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The University of Southampton

HUMA5016 International Summer School (two weeks)

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- introduce you, as international students, to UK higher education, and research-led learning - provide a taster of the sort of research that is undertaken at the University of Southampton by our scholars and post-graduate community - introduce you to key aspects of British popular culture, intellectual ideas, and history - explore specific themes relevant to our understanding of modern Britishness, its context in the world, and the historical study and commemoration of it - provide the opportunity to undertake curated trips to experience the impact of British history and culture first-hand

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • key historical periods of Britain’s development, and how these are studied, commemorated, and represented in popular culture
  • debates surrounding the reconstruction of Britain’s past, and its marketing to international students and visitors
  • stages of key political and social change in the United Kingdom from classical period to the modern day, and some of the debates surrounding their interpretation
  • understanding difference perceptions of Britishness
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • improved use of English for academic purposes
  • develop your time-management skills
  • locate and use effective textual, visual and material culture sources for the purpose of delivering a presentation
  • research historical questions and communicate your findings convincingly and concisely in a formal, assessed presentation
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • understand and contextualise primary source material relating to a wide range of British periods
  • engage with short extracts from secondary literature on a variety of British periods, and contribute to the debates relating to the significance of the political and social changes during these periods
  • analyse critically a variety of textual, visual and material culture sources
  • structure your ideas and research findings into a well-ordered presentation, completed collaboratively with your peers


The International Summer School runs over two weeks, and offers participants a range of components to choose between. These are designed by PGRs, with support from their academic supervisor(s). Each component is loosely based upon the contributor’s own research expertise, and is designed to be accessible to students with no prior experience of studying that topic. There is an emphasis on ensuring that the content is informative, thought-provoking, and above all, entertaining. The exact content and composition of the components will change year on year depending upon the expertise of the contributors. Indicative list of topics: - Monarchs: Icons of History - Stonehenge and the Ancient World - Jane Austen - Shakespeare - British Cinema - British Moral Philosophy - British Empire - Roman Britain - Modern Britishness - Introduction to TESOL The components are taught over three, three-hour long sessions, spread across a one or two-week period. The PGR will be in attendance for all three sessions, and one session will be led by the PGR’s academic supervisor, or another academic of appropriate standing and experience. How the time slot time is utilised is up to each individual contributor, although they are all encouraged to consider using a variety of activities and techniques, such as class discussion, group work, presentations, role play etc., and must also build breaks into each session. Field trips and hands-on sessions: Those responsible for developing the components will also be encouraged to consider relating the content to a field trip to an appropriate cultural attraction, and so hands-on activity and other such experience will build on the sessions. The logistics for this will be arranged by staff from the summer school programme. Locations for field trips will vary dependent upon the exact composition of components, but indicative examples include: - Stonehenge - Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - The V&A Museum - Avebury Manor and Stone Circle - The New Forest - Exbury Gardens - The Bank of England Museum In addition, all students will attend a skills component which will help prepare you for the multiple choice assessment at the end of the summer school, which will be delivered via QuestionMark Perception. This module will also train you in the presentation skills necessary for the formal assessed presentation at the end of the module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Due to the broad range of components and the variety of content covered in the summer school, PGRs and their supervisors are free to develop their delivery as they judge most appropriate. Thus, it is anticipated you will be exposed to a wide range of learning styles and techniques. Teaching methods include: - the provision of a specialist glossary and pre-module reading to help students prepare - a combination of lecture and seminar style delivery - group activities and discussion of specific sources and extracts - short presentations by students - group discussions including feedback from the tutor - a mock-examination of the multiple-choice paper (delivered through QuestionMark Perception) The timetabled sessions will provide students with general knowledge and understanding about chronology, sources and key concepts for each period covered by the module. This will be consolidated through brief, and carefully selected readings and simple glossary exercises. Discussions during the components will help you to develop your own ideas about the specific topic, analyse a range of source material, and most importantly, articulate a critical argument. Learning activities include: - preparatory reading and glossary activity - preparing and delivering short presentations relating to specific aspects of the module - studying textual and visual primary sources - participation in group and class discussion - curated field trips One factor which will remain consistent across all components is that each will have been carefully developed to take into account language differences, and the limited experience with regard to the material prior to the commencement of the class. It is recognised that international students are not necessarily an audience all participants will have experience of teaching. The English language (ACIS) team will provide advice and support for the creation of teaching materials which will be appropriate for the audience. This will enable those responsible for creating the components to focus on identifying engaging and stimulating material, and not be distracted by concerns about pitching to the right language level. Accordingly, we have organised an introductory workshop for all staff involved in teaching on the summer school. Furthermore, during the school there will be undergraduate ‘classroom assistants’ to circulate within classes and provide you with additional guidance, clarifications and support your comprehension.

Assessment tasks3
Independent Study30
Total study time90

Resources & Reading list

International Summer School website.

Library home page.


Assessment Strategy

The optional components are designed to be non-assessed, and thus feedback will be informal, based upon: - non-assessed oral presentations - directed questioning in class - guidance and advice in class on preparation, completion and presentation of group activities - regular discussion on the analysis of primary sources Formal assessments: The school has two forms of assessment. The first is a multiple choice examination, run using QuestionMark Perception. You will answer ten questions drawn from each of the components you have undertaken (for a total of 30). The second is the creation of a poster presentation under timed conditions, undertaken as a group and based upon a topic related to an aspect of modern Britishness. You will be placed into groups drawn from your peers, and will work on a poster, planned in advance over the period of the summer school. You will be provided with advice and guidance as to how to undertake research for your exhibit and the best techniques to employ to help you get your information across in imaginative and engaging ways. The assessment classes will also involve a discussion of the marking criteria and expectations for the poster, as well as an opportunity to practice first and receive informal feedback from the staff responsible for running the assessments. This element will be pass/fail.


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 50%
Assignment 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments  (500 words) 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


All costs for teaching materials required for classroom sessions (e.g. photocopying and handouts, handouts, books etc.,), and travel and entry for field trips is inclusive in the summer school fee.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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