Events for Schools and Colleges

Taster Week 2021

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The Essex Taster Week 2021

5 - 7 July 2021

Every summer we host a series of exciting taster days for students in years 10 - 13, as well as mature students. These events provide an opportunity to explore academic subjects at undergraduate level, in addition to providing a unique experience of a day in the life of a university student. 

This year has been a little different so we decided to run our annual Taster Week a little differently too. Taster Week 2021 ran virtually so that students can get a flavour of what Essex has to offer from the comfort of their own home or classroom. The event ran over 3 days to reflect each of our three faculties at our campuses.

Recordings of the sessions from our Taster Week will be available on this page over the coming weeks. 

5 July: Humanities

During our Humanities Taster Day we will be drawing on academics from Law, History, Philosophy, Art History, Edge Hotel School and Literature, Film and Theatre Studies to give you a flavour of studying an undergraduate degree at the University of Essex. From the bid to rebuild the world in the wake of World War II, the power of storytelling and managing worldwide album launches, our Humanities taster day will be a great opportunity to find out more about studying at Essex. You will also have the opportunity to chat to current students about life at Essex.

Recordings from all sessions will be available soon.

Humanities taster day programme

10am - 10.30am

Subject area Description

History 

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Pandemics: Lessons From History
Jeremy Krikler will sketch some of the ideas that inspire the Department of History’s teaching on pandemics, one of the modules offered at Essex that is in keeping with the Department’s exciting ethos of linking teaching with contemporary concerns and experience.

Law 

Recording coming soon

Volunteering in the Law Clinic
The Essex Law Clinic provides advice and other forms of legal assistance to those living, working or studying in Essex. Law students may join the Law Clinic as volunteers in their first year and stay until they graduate or join later to take a clinical module. In this taster session, staff and students at the Essex Law Clinic will provide an overview of what the Clinic does, how to be involved and what you will gain from doing so.

Film Studies 

Recording coming soon

Whose Heritage? Gender, Race and Class in the British Heritage Film
How does film inform our ideas of British national identity? How does race, gender and class fit into this? Who “belongs” to British heritage? Explore these ideas through the 2013 film, Belle, with Lecturer in Film Dr Sarah Smyth.

Liberal Arts 

Recording coming soon

Freedom and Prediction
In theory, the purpose of a Liberal Arts education is to give students the tools they need to be fully informed, free participants in a democratic society. In practice, this means that instead of studying the same thing for three years straight, Liberal Arts students get to choose modules from a variety of disciplines in an endeavour to better understand the world around them and their place in it. This taster showcases the disciplinary diversity of a Liberal Arts education by exploring the relationship between freedom and predictive technologies from the viewpoint of a variety of disciplines, including literature, computing, big data, sociology, criminology, neuroscience, law and more.

10.45am - 11.15am

Subject area Description 

Edge Hotel School

Recording coming soon

Managing a Worldwide Album Launch
Explore the planning and execution of an exciting musical event, as Events Management lecturer Phillip Berners discusses his experience of managing a worldwide album launch party for Bon Jovi.

Human Rights

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Human Rights: More Trouble than they're worth?
Human rights are a vital part of the world in which we all live. Some people love them, and some people appear to hate them. For some people, human rights enable us to identify how we should seek to resolve challenges and conflict in a difficult world. Others argue that appeals to human rights only cause more trouble and strife. What do you think? Do you even care? This brief session will address these all-important questions, while also introducing the audience to the work of our Human Rights Centre.

Literature, Film and Theatre Studies

Recording coming soon

Devising: Lockdown Theatres
Chinese Theatre Director Wang Chong in his ‘Online Theater Manifesto’ argued that ‘Theater artists, having experienced “the death of theatre” [amidst the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic], shouldn’t and can’t stand by awaiting our doom. Online theatre is no death knell for theatre, but a prelude to our future’. In light of this manifesto, how has COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions around the globe re-shaped the way that performance-makers are creating and sharing new work internationally? And through what distinctive new forms of storytelling can theatre-makers innovate and foster meaningful connections with audiences? This practice-led online workshop will begin to explore some of these questions.

Art History

Recording coming soon

Tattoos, Hot-Rods, Brillo Boxes, and A Glass of Water on a Shelf: Art History in and out of the Museum
Dr Matt Lodder will discuss how the study of art-history provides not only a fascinating perspective on the past, but also a powerful conceptual and critical toolkit for thinking about the present. If art history is the study of objects and images in order to learn about the people and cultures who made and viewed them, then it is clear that it can be a powerful approach for anyone seeking to understand the political, social and cultural contexts of our modern world.

11.20 am - 11.50am

Subject area Description 

History

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The First World War and Contemporary Britain
Professor Lucy Noakes is leading a major research project into how British society relates to and commemorates the First World War. Her talk will give you a taste of the kind of research undertaken at Essex and how this expertise benefits students, not least in the kinds of undergraduate research projects that are supervised by staff.

Law

Recording coming soon

"Should I be entitled to remuneration or a financial reward for saving your property at risk to myself?"
With Lecturer Dr Durand Cupido

Literature, Film and Theatre Studies

Recording coming soon

Literature and Creative Writing: New Nature Writing
The taster session on New Nature Writing will offer an understanding of the ways in which the natural world and the environment are being written about in these times of climate change and increasing concern for how our species is impacting nature. The session will allow students to gain an insight into modern nature writing as exemplified by Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk (2014).

Personal statements


Writing a great personal statement
This session focuses on the personal statement section of the UCAS application form and helps students to identify what makes a good personal statement and how to structure it.

12pm - 12.30pm

Subject area Description 

Edge Hotel School

Recording coming soon

Launching a new Hospitality or Events Business
Develop an understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit required to launch a new business within the hospitality or events sector with Adrian Martin, Vice-Principal of the Edge Hotel School.

Human Rights

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The Prohibition on the Use of Force in International Law
With Lecturer Dr Tuba Turan

Literature, Film and Theatre Studies

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Journalism and The Power of Storytelling
How can journalists use the power of narrative form to counter its misuse by political and commercial interests? Three top tips and one practical exercise with our director of journalism, Tim Fenton.

Philosophy

Recording coming soon

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.

12.35pm - 1pm

Student panel

Join us to hear from some of our current students, and have the chance to ask your questions about studying at university.

Recording coming soon.

6 July: Social Sciences

Our Faculty of Social Sciences is home to some of the most highly-rated social science departments and research centres in the country. Our amazing academics will be delivering sessions on various areas within the field of Social Science including Economics, Government, Sociology, Criminology, Languages and Linguistics, Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies as well as Essex Business School. From analysing the effects that the level of education has on the level of income, the circulation of fake news, environmental crimes, marketing strategies and migration, our Social Science taster day will be a great opportunity to gain an insight into the social structures and issues facing contemporary societies.

Recordings from all sessions will be available soon.

Social Sciences taster day programme

10am - 10.30am

Subject area Description

Economics

Recording coming soon

What does the data say? The effects of education on personal income
In this taster we will discuss a simple regression model that can analyse, quantitatively, the effects that the level of education has on the level of income. The data for this model will be drawn from ISER’s Understanding Society Survey, one of the largest household surveys of its kind in the world, designed and managed by researchers and lecturers at the University of Essex.

Essex Business School

Recording coming soon

The myth of the rational investor
This session will demonstrate how psychological influences and biases affect investor behaviour. We will review the modern portfolio theory before discussing possible deviations from this theory in the real world.

Languages and Linguistics

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What do Linguists do?
We work in all kinds of different areas and explore a wide range of exciting issue and topics to do with language (and people, and places, and history). In this session we will talk about some of the research we do at Essex, what linguists actually do and the kinds of careers our graduates in linguistics go on to. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions and there will also be a quick linguistics trivia quiz.

10.45am - 11.15am

Subject area Description

Politics

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Need for Chaos: The real reason people share fake news
The widespread circulation of fake news has led to fears of a 'post-truth' world in which millions of people believe blatant lies. In fact, many people share fake news despite knowing that it is nonsense. This taster talk introduces a quirky psychological reason why they do so.

Economics

Recording coming soon

On the Macroeconomics of COVID-19
In this taster we will look at a simple macroeconomic model to analyse, qualitatively, the effects on a macroeconomy of the COVID-19 shock and discuss possible policy responses.

Essex Business School

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Marketing Strategy and Competitive Advantage in the Post-Covid Era
This session will briefly discuss about how firms can manage their marketing strategies while developing and maintaining their competitive advantage in order to find their feet after COVID-19 pandemic.

11.20am - 11.50am

Subject area Description

Languages and Linguistics

Recording coming soon

Kitchen Knives - A Translation Taster
This is a short taster session to demonstrate what students work on in their final year module in German translation, interpreting and subtitling skills at Essex. No knowledge of German (or cooking) is required for this taster! At the end of it you might have a better idea why we still need humans with high level language skills in times of free and excellent translation software.

Sociology

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COVID-19: A Sociological Reflection
The global pandemic has exposed a number of social issues that need to be explored further. This session will examine how issues such as inequality, ethnicity, migration, bio-surveillance, organised crime and mental health among others provide a fertile ground for sociological research.

Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Recording coming soon

The Evil Child
The evil child character in films is a popular and now well used plot device, it even has its own searchable iMDB category/tag. Why is it particularly scary for children to be ‘bad’ or ‘evil’? This taster will use psychosocial ideas and horror film trailers to explore why the evil child is such a ubiquitous and popular part of the horror film and crucially how this may inform our understanding of childhood and adult-child relations in contemporary society.

12pm - 12.30pm

Subject area Description

International Relations

Recording coming soon

The Unexpected link between migration and terrorism
There is a correlation between migration from Islamic countries and incidents of terrorism in Europe. But does this mean that migrants have brought terrorism with them? Look deeper at the data, as this taster lecture will do, and the truth turns out to be more complicated than that.

Criminology

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Crimes against the environment and non-humans
One of the most pressing issues facing contemporary societies is environmental destruction. Criminology has developed a growing field of research on environmental crime and harm. This session will discuss how green criminology addresses these challenges.

Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Recording coming soon

Crossed Wires: Freud, Neurology and Psychoanalysis

12.35pm - 1pm

Student panel

Join us to hear from some of our current students, and have the chance to ask your questions about studying at university.

Recording coming soon

7 July: Science and Health

We will be drawing experts from Mathematical Sciences, Life Sciences, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences and Health and Social Care to show how science is applied in all aspects of our lives. From understanding the human body, curing diseases, stopping climate change, inventing cutting edge technology to explore the unknown, we are taking you on a scientific adventure to understand how Science and Health helps to create a better world.

Recordings from all sessions will be available soon.

Science and Health taster day programme

10am - 10.30am

Subject area Description

Marine Biology

Recording coming soon

Finding Nemo: Tracking fish in a changing world
Approximately 3 billion people rely on fish as a major source of animal protein, yet many species are in major decline as a result of habitat loss, pollutants and overfishing. In this seminar, Dr Sturrock will give an overview of some of the more novel approaches used to track fish movement, growth and condition, and how we use these data to understand their habitat needs and resilience to different stressors.

Occupational Therapy

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What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy (OT) is a science based degree, health and social care profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Occupational therapy takes a “whole-person approach” to both mental and physical health and wellbeing and aims to enable individuals to achieve their full potential. This taster session will introduce Occupational Therapy to student, who OT’s work with, where OT’s work and will also include an activity for students to get involved with.

Sports Performance and Coaching

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Competitive Engineering: approaches to enhance the coaching environment
Research has found that children overwhelmingly state that enjoyment, fun, and positive experiences are the primary reasons to participate in sport. Competitive Engineering (CE) is a structurally-based competitive climate process designed to create a more positive experience in youth sport. CE encompasses changes to league structures, equipment, pitch-size, and game rules. For example, rule changes that stipulate greater involvement (e.g. playing time) or action (e.g. increasing scoring opportunities) are designed to improve engagement. We will look at some interesting approaches to modify sport for player benefit.

Psychology

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The role of facial feedback for emotion recognition
How do we perceive other people’s emotions? Dr Sebastian Korb will discuss the behavioral and neural evidence regarding the hypothesis that feedback from our own facial muscle activity can influence the way we feel and perceive others’ emotions.

Data Science

Recording coming soon

Data Science
During this session Dr Stella Hadjiantoni will be covering a brief overview of some interesting real-world applications of data science today. We will then explore the employability opportunities in the field of data science and statistics demonstrating where a degree in this area can take you.

10.45am - 11.15am

Subject area Description

Microbiology / Human Biology

Recording coming soon

How do bacteria evade antibiotics?
The fight against antibiotic resistance has become one of the most critical global issues in the last years. Resistance is a particular issue with so-called Gram-negative bacteria, like Salmonella and Pseudomonas, that possess a double membrane envelope making them pretty impenetrable to most antibiotic molecules. To complicate matters further, they have also evolved highly-specialised membrane protein-complexes called "efflux-pumps" capable of actively expelling antibiotics out of the cells. Dr Bavro will discuss the recent progress in understanding the structural mechanisms of these pumps, which is crucial for our ability to block their function and for the design of novel and better antibiotic compounds.

Social Work

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Where can social work take me?
This session will be a taster of a first year lecture, focused on understanding the scope of social work practice, and challenging common assumptions about who social workers are and what they do. This will be an opportunity to explore the breadth of social work, but also to speak to our approach within the Division and our broader vision within a rights and justice framework.

Physiotherapy

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Physiotherapy in COVID-19
Physiotherapists have played a vital role in the UK response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as attention moves more to longer term recovery in the health and function of the population. This taster session will explore challenges faced, achievements made and future opportunities in the Physiotherapy profession post-COVID.

Electronic Engineering

Recording coming soon

Electronic Engineering
Electronics is ubiquitous in modern life for most people on the planet. Very few people probably take much interest in the interior workings of the products they use, and perhaps take their existence for granted, like any other part of the infrastructure of modern civilization. We all, perhaps expect that our electronics devices will just keep on getting better at a rapid rate. It would be easy to think that the main application of electronics is in entertainment. Electronics engineers are people who innovate and enable progress to be made. Having born been into the earliest years of the ‘semiconductor revolution’, the one thing that is clear to me is that it is virtually impossible to predict all that will happen decades in the future. As a career, then, it is one that is likely to keep challenging, where learning will go on past leaving university. This talk will review some of the challenges we know of today that may inspire anyone interested in the discipline – medical applications, brain-computer interfacing, monitoring our environment from our immediate surroundings to remote sensing of the planet are all areas where electronics has a role to play in helping us to confront the future.

Pure Mathematics

Recording coming soon

Symmetry: From Solving Quadratics to Modern Algebra
In the early 19th century, 20-year-old French mathematician Évariste Galois revolutionised mathematics by relating solutions of polynomials like the quadratic equation to certain sets of ‘symmetries’. This was an important development in itself, but the true revolution is in the theory of “symmetry groups” which developed out of Galois’ fundamental insight. The study of symmetry is nowadays called “group theory” and is an essential part of every mathematician’s training. This talk will be a brief guided tour through the development of group theory and its applications, which range from atomic physics, to crystallography and molecular chemistry, to cryptography, to Einstein’s theory of relativity, to name just a few!

11.20am - 11.50am

Subject area Description

Personal statements

 

Writing a great personal statement
This session focuses on the personal statement section of the UCAS application form and helps students to identify what makes a good personal statement and how to structure it.

Nursing

Watch this session

Fluid Balance and Fluid Resuscitation
This taster session will cover fluid balance monitoring in hospital, signs of dehydration and fluid loss and fluid replacement therapy.

Sport and Exercise Science

Recording coming soon

Attentional Focus in Sport: the importance of Quiet Eye
Concentration and an optimal focus of attention often underpin success in many sports, contributing to successful performance in competition and also the learning of new skills. The talk will explore what athletes should focus on during performance and the importance of the final fixation of gaze before skill execution (Quiet Eye). Examples will be drawn from research conducted across a range of sports, and we will discuss strategies for what athletes can do to improve their attention under the pressure of competition.

Computer Science

Recording coming soon

Improving society with embedded machine learning/artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence/machine learning has transformed most of the industries in recent years making computing devices smarter to serve the consumers. On the other hand, smartphones and wearables have become an integral part of our daily lives. However, when you combine machine learning with smartphones and wearables, we could notice that such technologies could become an enabler of positive change in our lives and henceforth, improving the society overall. This talk will highlight some of the commercial ways embedded machine learning is creating a positive impact in consumer’s lives.

Finance and Statistics

Recording coming soon

Faking it
In this taster session Professor Chris Saker will be looking into the ways in which we can use maths to help us investigate whether the data we are looking at is real or fake.

12pm - 12.30pm

Subject area Description

Student Life

 

Student Life at Essex
This session details what it is like to be a university student, how life at university differs to school and the kind of experience students can expect.

Student Finance

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UK Student Finance
This session will be an overview of the costs involved in obtaining a degree, an explanation of the support available including tuition fee loans, maintenance loans, grants and bursaries and tips on how to live on a student budget.

Sports Therapy

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Injury risk factors and acute management of common musculoskeletal injuries
This session will first introduce students to the risk factors associated with sports injuries, understanding these are vital to help inform injury prevention strategies. Students will also learn about the acute management strategies that are used to treat common sports injuries such as cryotherapy and electro therapy modalities.

Psychology

Recording coming soon

Memory Myths and Tricks
Dr Vanessa Loaiza, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and cognitive developmental psychologist at the University of Essex shares her top tips on memory. This interactive session will include tricks on how to take in, store and retrieve information over the long-term. This will be a very useful session to help you to prepare for your exams and also for students interested in studying a degree in Psychology!

Making choices

 

Choosing a course and university
This session will be a detailed look at how students should go about choosing which course to study and where, to ensure their decisions are right for them and they maximise their chances of receiving the best offers.

12.35pm - 1pm

Student panel

Join us to hear from some of our current students, and have the chance to ask your questions about studying at university. 

Recording coming soon

 

Students under the age of 16, attending as individuals, will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

If you would like to access our Faith Centre while on campus, please let the event organiser know.

Get in touch
Taster Week team