writing, memoir and autofiction including distinct techniques, structures, forms and styles 
  • how to try these ideas and techniques out in your own writing, share what you’ve written and improve with mutual feedback  
  • the ethical implications and options available when drawing on real life for inspiration 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars. 

 Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • more about how to write about real-life memories, experiences and reflections in imaginative new ways using prompts that kickstart or reenergise your writing 
  • how to share your work and improve with mutual feedback, then edit and refine your work  
  • more about the ethical implications and options available when drawing on real life for inspiration 
  • (for those who submit for assessment) how to improve with written feedback and how to reflect on your writing process. 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Tuesday)

Delivery: Online-live

Start date/time: 20th September: 18.30-20.30

---

+++

Introduction to Creative Writing

Do you love fiction, poems or real-life stories and would love to write one yourself? Are you buzzing with ideas but nervous and unsure where to start? Would you benefit from some guidance and encouragement on how to write?   

Join this playful and supportive practical course to learn the foundational skills central to four main types of creative writing: poetry, short story, novel and creative non-fiction. This course offers anyone new to creative writing a chance try these forms out with encouragement, support and guidance. 

Over a series of welcoming talks, close-readings and approachable writing exercises, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • the key features of different types of creative writing  
  • how to try these ideas and techniques out in your own writing 
  • (optional) how to share what you’ve written and improve with mutual feedback  

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • the basics of what makes a poetry, short story, novel and creative non-fiction, and how to write them 
  • writing prompts that kickstart new ideas 
  • how to share your work and improve with mutual feedback  
  • (for those who opt to submit for assessment) how to improve with written feedback and how to reflect on your writing process. 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Thursday)

Delivery: Online-live

Start date/time: 22nd September: 19.00-21.00

---

+++

Introduction to short story writing: getting started

Life can change in a heartbeat, and short stories are one of the best forms of writing to share that feeling. They can transport you to new worlds, characters and situations, just like a novel but in fewer words. Short stories are also a great place to learn how to write. They offer a fantastic training ground for anyone keen to rapidly experiment with new ideas, techniques and styles. So how do writers convey what Ali Smith calls the ‘momentousness of the moment’ in the ‘elastic form’ of short stories? What tips and tricks help create vivid characters, places and dilemmas in just a few words? 

Join this playful and practical beginner’s course to learn the foundational skills involved in writing short stories with encouragement, support and guidance.   

Over a series of welcoming talks, close-readings and approachable writing exercises, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • The key features of short stories  
  • how to apply these ideas and techniques to your own writing 
  • how to share what you’ve written with others and improve with feedback  

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars. 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • the basics of what makes short stories work 
  • key techniques to help you write short stories 
  • how to share your work and improve with mutual feedback 
  • (for those who submit for assessment) how to improve with written feedback, how to reflect on your writing process 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Monday)

Delivery: Onlive-live

Start date/time: 20th September: 19.00-21.00

---

History

+++

A history of the western seaboard of Scotland

For much of Scotland’s history the epicentre of social, political, economic and cultural change was not the mainland but the sea routes and Islands of the west coast. From the earliest settlements, the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riada, Viking invaders, the conquests of Somerled and early Christianity to the brutal events of Jacobitism, famine, clearance and mass emigration, the story of Scotland’s Western seaboard is one that stretches from the far side of history in legends and sagas to established facts and lasting legacy. 

Join this course to find out more about the fundamental events shaping this important territory from earliest pre-history to the turn of the twentieth century. 

Over a series of talks, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • the social, economic, political and cultural changes that took place in Scotland from the earliest times to the modern era 
  • the key stories, archives, sources and first-hand accounts available.  
  • the main historical debates concerning these times 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • Scotland’s social, political, economic and territorial development during this time 
  • more about the peoples who inhabited this region such as Gaelic, Norse, Viking, early Christians, the kingdom of Man and the Isles. 
  • more about the involvement of the Stewart kings, support for Jacobitism, as well the reasons behind emigration and clearance 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Monday)

Delivery: Online-live

Start date/time: 19th September: 10.00-12.00

---

+++

Road to War: Weimer Germany, Appeasement and Hitler, 1918-1939

‘Never again’ is the oft repeated warning concerning the Second World War. Part of preventing such a recurrence is a better understanding of its origins and causes. From defeat at the end of World War One, how did the new Weimer republic replace the German empire but then itself fragment and foster the rise of Hitler? How did Hitler transform Germany into a one-party dictatorship with renewed military ambitions? And how did Neville Chamberlain arrive at appeasement as a containment strategy and why did it fail so spectacularly?  

Join this course to find answers to these important questions in a comprehensive account of the unfolding crisis of the inter-war years. A history revealing worrisome parallels with our own unstable times. 

Over a series of talks, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • the key figures and events shaping Germany 1918-1939 and the UK’s policy of Appeasement from 1933-1939 
  • the key political, religious, and military developments that shaped these events 
  • the key archives, sources, and first-hand accounts available 
  • the main historical debates concerning these times 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • more about the key figures and specific events leading up to the Second World War including Hitler and Chamberlain. 
  • Germany and the UK’s social, political, military, economic and territorial development during this time 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Wednesday)

Delivery: Online-live

Start date/time: 28th September: 19.00-21.00

---

+++

Scotland in ten buildings

Scotland has a rich tradition of architecture, from the prehistoric settlements of Skara Brae and Kilmartin, through Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance castles and palaces, to the Victorian splendour of our city centres and beyond. This course offers case studies of ten significant structures in Scotland, including the contentious Scottish Parliament building. We’ll discuss the buildings themselves, the people who planned them, their historic and social contexts, the uses to which they were put, and the meanings they have had over the years.  

Areas you'll explore include: 

  • The architectural history of Scotland, through ten case studies of significant structures. 
  • How the various structures discussed in the course fit within their various architectural, historical and cultural contexts  

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to: 

  • Identify the key architectural styles encountered in Scotland, as evident through the case studies. 
  • Describe and discuss the social, political and cultural influences on Scottish architecture. 
  • Place Scottish buildings within their time frame and context. 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Wednesday)

Delivery: Online live

Start date/time: 21st September: 10.00-12.00

---

+++

Scotland under the early Stewart kings 1371-1603

After the failure of Robert the Bruce’s male line in 1371, the Stewarts emerged as Scotland’s ascendant royal dynasty. As nine monarchs, they embraced the Renaissance; entered into regal union with France; endured the Reformation; and entered into regal union with England to rule all of Britain in 1603. However, their ill-starred and romantic story leaves behind many questions. Was James I truly a tyrant? Was Mary, Queen of Scots, the ‘Harlot of Rome’? Was James VI the ‘wisest fool in Christendom’?  

Join us on this course to examine these questions and more on the impact and legacy of the House of Stewart. 

Over a series of talks, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • the key events shaping the politics, society, culture and economy of late medieval Scotland during 1371-1603 
  • the key stories, archives, sources and first-hand accounts available.  
  • the main historical debates concerning these times 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • more about the specific reigns of the different Stewart kings such as their economic expansion into the Baltic and their contribution to Renaissance art, science and literature. 
  • Scotland’s social, political, religious. economic and territorial development during this time 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Thursday)

Delivery: Online-live

Start date/time: 22nd September: 19.30-21.30

---

 

Literature

+++

The Scottish Gothic: fantastic and supernatural

The Gothic, with its claustrophobic spaces, brooding landscapes, dark secrets, and nightmarish visitations, is arguably, alongside Halloween, Scottish ghostly gift to the world. Romantic and Victorian fiction writers such as James Hogg, J.M. Barrie, Margaret Oliphant, Robert Louis Stevenson, and George MacDonald pioneered the genre, laying down a disturbing trend of supernatural storytelling that terrified readers for generations. But how did Scotland become the crucible for such disturbing fantasies? Why are we drawn to them? What kinds of anxieties around class, gender, sexuality, nationality, race, crime and capitalism do they vicariously explore? What is the legacy of these dark tales? 

Join this course to explore the dark art of Gothic storytelling in Scottish Romantic and Victorian literature and the wider cultural, social and political fears it brought to life via the sinister and supernatural.  

Over a series of talks and collective close-readings, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • The role of five key Scottish ghost-fiction writers in establishing a Scottish Gothic literary mode (namely James Hogg, J.M. Barrie, Margaret Oliphant, Robert Louis Stevenson, and George MacDonald) 
  • how specific notable stories from these writers employ literary techniques and devices to create specific reactions and how these conventions establish a Gothic genre or effects 
  • the broader historical context of these texts including the acute cultural, social and political anxieties lurking in their representation of the supernatural, fantastic and sinister. 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • more about several important Scottish ghost story writers, how they established the Gothic literary mode and how it came to partly define the character of Scottish literature at this time 
  • how to closely analyse specific stories to understand how certain effects were created and articulate what you find 
  • more about the broader historical context of the stories and how the supernatural offered an imaginative space to explore specific social anxieties   

Over a series of talks and collective close-readings, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • The role of five key Scottish ghost-fiction writers in establishing a Scottish Gothic literary mode (namely James Hogg, J.M. Barrie, Margaret Oliphant, Robert Louis Stevenson, and George MacDonald) 
  • how specific notable stories from these writers employ literary techniques and devices to create specific reactions and how these conventions establish a Gothic genre or effects 
  • the broader historical context of these texts including the acute cultural, social and political anxieties lurking in their representation of the supernatural, fantastic and sinister. 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars  

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • more about several important Scottish ghost story writers, how they established the Gothic literary mode and how it came to partly define the character of Scottish literature at this time 
  • how to closely analyse specific stories to understand how certain effects were created and articulate what you find 
  • more about the broader historical context of the stories and how the supernatural offered an imaginative space to explore specific social anxieties 

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Tuesday)

Delivery: Online-live

Start date/time: 20th September: 19.00-21.00

---

Philosophy

+++

Philosophy of the self

As Socrates once put it, ‘to know thyself is the beginning of wisdom’ but what is a ‘self’ and how can it examine itself? How often have we been influenced, surprised ourselves, changed our minds, or not wanted to see who we really are? Amid all the challenges of living, is it possible for anyone to understand their own nature and is it meaningful to try?  

Join this reflective course to contemplate anew the deceptively simple question of ‘who am I?’ To answer this question, explore several key figures in the Western Philosophical tradition, from the ancient Greeks to modern times, and examine their approaches to ‘the self’ and what it might mean. Overall, find an ideal starting point for anyone new to philosophy and curious to learn more.  

Over a series of talks and key texts, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • the key philosophical problems and arguments concerning the self, including: 
  • the nature of personal identity and self-knowledge 
  • the value of character and integrity 
  • the meaning of authenticity 
  • Introduce students to some of the key figures in the Western Philosophical tradition from Aristotle, Descartes, Hume and Sartre, to Freud, Foucault and others. 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars  

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • The basic philosophical problems and arguments concerning the self in the work of key figures in the Western Philosophical tradition from Classical to modern times 
  • How to share your thinking in discussion and learn from others 
  • (if assessment taken) how to evaluate these ideas in writing and illustrate your thinking with examples

Credits: 10

Weeks: 10 (every Thursday)

Delivery: Online-live

Start date/time: 22nd September: 19.00-21.00

---

Register