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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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. 


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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!


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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?


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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. 


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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.


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