Summer Activities

Welcome to your summer activities

Over the summer, you might wonder how to prepare for the start of your course. Please don't worry, as we don't expect you to come with loads of prior knowledge. However, if you do want to do some preparation, you can find some ideas on this page. (To get started, please select from the courses listed below.)

Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate courses

Other useful information >

Illustration Animation BA (Hons): Summer project: Pickwick-ucha!

Context: Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers

Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers was one of the first publishing phenomena. Published in monthly instalments, its main literary value and appeal were formed by its numerous memorable characters, drawn comically, often with exaggerated personalities. Dickens was well known for acting out characters he was writing about in the mirror, then describing himself as the character in prose in his novels. He had usually observed his characters in his day-to-day life and then re-imagined for the page.

Brief: Character and Story

For this project we want you to take on the role of another character. It may be human or non-human, factual or fictional. Whatever you decide, you should present to us their interests and lifestyle, their likes and dislikes.

Create a short narrative portrait to take us into their lives and show us the world through their eyes. Your story could be humorous, tragic or surreal, but it must be inventive. We want you to present this as a petcha-kucha inspired video presentation. Your storytelling presentation must last five minutes and be limited to 10 images – each image being displayed for 30 seconds. You should write a script to tell the story and support the visuals and add audio for your script – or film yourself if you wish to present in character.

We don't need this presentation to describe your process of constructing your character – the story must appear to have been written in the first person, by your character, or about your character through the eyes of a secondary character – indeed, you could even present as your character! This project will show us your observational skills, narrative and storytelling, imagination, research, design and presentational skills. Please follow the structure below to guide you through your project.

Part 1: Research and Analysis (approx. 1 or 2 days)

Begin by researching characters and themes of interest to you. As you'll be inhabiting a character, consider looking at diarised, chronological content and how ideas and narratives are communicated through them. Consider narrative structures that might work in the time you have and the use of first, second and third-person perspective storytelling. Collate your reference and make annotations considering how you might use these structures to tell your story. Fill three A3 worksheets or 10 sketchbook pages with notes, drawings and visual reference material to support your character and narrative ideas.

Part 2: Experimentation (approx. 1 or 2 days)

Fill three A3 worksheets to test your ideas and visual elements through iteration. Start by drawing thumb-nail sketches for rough character and story ideas and iterate to consider composition and tension. Try different materials and processes such as drawing, photography, found images, collage, etc. Which works best in conveying your character and narrative in a compelling way? Aim to try at least two different material processes and document your experimentation.

Consider the shape of your story – the beginning, middle and end. Where is the tension? Where are the surprises? Five minutes is not a long time, so you can't create an epic. How do you use your time well to deliver your idea? Plan and edit your image sequence to ensure your narrative functions as you want it to. Annotate your work with notes to demonstrate your reflection and decision-making processes. Use your research to guide you and try not to rush to a final outcome. This is the part of a project where you rigorously test and challenge ideas, materials and form.

Part 3: Communication and Presentation (approx. 3 to 4 days)

Consider the layout and composition of your images within the frame and how one image leads onto another, how do you keep the viewer engaged curious to view the next image. Test, refine and render your final 10 images. Is your story told firsthand, are you speaking as the character? Are you communicating with or instructing the audience in second- person perspective? Or are you reporting on or telling the story of a character from a third-person perspective? In either case, how does the form relate to character or scenario? For instance, a character written in the first-person might write a diary, one told in the second perspective might be a sequence of instructions or feedback delivered to the reader, a character communicated in the third person may be taking the position of a report or account of observing a character.

Final outcome

A five-minute slide show consisting of 10 images and accompanied by a spoken narrative. You could present in character or create an audio track to accompany your slide show. Your final outcome must successfully unite content, meaning and form to present your narrative. The key is in how you position yourself as author within the story. You should also keep all supporting studies including research logs, sketchbooks and experiments.

Develop your ideas and images through research and testing; we will provide further guidance for the presentation at the start of Welcome Week. If you have any questions about the brief, contact Paddy directly on

Journalism BA (Hons)


The main preparation you can do before you arrive is to immerse yourself in journalism. If you currently get your news mainly from TikTok or X, via your phone, it's now time to devour newspapers (online and in hard copy), watch TV news and listen to radio news. Analyse their treatment of stories and boost your current affairs knowledge.

  • Read and compare quality vs tabloid papers e.g. the Guardian vs Daily Mail
  • Watch and compare TV news - national vs international e.g. BBC vs ITV and CNN vs Al Jazeera

Summer reading list

These are optional so don't worry if you can't locate the texts before you arrive.

  • Hicks, W; Adams, S; Gilbert, H; Holmes, T; Bentley, J. (2016) Writing for journalists (3rd edition): Routledge.
  • Harcup, T. (2021) Journalism: principles and practice: Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Bradshaw, P. & Cook, T. (2018) The online journalism handbook: skills to survive and thrive in the digital age (2nd edition): Routledge.

Journalism and Media BA (Hons)

The main preparation you can do before you arrive is to immerse yourself in journalism. If you currently get your news mainly from TikTok or X, via your phone, it's now time to devour newspapers (online and in hard copy), watch TV news and listen to radio news. Analyse their treatment of stories and boost your current affairs knowledge.

Comparing newspapers

Read and compare quality vs tabloid papers, e.g. the Guardian vs the Daily Mail.

Comparing TV news

Watch and compare TV news, national vs. international, e.g. BBC vs ITV; CNN vs Al Jazeera.

Summer reading list

These are optional, so don't worry if you can't locate the texts before you arrive.

  • Hicks, W; Adams, S; Gilbert, H; Holmes, T; Bentley, J. (2016) Writing for journalists (3rd edition): Routledge.
  • Harcup, T. (2021) Journalism: principles and practice: Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Barthes, R. (1980) Reflections on Photography

Product and Furniture Design BA (Hons)

Become a Design Detective

Go to an exhibition, start a sketch book of ideas, research a famous or inspirational designer, make something and explore materials first hand. Select an object, a material or image and bring this with you for your first week. It can be something inspirational or a good piece of design.

Photography project

Start taking photos of people, places and objects that inspire you.

Research your favourite designer

You might like to do a little research on designers. The list below has some of our favourites, but we are always interested in who yours might be – maybe a new one we are unfamiliar with?

  • Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
  • Konstantin Grcic
  • Jasper Morrison (Kingston Graduate)
  • Ed Carpenter (VG&P) (Kingston Graduate)
  • Achille Castiglioni
  • Yinka Ilori
  • Daniel Rybakken
  • Charlotte Perriand
  • Eileen Gray

Course materials

The following is a general list of materials but not an exhaustive one. As a making-based course we recommend you develop your own toolkit of workshop tools and equipment over the three years you are with us.

  • Tape measure: 3m
  • Pencils, etc.
  • USB
  • Vernier Calliper
  • 300mm stainless steel ruler
  • No.3 scalpel, 10a scalpel blades
  • Sketchbook
  • Pocket-sized notebook/sketch book
  • Masking tape
  • Black fine liners: 0.5/0.3mm

Building Surveying MSc

Summer reading list

  • Smith, M. and Gorse, C. (2021) Building Surveyor's Pocket Book, London: Routledge

Curating Contemporary Design MA

Summer reading list

  • Loveday, Donna (2022) Curating Design: Context, Culture, Reflective Practice. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Farrelly, L, and Weddell, J. (eds) (2015) Design Objects and the Museum. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Holmes, Kat (2018) Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • O'Neill, Paul (2012) The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s). Cambridge, Mass; London: MIT.
  • Proctor, Alice (2020), The Whole Picture. The colonial story of the art in our museums & why we need to talk about it. London: Cassell.
  • Reilly, Maura (2018) Curatorial Activism: Towards an Ethics of Curating. Thames and Hudson
  • Watson, Fleur (2021) The New Curator: Exhibiting Architecture and Design. Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Wilson, Tom (2016) The Story of the Design Museum. London: Phaidon Press Ltd.

Financial Technology MSc

Reading list

  • Bodie, Kane and Marcus, 2020. Investments, 12th Edition, McGraw-Hill
  • Beninga, S and Mofkadi, T (2022) Financial Modelling, fifth edition. The MIT Press.
  • Forbes, W, (2020) Behavioral Finance, John Wiley & Sons
  • Loesch, S. (2018), A Guide to Financial Regulation for Fintech Entrepreneurs, Wiley.
  • Elton E., Gruber M., Brown S., and Goetzmann W. (2017) Modern Portfolio Theory and Investment Analysis, Ninth edition, Wiley.
  • Berk, J. and DeMarzo, P. (2019) Corporate Finance. Fifth Edition. Pearson.
  • Brealey, R. and Myers, S. (2023) Principles of Corporate Finance. 14th Edition. McGraw-Hill.
  • Brown, E., and Piroska, D. (2022), Governing Fintech and Fintech as Governance: The Regulatory Sandbox, Riskwashing, and Disruptive Social Classification, New Political Economy, Vol.27, No1, pp. 19–32
  • Goldfinch, A Global Guide to Fintech and Future Payment Trends, 2019. ISBN-13: 978-1138394452   ISBN-10: 1138394459
  • Perry H. Beaumont, Digital Finance, 2019. ISBN 9780367146795
  • Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Ries, E. (2011) The lean startup: How today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. New York: Crown Business.
  • Chishti, S. and Barberis, J. (2016) The FinTech Book: The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Visionaries. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Chowdhury, Inside Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrencies, 2019. ISBN 9781138618152
  • Shadow Banking, Scope, Origins and Theories, 1st Edition. Edited by Nesvetailova. 2019. Routledge.
  • Shaikh & Karjaluoto, Marketing and Mobile Financial Services, A Global Perspective on Digital Banking Consumer Behaviour, 1st Edition. 2019. ISBN 9780815386940.
  • Brown, R. V. Doing Your Dissertation in Business and Management. London Sage. Latest Version.

Fine Art MFA

Contemporary art galleries and museums

Contemporary art magazines and journals

Optional Art Theory module

Spring Term option module overview

Art Theory: Modernist, Avant-Garde, Contemporary, taught by Peter Osborne

This module will focus on critical discussion of some basic concepts in the philosophy of modern and contemporary art. Setting out from a consideration of the temporal categories of modern/modernist, avant-garde and contemporary, subsequent weeks will focus on particular pairs or constellation of basic concepts in the philosophy of art: mimesis and rationality; autonomy and heteronomy; tradition and the new; construction and expression (technology and technique); production and function; material-content and truth-content; organisation, coherence and form; medium, post-medium and transmedia; artwork as object, subject and thing. Artists discussed will include Marcel Duchamp, the Soviet Constructivists, and the US conceptual and performance artist, Adrian Piper.

Quantity Surveying MSc

Summer reading list

  • Cartlidge, D. P. (2022) Quantity Surveyor's Pocket Book, 4th Edition, London: Routledge
  • Caroll, I. (2019) The Quantity Surveyor's Bible, Oakamoor Publishing

Sustainable Design MA

Preparatory reading list

  • Chapman, J. & Gant, N. ed. (2007) Designers, Visionaries and Other Stories: A Collection of Sustainable Design Essays. Earthscan.
  • Ceschin, F. & Gaziulusoy, I. (2019) Design for Sustainability: A Multi-level Framework from Products to Socio-technical Systems. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxford. Available as a free download.
  • Chick, A. & Micklethwaite, P. (2011) Design for Sustainable Change: How Design and Designers Can Drive the Sustainability Agenda. AVA Academia.
  • Arturo Escobar: Designs for the Pluriverse. 2017. Clark University Atwood Lecture. Watch on YouTube.
  • Thackara, J. (2015) How To Thrive In The Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow's World Today. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Walker, S. (2006) Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice. Earthscan

Things to explore

Useful information

Browse the pages below to find more useful information – we'll be updating this information throughout the year, so be sure to bookmark this page for more useful information.