Study Abroad in London, England - University College London

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 April, but students should expect to be in class during the day Monday thru Thursday and have assessment on the final Friday of each session.

3-Week Courses, Session 1


ISSU1008 (4) | Human Evolution

Evolutionary biology is modern life science’s most important theory – and no other institution has been as influential in shaping this discipline than UCL. This course will explore how London's vibrant historic and intellectual milieu stimulated revolutionary discoveries about the origins of life in general and the development of humanity in particular. We will learn about our evolutionary history, how our primate ancestry still shapes our current lives and what evolution may hold for us in times to come. Lastly, we will scrutinize various controversies that were of triggered by Darwinian theory.

Health and Medical Sciences

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. The basic measurements of outcomes and risk factors used in public health will be introduced, taking into account data sources, social determinants in health and health inequalities, and the principles used to critically evaluate and interpret evidence.

ISSU1044 (4) | Nanotechnology in Medicine

This module introduces students to the emerging use of nanotechnology in medicine. At the nanoscale, physical and chemical (and thereby biological) properties of materials differ from the properties of individual atoms or bulk matter. These nanoscale properties are offering new opportunities for disease diagnosis (e.g. quantum dots, magnetic nanoparticles) and treatment (e.g. targeted nanoparticle drug delivery, nanotargeted radiation therapy and nano-designed tissue scaffolds). Through laboratory sessions, workshops and lectures by world-leading researchers and active clinicians, this module explores why size is important for nanoparticle theranostics and for controlling biological interactions for biomaterial and tissue engineering.


ISSU1037 (4) | Anglo-American Business Law

Introduces students to key areas of business law from a U.K.-U.S.and international perspective, while honing their analytical, communication, and team problem solving skills. Students will become familiar with the basic structure of the legal system and key elements of contract law, product liability, intellectual property law, the insider trading prohibition, and the law governing partnerships and corporations, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions. In order to deepen students’ understanding of business law, the module will also explore multi-dimensional aspects relating to social, political, ethical and technological considerations. Students will assume a hypothetical role such as a legislative assistant, advocate or judicial clerk. Furthermore, a highlight of the module is the Supreme Court debate, where students work in teams on pending Supreme Court cases, culminating in an in-class mock trial during which teams represent one of the parties or act as Supreme Court justices.

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. Arbitration is usually carried out in accordance with the rules of an administering arbitral institution (such as the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) or the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)). In trade and commodity arbitration, parties generally refer to the arbitration rules of some particular trade associations. Given the importance of institutional rules of arbitration, students will also study these rules to have a good understanding of the conduct of the arbitral process and the making of arbitration awards.

ISSU1040 (4) | Corporate Social Responsibility

This module offers perspectives on corporate social responsibility both as a governing mechanism for businesses as well as a form of business practice. It examines the theoretical paradigms surrounding the corporate objective, international movements in corporate social responsibility led by organisations such as the OECD and the UN, and delves into the role of corporations’ vis-à-vis social rights at both domestic and international levels. The module devotes a significant proportion of time to the role of corporations in human rights and furthering social welfare and will discuss key critical perspectives on other social rights, including labour and the environment, where relevant. This module challenges students into viewing the role and responsibility of the corporation from perspectives beyond the traditional idea of profit making.

ISSU1041 (4) | Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property is the study of property in intangibles. Although this sounds rather abstract (and at times it is), it also involves issues which are of vital importance to businesses, consumers and the general public. Have you ever downloaded music from the internet? Have you ever taken a prescription drug? Do you photocopy books in the library? Have you ever bought Adidas trainers instead of no-brand shoes because they are just ‘cooler’? Do you believe that life-saving drugs should be freely available to those who cannot afford to pay for them? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then you’ve come into contact with, and may even have infringed, intellectual property rights. This module considers the means by which the products of human intellectual creativity and ingenuity are identified as protectable subject matter, as well as the consequences of treating them as property. It is designed to afford students an acquaintance with key intellectual property principles and policy issues.


ISSU1004 (4) | Evolution and Sexual Selection

The theory of evolution constitutes a powerful explanation of the interrelatedness and diversity of living organisms on planet Earth. This module aims to provide students with a full introduction to modern evolutionary theory and the forces of selection that drive evolutionary change. The module will be enquirybased and research-oriented. There will be a strong focus on sexual selection, mating systems and the roles of the quality and quantity of potential mates; using examples from a wide range of plant and animal systems. Key concepts will be introduced via mini-lectures and evaluated in small group sessions, through discussion of case studies. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to design and conduct a laboratory study with a model species, and take part in an end of module symposium.

ISSU1028 (4) | Modern History of Science in London

Science rapidly expanded in 19th century Britain—this module will explore that expansion through the lens of the great metropolis that was London. The module will examine a variety of settings; including museums, laboratories, lecture halls, publishing devices, parlors, and private collections, and a variety of communities; including professional societies, amateur clubs, working men’s clubs, and ephemeral consumer activity. It will explore how these venues come together to create an integrated world for science, and will examine how the relationship between science and the public evolved over the 19th century. It includes visits to some of London’s main attractions related to 19th century science. Specific visits may vary, but suitable choices include: Natural History Museum and The Science Museum, Crystal Palace Park, Down House, Royal Institution, Royal College of Surgeons, Docklands Museum, and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. A visit to the museums of either Oxford or Cambridge will also take place, as will at least one walking tour, to visit some of the scientific clubs near Piccadilly Circus.

ISSU1039 (4) | Climate and Energy

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? If we fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently rapidly, will we need to intervene directly in the climate system through so-called “geoengineering”? This module will cover all of these topics, with a strong emphasis on the underlying physical principles and deriving simple estimates of the potential contribution of various low-carbon energy sources. In addition to attending lectures, students research one particular aspect of climate and energy in depth and present their findings in an essay and associated short presentation.

Security and Crime Science

ISSU1017 (4) | Understanding and Countering Radicalization and Terrorism

This module will provide 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.

3-Week Courses, Session 2


EISSU1035 (4) | What is Education?

Provides an introduction to what it means to study education at a higher level. The module will provide students with the opportunity to explore key ideas underpinning education with some of the world’s leading experts in education. 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? These responses will be underpinned by the critical consideration of the following questions: 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? Students will be encouraged to consider and share their responses to these questions, in relation to their own contexts.

Health and Medical Sciences

ISSU1020 (4) | Illness, Health and Healing in Ancient Greece

The module aims to provide students with the tools to engage critically with the study of ancient Greek medicine and to identify and examine ways in which ancient Greek medicine interacts with a broad intellectual landscape.

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. A symposium will be held, whereby students can speak to academics and public sector actors about the topics covered in the module. 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. These excursions will link UCL’s core value of equality with the rich history of social welfare and public health that began in London in the 1700s.

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 such as social sciences, medicine, psychology, an understanding of basic principles of how mental disorders present themselves, the impact on individuals and the possibilities for recovery and treatment advances. It will address general aspects of the aetiology and treatment of mental disorders, the setting within which such disorders are managed in the UK and globally and finally bring the students in touch with people with lived experience of a mental disorder in order to elucidate aspects of stigma and health and social inequalities. Most importantly, we hope that students will be inspired to further their interest in this field and go on to develop a career in mental health.

ISSU1055 (4) | Nerve Injury Treatment: Medicine, Science and Engineering

Peripheral Nerve Injury is a field of regenerative medicine which is advancing towards a paradigm shift in available therapeutic options. The ability of medicine to manipulate one of the only organ systems which has the capacity in a human to regrow is at the forefront of fields of surgical science, pharmacology, cellular engineering, bioengineering and assistive technologies. This module offers the student the capacity to experience all the current therapeutic options for peripheral nerve injury treatment through a collaboration of the only clinical unit in the world to focus purely on nerve injury and UCL; a recognised world leader in neurobiology and engineering. This exposure will be through lectures and exposure in the clinical environment (clinic, rehab and the operating theatre) to all the basic concepts and theories of improving outcomes after nerve injury.


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. Thereafter, students will consider the role of charities and NGOs in advocating and campaigning on social welfare and human rights. They will critically reflect on practical scenarios and real life campaigns and will be challenged to think about the law, and its limitations, in responding to social need. 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. 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. In pursuit of certainty and predictability in their affairs, traders around the world typically refer to English law in their sale contracts as the governing law. London has an unrivalled reputation as a global centre for dispute resolution, and it has always been the heart of international trade and maritime disputes. Carriage of goods by sea has been the backbone of international trade since ancient times. This age-old yet sophisticated commercial activity remains to this day of importance to traders selling and purchasing goods across territorial borders for profit. The business of carriage of goods by sea is obviously risky. A cargo carried aboard a ship may arrive late or in damaged condition, or it may not even arrive at all. Due to bad weather conditions, a chartered ship may stay at anchor for days before the cargo can be loaded or discharged. The risk of sea carriage has, over the centuries, given rise to a great number of disputes between carriers and various other parties who have an interest in the vessel and her cargo. 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. A vast amount of goods is carried around the world under contracts of carriage governed by English law.

ISSU1049 (4) | Introduction to Law

This module is designed to provide students with an introduction to International Law, to European Union Law and to English Common Law. Week 1 will concentrate on International Law, week 2 will focus on European Union Law as an example for a regional law regime in an international context, and week 3 will provide an overview of the development and the basic structures of the English Legal System. The connection between International Law, EU Law and domestic law (both English and students’ home jurisdictions) will be explored around current issues such as the refugee crisis and climate change. The module will be interactive and students will be encouraged to discuss the law and critically analyse decisions and current legal problems.


ISSU1019 (4) | Anatomy and Developmental Biology

Provides an introduction to significant aspects of human anatomy and embryonic development. It aims to prepare 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. An understanding of the key principles of embryonic development will be provided. The module is taught through lectures, a series of seminars covering more specialised topics, a small number of practicals, and a class in the Anatomy Laboratory (Dissecting Room).

ISSU1028 (4) | Data Science and Big Data Anayltics

Provides an introduction to the most fundamental data analytic tools and techniques, and will teach students how to use specialized software to analyze real-world data and answer policy-relevant questions. 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.

Security and Crime Science

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 relating to criminal behavior will be compared and the role of the traditional criminal justice system as a means of crime control, compared to other crime prevention frameworks, will be explored.

If you are studying on a customized, faculty-led program through your home institution, please see the AIFS Partnerships website for details.