- Ranked #1 in U.K. for welcoming international students, campus environment; #2 in U.K. for sports facilities; top 10 in U.K. for extra-curricular activities/societies; 15 in U.K. for library
- Ranked #1 in Scotland, top 5 in U.K. for Criminology – Guardian University Rankings
- Ranked #1 in Scotland, top 10 in U.K. for Media/Film Studies, Social Policy – Guardian University Rankings
- Ranked #1 in Scotland, top 15 in U.K. for Education – Guardian University Rankings
- Ranked #2 in Scotland, top 15 in U.K. for Sociology
- Ranked 1st in Scotland and 8th in U.K. in The Times Higher Education “100 under 50” table, which ranks the world’s best 100 universities under 50 years old
- Scotland’s “university of sporting excellence”
- Internships available in summer 2 session (for credit)
- Minimum 3.0 G.P.A.
- Open to sophomores, juniors & seniors
- Completed API Application
- University contact information form
- One letter of recommendation
- Official transcript
- Copy of passport
- Entry requirements: valid passport and supporting documents (Tier 4 visa required if participating in an internship)
Dates & Fees
If you require syllabi that are not listed below, please contact your API Program Manager.
The summer modules/classes are offered over two four-week blocks. Each module consists of in-class and excursion components, giving students the opportunity to enjoy university teaching both in and out of the classroom. Modules are assessed by a combination of an exam, essay, presentation, and fieldwork. Courses at the University of Stirling are assigned credit based on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Each Stirling module earns 10 SCQF credits or approximately 3 U.S. credits. Students are thus able to earn 6 U.S. credits (during a four-week block) or 9 to 12 U.S. credits (during an eight-week block).
Examples of the course syllabi are available from the API Scotland program manager upon request.
Brief Encounters: An Introduction to Writing Short Stories ISS9BE (3)
This module has been designed to help students realize their creative potential by producing original and stimulating short fiction. Teaching will consist of specialist workshops conducted by an expert in the field. In addition to engaging with practical aspects of craft and technique, students will learn how to create believable, compelling characters and how to make them live (and die!) on the page. They will also have the opportunity to visit sites of historic importance and natural beauty to inspire their writing.
Excursion(s): The course will culminate in a live ‘reading’ at a leading local arts center when students will have the chance to share the stage with a prominent Scottish writer.
Education and Learning: A Scottish Perspective ISS9EL (3)
In this module, students explore the purposes of education and how this translates into the UK education system, and the wider issues of learner identities, some of which are unique to the UK. What are the implications of social class? Does school uniform impact on learning? How is behavior management constructed and why? What impact might regional languages and culture, ethnicity or sexuality have? This module will also normally include interaction with pupils. This module normally will include a visit to a local school to observe the Scottish education system in action. In addition, an excursion to the Scotland Street Museum in Glasgow will also be included. This is not only a famous Charles Rennie Macintosh building which was a functioning school until 1979 but is now a museum about education in Scotland.
Marketing and Branding Scotland ISS9BS (3)
This module introduces the importance of culture in marketing operations with specific reference to Scotland. Framed within a review of Scotland’s economic and cultural history from both a Scottish and global perspective, it examines the relevance of national identity and country-of-origin effect (also known as nation branding) in the creation of brand value. Contemporary case studies within food and drink production and the cultural industries will be used to illustrate core course concepts. Special attention will be given to the internationalization process of small- and medium-sized enterprises, citing Scottish examples. A multi-disciplinary approach makes this course accessible and interesting to students with a limited marketing background but also useful and informative to business and marketing students who wish to develop their knowledge in this niche area. The instructor will lead an excursion to either a Scottish beverage maker/food producer or Scotland’s national tourism agency.
Photographing the Urban ISS9PU (3)
This art history module draws inspiration from Scottish historical architecture and explores the representation of the built environment through various artistic genres including painting, media, optics, and photography. Underpinning the module is an acquisition of skills in fine art digital photography. Students will research and create their own photographic portfolios based on class assignments and lecture material about the history of photography. During the course, students will have the opportunity to develop skills and new knowledge in the following areas: fine art digital photography; principles of photo documentation; location photography; and image editing. This module includes a one-day excursion to relevant local sites and a 19th-century Scottish mansion, complementing what is learned in the classroom. Note: digital camera required.
Psychology of Art with a Tartan Twist ISS9AR (3)
The only requirement to participate in this course is an interest in the visual arts and/or psychology. Scotland has a rich visual art tradition from the prehistoric to the contemporary. Are there universal principles underlying Art reflecting the way the brain works? How did Art start? What can children’s drawings tell us? How does the difference in looking by artists and non-artists affect drawing and aesthetic judgment? How does culture affect aesthetic preference? What makes particular works of art iconic? This course will examine neuroscience, neuropsychology, cognitive science (including eye tracking), an ethnography of the art world, and experiential learning to consider process (making art) and aesthetics (appreciating art). There will also be an excursion to exhibitions at the renowned Edinburgh International Festival.
Religion and Conflict ISS9RC (3)
Everywhere we look today, from our television screens to the streets of our cities, we see conflict in the name of religion. Some at a verbal level, some at a military level, some at a catastrophic level. Why does it appear that religion and conflict seem to go hand in hand? This course will explore the nature of this supposed relationship, first by looking at what actually constitutes ‘conflict’ (is it the same as ‘violence’, for example?), second, by looking at whether such conflict is actually inherent in what we perceive as ‘religion’ today, and third, by looking at the role the media plays in defining these terms and their relationship for us. Finally, this module broadens its perspective to focus on what global lessons can be learned from Europe. The course gives a more critical perspective on what we see happening around us in the name of religion, and to understand why some religions struggle more than others with the nature of conflict. Students will visit the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, in Glasgow.
Rethinking the City (3)
This course provides a general introduction to the design of cities, and how they can be organized and improved, with a particular focus on Scottish New Town design. The course considers, for instance, how the role of social and urban planning of Scottish New Town developments has contributed to our thinking about what makes a livable city. Students will also consider the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015) and explore the rights of each person to health, education, shelter, and security and how similar goals informed Scottish town planning. The course has been structured to draw students into conversations on key questions and to provide opportunities to students to use design-thinking to explore how urban centers are designed, and ways in which students might improve them. Students will research and create their own urban plan to identify and evaluate real city examples based on a class excursion, in-class assignments and reading material. Over the duration of the course, students will also be able to develop an understanding of basic concepts of livable city design and will have the opportunity to apply research and critical thinking, photographic skills and social media in their assignments.
Royals and Rascals: Contemporary Studies in British Journalism ISS9JO (3)
For centuries, Britain’s kings and queens have had a powerful impact on society and on its institutions. Following the rise of celebrity culture, members of the British Royal family and other public figures have used their influence and financial muscle to push back journalists in order to reclaim their privacy. This module is aimed at journalism students and others interested in the media and its relationship with public figures, including Britain’s royals, who want to explore fundamental ethical principles and press freedom issues from the vantage point of some of the world’s most fascinating news stories. These cases range from Princess Diana’s death, for which the Paparazzi were blamed, to Prince Harry’s more recent indiscretions, which played out in the digital media.
Excursion (s): Balmoral Castle and a visit to a Scottish newsroom (eg. BBC).
Scotland the What? Contemporary Scottish Literature & Identity ISS9SC (3)
This course examines the literary and political currents shaping contemporary Scottish identity, introducing students to key twentieth- and twenty-first-century texts. The course encounters and explains a range of cultural debates concerning language, class, democracy, and nationhood in Scottish writing.
With attention focused on the question of independence, recent debates concerning Scottish culture and identity gain a heightened political charge. Literature has not only reflected but actively shaped such debate. What role has writing played in political change, and to what extent has Scottish culture escaped its own stereotypes?
Excursion: There will be an excursion to Edinburgh, including a visit to the Scottish Parliament building and Scottish Writers Museum
Scotland on the Screen ISS9SS (3)
This module explores images of Scotland in film and television in the context of historically recurrent Scottish cultural themes, with sideways references to literature and Scottish history, and an introductory approach to the topic of representation. The themes of the module are Scotland in Hollywood: Brigadoon to Braveheart (Scotland on the American screen); Urban Scotland: Culture and Crime; Filmmaking in Scotland: the Importance of Shorts; and the Politics of Representation: Contemporary Scotland in Cinema and Television. This module will include a visit to a celebrated screen location in Central Scotland. In the past, this has been a trip to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, one of the world’s oldest and most established film festivals.
Scottish History: The Scottish Wars of Independence, c.1286-c.1371 ISSU9TW (3)
By the late thirteenth century, Scotland was an increasingly consolidated kingdom with a stable dynasty that had enforced hereditary succession, achieved a string of high profile marriages, extended its boundaries of control, and existed in relative peace with its southern neighbors. However, the death of Alexander III (the last adult king of the Canmore line) in 1286 shook the foundations of the realm. It brought challenges to autonomy from within, as the succession crisis forced open cracks between powerful ruling families, and from outside the realm, due to acquisitive and aggressive southern neighbors now under the leadership of the infamous Edward I. The subsequent period, from 1286 to c. 1371, was one of turmoil and confusion marked by violent wars and feuding nobility but was also one of self-realization and the solidifying of an increasingly potent national identity for the ruling classes and the people at large in Scotland. This module will look at the crisis of kingship, the war and governance of the Guardians and William Wallace, the kingship of John Balliol, the rise of Robert the Bruce, Bannockburn and consolidating the Bruce dynasty, war of the three monarchs, and the legacy of a childless dynasty to assess this pivotal historic era in Scottish history.
Excursion(s): This module will include a field trip to the iconic Bannockburn Battlefield (with an opportunity to recreate the battle with the center’s new interactive battle simulation technology).
Crime and Justice in Scotland: The Criminal in Scottish Society ISS9CJ (3)
This module is designed to introduce students to the subject of criminology through the lens of the Scottish Criminal Justice System. The module begins with an overview of the Scottish Criminal Justice System before examining the major avenues by which the public obtain information about crime – as victims of crime and from the media and official statistics. The module examines the processes that have developed our definitions of crime and the broader social and political context within which this crime occurs. This module includes a visit to HM Prison Glenochil, an adult male prison near Stirling.
Green Politics: Theory & Practice ISS9GP (3)
This introductory module provides students with an understanding of environmental issues and the characteristic features in environmental problem solving; illustrate the multitude of concepts, ideologies, actors and political settings involved in environmental politics; make you aware of the shared as well as setting-specific dilemmas in environmental politics and policy; evaluate the link between environmental policy intentions and reality. Key areas this module will focus on including political parties, EU / US environmental relations, green consumerism and environmental protest campaigns. This module includes a day visit to Whitelee wind farm in Glasgow, Europe’s largest onshore wind farm.
International Relations ISS9IR (3)
This module explores contemporary issues and debates that shape world politics today. It starts by introducing International Relations (IR) theory before turning to two broad themes that dominate IR: conflict and peace. Key issues covered include nuclear weapons, private military companies, humanitarian intervention and failed states. Students will also apply the themes of conflict and peace to a case study of the Northern Ireland conflict exploring the key political developments and the transition to a post-conflict settlement. This module will also include a workshop that examines the use of wall murals to articulate conflict / post-conflict identity. This module includes a day trip visit to Belfast where students will undertake a historical/political tour of the city taking in the wall murals and other key sites linked to the Northern Ireland conflict. Students taking this module may incur a small additional charge for the trip to Belfast.
Internship for International Summer School ISS9IN (students who wish to participate in the internship must also take at least one course in Block 1). (3)
This exciting opportunity, run in partnership with the Career Development Centre at the University of Stirling, will give students opportunities to carry out four-week internships in a number of sectors in the Stirling area. These sectors may include sports, environmental science, politics, charity / non-profit and marketing, though this list is subject to change. Through this internship, students will develop an understanding of the UK labor market and the specific sector of their internship; develop their team working skills, and develop their written and oral communication skills. Students can expect to spend approximately 140 hours in their internship placement and an additional 10 hours on associated classroom sessions, review days, writing reflective journals, and online tutorials run by the Career Development Centre. Assessment will take the form of a presentation given about your internship, completion of your journals, and submission of a project report.
Important note: Students taking this module must enroll full time in ISS Block 1 (and take two modules). Students may also be required to obtain an appropriate UK visa, such as a Tier 4 visa, the cost of which will be additional. Please also note the earlier application deadline.
For testimonials of past internship participants, click here.
*APPLICATION DEADLINE if applying for ISS9IN Internship for International Summer School: March 15.
(Additional application materials will be sent to applicants for the internship.)
Monsters and Vampires: The Impact of British Gothic on Contemporary Popular Culture ISS9MV (3)
Focusing on key texts from the nineteenth century, this course aims to explore the ways in which Gothic tropes established during this period recur throughout contemporary popular culture. Students will discuss the representation of monsters and vampires as they appear in the British nineteenth-century Gothic texts Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights and Dracula and their influence on popular narratives such as those found in fiction, film, tv and music video. Assessment will be through presentation and essay. This course will also include a tour around The Edinburgh Dungeon and a visit to the Gothic theme bar The Jekyll & Hyde. On this excursion, the class will explore ideas of Gothic tourism, Gothic marketing, and end of Gothic.
Sculpting Art (3)
This course provides a general introduction to contemporary art history, with examples and inspiration drawn from the University of Stirling’s public art and sculpture collections. The course is specially designed for students to explore sculptural representation from figurative artworks at the end of the 20th century to the commencement of Modernism and its relationship to new technologies and different forms of art representation. To complement an understanding of this transformational period in art history, the course has also been designed to provide students with a practical approach. In particular, students will be provided with an opportunity to gain knowledge of basic sculptural construction and critique methods. Students will undertake research and create their own art portfolios based on the class excursion, lecture material, and assignments. Portfolio assignments will include the creation of sculptural drawings and/or small models (maquettes) to support student learning of basic sculptural design and concepts.
Scottish History: The Jacobites ISS9TJ (3)
The focus of enduring romanticism and myth, the Jacobites remain an intriguing subject. Themes for this module include royalism, covering the Stewart monarchy in general and James VII in particular; multiple monarchies, looking at relations between Scotland, England, and Ireland; Highlands and Lowlands; the wider European context of Jacobitism; early modern warfare; and spying and espionage. You will be given the opportunity to make use of the University’s own collection of Jacobite material, the Amulree Collection, and to use images and manuscripts which offer an intriguing insight into the world of the Jacobites. This module will include a field trip to Killiecrankie, a key site during the first Jacobite rebellion of 1689 in support of King James VII, and to nearby Sherrifmuir, the site of the famous battle of 1715.
Celtic Religion (3)
Course description currently unavailable.
Witchcraft in Early Modern Scotland ISS9WS (3)
Between 1563 and 1736, during years of political and religious turmoil, around 4,000 people were accused of witchcraft in Scotland. This module will examine this significant aspect of Scottish history, looking at the phenomenon of witchcraft belief as part of the early-modern culture, as well as its prosecution. Other themes that will be covered include religion, popular culture, law and order, illness and death, community tensions and gender issues. Students will also consider the continuity and development of ideas about magic and witchcraft. This module will visit the village of Dunning, Maggie Wall’s monument near Dunning, Robert Kirk’s burial site and the Fairy Tree at Aberfoyle, all sites related to early modern witchcraft in Scotland.