Subject taster talks and workshops

Interactive workshops

Our subject taster workshops for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 introduce your students to new topics, build on their current subjects and support them in developing skills and insight into the university experience. This year, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re being flexible in how we deliver our workshops, so that we can respond to what works best for each school:

  • Pre-recorded – available as an hour-long recorded workshop (including activities) that you can project in the classroom or ask students to complete in their own time.
  • Live (online) – online sessions delivered live by our post-graduate students on flexible dates and at times to suit your needs.
  • Live (in-school) – we’re excited to now be able to offer our face-to-face visits on flexible dates and at times to suit your needs.

In line with our Widening Participation targets we prioritise workshops (live online & live in school) to state schools but will take expressions of interest from all schools. Please note that our recorded workshops are available to all. Please be aware that due to a limited budget we can only deliver live in school workshops to schools which are within two hours of the university by public transport.

Browse our workshops and express your interest in our online and in-school sessions below.

Fill in our short form to book a live session (online or face-to-face), or to request access to a pre-recorded workshop.
Book a workshop

International Relations and Languages Joint Honors Taster

*Live (in-school) or live (online)*

This workshop will introduce students to the fascinating topics which the joint study of International Relations and languages offers. Students will explore themes such as war and peace, relations between different countries, and the role of multinational organizations such as NATO and the United Nations. Alongside all of this, the critical role that different languages and cultures play in International Relations will be a theme which runs throughout. Aimed at a broad range of students, including but not limited to those interested in History, Languages, Geography and Politics, this workshop is cross-disciplinary and will help to demonstrate the relevance of subjects they study at school in the world of International Relations.  This workshop will be most suitable for students in Year 11 or above. 

For teachers of Spanish or French, this workshop can be adapted to be catered to these languages. This would involve exploring the politics of the countries where these languages are spoken, as well as using resources written in Spanish or French. 

German and History Joint Honors Taster

*Live (in-school) or live (online)*

Struggling to decide what to study at university?! This workshop will provide your students with a taster of studying TWO subjects at the University of Leeds, German AND History!! It can be adapted to any Key Stage and is suitable for students with no prior knowledge of German or History.   In this interactive session, students will explore the key interpretations of the period 1914-1945, which saw significant changes in German society. Beginning with the First World War, students will consider the extent of social mobilization and implications of ‘total warfare’ as citizens grappled with the effects of violence, economic blockade, and political turmoil. They will then question the duality of the Weimar period, as one of both dynamic cultural creativity and one of conflict and depression which laid the foundations for the rise of National Socialism, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. By the end of the session, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of early 20th century German history, forming their own interpretations of events through critical engagement with primary sources.

**German Teachers – German sources can be added to this workshop for your German students if you wish to support with their reading skills**

'Show, Don't Tell': A Creative Writing Workshop KS4/5

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*
**Can be booked from March onwards**

This is a hands-on creative writing workshop which engages students in a piece of descriptive writing. Students will be introduced to the ‘show, don’t tell’ technique; they will perform analysis and practice activities to familiarise themselves with the technique and its effect before using it in a piece of their own creative writing.

How to Save the World, One Book at a Time: Eco-Memoirs and the Climate Crisis

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*
**Can be booked from March onwards**

This interactive reading session incorporates various levels of reading skill and focus. It familiarises students with the Eco-Memoir and its defining traits before situating examples of the genre within (eco-)critical responses to it. The session aims to stimulate students’ critical engagement with texts in order to evaluate the effectiveness of texts in communicating with a readership in the midst of a climate emergency; in other words, does a text promote environmental consciousness just by virtue of being “about nature”.

Literature of Place: A Close-Reading workshop

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*
**Can be booked from March onwards**

This session practices close reading skills within the context of place writing. Students will read extracts of literature and analyse the devices used by the author to create engaging descriptions of a place. The session has the potential to be extended through the addition of a creative writing element in which students would then use these devices themselves. Similarly, a separate creative writing session could be designed which uses the devices identified in the close reading activity from this session (please mention this on the online form if you are interested in this extension session).

Waste and West Africa: making artworks from recycled materials

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*
**Can be booked from March onwards**

Please note that sewing kits (enough for a few needles and different coloured thread per person) and scissors will be required for this session.

This session will look at the impact of colonialism on waste accumulation in West Africa and how artists in West Africa use waste as part of their arts practice and how we can use recycled material to make art. Students will think about how to use waste material in their own arts practice and get creative with cutting, stitching and arranging compositions. At the end of the session, we will have formed a textile artwork that is reflective of students’ own identities.

Music and Wellbeing KS4/5

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*

Do you think studying music is just about learning to play an instrument? Think again! The session will be suitable for students interested in music, psychology and general wellbeing. In this interactive workshop, students will discuss the impact of music on physical, psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. Drawing from current research in music psychology, including key models of wellbeing, as well as their own experiences they will explore what we mean by ‘wellbeing’, and how it relates to our musical engagement. Together we will consider the ways in which we use music for wellbeing in our own lives and reflect on the impact of music through lockdown. This workshop is available as a pre-recorded session or it can be delivered live online whilst your students are at home.

Careers in Music KS3/4/5

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*

In this session, our Education Outreach Fellow will share an overview of the varied careers available in the music industry, including hidden careers you may not have considered. Drawing from her own varied experiences in the industry, including working for a major record label, as a music teaching assistant, a freelance singer and music facilitator, and a music psychology researcher, Melissa will reflect on her own musical pathway and the skills required to find success in the industry. This session will also discuss the transferable skills you can gain from studying and/or engaging with music, including how to frame these for an employer and some hints and tips on how to build your CV for a career in music.

Music and Disability KS3/4/5

*Live (in-school) or live (online)*

Music can play an important role in our everyday lives, but what can it do for people with disabilities? Drawing from current research in music psychology, this session will discuss the impact of music in the lives of disabled people, from music therapy to music in everyday life. Together we will explore the opportunities and challenges of music and disability research, including discussing some of the key ethical debates in the field. The session will also introduce students to ‘inclusive’ approaches to research and encourage them to reflect on the ways in which they can make their day-to-day interactions more accessible. This session will be suitable for students in Year 11 or 12 who are interested in music, music therapy, psychology, and/or disability.

Language Taster Workshop - Arabic, Linguistics, Chinese, Japanese or Italian KS3/4/5

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*

Let’s get your students EXCITED about studying languages!! Our language taster workshops introduce your students to a language subject they may not have studied before. The workshops can be delivered online and have been designed to show your students just some of the other language options available to them in the future. They will spark your students’ interest and encourage the uptake of languages through school, college and onto Higher Education. You can choose from either Arabic, Linguistics, Chinese, Japanese or Italian and all sessions can be adapted to suit the age group of your students and your school timetable.

An Introduction to Political Communication KS4/5


What is Political Communication and has social media changed the way politicians’ communicate? If your students are interested in studying politics or media at university then this is the session to inspire them! This interactive recorded workshop will provide students with an opportunity to act as a Social Media Officer for a government department to see some of the challenges faced when trying to communicate politics on Twitter!

Build A Utopia KS4/5

*Live (online)*

What is a utopia? Why might they be created? Utopia can be found in everything from architecture to geography to ancient texts; using these examples this session will introduce students to the concept of utopia and imagined non-existent worlds and ask them to consider how they might design their own alternative world and what reasons they might have for doing so. Our utopian creations will then be brought into conversation with the wider theory and interdisciplinary examples of utopias. Utopia and utopian theory is an interdisciplinary field, suitable for Key Stages 4 and 5 this session provides your students with a chance to critically engage with subjects and ideas that they might not have come across before.

Careers with History KS4/5

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*

Would your students like to gain a better understanding of the transferable skills that come from studying History and career paths that are open to graduates?

This interactive recorded workshop is delivered by two History PhD students, who will guide your students through a range of activities, all designed to highlight the relevance of studying History and open their eyes to a wide range of jobs.

What Is a Primary Source and What Can It Tell Us? KS4/5

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*

This interactive session will provide key information on using a variety of primary sources with a focus on written as well as non-written sources. It will help students engage with the past in order to interpret and understand it from first-hand documents.

Medieval Humour KS4/5

*Live (in-school), live (online) or pre-recorded*

This interactive session will consider various primary sources in order to combat the notion that medieval people were incredibly devout and religious and therefore, could not have a sense of humour. We will look at drawings, poetry and riddles which all point to Medieval people having a great sense of humour!

Medieval Coronation Ceremonies KS5


Have you ever wondered how an early Medieval coronation ceremony might differ to a modern church ceremony? This session will highlight a particular aspect of primary source analysis: understanding what the scope of a particular source is for understanding the past. This session will help students understand how to identify which questions certain sources can help us answer, and what their uses are, as well as provide some understanding of what happened in an early medieval English coronation ceremony.

Introduction to Ethics KS4/5

*Live (online)*

What is ethics? How do we make right or wrong decisions? These are the sorts of questions that will be addressed in this session that is designed for students who have never engaged with philosophy at an academic level before.

This session is intended to get students thinking critically about how we make decisions about what is right and wrong and to introduce them to the ways that this question has been discussed in Philosophy. By engaging with these questions and ideas, students will start to develop their own critical thinking skills as they discuss how philosophers make arguments about morality and assess the validity of these arguments.

Religion, Media and Representation KS4/5

*Live (online)*

How do people learn about religion? How are different religions portrayed in media? What role does media play in educating society about religion? This session examines the representations of religions in media and outlines some of the issues which this raises. It engages students with the academic study of religion and provides them with a change to critically engage with subjects and ideas what they might not have come across before.

An Introduction to Reasoning and Argument KS4/5


The aim of this workshop is to introduce students with little or no academic background in philosophy to some of the basic concepts and issues involved in the study of reasoning and argument. What is an argument, and what makes for a good one? What does it mean for an argument or be valid or invalid, sound or unsound? Students will learn how to distinguish between opinion and knowledge, articulate why they believe something to be true, identify the premises and conclusion of  and reconstruct an argument, and identify the difference between a valid argument and a sound argument – valued skills in many different subject areas.

History of the Holy Books KS4/5

*Live (online), live (in-school)*

Ideal for students of Religious Studies, these two new sessions offer an overview of the history of what we now understand as the Bible.  Together, these sessions aim to delve into the history and context that produced the religious texts that now represent the Bible.

Session 1 – The Hebrew Bible

In our first session explore the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh/Old Testament) and examine the long history of exile, colonialism and religious development in ancient Israel that led to these texts, from the 9th to 2nd century BCE. Find out how these texts responded to specific historical environments and concerns to come together into a later authoritative canon.

Session 2 – The New Testament

In this second session, explore the New Testament (Greek Bible) and the development of the early Christian movement (1st to 3rd century CE) as seen throughout the canonical texts. We will focus on the growth of early Christian religion and thought under the Roman empire as well as how a new religious movement emerged from Jewish communities and thought.

Pre-recorded talks and lectures

Our pre-recorded talks and lectures on various topics are embedded into the website below - share them with your students to engage with in their own time!

Languages Ambassador Q&A

In a recording of our Ambassador Q&A Panel from our Year 12 Languages Summer School, #Linguastars, our Ambassadors answer our participant questions about their university experiences, societies and languages courses!

History Taster Lecture - The Cuban Missile Crisis

Dr Robert Hornsby, an academic in the School of History, delivers a lecture on the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1962.

English Taster Lecture - Discovering Dialect

Dr Fiona Douglas, an academic in the School of English, delivers a lecture on Discovering Dialect: Language Pioneers and ‘Old Men with Good Teeth’.

English Taster Lecture - How to Read Comics

PhD student Jess’s video talks about how to read comics, showing us that why we read comics, and how we read comics, can help us to think about how we tell stories.

English Ambassador Talk and Q&A - Life Studying English at Leeds

Ambassadors Jennie and Henna talk about their experience studying English at the University of Leeds, and answer audience questions!

Linguistic Prescriptivism - Recorded Lecture and Follow-Up Workshop

Professor Peter Trudgill (University of Adger, Kristiansand, Norway) is a prominent language expert and author of a wide range of books on sociolinguistics. After a public lecture that he delivered at the University in 2017, we created a follow-up workshop that can be delivered to A-Level English Language students.