Students exploring HMS Victory

Spring/Summer Term 2022 | Book now

Learn about studying a degree in Humanities and Social Sciences at university

New date for the Humanities Taster Day coming soon – registration still open

We've postponed our Humanities and Social Sciences Taster Day to late Spring/Summer term 2022.

If you booked to attend the original date and made your session choices, these will move forward to the new date – and we'll be in touch to update you about the new date when it's released soon.

If you haven't booked, you can still register your interest to attend below.

In a globalised and fast-changing world, you have the potential to help shape the lives of the next generation – and we've got the courses to start your journey.

Understand and tackle society’s most enduring problems past and present. Explore relevant social, political and ethical questions including campaigns like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, fake news, green politics and more. Combine perspectives and historic flashpoints to tackle the issues that matter most to you.

That’s what a Humanities and Social Sciences degree looks like. See what you could study at our Taster Day and start building a solid foundation for your future studies and career.

Book your place now as a student or teacher.

At our Humanities and Social Sciences tasters, you’ll:

  • Look at all the subject areas including History, Politics and International Relations, English Literature, Sociology, and Childhood Studies
  • Find out what it’s like to study these subjects at degree level
  • Discover our links to industry and how to kick-start your career
  • Pick and choose what you’d like to get involved in, from a collection of workshops, lectures and different subjects
  • Ask current students your questions and hear about their active learning experiences
  • Discover life as a student in Portsmouth and explore all our city has to offer

Taster Day location

Check in opens from 9.45am Park Building, King Henry I St, Portsmouth, PO1 2BZ.

For schools and colleges arriving by coach or minibus, we recommend parking on Museum Road, Portsmouth.

For more information on checking in and how to get here, take a look at our guide to taster days page.

Taster day programme

Ready to kick-start your future? Here's what's coming up at the Humanities and Social Sciences Taster Day.

Book your place

Humanities and Social Sciences Taster Day

We're excited to meet you. Check in from 9.45am, grab a refreshment and get ready to learn about studying a degree in Humanities and Social Sciences at uni.

Here's our guide to subject taster days, should you want to learn a little more about our taster days before booking.

We'll meet at Park Building, King Henry I St, Portsmouth, PO1 2BZ.

Welcome! Get an intro to the event, life as a student and see what's coming up today.

When you book your place, you'll be able to choose to attend 1 session at 10.20am and 1 session at 12.45pm.

*Pick to attend any 1 of the sessions as you book your place.

English Literature | Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale has become increasingly relevant in recent years, often read alongside contemporary debates on the political control of women's bodies. This session looks at how Atwood crosses generic forms, such as science fiction and academic prose, to comment on the construction of gender roles. 

History 1 | Crowns, Cannons and Codpieces: Henry VIII and Monarchical Power

This session builds on recent research that reassesses the power of Henry VIII. We'll explore the use of propaganda and personal image in the monarchy's attempt to negotiate a deeply unsettled time, from the trappings of war to the king's clothing. Considering a range of primary and secondary sources, we'll rethink how far Henry VIII was really 'in control' and the extent to which appearances mattered.

History 2 | East and West: Life in the 2 Germanies

Get ready to compare life in East and West Germany during the Cold War, while looking at the impact of competing ideologies on attitudes and individual choices about family and work. You'll explore how living under different political regimes shaped the fates of ordinary Germans. 

Politics and International Relations | The work you do, the person you are: Politics, International Relations, and our place in the world

Look at the role of Politics and International Relations in our understanding of the world that we live in. Together, we'll discuss how the study of Politics and International Relations allows us to focus on certain international issues, but also silences other concerns. You'll also see how these courses can allow you to question power relations and shape your place in the world.

Early Childhood Studies | The importance of enabling children to take risks:

What is the impact of risk-taking in education? This is an opportunity to find out more about risk management and the part that risk-taking has on children's holistic development. This topic is now even more relevant following the various national and global crises we've faced. Let's explore how risk-taking affects a child's resilience, well-being and ability to solve problems creatively.

Sociology | Are happiness and emotional wellbeing actually achievable in today's society?

We live in a world where we're told that happiness is something that we can all achieve, and we're surrounded by images of what 'happy' looks like, on Instagram, Facebook, on TV and in films. Many of us try to achieve this in our everyday lives – but is it something we can get, just by putting our minds to it? Or are we constrained by things out of our control, such as how much money we have, where we live, what our parents do for a living or the colour of our skin?

Quick breather. Take stock of the the morning then get ready for the next session.

Studying abroad and doing a placement before you graduate is a great way to expand your horizons. They give you real-life employability skills and work experience that is invaluable when applying for a job as a graduate.

Discover the benefits and opportunities of a placement year degree and studying abroad, including how the process works.

Fuel-up. Feel free to bring your own lunch for the day or grab something from the cafeteria.

*Pick to attend any 1 of the sessions as you book your place.

English Literature | Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go

Interactively deal with preconceptions of ‘realist’ versus ‘science fiction’ writing, the notions of memory and identity and how these are challenged by writing in a different and potentially unexpected genre.

Early Childhood Studies | Contemporary debates in Early Childhood Education and Care

With the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) becoming statutory in 2021, there are some new, thought-provoking key debates in the sector. This workshop explores democratic and civic understandings of the sector, with a focus on the image of the child, the types of teachers and practitioners that work with young children and the early years setting as a meeting place. Prepare to unpick discourses around school readiness, curriculum and early years teaching.

History 3 | There are no revolutions in well-governed countries

Explore the ways in which a seminal event in early 20th century history was presented to audiences in British feature films. You'll see how audiences were presented with a particular viewpoint about the nature and importance of the Russian revolution, and suggest ways in which historians can approach film as a historical source.

International Development | Globalisation: From the end of history to the end of the world?

What is globalisation and why does it matter to you? Consider what the term means and explore its relation to some important themes that connect us all, from global poverty to the climate crisis. Along the way, we'll also look at some experiences closer to home: the recent 'climate strikes' and COP26, and controversies over the source of the clothes we buy from stores such as Primark. See how globalisation connects us to the lives of others on the other side of the world – even when we seem to be unaware of this.

Languages | Introduction to Chinese Language and China

Chinese is a fascinating language with many dialects, and is also one of the earliest forms of written language in the world. Find out more about learning Chinese and China in this introductory session, as we explore a practical overview of culture, phrases and literary traditions.

PGCE and BEd | The magic of teaching

If you're looking for a rewarding career where you can make a positive difference to other people's lives, teaching is a great choice. This session will take you back to Primary school, where we'll look at typical learning activities you'd find there and consider why a teacher may be using them. Please note, you'll be expected to participate!

Sociology | How our consumption impacts us and our planet

3 intriguing questions. First, how much does the average household in the UK consume each year? Secondly, what sociological and psychological explanations are behind why we consume what we do? And finally, how does this consumption impact? Find out in this session.

Closing summary of the day, but the floor is yours to ask your questions – to lecturers and current students.

This could be about different Humanities and Social Sciences subjects, any of the talks you've watched so far, the city of Portsmouth, moving away from home – and/or whatever you want to know about uni.