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Academic workshops

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Delivered by our enthusiastic academics, our taster sessions are designed to give students a flavour of what a subject is like at undergraduate level. These sessions are aimed at Key Stage 4 and 5 learners and can be delivered virtually to your classroom.

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Edge Hotel School

Making Money in Running Hotels and Events

Hotels and Events are businesses like any other and make large profits, often for small independent owners. If you would like to learn how to manage and then own a hotel, restaurant, or event venue then try this taster session. You will be shown how to improve a business, raise its results and enjoy the extra profits.

Managing a Worldwide Album Launch

This taster session on events management looks at how an actual album launch was organised for a global rock band – from taking the client brief, to finding the venues in a foreign country, to organising the logistics for the launch event, press interviews, and a celebrity post-launch party. This session goes through the planning, detail and considerations necessary to organise a large scale, big budget, high profile event.

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.

Britain and Britishness

This session explores the theoretical approach to history known as ‘identity’ and applies this to a context of British decolonisation between 1945 and 1970, pointing to the idea that decolonisation affected people’s sense of ‘Britishness’ and thus encouraged changes 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.

Social reform in 1890-1920 United States

This session aims to introduce students to the key events that shaped social reform in the period 1890-1920 in the United States, including labour and educational reforms.

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

School of Law

The Law Clinic

Introducing the Law Clinic and the opportunities it offers, while also showcasing some of its projects.

Private Law

An introduction to the Private Law module (e.g. contract law, tort, company law) discussing topical issues that is relevant to the module.

Public Law

An introduction to the Public Law module (e.g. human rights, criminal law, international law) discussing topical issues that are relevant to the module.

Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Literature taster

This session consolidates knowledge on specific GCSE/A Level set texts.

Using close textual analysis the students will practise using inference and evidence to construct ideas about synopses. The students will share ideas and 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.

Literature/drama taster

We will look at developing students’ ability to read, understand and explore personal responses to specific GCSE/A-level Shakespearean texts.

Analysing rhythm and language form and structure to explore meanings and effects from the texts. Students will 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.

School of Philosophy and Art History

The Return of Racialised Medical Science

An introduction to race science and the way it has always been interwoven with the politics of the day. Students will critically examine the history of racialised medicine and medical research and today’s resurgence of “race” as a variable in medicine.

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.

Making Better People: The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancements

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

Social Sciences

Department of Economics

Introduction to Economics

In this session we will discuss how to use economics to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the possible policy implications.

Essex Business School

Academic subject talks for year groups 12-13

Venue/equipment requirements: Large screen and webcam to facilitate Zoom call between EBS staff member and the students/teachers.

A member of the EBS Marketing Team will appear in the classroom via Zoom and provide an introduction to studying at University, specifically within Essex Business School. They will also introduce students to relevant subjects and course options.

Following this a pre-recorded academic taster session will be shown, which may include one of the following:

  • Finance – An Introduction to Portfolio Theory – Dr Sam Astill
  • Management – How and why we study organisations – Dr Louise Nash
  • Marketing – Branding and Innovation Management – Dr Amir Homayounfard
  • 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 summarise the session, provide information on next steps and to host a Q&A session with the students.

Pitch a business idea: Years 12-13

Number of students: 12-30 students in groups of 3-5

At Essex Business School we believe in celebrating entrepreneurship. Whether or not students want to start their own business one day they could benefit from an entrepreneurial spirit or approach. In this virtual activity students will explore this idea.

Students will be challenged to come up with a business idea which will address a specific problem that we provide them with. They will work in small groups to do this and then present their ideas back to the class and to EBS experts who will watch via Zoom. The EBS experts will ask questions and provide feedback on their ideas.

Depending on the needs of the school/college this session can be facilitated in a number of different ways. For example the initial brief can be delivered via Zoom earlier on the same day or week as the final presentation, or the teacher can be provided with a written brief to enable them to schedule their own preparation.

Advertising and marketing challenges: Years 12-13

Students will receive a written brief approximately one week before the scheduled session. This will introduce them to several different areas of marketing, with a particular focus on digital marketing techniques. They will then be challenged to work either individually or in small groups to film a short advert for an item selected from a list of everyday household objects. These adverts should be submitted to EBS at least three working days prior to the booked session.

An expert from the EBS Marketing Team will then deliver a marketing masterclass via Zoom. They will use examples of the submitted adverts and real adverts from well-known brands to present the idea of advertising and how it fits within the wider field of marketing. 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.

Department of Government

What is International Relations?

This taster session sets out the why, the what and the how of studying International Relations. It shows the wide range of topics involved and how IR connects to but is different from Politics.

Social Media and Democracy

Many think that social media has been bad news for democracy. This taster session looks at the big worries - fake news, Russian bots, and echo chambers - and provocatively suggests that things aren't really so bad after all. By comparing social media to the press, this builds on but moves beyond the traditional 'media effects' syllabus.

Trump-Biden 2020

This taster session, available in the run-up and what looks like the long aftermath of the US presidential contest, will cover multiple aspects of one of the most extraordinary campaigns and elections of modern times.

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.

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

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 they 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.

The University of Essex entry requirements will also be discussed.

Modern foreign languages

This taster session 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.

Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Childhood Studies

The ‘evil child’ is a popular plot device in films, television, and literature but what is it that makes audiences so scared? This taster will introduce you to the psychoanalytic and sociological theories that help explain the ubiquity of the evil children characters and help to understand both our fear and fascination. You will also find an introduction to our undergraduate degrees is psychosocial and psychoanalytic studies, psychodynamic practice and childhood studies.

Psychoanalytic Criminology: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

In this presentation Chris will show how psychoanalysis can be fruitfully applied to The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and how it is, surprisingly, quite true that we can carry more than one personality within us. But Chris will also use psychoanalytic assessment from criminological perspective to shed light on Hyde’s murder of Sir Danvers Cardew. Why does Hyde murder a complete stranger in the brutal and violent way that he does?

Department of Sociology

Introduction to Sociology

What is sociology and what do sociologists actually do?

In this session students will discuss key concepts in sociology such as race, class and gender and how they have changed over time

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