Lancaster University

United Kingdom

Available Courses

Family and intimate relationships form a crucial part of everyday social life. We are born into family and intimate relationships. We establish, maintain and dissolve family and intimate bonds over the life course. We navigate our changing relationship with parents, siblings, and relatives. We establish, maintain and re-establish intimate ties with partners and perhaps children.

But what are ‘families’? What makes intimate relationships ‘intimate’? How do people date, marry, separate, divorce, and re-partner? How do people ‘do’ families and intimacy in the everyday vicissitudes of match-making, romance, conflicts, care, money, domestic labour, and power? Why do people practise families and intimacy as they do? How do broader social, economic, political and cultural institutions configure our ‘private’ lives? How do the ways in which we relate to family members and intimate others shape the societies in which we live?

In an increasingly interconnected world, family and intimate relationships — personal and private as they are — are increasingly shaped by social forces operating on a global scale. The changing forms and practices of families and intimacy also help shape social trends as grandeur as globalisation.

In this module, we explore theoretical and empirical issues pertaining to the resilience and transformation of family and intimate relationships in a global context.

The module will explore the work of some of the most historically important female film-makers from the 1890s through to the present, considering films from around the globe. The module will examine the significant but often marginalized and obscured roles that women have played in industrial, experimental and avant-garde film production across a spectrum of roles from costume and production designers through to screen-writers, editors and directors. You will be invited to reflect upon the fact that, despite playing key roles in the development of the medium, women continue to be excluded at all levels of film production. The module will engage with revisionist film histories concerned with interrogating the dominant bias of academic and popular histories of the medium; it will also draw on feminist film theory concerned both with a critical understanding of mainstream cinema and the development of politicized women’s cinemas. The module will examine a series of key female directors and their work, and each week will be oriented around the screening of a case study film that will be the focus for the seminar.

This course aims to introduce project management methods in a way which links to the life cycle of a typical project from the early project identification and definition stages, through project execution and control, to issues of implementation and change. The coverage of the early stages of the project cycle uses methods emerging from the systems movement and stresses the strategic relevance of project management. The operational management of the project is covered by introducing techniques for the planning, scheduling and controlling of projects. Attention is also given to people management aspects of this process especially to leadership, team working, motivation and direction.

In this module, you will consider competing definitions of the terms ‘culture’ and ‘media’, engage with a wide range of academic writings on culture and media, and analyse a diverse range of cultural material from different media including: television, films, photography, newspapers and magazines, video games and the world wide web. You will explore the ways in which our identities, aspirations, beliefs and value systems are shaped by the cultural environment in which we live.

The module will develop an introductory understanding of entrepreneurship as well as introducing you to experience a range of entrepreneurial skills (creativity, accessing resources, building networks and creating value) to enable to you understand key aspects of the entrepreneurial process. These skills will be transferable to many contexts, whether you wish to open your own business, be entrepreneurial in your career, or for working within Government or social enterprises.

This core module is designed to further develop your analytical skills in order to examine individual films in close detail and to encourage you to understand global cinema in a variety of social, cultural, political and industrial contexts. The module will explore such issues as the relationship between film form and modes of production, theories of film style and aesthetics, the political function of cinema. In the first term, we focus wholly on various modes of American film production and in the second term we explore some broader theoretical questions through an analysis of films from a number of different national traditions. Across the whole module you will gain a thorough grasp not only of the historical factors shaping various national cinemas, but also of some key critical and theoretical concepts within the field of film studies.

The module will cover the introductory topics of business intelligence, business analytics and business data science. The students will learn basic analytics concepts, principles and techniques and will see how the data collection, description, visualisation and analysis can help businesses, governments and other organisations make more informed decisions. The module will also cover topics on discovering, measuring and visualising relationships in data, and basics of forecasting and data mining. Examples of real cases studies will illustrate the practical potential, and special emphasis will be given on discussing what the main pitfalls in using different analytical techniques are, such as “lying with descriptive statistics”, misleading visualisation, data overfitting, or why “forecasts are always wrong”. The module will rely on a spreadsheet software to support the computing and visualisation side and will teach the students useful approaches that will prove invaluable for their future studies and employment. Finally, the students will learn how to write reports for the management based on the produced results. It is important to understand basics of analytics even if students do not intend to get an analytics job, because it is critical to business strategy, and so there is a great professional advantage in being able to interact competently with analytics teams. This module aims to shake students out of the belief that organisations and individuals may be able to successfully live without the use of data and analytics.

This module aims to provide theoretical and practical knowledge about the design, implementation and evaluation of interactive systems. More specifically:

To provide students with knowledge of human factors needed to be considered when designing interactive systems, and skills of applying them in specific scenarios
To provide students with knowledge of the methods of collecting and analysing user data within the design process
To sensitise students to the importance of human aspects of system design and values
To supplement this with practical applications of the principles learnt in small but real system design
Familiarise students with practical implementations in Human Computer Interaction

This module introduces students to how digital media is encoded, compressed and presented in a computerised environment. It also teaches how media content can be processed in order to provide more information about it, automatically annotate and classify it, or make it easier to find and handle. It discusses all aspects from the basics of human perceptions over media presentation, coding and digitisation, compression, to advanced media processing. It will also help the students to understand the underlying mathematical principles and how they are being used within coding and different media processing schemes. Within the module the basic media types are covered, i.e. images, audio and video. The following areas are looked at: Mathematical Principles; Human Perception; Representation of Media & Coding; Media Compression & Compression Standards; Image Processing; Video Processing.

The objective of this course is to equip you to meet the challenge in managing product and service innovation processes, especially in the small business environment. The aim is to inspire your enthusiasm and understanding of innovation and encourage the practice of tracking and evaluating the impact of innovations, so vital to anyone in business. These include building motivation, developing a critical and active approach to learning as well as developing ability to link understanding of contemporary innovation to theory.

‘Understanding Culture’ gives an insight into twentieth and twenty-first century definitions and analyses of ‘culture’. Some key questions we explore on the module include: How has ‘culture’ been defined and how have these definitions changed during the 19th, 20th and 21st century? How does culture define who we are? What is the relationship between ‘culture’ and ‘power’? How does a ‘culture’ endorse or suppress markers of identity? How is normativity constructed, questioned or undermined? How can cultural studies and their methodologies help us to understand artistic expressions and cultural practices, and to constructively respond to what matters to others? What role does the body play in our understanding of culture?

These questions are approached through a variety of texts from different genres, including public lectures, cultural theory, essay, poetry, investigative journalism, and artistic interventions.

Throughout the course students are encouraged to approach cultures as standing in relation to each other, to develop cultural critical self-awareness, and intercultural competence.

Being able to sell is an important skill for anyone pursuing an entrepreneurial career, whether this be to start their own business, or whilst working within an existing organization. This course will focus on two key areas. The first will be to understand what makes a good sales pitch and how to craft a powerful story that persuades customers or colleagues about the benefits of your venture (or project or idea) and also about yourself and your team. In this part of the course you will gain an understanding of persuasion, of selling and of creating legitimacy for entrepreneurial endeavours. Second, you will have a first-hand opportunity to experience selling and to work on refining your sales pitches. At the same time the course makes use of video exercises to enhance skill acquisition and also as a basis for self-reflection. The course will also involve our entrepreneurs in residence who will help to guide you through the process and provide feedback on your sales pitches.

Have you ever wondered why women in Britain are paid, on average, 13% less than men? Why women’s bodies are used in advertising? Do you think that class is a women’s issue? Is being white simply about skin colour? Does the Law treat men and women in the same way? Are these questions relevant to the world we inhabit? This course explores such questions.

The aim of this module is to begin your exploration of the ideas and practices of management, work and organisation in contemporary society, and to introduce you to the conceptual and critical tools that you can use to evaluate the knowledge and views you will encounter. This module will not teach you ‘how to manage’. Management as a practice is not one that can be learned from simplistic, step-by-step guides, though many exist (one of our objectives is to encourage you to critique such approaches). Whilst some elements of organisation, management and specialist roles (such as accounting, operations management or marketing) can usefully deploy systematic techniques and procedures, our focus here is on how people are organised and managed and how they experience that. Such processes and experiences cannot be reduced to ‘management made simple’, because it isn’t. We regard management and organisation as elements of cultural and social processes that we have come to regard as ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ in the sense of being taken for granted. As such we consider the historical development of management ideas and how those ideas develop and work in the contemporary context.

This course offers a general introduction to sociological issues, ideas, concepts, evidence and argument by examining some key aspects of the contemporary world. The topic areas covered in the lectures include: privatisation, identity, globalisation, city lives. A number of different sociological skills are emphasised in order to provide basic tools for applying sociological reasoning in relation to empirical examples. It provides a general understanding of sociology for all and a foundation for more advanced study.

Health and healthcare are central to living a good life yet huge inequalities can be seen, whether locally to Lancaster in the North-West of England or in the Global South. In this module, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the concepts, methods and applications of Health Geographies. Geographers and scholars from related disciplines have made important contributions to defining these inequalities as ethically unacceptable (i.e. inequitable), and providing insights into their causes (political, social, economic and environmental). Geographical thought and research also provides useful tools for developing and critically analysing appropriate policy responses to tackling these inequities. Following an introduction to the diverse geographies of health, we then spend three weeks of lectures and seminars exploring health inequalities in depth, taking a justice perspective as our starting point. We examine the social and economic determinants of health and disease in both the Global North and Global South and also start to interrogate the ‘causes of the causes’ using a political economy approach. In Week 5 we overview the (somewhat contradictory) geographies of healthcare and delivery including critical ‘biopolitical’ perspectives on the state’s role in maintaining its citizens as well as using GIS and other technologies to design efficient and effective health-care delivery. Subsequently, we spend the next 4 weeks applying the theories and approaches covered so-far to four important and exciting frontiers in health geography. These draw on critical works in medical anthropology (knowledge and power); human geography (mental health, space and place); a global health priority – the persistent and emerging nutritional changes facing children in the 21st century; inter-disciplinary environmental sciences (albeit we adopt a more critical perspective on understanding the health impacts of climate change). The final week is dedicated to consolidating the material introduced with the first nine weeks activities in which the task is to link across the diverse theoretical approaches to health within the field of health geography, drawing on a range of case studies covering a place, social group or disease.

The aim of this module is to examine the current law of the environment as it applies to England and Wales. This module will also consider wider aspects of Environmental Law such as the overarching principles and policy; as well as some of the International Environmental Law obligations that bind the UK. On successful completion of this module, students will have an understanding of the principles of Environmental Law and be able to critically analyse specific elements of environmental regimes.

The topics covered in this course will provide students with a knowledge of the key environmental regimes that apply in England and Wales. Students will be able to identify and engage with key issues of Environmental Law. Specific areas covered could include: principles of environmental law: environmental regulation and permitting; civil liability; climate change; waste management; and water pollution.

Issues and problems in the complex world of management do not necessarily arise in a well structured form. People often do not know what they want or what is possible. Further, they may disagree about what they are trying to achieve and the means for arriving at their goals. Much thinking needs to be done in order to define an appropriate framework within which a useful analysis or project can be carried out.

Various approaches have been developed in recent years to assist in this task, often referred to as problem structuring methods (PSMs). They are very practically oriented methodologies that typically involve the management team to help facilitate the structuring of complex situations. They place emphasis on dialogue to think through strategic problems, identify the salient issues, formulate goals and negotiate action plans. This course will introduce you to several PSMs and some of the process skills to use them.

The aims of this module are to give an introduction to the central elements of public international law. The topics should give students a basic knowledge of how international law works, its foundations, principles, as well as an understanding of its shortcomings and challenges. The areas introduced will cover different aspects of international law and should enable the students to identify legal issues in current international affairs. Specific areas covered are: the nature of the international legal system; the sources and subjects of international law; international law’s interaction with domestic law; jurisdiction; state responsibility; different territorial regimes; the environment; use of force; the laws of armed conflict; international crimes and other relevant aspects of international law.

This module explores a range of ‘Geosocial Spaces’ – sites where social life meets and mixes with a dynamic Earth. While topics will be approached primarily from a social science perspective, we also highlight the connections between human and physical geographies, and explore insights from the Earth sciences.

Topics to be taught include:
Changing ways of thinking about the Earth: from a stable planet to a shifting, changeable Earth system.
The Anthropocene: human impacts on the Earth system and the question of how humans acquired the power to impact upon Earth processes.
How thinking through deep time and large-scale geological processes can change our understanding of social life.
Engaging with the subsurface: what it means to inhabit the Earth `vertically’ as well as dwelling on the Earth’s surface
Controversies over the use of geological resources: how they emerge and how they might be addressed.
Living with geo-hazards: the volatile Earth as both a threat and an incitement for social change
Future possibilities: exploring new options such as using the heat of magma as an energy source and mining asteroids for their minerals.