Study Abroad in London, England - University College London

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Study Abroad in London: Courses

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These courses have been offered in previous years. Please note that courses may change at the discretion of UCL and may vary from session to session.

Session One

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 behavior 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.

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

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.

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 organizational 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. 

Computer Science

ISSU0098 (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, organization 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

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.

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 organizations 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 prioritize 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.

Culture, Literature and the Arts

ISSU0001 (4) | Action! Introduction to Film Studies

This module will introduce students to the discipline of Film Studies by focusing on the main theoretical and technical aspects of filmmaking. Through lectures, seminars, screenings and excursions, students will learn how to approach and discuss films analytically and will acquire an awareness of the history and development of cinema and of the key concepts that can be used to discuss and write about films.

ISSU0074 (4)  | The Birth of Feminism: UCL, Bloomsbury and Fin-de-Siècle Radicalism 

This module explores the rise of feminism in England from the publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to World War I, when London was a hot house of radical thinking and the temporary or definitive home of a variety of brilliant cosmopolitan thinkers and writers who converged here attracted by the infinite opportunities for debate on the most varied ‘isms’: positivism, liberalism, socialism, trade-unionism, Ibsenism, Freudianism, vegetarianism, pacifism, secularism and, last but not least, evolutionism. Darwin’s theories of natural and sexual selection and his views of the place of woman in the evolution of the human species had a wide and deep impact on the debate on the Woman Question. They were received and appropriated in different ways by New Woman writers, but none of them escaped their influence.

UCL had a prominent place in these exciting debates also because of its deep connection to Darwinism through figures such as Francis Galton, Edward Grant, Edwin Ray Lankester and Karl Pearson, so this is the right place to explore Darwinism’s fundamental ontological implications for the cultural and literary discourse of the fin-de siècle.

ISSU0094 (4) | Public Art, Graffiti and the Right to the City

This module is an introduction to creativity and crime in cities, with a focus on graffiti, street art and other types of public surface communications. The module will introduce concepts and methods that enable us to understand contemporary urban environments, as they are shaped through architecture, creativity and the maintenance of order. We will examine different visual languages from graffiti to public art and hostile architecture, to understand who uses and produces the city, and who urban spaces belong to.

The module will start with an overview of contemporary urban theories and introduce an international history of graffiti and street art, to examine how these practices produce conversations about publicness and privacy, art and crime, transgression and the law.

Economics, Business and Management

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 behavior 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.

ISSU0096 (4) | Money, Banking and Cryptocurrencies (Level 2)

The module will explore the role of money and banking in normal and crisis times as well as the most recent developments in the financial industry, namely cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. In particular, we will investigate the role of credit for economic growth, why do banks exist and how do they compete. We will then research how banks possibly triggered the Great Financial Crisis (2007-8) as well as governments’ policies in response. Finally, we will devote our attention to the most recent development in the money and credit markets, such as blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, with specific emphasis on bitcoins. The module will be articulated around standard theoretical models, empirical evidence, policy developments and case studies. With the latter respect we will take advantage of the international dimension of the UCL Summer School and we will draw from the experiences of different countries in the world.

*Pre-requisites: students will be expected to have knowledge of basic economic concepts.

ISSU7777 (4) | Society, Technology and Behavior

This module aims to explore the relationship between collective and individual behavior, society and technology. It is especially concerned with how technologies evolve in relation to organizational, collective and individual behavior, and vice versa. We evaluate how technologies deliver (and fail to deliver) profitable, effective and valuable products services processes and activities. The module explores in detail the relationship between society and technology, especially in terms of how and why technologies succeed and fail; the value that technologies deliver (and do not deliver); and the wider position of technology in society. We examine also the relationship between individuals and technology, and how behavior influences how technologies are developed, and how technologies influence and shape behavior.

Education and Research

ISSU0103 (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

ISSU0005 (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. 

ISSU0063 (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. 

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. 

Health and Medical Sciences

ISSU0025 (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. 

ISSU0051 (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.


ISSU4444 (4) | Clinical Trials (Level 2)

Students will be introduced to the fundamental principles of clinical research studies, with emphasis on clinical trials rather than observational studies. Students will be guided through the design, conduct, and analysis and reporting of clinical trials and the common sub-studies often added to them (e.g. health economics). Students will be introduced to systematic reviews and meta-analyses and the important role they play in answering important clinical research questions. A session of the course will be dedicated to the role patients and consumers can play in clinical trial design, conduct and reporting.

*Pre-requisite: As well as the standard entry requirements students are expected to have successfully completed a first year level undergraduate module in any of the following subject areas: life sciences, psychology, mathematics, pharmacy, nursing, or medicine.

Sciences and Mathematics

ISSU0049 (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.

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 endeavor 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. 

Session Two

Brain Sciences

ISSU0046 (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. 

Computer Science

ISSU0055 (4)  | Statistics with R and RStudio 

We are exposed to statistical data on a daily basis in the form of opinion polls, economic forecasts, reports on the effect of diet and lifestyle on life expectancy and disease risk, debates over the evidence for climate change, among others. This module introduces statistics and the free software R/RStudio to students with no previous knowledge of mathematics beyond high school level. The module also assesses the uses, misuses and limitations of statistical methods. Topics range from basic descriptive statistics to more advanced topics including multivariate analysis, logistic regression, and model optimization. As additional skills, students are introduced to professional-standard plotting resources, basic programming functions in R, and the user-friendly RStudio interface. 

Crime and Security

ISSU0033 (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. 

Culture, Literature and the Arts

ISSU0058 (4) | Fairy Tales and their Retelling

Why are fairy tales so popular? Why are the original fairy tales darker than the ones we know? This course will give an introduction to different forms of storytelling, exploring the origins and evolution of fairy tales with a focus on contemporary retellings. A variety of fairy tales will be examined, ranging from ancient myths and medieval storytelling tradition to Disney’s adaptations and TV series such as Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

The module will introduce students to different literary genres, such as children’s literature (by looking into how children’s novels such as Alice in Wonderland and The Adventures of Pinocchio have been retold) and graphic novel studies. They will learn different approaches of literary analysis, such as comparative criticism and psychoanalysis. The course will include excursions to relevant exhibitions and interactive workshops on storytelling.

ISSU0086 (4) | British Literature and the Birth of Mass Media: Victorian Periodical to Modernist Magazine

When we think of literature many of us picture books on a shelf. But this has never been the only way to encounter texts and ideas. New technologies and the evolution of mass media have profoundly influenced how people read and the way they think. This module teaches students how to critically engage with periodicals: newspapers, journals and magazines which were one of the first forms of mass media that aimed at expanding readerships and shaping them. How did literature engage with periodicals and how did periodicals use literature? We will seek to answer this question by engaging with texts in the form they were originally published – from the seventeenth century to the present. Students will be taught the intellectual and practical tools needed to handle and interpret periodicals through seminars, workshops and other online activities and they will engage with remarkable works of literature in new and unfamiliar contexts.

Economics, Business and Management

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.

ISSU0092 (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.

ISSU0097 (4) | Digital Business Transformation

The digital revolution of the 21st century is permeating various aspects of businesses, industries and society as a whole. The smart cities development is the result of the digital technologies, fast paced innovations and the need to achieve the sustainable development goals. The digital transformation in smart cities is enabling dramatic shifts in business models, business services and the way we live. This course provides the essential knowledge and skills that prepares students to understand and critically analyze the digital transformation strategies in the fast and dynamically changing environment that we currently live in. The knowledge and skills that the students will learn in this module is relevant to students of all disciplines as almost all organizations are impacted by the digital transformations. 

Education and Research

EISSU0035 (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? 

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.

ISSU0100 (4) | Battery Technology

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have revolutionized 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.

Health and Medical Sciences

ISSU099 (4)  | Global Migration and Health 

Analyzes 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. 


ISSU0038 (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.

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.

Sciences and Mathematics

ISSU0019 (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. 

If you are studying on a customized, faculty-led program through your home institution, please visit AIFS Customized Faculty-Led for details.

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