Study Abroad in London, England - University College London

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Study Abroad in London: Courses

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Courses are divided by session and then grouped by broad academic discipline. Class timetables are available in May, but students should expect to be in class during the day Monday through Thursday and have assessment on the final Friday of each session.

Additional courses will be offered in 2021 and are likely to be confirmed late fall 2020.

3-Week Courses, Session 1

Computer Science

ISSU0054 (4) | Computational Systems Biology

All biological interactions, whether they take place on a molecular, organism or ecosystem scale, are part of complex dynamical systems. Understanding the behavior of these systems lies at the heart of many key challenges in biological research. In this module you will have the opportunity to develop and investigate mathematical models of biological systems and learn techniques to construct, implement and analyze interaction networks using the Python programming language.

ISSU0093 (4) | Data Driven Web-Based Applications

This 1st year, undergraduate core course covers the basic technical aspects of dynamic website construction concerning the front end (client) and the back end (server), It aims to develop a springboard for web-related technologies that require data collection, organisation and maintenance of accessible websites, through symantic layouts and with an introduction to object orientated coding practices. It focuses on developing skills in using HTML, CSS, jQuery, with PHP and SQL and covers aspects of data flow and web data management.

Crime and Security

ISSU1033 (4) | Understanding and Preventing Crime

Provides students with a broad understanding of issues relating to crime measurement, crime patterns, explanations of criminal behavior, and crime prevention. The module will consider the challenges and processes associated with measuring and analyzing crime and will present some of the key crime trends. Special attention will be devoted to how crime patterns manifest in space and time and how they can be analyzed. Criminological and psychological theories will be compared and the role of the traditional criminal justice system as a means of crime control will be explored.

ISSU0070 (4) | Cybersecurity Risk Management

Introduces the students to the aspects of how risk management methods are applied to improve cyber security. Firstly, it provides an overview of threats from cybercrimes followed by vulnerabilities and situational crime prevention techniques that provide mechanisms for cyber security. It then explains the principles of cyber security risk management that drives the decision making to protect organisations from cyber-attacks. Lastly, the key aspects of incident response planning and resilience in cyber risk management are outlined. Students will work in teams to identify, assess and prioritise cyber risks for a case study. The students will also get an opportunity to create a cybersecurity risk management plan within the same case study.

Economics, Business and Management

ISSU0079 (4) | Brexit: Political Tensions, Economic Challenges

The UK’s departure from the EU is a historical event, with global political and economic implications. This course will give students a comprehensive understanding of the causes and consequences of Brexit: Why did British people come to this unexpected decision? Will the British economy survive the shock of leaving the EU? Could this be the beginning of the end for the European Union? In the process, students will learn about UK and EU politics, economics and political economy. The module will include team work on multimedia projects, such as a hypothetical campaign for the next country that considers leaving the EU. The module will also include visits to the European Commission’s Representation to the UK and the headquarters of the pro-EU campaign, as well as talks by representatives of organisations on both sides of the Brexit campaign, such as the European Movement and Change Britain. The module will be updated to cover the most recent Brexit developments. Any possible outcome (including extension or cancellation of Brexit, second referendum, exit with no deal, etc.) will be incorporated into the module, and used to further enhance its learning aims.

ISSU0013 (4) | Principles of Microeconomics

Provides an introduction to the concepts that underlie modern economic analysis.

We will begin with the concept of opportunity cost, proceeding to optimal decision-making at the level of an individual consumer. Similar analysis will describe the optimal behaviour of an individual firm, distinguishing competitive and non-competitive market structures. The theoretical coverage will be supplemented with real-life examples. At the end of the module we will go on an excursion to the Bank of England and nearby historical sites.

Education and Research

ISSU0094 (4) | Educational Representations Through Media

Provides a general introduction to educational studies through the use of media. Media understood here includes both fictional (e.g. film and literature) and non-fictional sources (e.g. TV shows and documentaries). The module will consider how various educational concepts are represented through media, including (but not limited to) teacher-student relationships and identities, educational curricula, schooling, the function of academic institutions, as well as broader understandings of what constitutes education itself. Through engaging with selected sources, questions around what education is and how education is represented will be considered. Students will consider the value of both fictional and non-fictional sources when thinking, researching, and writing about education, as tools for both entertainment and insight. This will further raise questions around performativity and reliability in education and educational research, the relationship between representation and reality, and the ways in which understandings of reality are affected by such images more broadly.

Geography and the Built Environment

ISSU0077 (4) | Energy and Future Cities: Innovating London's Architecture

Depletion of traditional fuel stores has been accompanied by increasing pollution levels. Consequently, motivations to lower carbon-emissions have elevated and to ensure this change is achieved on a global scale a multinational agreement was achieved in 2015 at the Paris climate conference whereby 195 countries agreed a legally binding global climate deal. Much of our built environment is dependent on the energy systems that power it. To pave the way for the adoption of novel and advance energy systems, the infrastructure that underpins our cities will need to be reimagined, a fact that can already be seen in the influx of electric car charging points. This module will explore the potential of our future cities: The symbiotic relationship between cities and the energy systems that drive them will be the key in unlocking the future of our built environment.

ISSU0107 (4) | Making Policy in International Development

Deals with the empirical reality, theory, and current governance problems of development, poverty, and inequality. Specifically, throughout the course we will investigate the influence of colonialism, state capacity, regime type, war and conflict, accountability, social structures, and corruption on development. This course engages with both economic theory regarding development and political science research that highlights the challenges to implementing the policies that would lead to economic development. We take these theories and use to them to then think about and develop research-informed policies that promote development.

ISSU1005 (4) | Global London: Contemporary Urbanism, Culture and Space

London is truly a global city. An international center of culture and art, business and finance, education and research and tourism: the city is also home to people from all over the world who help shape and characterize its diversity. Despite its status as a global city, London must also be understood as an ordinary city; one of the hundreds of large cities around the world where people negotiate their daily routines of living, working, traveling and sharing space with others. This course will use London as a springboard to explore ways that contemporary cities are being theorized, experienced and understood. The course aims to challenge you to consider your own relations to, and place within, an increasingly urbanized world.

ISSU1064 (4) | Urban Environmental Politics

As the planet’s land use and human population become increasingly urban, environmental problems and politics of cities are evermore critical for improving socio-environmental relationships and outcomes. Thus, this module will explore the urban political conflicts of environmental issues like climate change, air pollution, water quality/quantity, resource and energy use, waste disposal, and more. Using a range of case studies from around the world and beginning with some of the contested material flows of resources that both transform and comprise cities, the module then will move to address politicized ideas of nature, conservation, and habitats in the city while concluding with discussions of human agency and responses to the uneven social impacts of urban environmental problems.

Brain Sciences

ISSU0014 (4) | Psychology In Action

Aims to develop students’ psychological literacy, through the cycle of enquiry and evidence. Students will be encouraged to think critically and evaluate their own behaviour through in-lecture experiments. A scientific approach will be developed through an appreciation of how empirical data can be used to test competing theories and simple questions will be dissected and examined. Experiencing this cycle of enquiry and evidence will give students the psychological literacy to integrate knowledge across psychology and apply it to the world around them.

ISSU0041 (4) | Business Psychology

Introduces students to the key findings and theories concerning how people think, feel and behave in organizations. It is equally relevant to students wishing to gain an understanding of business psychology at the university level as it is to students keen on developing hands-on skills that can be applied in organisational settings. The module focuses on topics such as motivation, negotiations, group and network dynamics, social status, influence, and individual personality. The module features interactive lectures, research exercises, and experiential activities, including individual negotiations, group problem-solving, and using data analysis to make strategic business decisions.

ISSU0065 (4) | How the Brain Works and What Can Go Wrong

Looks at what we know about healthy brains - how the brain is structured, the different types of brain cells, localization of function and neurochemistry of different brain areas, communication within the brain and how we investigate the brain. Also looks at dysfunction in relation to vision, hearing, movement, memory, thinking, emotion and behavior. UCL is ranked as second in the world for neuroscience and students will get to hear about the amazing world class research that takes place within the Faculty of Brain Sciences and its constituent parts.

ISSU0039 (4) | Language and the Mind: An Introduction to Pschyolinguistics

An introduction to Psycholinguistics, an interdisciplinary field of study which aims to understand how humans learn, represent, comprehend, and produce language. It will begin by asking what it means to know a language and explore the nature of our linguistic competence. Students will examine core properties of mental representations and processes involved in acquiring and understanding language, and how linguistic processes unfold in real time. Finally, students will explore issues in perception, production and acquisition in three core domains: speech sounds, words, and sentences.

Health and Medical Sciences

ISSU0106 (4) | Global Migration and Health

Analyes the interplay between global migration and health, whereby the latter encompasses physical, mental and social well-being. Patterns of migratory movement have an impact on individual physical and psychological health as well as on public health. The ability of migrants to integrate into a host society is based on combined mental, physical and social well-being. However, the structural inequalities experienced by migrants can have a significant impact on their overall health. Migrant health thus goes beyond the traditional management of diseases among mobile populations and is linked to the broader social determinants of health and unequal distribution of such determinants. Case studies will be taken from all over the world but special attention will be paid to migration to the UK and, in particular, to London.

ISSU1012 (4) | Population and Public Health

Provides an introduction to definitions used in population and public health, basic theories, and conceptual frameworks linking major determinants of health with a range of individual and population health outcomes. Students will discover the major milestones in the history of population health, while exploring the role of London in public health research.

ISSU2044 (4) | Nanotechnology in Medicine (Level 2)

The use of nanotechnology in medicine is an emerging field that can revolutionize the treatment and detection of disease. This module offers both an insight into these emerging technologies and a fundamental understanding of why size matters and how nanoscale technologies interact with biological environments. Through hands on laboratory sessions, workshops and lectures, students will see how this technology offers huge leaps in diagnostics.

Please note there is a bench fee of £100 for the use of labs and consumable materials.

History and Philosophy

ISSU0060 (4) | Darwin and the History of Evolution

Evolution is an idea at the heart of modern science and society. Everything evolves. This module explores the history of evolution as an idea, covering topics from the eighteenth century to the present. Yes, we will explore science: evolutionary biology has evolved and we’ll follow some of those changes. But there is so much more. London has been a key centre in the development of evolutionary studies. Darwin developed key ideas here. So did his predecessors, and many successors. We’ll visit locations such as Down House (Darwin’s family home), The Grant Museum of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, The Linnean Society and Oxford Museum of Natural History. We’ll explore episodes as diverse as (a) dinosaurs and deep time, (b) social Darwinism and corporate capitalism, (c) eugenics, (d) the clash in religion between fundamentalism and modernity, and (e) changing views of what it means to be human. We also explore the idea of hero worship and commemoration: for example, why does Darwin receive so much credit, and why is he buried in Westminster Abbey? There are no prerequisites: the science will be accessible to liberal arts students; the history will be accessible to science students.


ISSU1041 (4) | Law, Lawyers and Social Justice

Considers the role that law plays in society, with a particular focus on the ways in which lawyers can achieve social change. The module is rooted broadly in law and social sciences and will be richly interdisciplinary in its approach. It will introduce students to conceptions of social justice and to the lawyer client relationship, as well as the role of charities and NGOs in advocating and campaigning on social welfare and human rights. By the end of the module students will be able to question their assumptions about the ways in which the law is constructed and understood in society, as well as the ways in which lawyers achieve, or might fail to achieve, social justice.

ISSU1048 (4) | International Trade and Maritime Law

The selling and purchasing of goods across territorial borders is an ancient yet sophisticated commercial activity, and carriage of goods by sea has been the backbone of international trade since ancient times. International trade involves interlocking contracts, including letters of credit and contracts of sale, carriage and insurance, all of which concern the minds of traders whilst performing this activity for profit. English law enjoys a long-standing predominance in the international shipping market, as it is frequently chosen by the parties to govern their contracts of carriage, and this module covers both the principles of the laws, and all facets of contracts, disputes and remedies.

Sciences and Mathematics

ISSU0066 (4) | Astrophysics and Cosmology

Offers exposure to the fundamental principles of special and general relativity and their significance to the evolution of the Cosmos. Topics such as stellar interiors, classification and evolution along with galaxy dynamics will be discussed. Culminates with descriptions of current cosmological models and touches on recent developments of the much discussed dark matter and dark energy mysteries and what they entail to the evolution of the Universe.

ISSU0078 (4) | Bioscience and Society: Public Engagement, Policy and Funding

Explores the relationship between science and society in both an historical and contemporary context. Since the days of Christopher Columbus, right down to the Apollo Space programme and more recently the large Hadron collider at CERN, it has become clear that ambitious scientific endeavour requires public confidence, communication and funding in order to get from the original idea to something which has an impact in society. These considerations are just as valid in biology and medicine as they are in the physical sciences. This course will draw on the unique range of museums, learned societies and organizations based in London to enable students to experience and appreciate the relationship between science and society and the need for scientists to engage and communicate with the wider world.

ISSU0092 (4) | Climate Change and Sustainability in Practice

Introduces the issues surrounding climate change, sustainability issues and use of resources, such as limits to grow, the role decisions making and governance of resource use in different economies. The module will provide an understanding on global challenges that requires locally designed interventions and actions. It will provide an understanding of the relationships between human needs and resource use (water, energy, land, materials, food) under different climatic scenarios, by introducing some of the key methodological tools for understanding the sustainability of resource use. Our goal is to expose you to a range of issues and understand trade-offs between resource use and draw on practical case studies (islands), discuss possible solutions, how to communicate and engage with decision makers and general public. We choose islands as case studies, because there are more than 750 million people living on islands, from the densely populated urban centres of the Philippines and Hawaii’s to the atolls and archipelagos of the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean. Furthermore, islands are at the front line of the effects of climate change. Key challenges: rising temperature and sea levels, lack of fresh water supply, plastic pollution, sewage blockages, high number of tourists in season time, dependence on fossil fuels imports and high prices.

ISSU0088 (4) | Principles of Organic Chemistry

Designed to introduce students to the foundations of organic chemistry by focusing on the structures, properties and chemical reactivity of the various carbon-based compounds. Also covers different aspects of isomerism observed in organic molecules as well as the reactions’ mechanisms (substitution, elimination, and addition) in terms of the electrons flow. Various analytical techniques (MS, NMR and IR) will be introduced as a tool to determine organic structures.

ISSU0068 (4) | Science Journalism (Level 2)

Science and innovation are playing a central part in developed societies, with scientists being increasingly seen as key economic actors. Informed science journalism is more necessary than ever, if our societies are to develop as sustainable democracies. This module considers key aspects of news writing and offers participants the possibility to experiment practically with the production of different genres of journalistic output: News story, feature article, blog post, and podcast. For the latter, students will have access to the radio studio installed in the Science and Technology Studies department. The module’s practical approach invites students to reflect on the role of science journalists in today’s society. By the end of the module, participants will have produced contents that will be featured on a dedicated webpage.

ISSU2039 (4) | Climate and Energy (Level 2)

What is the evidence for anthropogenic climate change? How can we generate low-carbon electricity from nuclear and renewable sources, and how can we make our transport infrastructure greener? This module has a strong emphasis on the underlying physical principles of low-carbon energy sources, as well as simple estimates of their potential contribution.

3-Week Courses, Session 2

Crime and Security

ISSU1017 (4) | Understanding and Countering Radicalization and Terrorism

Provides an introduction to the phenomena of radicalization and terrorism; including key definitions, causal accounts, empirical trends, past and present manifestations, current groups, and tactics. Through successive case studies, students will familiarize themselves with the following five approaches to prevention and disruption: Efforts to anticipate and prevent terrorism acts through situational measures; enforcement measures used to disrupt, disable or suppress the activities of terrorist networks; interventions aimed at the individual actor, their risk factors, belief systems and pathways out of terrorism involvement; removal of the economic basis for terrorist activities by attacking organized crime; and strategies which focus on the “root causes” of terrorism and radicalization.

Economics, Business and Management

ISSU0099 (4) | Economics for Sustainability: Climate Change and Social Inequalities

Takes students on a journey of discovery of the logic, values, uncertainties and thinking behind the debate on climate change action, economic wellbeing and inequalities. It sits between theory and practice. Theoretically, the module departs from conventional methods of economics teaching that typically focus only on a narrow range of orthodox or mainstream economic theories that are generally underpinned by the methodological monism of mathematical formalism. Instead, it embarks on a tour-de-force of diverse, contradicting, and rich social-economic perspectives. Practically, the module discusses main climate-related policy and societal concerns, perceptions and facts, including issues of just transitions or climate justice. Moreover, in order to spur student creativity, understanding and imagination, the module brings novel elements, in that it connects economic thinking with the world of arts and culture.

ISSU0030 (4) | Principles of Macroeconomics

Introduces students to the structure and workings of modern economic activity, focusing on models of production, use, organization and distribution. Students will identify influences in national economies, as well as the international economy, and consider the role of government policy. Students will learn different perspectives in macroeconomics and the value of models in interpretation and prediction. Problems will be discussed in groups to enable participatory learning and students will apply macroeconomic theory to debate issues in the real world.

Education and Research

EISSU1035 (4) | What is Education?

Provides an introduction to what it means to study education at a higher level. Students will attend sessions at the UCL Institute of Education, where a range of experts will present their responses to the question: what is education? What is education for, what is its purpose, both here and now and looking to the future?; What should be its fundamental values and ethics?; What do we mean by knowledge and learning (including formal and informal learning)?; What is our concept of education?; What is our image of the learners, educators, learner contexts, and of community/society?; Who is responsible for education, and what does it mean to be responsible?

ISSU0102 (4) | Youth and Globalization

Provides an introduction to youth studies, with a particular focus on critically exploring the association between youth and the globalizing world. This module considers a broad body of interdisciplinary scholarships such as history, education, politics, and the environment. Students will also critically discuss the increasing use of social media by youth movements in creating changes insociety and the notion of young people as the agents of change. This module will bring in perspectives from various parts of the world through diverse reading materials as well as study trips to three institutions (The British Museum, the Indonesian Embassy in London and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation office).

Geography and the Built Environment

ISSU0034 (4) | London's Urban Development: Politics, Policy and Design

This module explores how London’s urban form is developing in response to the economic, social, and environmental challenges associated with its role as a ‘global city’. Capitalizing on UCL’s position in the heart of London, the module will introduce students to key frameworks for urban policy and planning decision-making, and will examine the processes shaping the urban development within London. Students will engage with current debates over issues such as airport expansion, super-tall buildings and affordable housing. Perspectives from social science and urban design will be used to critically examine how cities can respond to the challenge of ensuring a sustainable urban future. The insights, knowledge and skills developed on this module can ultimately be applied to cities around the world.

ISSU0103 (4) | Battery Technology

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have revolutionised portable electronics; from mobiles to laptops, Li-ion batteries are omnipresent within modern society. Furthermore, we are now seeing a global shift within the automotive industry towards the adoption of electric vehicles, predicted to be a trillion £ market by 2050. This module requires no prior knowledge of battery technology and will cover all major aspects, from fundamental operation through to commercial application. This will include tours of cutting-edge research facilities, external speakers from the likes of NASA and perspectives covering: government policy, industrial production, project management, commercial business and marketing.

ISSU0076 (4) | Energy and Future Cities: Advanced Energy Systems

Breakthroughs in key technologies will require multidisciplinary approaches from the work of fundamental scientists in the creation of new chemistries, to the applied work of engineers in materials scale up and fabrication, to the economic and policy regulations and guidance that will be required to facilitate such change. Although significant research is being undertaken in both academic and industrial environments, education on such devices remains limited. This course builds upon the teachings of the ‘Energy and future cities’ module in session one, exposing the audience to a detailed description of the fundamental mechanisms that drive electrochemical devices and how these devices are fabricated and implemented into real-word products answering questions such as: What is a battery? How is a battery made? Where and how can one implement battery technology?

ISSU0081 (4) | Urban Geoscience: the London Perspective

Urban geoscience encompasses the geological aspects of the built environment in the context of construction materials and, the underlying bedrock that affects the stability of built structures. In London, the relevance of these aspects are evident. For example, landslips can disrupt rail services and, non-uniform expansion and shrinkage of underlying clay sub-soil results in cracks in buildings. Water resource is another important consideration in the growing urban context. Growing urbanization also implies that the cities are increasingly becoming repositories of valuable materials that should be targets for recovery by urban mining. These critical aspects of urban geology are evident for London and will be explored, but also relevant to other expanding cities in the world.

Brain Sciences

ISSU1051 (4) | Mental Health and the Mind

Mental disorders, e.g. schizophrenia, dementia, depression, are common across all countries and constitute about 14% of the global burden of disease. Many people with a mental disorder - and the majority of those living in low income countries - still have no access to the treatments they need. This module will offer students from a range of backgrounds, e.g. social sciences, medicine, psychology, an understanding of basic principles of how mental disorders present, the impact on individuals and the advances in treatment and recovery.

Health and Medical Sciences

ISSU1025 (4) | Global Health: Local and International Perspectives

Provides an introduction to the discipline of global health. Each week will be framed around the ‘wicked problems’ facing our world and the ways in which the individual can engage with global issues. Topics covered include access and availability of healthcare, inequality, poverty, ethics, aid, and the key actors in global health. Each week will begin with a U.K. case study relating to a core topic, and end with an excursion to a local site of significance in the development of the global health discipline.

ISSU0073 (4) | Healthcare Management: A London Perspective (Level 2)

The recent policy reforms in the NHS, and the challenges faced by health systems globally emphasize the need for future doctors and healthcare managers to understand how systems function, how they are financed, and how strategic policies are developed to ensure the provision of care to the highest quality standards. Looking at the vision and eye health subsector, with Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Institute of Ophthalmology staff as facilitators of various sessions, students will engage in informed discussions about how various policies, different strategic approaches and types of financing can affect health systems and how Moorfields is addressing these challenges.


ISSU1038 (4) | International Commercial Arbitration

Cross-border commercial disputes are frequently resolved by arbitration in London. London is home to a wide range of arbitral institutions and boasts a wealth of talented arbitration professionals. This module concerns the contractual and procedural elements of international commercial arbitration from comparative and practical perspectives, focusing particularly on the English Arbitration Act 1996, the UNCITRAL Model Law and the New York Convention.

Sciences and Mathematics

ISSU1019 (4) | Anatomy and Developmental Biology

Provides an introduction to significant aspects of human anatomy and embryonic development, preparing students for more advanced studies in these subjects. The module covers topographical anatomy and embryonic development of the nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive system, musculoskeletal system, urogenital system, and limbs. The first few weeks of human development will be examined, alongside the cellular organization of tissues and organs.

ISSU1028 (4) | Data Science and Big Data Analytics

Data Science is an exciting new area that combines scientific inquiry, statistical knowledge, substantive expertise, and computer programming. One of the main challenges for businesses and policy makers when using big data is to find people with the appropriate skills. This module will cover classic topics in data analysis (regression, binary models, and panel data) and introduce more specialised techniques, such as classification and decision trees, clustering and pattern recognition, and dimensionality reduction. It will cover data preparation and processing, including working with structured, key-value formatted (JSON), and unstructured data.

ISSU0091 (4) | Health Data Science and Data Analytics in Healthcare (Level 2)

Health Data Science is an exciting new area that combines scientific inquiry, statistical knowledge, substantive expertise, and computer programming in the area of healthcare and biomedicine. One of the main challenges for businesses, research institutes, and policy makers when using big health data is to find people with the appropriate skills. Students taking this module will be introduced to the most fundamental data analytic tools and techniques and learn how to use specialised software to analyse real-world health data.

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