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Summer 2014 classes

Our classes are open to all current university students and are specifically designed for the Summer School study experience.

The classes aim to minimise the amount of time spent in a classroom and maximise the amount of experiential learning in and around the London area. All classes require a lot of walking as they are all field trip based, so please only apply if you are happy to be on your feet a lot!

The classes on offer for 2014 are as follows:

British Art and Architecture (3 US credits)

This class enables you to appreciate the rich material resources in Britain, developing a critical understanding of the historical, social and political circumstances that have shaped art and architecture. 

In addition to lectures, there will be visits to the National Gallery, Banqueting House, Chiswick House, Kenwood House, Tate Britain and Sir John Soane's Museum.

Download syllabus (PDF).

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British Culture and Society (3 US credits)

This class gives you the opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation of:

  • contemporary British culture and society; and
  • the differences between Britain and your home culture and lifestyle.

The course covers key topics such as:

  • the British system of government;
  • the monarchy;
  • media;
  • theatre;
  • sports;
  • multicultural Britain;
  • Britain’s changing world role; and
  • national identity.

Guided field trips re-enforce your learning and support the classroom discussions. These might include visits to:

We also encourage you to make independent visits to different sites in the London area. London has some of the best museums and galleries in the world and they are mostly open free of charge.

Students not taking the British Culture and Society course can also participate in fieldtrips, subject to space and your timetable, on a fee-per-trip basis. 

Download syllabus (group A PDF or group B PDF)

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Creative Writing in London (3 US credits)

This class explores the act and culture of creative writing in London and the surrounding area.  You discuss your creative writing – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays and more – in regular workshops with a group of peers and professional writers associated with Kingston University’s thriving creative writing field. 

These workshops will be combined with:

  • a programme of readings, both on campus and in venues across the city, by well-known writers; and
  • visits to literary events and festivals.

Download syllabus (PDF).

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Exploring Cultural London (3 US credits)

This class provides you with the opportunity to explore the cultural sites and spaces of London. Based primarily upon London walks and visits, it considers the historical development of London as a world city. In particular, it looks at:

  • the changing cultural geography of the city; and
  • the impact artistic and cultural innovation has had on this. 

Visits will include St Paul’s, Museum of London, St James’s Park, Wallace Collection, the City, Festival Hall and Bond Street.

Download syllabus (PDF).

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Introduction to International Business (3 US credits)

This class provides an introduction to:

  • the nature of international business;
  • the strategies used to gain competitive advantage; and
  • issues faced by managers of international enterprises.

You will be exposed to the business issues surrounding the integration of the United Kingdom into Europe. Guided field trips re-enforce the lectures, including one to Denbies Wine Estate.

Download syllabus (PDF).

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Live Theatre (3 US credits)

This course is aimed at both students studying theatre and those with little or no knowledge of it. We will see five or six shows in the West End, the National Theatre and the fringe, encompassing a cross-section of Shakespeare, classic, modern and experimental plays.

In 2013 the shows included:

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End;
  • Children of the Sun at the National Theatre;
  • A Season in the Congo at the Young Vic Theatre;
  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the Apollo Theatre; and
  • Henry VI at the Globe, the replica of Shakespeare's Globe on the South Bank of the River Thames.

We will also:

  • meet actors, writers or directors working in the theatre – to understand how a play evolves from the page to the stage;
  • attend a workshop at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre; and
  • go on backstage tours at the National Theatre and elsewhere.

Download syllabus (PDF).

Please note, this syllabus is taken from last year and the shows are likely to change.

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London Finance (3 US credits)

The City of London is a premier centre for international finance and trade – delivering 20% of the UK's Gross National Product, it is a vital element of the national economy. This course looks at the history, growth, current status and future prospects of the City of London in terms of its role as a global financial centre.

The objective is not only to learn about finance, but also to experience the history, culture and dynamics of the City at work. We therefore include lecturer-led tours of the City of London and its institutions, such as the Bank of England, Lloyds of London and the Stock Exchange, plus the historical infrastructure accommodating financial agencies.

We will also look at:

  • London in comparison with other world financial centres, particularly New York;
  • historical and topical issues, considering previous stock market and banking crises alongside current events such as the credit crunch and consequent turbulence in investment banks and other financial institutions;
  • the implications of these events upon the raising and utilisation of money, insurance and risk management;
  • key elements and the role of finance, both corporate and personal, as drivers in the economy; and
  • aspects of regulation and corporate governance, including a discussion of the UK 'principle-based approach' and the US 'rule-based approach'.

Download syllabus (PDF).

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London and its Literature (3 US credits)

This class explores the contribution of London to English literary life since the middle of the 18th century and its representation in literary texts.

You will consider selected texts within the specific historical, political and cultural context of London and its impact on the imaginations of writers since 1750, a time when London as we know it was taking shape. After looking at mid-18th century 'neoclassical' and fashionable texts, and the more radical Blake and Dickens, we will focus on the London-based fiction of the Modernist (early 20th century) and post-colonial (early 21st century) eras.

Guided field trips re-enforce your learning and support the classroom discussions. These might include:

Download syllabus (PDF).

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Multicultural London (3 US credits)

This class will provide an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the cultural, economic, historical and sociological dimensions that constitute London as a multicultural city.

It will also allow students to:

  • trace patterns of Afro-Caribbean, south Asian, and Chinese immigration to, and settlement in, London; and
  • understand theoretical perspectives on the relations between urban space, ethnic identity, and minority representation, as reflected in the social experiences of the British black and Asian communities.

Download syllabus (PDF).

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Museums and Galleries (3 US credits)

This class introduces the role and function of museums and galleries. You will explore the cultural, economic, historical and sociological dimensions of display as they relate to critical and theoretical contexts. It includes visits to the:

The University of Kingston's partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) aims to provide opportunities for creative exchange, investigation and discussion between students and staff at the University and the ICA, its network and audiences.

Download syllabus (PDF).

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Shakespeare: Reading and Performance (3 US credits)

This class gives you the chance to read and attend performances of three of Shakespeare's plays being performed in London at the time. We will:

  • compare the reading and performance of these;
  • situate them alongside their historical and cultural context in Elizabethan/ Jacobean London; and
  • take into account the theatrical conditions affecting their production and the changing interpretations they have attracted through the ages.

Guided field trips will reinforce your understanding of these contexts and are likely to include:

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Download syllabus (PDF).

Muggle Madness: Harry Potter and other popular British icons

This class will celebrate not only the popular and internationally successful creations of J K Rowling but also place the Harry Potter stories in a lineage of heroic British fiction – from Sherlock Holmes to James Bond, Frodo Baggins to Doctor Who. We will study a range of these stories and also read them in terms of politics and gender. In doing so, we will seek to understand how these narratives can provide us with an alternative cultural history.

Field trips will include expeditions to the Harry Potter Studios, the Doctor Who experience, the Covent Garden James Bond exhibition and the Harry Potter walking tour.

Download syllabus (PDF).

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Kingston University reserves the right to cancel a class due to insufficient student enrolments.

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