What can I study?

Our course modules, which have been tailored especially for our International Summer School, incorporate a distinctive Scottish flavour, and to also allow for critical thinking of international themes. Educational trips to some of the most outstanding locations around Scotland are included as part of each module.

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).

Block 1: Saturday 3rd June – Saturday 1st July 2023

Education and Learning: A Scottish Perspective (ISSU9EL)

You’ll learn about the Scottish Education System in the context of the UK and consider the issues of learners' identities in all stages of 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 their writing.  The module includes a live ‘reading’ at a leading local arts centre, where you’ll have the chance to share the stage with a prominent Scottish writer. 

Data, Tools and Methods: Making Sense of our Society (ISSU9DM)

This module will propose an introduction to methods and tools for the understanding, analysis and manipulation of social data. You will learn about social network analysis, sentiment analysis and topic modelling. You will develop an understanding of how these can help marketers work on their strategies, how journalists write their stories and policymakers take decisions.

Issues in Moral Philosophy (ISSU9MP)

In this module we will engage in critical, philosophical reflection on morality by examining a number of difficult moral issues, including questions about abortion, our treatment of animals, environmental values, punishment, and world hunger. This module will introduce you to some of the central issues in moral philosophy – both normative issues about how we should live, and more theoretical issues about the nature of right and wrong.

Religion and Conflict (ISSU9RC)

Exploring the relationship between religion and conflict, this module gives a critical perspective on why some religions struggle more than others with the nature of conflict. This module will be offered as a blended learning course with online teaching and an in-person module excursion (a guided visit to Stirling Castle).

Scotland on the Screen (ISSU9SS)

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.

Celtic Religion (ISSU9CR)

You will build on your critical thinking skills in relation to the concept of religion whilst exploring more recent trends within the study of religion.  This includes material and implicit religion, understanding and appreciation of Celtic religion and mythology from Ireland, Scotland and Wales (the Celtic fringe).  This will be offered as a blended course with online classes and an in-person module excursion.

Aliens and Earthlings: Science Fiction Literature (ISSU9SF)

This module introduces you to the diverse literary traditions and political, national and gender identities in Science Fiction texts.  The course aims to explore the genre's deep philisophical dimensions, tracing its progress through the short story and pulp mediums during the inter-war years in the United States and United Kingdom, and its later development across both sides of the so-called Iron Curtain during the Cold War.

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 mode widely, and about how it is incorporated into the thread of Scottish culture. The module will include a mixture of lectures and seminars accompanied by academic field trips, providing you with an understanding that sport is influenced by cultural traditions, social values and economic factors.

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.

Students in a study pod

Block 2: Saturday 1st July – Saturday 29th July 2023

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.  Students will have the opportunity to visit the Surgeon's Hall in Edinburgh to discuss the creiminal case of Burke and Hare, and the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.

International Relations (ISSU9IR)

This module explores contemporary issues and debates that shape the world politics today.  It starts by introducing International Relations (IR) theory before turning to two broad themes that dominate the subject: conflict and peace.   This module includes a day trip to St Andrews, where we’ll undertake a tour of Scotland's Secret Bunker - an underground compound built to safeguard Scotland during the Cold War.

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

This course aims to introduce you to Gothic’s 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, videogaming, and music video.

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.

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)

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  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? 

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. You will study a range of acclaimed Scottish texts that explore gender, across a diverse range of poetry, novels, cinema and drama. The texts in this module examine the decline of traditional, industrialist, ‘hard man’ masculinities in Scotland. and examines 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 understanding of the stylistic and thematic aspects of the course as creative practitioners. 

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

From the hills covered in purple heather to the glorious light at sunrise, almost every vista is an invitation to the enthusiastic visual journalist. This module will enable 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, and also the theory and principles. This module will run as a condensed module with classes running weeks 2-4 of Block 2. 

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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