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An Ageing Society: Burden or Blessing? View details

While the problematic aspects of population ageing are commonly stressed, many older individuals and the communities they live in have benefited greatly from it. Using students' personal experience, insights from social science, and empirical data, we will consider and critique how public policy, commercial services, and public attitudes are responding to population ageing. We will consider what international perspectives and innovative models have to offer older people and wider society. We will explore some practical things we can do to help ourselves and others experience later life in positive ways.

An Anatomy of Comedy View details

An Anatomy of Comedy – 'The vital spark ' . This course will analyse the role that comedy plays as a necessary counterpoint to tragedy and as the symbol of new life . We will explore the way different writers through novels, plays and the media use comedy not just to make us laugh, but for the serious purpose of criticising both society and the individual . Discussion will include changes over the centuries in what is considered funny (for example Shakespeare's comedy ) or appropriate to joke about ( black humour) and the role of the fool , the absurd and parody.

An Armchair Cruise of the River Danube View details

Springing up near the town of Donaueschingen in Germany’s Black Forest, this great waterway flows southeast for 1,785 miles before emptying into the Black Sea at Sulina in eastern Romania. Along its vast length the Danube passes through or borders no less than ten countries. It also flows through four national capital cities - Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade - more than any other river in the world. We shall travel the length of the river exploring the history, myths, legends, music as well as the geography.

An Introduction to Antiques, Vintage and Collectables View details

Professional auctioneer, Stephen Poulter, reveals how the world of antiques, vintage items and collectables really works and shows how easy it is for anyone to start buying or collecting in these areas. We will explore the many different categories and periods of antique and vintage items which can be purchased from auctions, antiques markets, car boot sales and online. Students will acquire techniques for researching, identifying and valuing a whole range of antiques, vintage items and collectables.

An Introduction to Archaeology View details

Archaeology is all around us if you know what it looks like. Over six, two hour sessions the principles and practice of archaeology will be explored with ample opportunity to handle artefacts, as well as practical sessions on artefact recognition.

An Introduction to British Cinema View details

The famous French director François Truffaut once remarked that there was “a certain incompatibility between the terms ‘cinema’ and ‘Britain’”. However unfair this quote is, it is fair to say that the British film industry has been through many ups and downs. For instance, while production boomed after World War II and during the 1960s, British film-making struggled to survive the 1970s. This course aims to give an overview of the major developments, movements and factors which have shaped cinema in this country. It will pay tribute to the stars and directors who were responsible for many of British cinema’s most memorable moments, and also expose some of its most embarrassing secrets. Furthermore, it will explore how the concerns of British society – class, sex, the north-south divide, multiculturalism – have been reflected within the films across the decades, and consider the future of the industry post-Brexit.

An Introduction to Jane Austen View details

Jane Austen remains one of the most popular novelists in English Literature. This course looks at a selection of her novels in the context of her times, addressing issues such as women’s rights, Sensibility, colonialism and anti-slavery. We will study three novels: 'Sense and Sensibility', 'Mansfield Park' and 'Persuasion', whilst also referring briefly at sections from her other works

An Introduction to Moral Philosophy View details

We will look at moral concepts like justice, fairness, virtue, rights and duties. We will also think about where our moral sensibilities come from: are they natural, are we born with a conscience, or do they need to be taught? If they need to be taught, who should teach them? Should morality be part of the national curriculum, or is it something best entrusted to parents and relatives? Is there such a thing as evil? Or is this simply a metaphysical relic from a former religious age?

An Introduction to Mythology View details

We begin with the Greek myths of Antigone, Odysseus and Dionysus. The tragic story of Antigone, who rebelled against her uncle the king and buried her outcast brother, performs the conflict between nature and culture which lies at the heart of human identity. Odysseus’ decade-long journey home embodies the theme of The Quest. Dionysus, the wild god of wine, reveals the pleasures and dangers of losing control. On Day Two, we uncover the world’s first ecological catastrophe: the killing of the forest spirit Humbaba in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. We draw on the themes of metamorphoses and paradox common to sources as diverse as Hindu creation myths and the Welsh Mabinogion. The day ends, appropriately, with the end of the world, as told in the Norse vision of Ragnarök. Mythical apocalypses often conclude with a rebirth, so can they help us understand the catastrophes of the present?

An Introduction to Sewing Skills View details

This course is for beginners who have not used a sewing machine before, or not used one for a long time and would like to refresh their sewing skills. Students will learn how to set up and use a sewing machine with confidence then learn basic core skills which will prepare them for a future workshop to make simple first time projects. This course will develop a high social aspect and you will gain confidence working in a group setting.