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Academic Programme

Design your own programme of study - choose how many credits, then pick your favourite topics.

All modules are designed and taught by academics in the Institute of Theology and Liberal Arts.

You can choose between 20 UK credit (five US credit*), 25 UK credit (five US credit*), and 40 UK credit (10 US credit*) programmes of study.

Option one: 20 UK credits (five US credits*)

Pick one 20 credit module from:

  • Renaissance London
  • Enlightenment to Romanticism
  • Popular Culture and the Humanities
  • In and Out of the Gothic
  • London Theatre.

Option two: 25 UK credits (six US credits*)

This option is designed to allow you to take the equivalent of six US credits, and may make them eligible for US federal funding.**

You can choose any one of these 20 credit modules:

  • Renaissance London
  • Enlightenment to Romanticism
  • Popular Culture and the Humanities
  • In and Out of the Gothic
  • London Theatre

You will then follow the short ‘top-up’ module:

  • Global London: Representing the City

This top up module involves 10 hours of study and one assignment, a 1,000 word review of a book, historical source, film, or heritage site relevant to understanding London.

Option three: 40 UK credits (10 US credits*)

If you choose to follow this option you can choose any two of the following modules:

  • Renaissance London
  • Enlightenment to Romanticism
  • Popular Culture and the Humanities
  • In and Out of the Gothic
  • London Theatre

* The credit value of these modules is determined by your home institution. The US credit values given here are based on the most common credit value recognised by our partner Institutions, but please check with your international mobility officer.

** We cannot guarantee funding. The six-credit option is designed to meet credit value requirements for Federal funding, but it is your responsibility to check funding requirements and oversee funding applications. If you are unsure please speak to your international mobility office. 

Module details

Each module will provide 36 hours of contact time over the course of the six weeks. You are expected to spend an additional 80 hours on guided and independent study per module.

In and Out of the Gothic is validated as Level Six (third year), and the rest of the modules are validated as Level Five (second year) with no prerequisites.

Enlightenment to Romanticism

Related subjects: History, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Literature.

The Enlightenment period was a moment of scientific discovery, rationality over superstition, and the advancement of technological innovation. This course explores the cultural, intellectual, and political development of Western Europe through the advent of the Enlightenment up to the age of Romanticism by examining the literary and historical contexts of the age. This is an interdisciplinary course which studies theological, literary, and historical texts through close analysis. This module includes a trip to the British Museum and the Foundling Museum.

Popular Culture and the Humanities

Related subjects: Contemporary History, Film and Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology.

West London boasts a wealth of culture embedded in the arts and humanities, including sites steeped in Rock and RnB music history. Just a stone’s throw from the St Mary’s campus, Eel Pie Island attracted popular artists like the Rolling Stones, The Who, and Pink Floyd. Eric Clapton busked in nearby Richmond, and Twickenham served as the backdrop to The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night.

As well as the popular culture aspect of this course, aesthetic, sociological, and cultural conventions will also be considered to gain an in-depth knowledge of the historical context of the Humanities. The course is run by one of the world’s most eminent experts on The Beatles, Dr Richard Mills, and includes a walking tour of London that investigates the popular music and culture of the locale.

Renaissance London

Related subjects: History, Literature, Cultural Studies, Art History.

The Renaissance began with the Tudors in the 1500s and ended at the beginning of the Civil War in 1640. To understand this significant period in English history, you will undertake an interdisciplinary study of London’s society and culture, engage with a variety of literary and historical sources, and consider the culture and society of the period from a wide range of perspectives. You will visit Hampton Court Palace to witness the physical and spatial legacy of the Tudor times, and enjoy active learning outside of the classroom.

In and Out of the Gothic

Related subjects: Literature, History, Film and Media Studies, Cultural Studies.

St Mary’s University is part of Strawberry Hill House, built by Horace Walpole and famed as the home of the Gothic. It was here that the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, was set. This makes St Mary’s the perfect setting for exploring the Gothic revival through the arts and humanities to its later reimagining in popular culture.

Starting with its roots in Romantic aesthetics and culture, the module considers the Gothic novel, art, and architecture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This is followed by a study of popular cultural Gothic, including film, television, music, subcultures, and online communities. The module will consider questions of cultural value in relation to adaptation of Gothic across cultural forms as well as identities of Gothic representations and audiences. This module includes a tour of Strawberry Hill House.

Global London: Representing the City

This module is designed as a ‘top-up’ course for international students. When taken alongside one of our other modules it means you will complete six US credits over the course of the Summer School. This means that, in principle, you will be eligible for US Federal Funding (though please discuss this with the mobility officer at your home institution, as regulations vary).

The module will explore the global dimensions of London as it is represented in literature, in history, in film, and through the material culture of its architecture and museums. You will consider a number of texts that illustrate the transnational and global trends that have shaped life in the UK’s capital city at various points. It will provide an introduction to key methods of critically reading and evaluating texts to support you in your learning across the programme.

London Theatre

This module will equip you with the cultural capital to attend, and necessary analytical tools to closely critique new productions, whilst encouraging an awareness of London’s diverse and ever-changing repertoire of live theatre. You will seek to review a range of subsidised, fringe, touring, and West End productions while considering the performance culture and creative processes of some of the major institutions, directors, and companies making theatre within the capital.