Schools and colleges activity

Academic workshops

Find a course
Student sitting in a lecture theatre taking notes

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.


Book an academic workshop

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. 

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

Literature taster

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. 

Literature/drama taster

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.

Creative writing: Fantasy, and using the past to talk to the present

This session aims to introduce students to current trends in the Fantasy genre and how authors use aspects of different historical periods to speak to our experiences and conditions in the present.

The session will begin with a look at the writings of R.F. Kuang (2018), SA Chakraborty (2017), and Jeanette Ng (2017) and the various historical eras each of them used in their fantasy novels to address contemporary issues. After which we will look to put this into practice, using an often-used quote about the English Anarchy to expand it into our own Fantasy narrative. 

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

What makes a superhero?

This workshop introduces students to key issues in media representation through the figure of the superhero.

Students find out why superheroes are so important to us and what they tell us about ourselves. They also contribute their own understandings of superheroes through group discussions, debate over whether these media images are fair and a superhero design session.

This workshop ultimately draws attention to the relevance of Film and Media Studies within today’s society.

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

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.

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)?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's book, 'Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Human Beings' (1755), is rightly considered to be one of the first and foremost examples of modern social criticism. 

In this taster session, students will discover the answers to questions like, "Why do humans desire to be admired by others?" and "How is this desire for recognition implicated in the rise of vices and evils that disfigure modern societies?" which Rousseau outlines in his book.

Prepare your students to be fascinated by this taster of philosophy at an undergraduate level.

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 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.

Book an academic workshop with School of Philosophy and Art History.

What is a conflict? and what can we do about it?

This session aims to give students an idea of what conflicts are and what we can do to adequately deal with them.

Students will learn about conflict’s diversity and pervasiveness in society and what makes them different from mere disagreement. We further discuss the dominant approaches to conflict in political philosophy and debate their strengths and weaknesses. The session also gives an overview of the philosophy undergraduate programme at the University of Essex and the entry requirements for becoming a philosophy student. 

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: Years 12-13

Discover a variety of sessions within Essex Business School, delivered to you via live and on-demand content.

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
  • 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 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. 

Pitch a business idea: Years 12-13

At Essex Business School we believe in celebrating entrepreneurship. Whether students want to start their own business one day or not, they can still benefit from an entrepreneurial spirit or approach. 

In this workshop, 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 (3-5 students) to do this and then present their ideas back to the class and to EBS experts who will watch, ask questions and provide feedback via Zoom. 

Depending on the needs of the school/college, this session can be facilitated and delivered in a number of different ways.

Book an academic workshop with Essex Business School. 

Advertising and marketing challenges: Years 12-13

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. 

This workshop is designed to provide students with an introduction to several areas of marketing, with particular focus on digital marketing techniques. Students will have the opportunity to create their own adverts which will be reviewed by an expert from the EBS Marketing Team. 

This is a great opportunity for students interested in marketing, as the activity will help bring the reality of a career in marketing and advertising to life while dispelling some common misconceptions.

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.

Psychology taster 

This taster session aims to provide students with a brief overview of what psychology is and some of the topics covered when studying Psychology at undergraduate level. 

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

This introductory session is perfect for students interested in studying Psychology. 

Book an academic workshop with Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies.

Department of Sociology

Introduction to Sociology

What is sociology and what is that sociologists actually do?

Perfect for introducing students to the study of Sociology 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. 

Contact us
Schools Link team