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Academic workshops

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Delivered by our enthusiastic academics, our taster sessions are designed to give your students a flavour of studying a subject at undergraduate level. These sessions are aimed at Key Stage 4 and 5 learners and can be delivered virtually to your classroom, at your school or college or as part of a visit to our Colchester campus.


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Hot Topic - Climate Action Activity

For many, climate change and the implication on the natural world are one of humanity’s most pressing concerns – in a recent survey 86% of adults and children put the climate crisis at the top of their list for what they wish to see meaningful action on.

Professor Jules Pretty, current Chair of the Essex Climate Action Commission and Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex, has developed an engaging workshop to educate young learners on low-carbon living and provide practical tips on reducing our carbon footprint both at home and in school. He is also able to share some of his own extensive research and current evidence in the importance of tackling these critical issues.


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Humanities

Edge Hotel School

Making money in running hotels and events

Perfect for introducing students to the world of hospitality and events, this taster session provides a snapshot of the financial side of the sector. 

Hotels and events are businesses like any other, and make large profits, often for small independent owners. Throughout the session, students will be shown how to improve a business, raise its results and enjoy the extra profits.

An excellent introduction for groups of students interested in managing and owning a hotel, restaurant or event venue.


Book an academic workshop with Edge Hotel School

Sustainable Hotel

The aim of this session is to give students insights into the amazing and diverse jobs and career options available in the Hospitality Industry as well as getting them to recognise that the industry has both a moral and commercial responsibility to consider and respond to the environmental and sustainability issues which affect all modern businesses.

Based on real work experiences, this multiple choice scenario activity challenges students to think like senior management and ensure their business is considerate of the environment, customer needs and budget requirements. 

Book a member of our team to deliver this session for your students, or we can provide the necessary resources for you to deliver the session, including a facilitator pack. 


Book an academic workshop with Edge Hotel School

Managing a worldwide album launch

Dive into the world of Events Management with this taster session, as students organise an album launch for a global rock band.

While developing their planning skills, students will look at the details and considerations necessary to organise a large-scale, big-budget, high-profile event. 

From taking the client brief to finding venues in a foreign country, to organising the launch event, press interviews and a celebrity post-launch party, this session will help students to explore whether they have the skills necessary for a fast-paced, multi-skilled role within Events Management. 


Book an academic workshop with Edge Hotel School

Department of History

Apartheid, racial segregation and human rights

This session aims to increase students’ awareness of racial segregation and its historic significance.

We will highlight an important case study of Apartheid in South Africa from 1948-1994 and encourage students to recognise the importance of activism and struggle for human rights during the second part of the 20th century.

We will also discuss how the study of history can be thematic, as well as chronological, and will identify the relevant entry requirements for studying history at the University of Essex.


Book an academic workshop with Department of History

Britain and britishness

This taster session offers an ideal introduction to the place of 'Britishness' in historical study, as well as a wider introduction to studying history at an undergraduate level.

Students will explore the theoretical approach to history known as 'identity', applying this to a context of British decolonisation between 1945 and 1970. They will encounter the idea that decolonisation affected people's sense of 'Britishness' and thus encouraged change in the social and political world. Trump, Brexit and the rise of nationalism have all captured an identity with the past.

This session is also designed to teach students about history at a university level, showing students how professional historians construct and use history.


Book an academic workshop with Department of History

Social reform in 1890-1920 United States

The years between 1890 and 1920 saw huge changes in the United States. Social reform altered the face of the country, with impacts lasting to this very day.

This taster session introduces students to the key events which shaped that social reform, including changes to labour and education across the country.

Students will identify links between these reforms and the rights-based movements in the ensuing decades, discussing the contributions that grassroots campaigners have made throughout this period of history.


Book an academic workshop with Department of History

School of Law

The Law Clinic

Discover the Essex Law Clinic, which benefits the Essex community by offering free initial advice about legal problems. 

Its aim is to help those who live, study or work in Essex, and who cannot obtain legal advice in other ways or afford to pay for a lawyer. University students volunteer at the Clinic to experience working alongside qualified lawyers and clinical teaching staff and advise real clients.  

This session introduces students to projects within the Clinic to provide them with a better insight of the justice system and one of the many fantastic opportunities on offer for students at The University of Essex.


Book an academic workshop with School of Law

Private law

For students particularly interested in studying Law at undergraduate level, this introductory session will cover the module content included in the area of Private Law.

From contract law, tort and company law to name but a few, students will also discuss topical issues relevant to the module.

Discover the taster session below on Public Law too for your students to get an all-round experience of studying with the School of Law.


Book an academic workshop with School of Law

Public law

For students particularly interested in studying Law at undergraduate level, this introductory session will cover the module content included in the area of Public Law.

From human rights, criminal law, international law to name but a few, students will also discuss topical issues relevant to the module.

Discover the taster session above on Private Law too for your students to get an all-round experience of studying with the School of Law.


Book an academic workshop with School of Law

Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Creating a synopses

This session consolidates knowledge on specific GCSE/A Level set texts, relevant to your students.

Using close textual analysis, students will practise using inference and evidence to construct ideas about synopses. They'll also share ideas to develop their discussion and creative writing skills to create their own synopses for books.

Students will also get the chance to practice their public speaking and presentation skills with peer review feedback.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Analysing Shakespearean texts

Focusing on specific GCSE/A-Level Shakespearean texts, this session will look at developing students’ ability to read, understand and explore personal responses.

Students will develop their analytical skills as they explore rhythm, language form and structure to explore meanings and effects from the texts. They'll also have the opportunity to rewrite a Shakespearean extract in a modern context.

The session can be adapted for either a literature or drama context, with more focus on performing the re-written piece in a drama context.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

School of Philosophy and Art History

The Ethics of Triage

Triage is the process for allocating scarce life-saving medical resources in circumstances where demand swamps supply. What ethical principles should we use in navigating triage situations, and what can we learn from the history of triage? Should the success of a triage programme be measured strictly in terms of its success in saving as many lives as possible, or are there constraints on the means adopted in pursuing that end?

The session will look at the way triage was approached in the NHS during the early days of the COVID pandemic, but we will also take a longer view, considering the different approaches to triage that were taken by the 19th British Navy and by Napoleon's army. 


Book an academic workshop with School of Philosophy and Art History

The Judgment of Adam

In the Book of Genesis, Adam is offered the forbidden fruit by Eve and he decides to eat it. God punishes both Adam and Eve and all subsequent generations of human beings. The session will use the paintings of Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder in order to think through the philosophical, theological and ethical issues. What would you do if you were Adam or Eve? Would you eat the apple? Why or why not? What if you were appointed God to serve as Adam's defence attorney at a trial? How would you defend Adam or Eve in a criminal proceeding? And what does all this tell us about the God of Genesis, about the nature of authority - or about ourselves?


Book an academic workshop with School of Philosophy and Art History

'The Myth of Sisyphus

According to the Greek myth, Sisyphus was eternally condemned to push a rock to the top of a mountain - only to have it fall back down. Sisyphus' crimes involved betraying the gods, clinging to life, and cheating death. In the 20th Century, Albert Camus argued that we should see Sisyphus as a sort of role-model, and 'absurd hero'. What did he mean? And how are we to assess his account of the continuing significance of this ancient myth? 

This talk will introduce the myth of Sisyphus and the question of its philosophical significance.


Book an academic workshop with School of Philosophy and Art History

Why do I care what other people think about me (and why is that so dangerous)?

Why do humans desire to be admired by others? How is this desire for recognition implicated in the rise of vices and evils that disfigure modern societies? In this taster session we look at the fascinating answers to these questions that Jean-Jacques Rousseau outlines in his "Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Human Beings" (1755) - a book that is rightly considered to be one of the first and foremost examples of modern social criticism.


Book an academic workshop with School of Philosophy and Art History

Making Better People: The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancements

The ethics of enhancement deals with ethical questions associated with out ever increasing capacity to biotechnologically improve human functioning: be it physical, mental, or emotional. In this session we want to explore the question, what, if anything, is morally problematic, about enhancing future persons or oneself. 


Book an academic workshop with School of Philosophy and Art History

Social Sciences

Department of Economics

Introduction to Economics

How can we use economics to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy? What possible implications will the worldwide health crisis have for us and future generations?

For students interested in studying Economics, this session will provide an introduction to the subject at an undergraduate level while incorporating current topics and affairs to add context to their learning. 

Students will discover how Economics can help us to understand the effect of real-world problems on our economy and the possible policy implications.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Economics

Essex Business School

Academic subject talks

Discover a variety of sessions within Essex Business School, delivered to you via live and on-demand content. These sessions can be delivered both virtually and in person.

EBS will welcome your students and provide an introduction to undergraduate study, followed by a taster session on one of the following topics:

  • Finance – An Introduction to Portfolio Theory – Dr Sam Astill
  • Management – How and why we study organisations – Dr Louise Nash
  • Accounting – More than just numbers? – Dr Danson Kimani
  • Entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurship at Essex – Dr Marta Fernandez De Arroyabe Arranz

Following the taster session, the EBS Marketing Team will return to the virtual classroom to summarise the session, provide information on next steps, and students will have the opportunity to ask any questions.


Book an academic workshop with Essex Business School

Marketing/Advertising Challenge

Students will be introduced to several different areas of marketing, with a particular focus on digital marketing techniques. After discussing various techniques we will watch some examples of video adverts and discuss their impact. The students will then be split into small groups and be given a short amount of time to design and film their own short advert for an item we’ll provide. Students will be able to explore more of the EBS building and campus during whilst they carry out this task. Each advert will then be shared with the whole group and discussed.

The task itself makes references to the following areas of marketing and advertising.

  • Marketing vs advertising
  • Digital marketing techniques
  • Video production
  • Psychology of brands

This activity helps to bring the reality of a career in marketing and advertising to life. Students are exposed to advertising messages every day of their lives but may not often stop to think about the thoughts behind the advert or the impact it might have on both the consumer and the brand. We will also aim to dispel common misconceptions about marketing and advertising.


Book an academic workshop with Essex Business School

N.B. For the marketing/advertising challenge, students will be required to use their own mobile devices. Each group will therefore need at least one student to be in possession of a smartphone which they are happy to use for filming their video clip and then submitting at the end. This activity also depends on having sufficient staff numbers (including school staff, EBS staff and Essex student ambassadors) to supervise each group when they leave the room/building to film their adverts.


Financial Planning 

Join us on campus where students will be challenged to complete a fun task which involves working in small teams to build a Lego tower. They will have to plan their build before the execution phase. Once the towers are complete students will calculate the profit or loss generated by their project and a winner will be crowned. We’ll then reflect on the project planning and financial management skills we have witnessed before relating what we have learned to real world construction project examples.

This activity is a fun way to put essential finance, accounting and management skills into context and helps students to understand some of the topics that may be included when studying a business management, accounting or finance degree at university.
The task itself and the reflections we make may include references to:

  • Financial management/planning
  • Project management
  • Fixed/variable costs
  • Profit/loss
  • Corporate reputation

After we have concluded the task and made our reflections we will discuss the relevant courses available for students to study at UK universities, potential employment options and the entry requirements, application process and benefits for these courses at Essex Business School, University of Essex.


Book an academic workshop with Essex Business School

Consultancy Challenge

Join us on campus where students will be presented with a business case study for a fictional local business. They will need to read and interpret the case study which will include basic financial performance data. They will then work in teams to carry out a SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. They will be expected to include information they have gained from reading the case study as well as their own knowledge of

the type of products and services the business offers. Each team will be asked to share part of their SWOT analysis with the whole group and we will discuss.

This activity is a good example of the sort of case studies students may be presented with during seminars and group work/discussions at university. They will need to work as a team and interpret both financial data and written information. They will also be expected to draw on their own experiences as consumers which is another important skill for university.

The task itself and the reflections we make may include references to:

  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  • Revenue sources
  • Fixed/variable costs
  • Consultancy

After we have concluded the task and made our reflections we will discuss the relevant courses available for students to study at UK universities, potential employment options and the entry requirements, application process and benefits for these courses at Essex Business School, University of Essex.


Book an academic workshop with Essex Business School

Department of Government

What is International Relations?

Discover the what, why and how of International Relations in this taster session that will provide your students with an introduction to the subject at undergraduate level. 

This taster session offers an ideal introduction to a subject that is new to many students, yet poses real relevance to their lives.

Students will gain an insight into the wide range of topics involved within International Relations and how it connects to, but is different from Politics. 


Book an academic workshop with Department of Government

Social media and democracy

Many think that social media has been bad news for democracy. What was its role in recent elections? In the EU referendum? Can we really be manipulated by our social platforms?

In this taster session, students will look at the big worries - fake news, Russian bots, and echo chambers - and provocatively suggests that things really aren't so bad after all. 

By comparing social media to the press, this session builds on but moves beyond the traditional 'media effects' syllabus.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Government

Trump-Biden 2020

The 2020 US Presidential election became a focal point for the world in the months preceding - and following - November's polls. 

This taster session, delivered in the context of the long aftermath of the US presidential contest, will cover multiple aspects of one of the most extraordinary campaigns and elections of modern times.

A perfect introduction for students considering undergraduate study in Politics, International Relations or American Studies.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Government

Department of Language and Linguistics

Accent, identity and attitude

Discover what it means to have an accent and how our accent might communicate and define parts of our identity. 

Students will understand what drives our attitudes towards different accents whilst addressing the important consequences of our biased responses to people who sound a certain way.

This intriguing taster session offers the perfect introduction for students interested in the study of Language and Linguistics at undergraduate level.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Accent bias and social inequalities: the case of the Essex accent

Throughout recent decades the Essex accent in particular has become a highly stigmatised accent. But how has that come to be?

Accent bias does not reflect any inherent property about any specific accent, but instead reinforces inequalities in society.

In this taster session, students will learn about accent bias and the long-established hierarchy of how different accents are evaluated in Britain, with particular focus on the Essex accent.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

An introduction to linguistics

This taster session aims to tackle the common misconception that a linguist is simply someone that knows many languages.

In this session, students will be introduced to the various linguistic fields and, through a mixture of activities and group work, will gain a better understanding of what studying linguistics entails.

This session will also briefly focus on a case study of forensic linguistics, a subfield of linguistics, as well as the requirements to study at an undergraduate level.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Demystifying sign languages / deafness

A short introduction to signed languages: their features, common misconceptions, and current research. 

This taster session covers a few basic facts about language acquisition and use by Deaf individuals, situated in findings from the last several decades of research. 

Framed as an exploration of common myths surrounding signed languages, students will explore whether sign language is universal, the relationship between BSL and English, and whether children benefit from learning a signed language alongside other therapies.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Discovering linguistics

Are your students intrigued to learn more about the study of linguistics at an undergraduate level? 

This session provides an introduction to the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex and the courses on offer. 

It also offers an introduction to the subject area of linguistics through an interactive quiz. Teachers and students will work through the quiz at their own pace and explore some of the questions that linguistics seeks to answer.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Get a taste for studying a language

In this session, students will experience a very practical and interactive introduction to learning a new language.

Students will have the opportunity to try out the sounds of a new language, such as Chinese or Arabic, getting an overview of the tonal system and how different characters work.

Your students will leave the session with an insight into studying a language at university and able to speak a few new words!


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Language and gender

This taster session looks at language and gender from two different perspectives. 

The first is a focus on the investigation of linguistic differences between the different genders: What have studies found with regards to how men and women speak differently? What controversies have these studies brought to light and how do newer approaches look beyond the binary distinction of man/woman? 

Secondly, students will consider the notion of grammatical gender in different languages and in particular how the calls for gender neutral language, such as non-binary pronouns, have been addressed in different languages and what resistance they have found.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Modern foreign languages

What does the study of a modern foreign language at undergraduate level entail? 

In this taster session, students will focus on the introduction of three skills or processes: interpreting, translating and subtitling.

Students will translate and interpret some sentences from English into one or more modern foreign languages. By the end of the session, students will be able to understand and explain the differences among interpreting, translating and subtitling. They will also be able to identify different types of translation processes and interpreting modes.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Supporting teacher and student wellbeing in times of crisis

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of education had to adjust swiftly to online teaching, a new reality which is quite stressful and even cumbersome for students and teachers alike. 

This session will focus on understanding the notion of wellbeing, how it directly applies to learning and teaching, and how it can be practically cultivated to enable all members of the school community to flourish and thrive.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Teaching English as a foreign language

What do you need to know about the English language to teach it? How do you teach English in a variety of different contexts? Do you want to understand more about the types of contexts English Language teachers work in? Do you want to graduate with a professional qualification as well as a degree? Are you interested in starting a career in TEFL and in English Language Teaching in the UK as well as in international contexts?

This taster session will answer all these questions and more, providing your students with an unforgettable introduction to TEFL.

Students will also discover what a TEFL course entails, including teaching methodology,  guided preparation sessions, and teaching practice - the perfect first step for those preparing for a teaching career.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

The grammar of child language acquisition

The study of language acquisition and how children learn to communicate has fascinated linguists for decades, as they strive to identify exactly how this process occurs.

This taster session explores the common patterns available in how children acquire English in the first few years of their lives. Students will focus on the acquisition of how words and word elements (such as plural –s and past tense –ed) can be combined to create larger units – phrases and sentences.

An ideal introduction to linguistics for interested students.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Varieties of English

What does it mean to be a speaker of English? What do we mean by English/Englishes? In what different ways can the usage of English vary?

In this intriguing taster session, students will investigate these questions  from both a sociolinguistic and a teaching perspective, enabling them to understand more about regional accent variation, the concept of an ‘International English’ and the inevitability of language variation and change over time.

This session will give your students a memorable taster of the kinds of topics they can study in a linguistics degree at the University of Essex.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Language and linguistics taster

This Language and Linguistics Taster session aims to give students a better understanding of a Language and Linguistics degree: different branches of linguistics and how they play a crucial role in our life.

 Moreover, the session can help them explore the exciting job opportunities they are able to apply for with a language and linguistics degree. It will also provide brief introduction to Language and Linguistics courses in University of Essex and step-by-step instruction of searching for a suitable course.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Language and Linguistics

Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Childhood studies: The 'evil child'

The 'evil child' is a popular plot device in films, television, and literature - but what is it that makes audiences so scared? 

This taster session will introduce students to the psychoanalytic and sociological theories that help explain the ubiquity of evil children characters, helping to understand both the audiences' fear and fascination.

Students will also receive an introduction to the undergraduate degrees in Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Psychodynamic Practice and Childhood Studies.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Psychoanalytic criminology: The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

How can we learn about psychoanalysis through Robert Louis Stevenson's 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'?

This innovative taster session introduces your students to the concept of psychoanalytic criminology, showing how it can be fruitfully applied to the novel and - surprisingly - how it is quite true that we can carry more than one personality within us.

Students will also use psychoanalytic assessment from a criminological perspective to shed light on Hyde's murder of Sir Danvers Carew. Why does Hyde murder a complete stranger in the brutal and violent way that he does?


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies taster 

This taster session aims to provide students with a brief overview of what psychosocial and psychoanalytic studies is and some of the topics covered when studying this subject at undergraduate level. 

We'll discuss Stroop effect, the different ways people process information and memory. 


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Department of Sociology

Introduction to Sociology and Criminology

What is sociology and criminology and what do those working the field actually do?

Perfect for introducing students to the study of Sociology and Criminology at an undergraduate level, this taster session will provide students with an introduction to the subject and the impact of sociologists on the wider world.

Using key concepts in sociology, including race, class and gender, your students will discuss their relevance in society today and how they have changed over time.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Sociology

Science and Health

School of Life Sciences

Switching off Cancer Cells

Cells are like rooms with lots of switches, but we don't know which switch turns on which light. Only by knowing which switch is connected to a light bulb, can we control the light in the room. The same happens in a cell: the switches are proteins called kinases and the light bulbs are new proteins produced in the cell. Dr Prischi's group focuses on the study of a unique family of kinases, the RSK, which is a promising target for the treatment of lung cancer. By knowing how RSK works, we can understand, and eventually control, the fate of a cell. This information will be indispensable for the development of novel molecules that are able to target only the right "switch", thus providing a treatment that can stop the continued growth of cancer cells.


Book an academic workshop with School of Life Sciences

The Limits of Life on Earth and Beyond

Understanding how life - usually in the form of microbes - functions at the limits of habitability, can help us to understand where we may expect life to occur in the Universe. Such extremophilic microbes also carry out important processes on Earth, and they can produce biomolecules with biotechnologically valuable properties. In this talk I explain some of my research into the salinity limits of life as well as asking whether microbes can live forever, and discuss where life might exist elsewhere in our solar system.


Book an academic workshop with School of Life Sciences

Deep Sea: The Real Final Frontier

The deep-sea is the largest space for life on Earth. The deep-sea plays a crucial role in global level Earth system maintenance - carbon cycling, oxygen creation, weather etc. It is also the real “final frontier” in terms of exploration. Dr Taylor is a deep-sea biologist and has explored several regions of the deep-sea - from Antarctica to the tropics. She gives an introduction to deep-sea habitats, the environment found there, and how this mysterious realm is researched on expeditions.


Book an academic workshop with School of Life Sciences

The Biology of Ageing

We are experiencing a demographic shift around the world with the proportion of elderly people continuously expanding. Increased life expectancy is considered an achievement of modern science and healthcare. Nevertheless, population ageing is accompanied with a rise of age-related diseases such as neurodegeneration, cancer, cardiovascular problems and metabolic syndromes. Biogerontology aims to understand the Biology of Ageing and the molecular mechanisms underlying age-related diseases towards promoting healthy ageing. Dr Rallis is a geneticist and bio-gerontologist working on nutrient-responsive signalling pathways and diseases of ageing. He will give an introduction on theories of ageing, the biological processes associated with ageing related pathologies. Finally, he will discuss the links between diet and ageing.


Book an academic workshop with School of Life Sciences

Schools of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

Human Performance Unit

You can choose to bring your students for a full or half day visit to the Human Performance Unit.

Full day visits (09.30am to 15.00/15.30pm) include TWO taster sessions.

Half Day visits (09.30am to 12.30pm or 12.30pm to 15.30pm) include ONE taster session.

There are currently three taster sessions to choose from:

Exercise Physiology

The Exercise Physiology session is designed to support your students understanding of aerobic and anaerobic parameters of fitness, VO2 max, respiratory exchange ratio, lactate thresholds and energy systems. 

Students will perform, record and interpret data collected during the following exercise tests: VO2 max and lactate threshold test, sub-maximal cycle test, anaerobic cycling power test (6 second sprint), countermovement jump.

Biomechanics

This taster session will support your students understanding of key principles of biomechanics and how they relate to sports performance. Students will use specialist software and equipment within the University of Essex sports science laboratories to cover topics including speed, velocity, acceleration, force and angular motion.   

The practical activities in this session include: Straight line sprinting through timing gates, the assessment of jumping using bilateral force plates, technique analysis using motion capture and video software.

Sports Psychology

This session introduces students to important psychological factors in sport, including stress, competitive anxiety, motivation, decision making and reaction time.

Interactive practical activities during this session bring these topics to life, enabling the students to experience and observe the application of psychology to sport and exercise science. 


Book an academic workshop with School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

Department of Psychology

Tackling Gender Stereotypes

Many people still believe that women and men differ in terms of their abilities, personality, or preferences. However, research shows that women and men are typically much more similar than different. For example, in terms of their math or science performance, similarities are 95% or above. Showing people those similarities reduces stereotypes and improves how much women and men respect each other.

This session will be delivered by Dr Paul Hanel.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychology

Using magnets and sensors to understand the functioning of the human brain

How can we observe the functioning of the human brain from the outside?

The study of the human mind and brain is one of the most important and exciting areas in the life sciences and has fascinated many of us for decades. Thanks to new technical advances, we can now observe the functioning of the human brain in real time. This innovative taster session aims to provide with an overview of novel methods that allow to observe the functioning of the brain by delivering small doses of magnetic pulses that can activate different areas in the brain. We will also show how it is possible to observe activity from the brain by placing small sensors on the head.  

This session is an ideal introduction to understanding the human brain for interested students, and will be delivered by Dr Alex Sel.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychology

Synced Brains: Understanding Human Social Interaction

This taster session aims to provide students with an introduction to social neuroscience - the research discipline at the interface of psychology and neurobiology examining the brain basis of human social interaction.  Students will learn about several state-of-the-art social neuroscience methods used to study human social interaction, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). A special highlight will be the example of fNIRS hyperscanning - the simultaneous measurement of brain activity in parents and their children - used to assess brain-to-brain synchrony and its implications for parent-child relationship quality, caregiving, and attachment.

This session will be delivered by Dr Pascal Vrticka.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychology

Secrets infants can teach adults about learning

This session introduces students to studying human development. It will present the Essex Babylab research facility housed in the Centre for Brain Science and some of the techniques we use to study how infants learn and develop. By describing key aspects of cognitive and brain development, students will find out how insights about how infants learn can be used to improve our learning as adults. 

This sessions will be delivered by Dr Maria Laura Filippetti.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychology

The Love Hormone - Fact or Fiction?

The hormone oxytocin has been dubbed 'The Love Hormone' - but does the science match the hype? In this taster session students will learn what hormones are, what oxytocin is, and crucially what aspects of our behaviour it does and does not influence. The field of oxytocin research serves as an excellent case sample of why critically assessing science is so important. And how scientific theory can evolve over time.

This session will be delivered by Dr Katie Daughters.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychology

The rhythm of the brain

Visit a psychophysiology laboratory and learn how neuroscientists monitor brain activity with electroencephalography (EEG). You will experience a demonstration of how EEG can be used to study emotions. Other measures of (peripheral) physiology may also be discussed.

This session will be delivered by Dr Sebastian Korb.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychology

How to recognise microaggressions

Microaggressions are the sometimes subtle expression of prejudice in everyday life. Many people may not even realise something they said or did could be considered a microaggression, but members of the target group (e.g., racial or ethnic minorities, non-heterosexual individuals, etc.) will definitely notice these incidents. Microaggressions can do real harm, even if they are unintentional.

In this interactive session, students will learn about the different types of microaggressions, how to recognise them, and begin to consider what they can do to help make the world a less hostile place for members of marginalised groups.

This session will be delivered by Dr Angela Meadows.


Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychology

Prejudice and weight stigma

Weight stigma can be defined as negative judgments, attitudes and behaviours towards people of higher weights. Weight stigma is so common in everyday life, most people don’t even notice it, or if they do, they think it’s justified. This is about more than just hurt feelings – weight stigma affects physical and mental health, education and employment opportunities, access to good healthcare, and many more. And with two-thirds of us now being classified in one of the higher-weight BMI categories, this sometimes forgotten form of stigma can have enormous impact on individuals’ life outcomes and on society as a whole.

In this mini-workshop, we will use the topic of weight stigma to learn a little about explicit and implicit prejudice – the negative thoughts that we are aware of and those that we may be less aware we hold. Students will have the opportunity to complete an online implicit association test (IAT) and consider whether they hold sub-conscious biases and what they may be able to do about them.

This session will be delivered by Dr Angela Meadows.


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