What can I study?

Our course modules, which have been tailored especially for our International Summer School, incorporate a distinctive Scottish flavour and also allow for critical thinking of international themes. Each module includes an educational trip which will explore some of the most outstanding locations around Scotland.

Our programme allows you to gain credits towards your degree at your home institution. Each module is accredited by the Scottish Credit Qualification Framework (SCQF).

The modules shown represent those offered during the International Summer School 2023. These modules may change when applications open for next year's summer school, launching in January 2024.

Block 1: Saturday 8 June - Saturday 6 July 2024

Education and Learning: A Scottish Perspective (ISSU9EL)

Within this module, you’ll explore the purposes of education and how this translates into curriculum offerings within the Scottish Education system in the context of the UK. The module will also consider the issues of learners’ identities within pre-school, primary, secondary and further education.

Brief Encounters: An Introduction to Writing Short Stories (ISSU9BE)

Realise your creative potential by producing an original and stimulating piece of short fiction. In addition to engaging with practical aspects of craft and technique, you will learn how to create believable, compelling characters and how to make them live (and die!) on the page. You will also have the opportunity to visit sites of historic importance and natural beauty to inspire your writing.

Issues in Moral Philosophy (ISSU9MP)

Many of our moral beliefs are acquired and held quite unthinkingly; they are products of our upbringing and socialization, rather than of our own reflection on the right and the good. But sometimes we are forced, by the circumstances or problems that we face, to think critically about our moral beliefs, and to reflect on what we ought to believe. The module will introduce students to some of the central issues in moral philosophy - both normative issues about how we should live, and more theoretical issues about right and wrong, and about the nature of moral thought and argument. You will engage in critical, philosophical reflection on morality by examining a number of difficult moral issues.

Religion and Conflict (ISSU9RC)

In recent years the public and academic discourse and media engagement with religion and conflict has been predominantly focused on the relatively narrow field of violence, terrorism and fundamentalism. However, it is by no means the whole picture or conversation that religion and conflict should encompass. This course will focus on sources and case studies of conflict and it will specifically engage with Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions as well as secular traditions. It will examine issues such as nationalism, colonialism, international affairs and the role of those charged with reporting such conflicts. This module will be offered as a blended learning course with online teaching and an in-person module excursion.

Aliens and Earthlings: Science Fiction Literature (ISSU9SF)

Fears of extra-terrestrial invasion and nuclear apocalypse, of seemingly strange and alien civilizations, and of social, economic, and cultural collapse belie SF’s trash label. This course aims to introduce to students the genre’s deep philosophical dimensions, tracing its progress through the pulp magazine during the late-Nineteenth century fin de siècle and early Twentieth-century inter-war periods in the United Kingdom and the United States respectively, and its later development across the so-called Iron Curtain during the Cold War. This course will also challenge the traditional conventions of Science Fiction – interstellar conflict with alien races – and explore the genre’s diverse progressions: into Ecocriticism, Feminism, sexuality, and the near-future ‘Post-SF’ of the urban and suburban present.

Celtic Religion (ISSU9CR)

From the Classical age to the 21st century, Celts have fascinated and frightened people. This course explores the evolving way Celtic people lived and died, what they believed and why, different ways in which Celtic peoples have been perceived by outsiders, the ways in which Celts have presented themselves to the world and considers why there has been a revival in the 21st century of Celtic faiths. You will also explore the impact of Christianity in different eras upon the Celtic religions, folklore and mythology through the recurring themes of freedom and independence, especially in relation to the warrior and druid types, signs and symbols and the materiality of the land. This will also enable you to pick up on broader themes and concerns such as gender, power, colonialism, race and migration. This will be offered as a blended course with online classes and an in-person module excursion.

Sport Management and Culture: A British Perspective (ISSU9SM)

As Scotland's University of Sporting Excellence, the University of Stirling is the perfect place to learn about the integration of culture, management and sport. The aim of this module is to teach you about how sport is managed in Scotland and in the UK more widely, and how it is incorporated into the thread of Scottish culture. this course is designed to provide you with an understanding that sport is a microcosm of society and is influenced by cultural traditions, social values, and psychosocial experiences. You will be able to understand that sport professionals are immersed in the socio-cultural milieu, with sport as the focus.

Scotland in the 18th Century: Union, Rebellion, and Enlightenment (ISSU9TJ)

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the origins, main features and impact of the Jacobite movement, and aims to place Scotland’s experience of Jacobitism within its wider British and European context. It seeks to deepen historical and transferable skills already acquired or to assist students coming to history as a discipline for the first time in acquiring such skills.

New for 2023 – Video Editing (ISSU9VE)

Post-production is the phase in the film production process where stories come together. Images and sound are combined to build the narrative and craft what the viewer will experience. Editing involves technical skills, but crucially it is a creative process, in which each decision will impact the style and substance of the completed film.

In this module, you will learn both the creative and technical aspects of editing. You will be taught by an experienced industry professional, who will guide you through the art of post-production. You will be taught in a small group, using industry standard software and equipment, and working with material both from broadcast shows and award-winning student work. By the end of the module, you will have a confident grasp of technical skills, the techniques of visual storytelling and how sound and pictures come together to create an impact for a viewing audience.

New for 2023 - Audio Podcasting (ISSU9AP)

Let’s be honest. You probably aren’t going to read this whole article. But what if it was read to you out loud while driving to work, working out at the gym, or completing chores around the house? Better yet, imagine listening to a smooth, relaxing voice like Morgan Freeman’s. You’d be hanging on to every word, and ready for the next episode immediately after...Welcome to the world of Podcasting.

This module will give you an insight into developing, proposing, pitching and producing audio content to be distributed as podcasts. In this module, we will work on creating a short factual podcast using the power of your voice, soundscapes that transport the listener and seamlessly blended music to create that moment. We will guide you on scripting, voice technique and narrative construction so that your podcast has an impact on your audience.

Students in a study pod

Block 2: Saturday 6 July - Saturday 3 August 2024

Crime and Justice in Scotland: The Criminal in Scottish Society (ISSU9CJ)

This module will introduce the subject of Criminology through the lens of the Scottish Criminal Justice System. The module will provide an overview of the Scottish Criminal Justice System before examining the major avenues by which the public obtain information about crime – as victims of crime and from the media and official statistics.  The module examines the processes that have developed our definitions of crime and the broader social and political context in which this crime occurs.

International Relations (ISSU9IR)

This module explores contemporary issues and debates that shape world politics today. It starts by introducing International Relations (IR) theory before turning to two broad themes that dominate the subject: conflict and peace. By the end of the course, you will be able to describe different perspectives and concepts linked to the study of international politics and employ concepts and theories to analyse global issues and problems.

Monsters and Vampires: The Impact of British Gothic on Contemporary Popular Culture (ISSU9MV)

This course aims to introduce you to Gothic literary expression in the British nineteenth century, before exploring the many ways in which this dark heritage continues to affect contemporary cultural production. focusing on three British texts from the Nineteenth century – Frankenstein (1818), The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) and Dracula (1897) – this class will discuss the adaptation, appropriation, and influence on contemporary popular culture narratives such as those found in fiction, film, tv, fashion, video gaming, and music videos.

Witchcraft in Early Modern Scotland (ISSU9WS)

This module examines a significant aspect of Scottish history, looking at the phenomenon of witchcraft as part of early-modern culture. You will gain an understanding of the dynamic between popular and elite culture, the significance of witchcraft belief to early-modern society and the social, cultural, political, economic and religious tensions that contributed to witch hunting.

Scotland the What? Contemporary Scottish Literature and Identity (ISSU9SC)

With attention focused on the question of independence, recent debates concerning Scottish culture and identity gain a heightened political charge. Literature has not only reflected but actively shaped such debate. What role has writing played in political change, and to what extent has Scottish culture escaped its own stereotypes? This course examines the literary and political currents shaping contemporary Scottish identity, introducing you to key twentieth-and twenty-first-century texts. We encounter and explain a range of cultural debates concerning language, class, democracy and nationhood, attending to the urgency as well as the complexity of recent Scottish writing.

Junkies and Jezebels: Scotland and Gender (ISSU9JJ)

As binary understandings of gender and sexuality are increasingly shown to be outdated and outmoded, this module examines gender and sexuality in a Scottish context and for students to apply their knowledge of identity politics. You will study a range of acclaimed Scottish texts that explore gender, across a diverse range of poetry, novels, cinema and drama. We will examine the decline of traditional, industrialist, ‘hard man’ masculinities as well as broken masculinities, resistant femininities, and resurgent Scottish LGBT+ fictions. There will be optional opportunities to submit creative work as an alternative to an essay assignment, enabling you to demonstrate an understanding of the stylistic and thematic aspects of the course as a creative practitioner.

Lochs and Glens: Landscape Photography in Magical Scotland (ISSU9LP)

Scotland’s landscape has inspired poets and writers for generations. From the hills covered in purple heather to the glorious light at sunrise, almost every vista is an invitation to the enthusiastic visual journalist. At the same time, the protection of a diverse and sustainable environment has pushed an appreciation of the landscape to the top of the educational agenda. This is a unique module that enables you to appreciate the environment, and enjoy the natural beauty of Scotland while learning and developing your skills at landscape photography. You will learn the practice of landscape photography, but also the theory and principles of British photography. Equipment and software will be provided.

Scotland on the Screen (ISSU9SS)

This module is designed to introduce you to key theoretical debates that have emerged in the study of Scotland’s relationship with the film and television industries. Important questions we will consider include: Who is responsible for constructing Scotland’s identity onscreen? How are Scotland and Scottishness depicted? Why do certain representations dominate over others? This module explores images of Scotland in film and television, in the context of Scottish history.  The module covers topics such as Scotland in Hollywood: Brigadoon to Braveheart (Scotland on the American screen); and Filmmaking in Scotland: the Importance of Shorts.

Credited learning

Each module is accredited by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), and is granted at 10 SCQF credits each. This is equivalent to roughly 3 US or 5 ECTS credits. Please check with your home institution or exchange co-ordinator to see if the credit transfer applies to you.

The module number, US/ECTS credits, course length and the Stirling credit (SCQF) are outlined below:

Number of modules US/ECTS credits Number of weeks SCQF credits
2 modules 6 US credits/10ECTS credits 4 weeks (Block 1 or 2) 20
3 modules 9 US credits/15ECTS credits 8 weeks (Block 1 and 2) 30
4 modules 12 US credits/20ECTS credits 8 weeks (Block 1 and 2) 40


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