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Academic guest lecture series

The University of Manchester is home to world-class experts in a wide range of academic fields. In order to share our expertise and enrich your curriculum, we offer subject-specific lectures to students in local schools and colleges in a range of academic disciplines.

Where: Most lectures take place in your school or college.

When: You can arrange a date and time that are mutually convenient for you and our academic.

Duration: The guest lecture is approximately one hour.

Cost: All lectures are free of charge.

Location: Schools and colleges must be based approximately one hour’s travelling distance of The University of Manchester. We will try our best to meet your request.

Group size: Minimum 20 students.

Book a lecture

Simply select a subject area from the drop-down list below and use the email addresses provided to send in your request. Upon receipt of your request, we will forward the details to the appropriate academic, who will then liaise with you directly.

Please note that delivery of academic guest lectures will depend on the availability of our academics, so not all lectures are available at all times.

To ensure that as many institutions as possible can benefit from our lecture series, we limit our lectures to five per institution per academic year.

We will contact you shortly after the lecture has taken place to gather feedback, in order to make ongoing improvements to our lecture series.

or list all lectures.

 

Subject areasLecture title and descriptionContactAge range
  • Anthropology
Living cultures: the rehabilitation of a Victorian anthropology collection
Over the past several decades museum anthropology has been in transition. Victorian curators viewed non-European people as primitive and failed to fully appreciate their complex societies. Today’s curators recognise this mistake and are constantly developing new techniques to better understand global cultures.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 13–16 year olds.
  • Archaeology
  • Environment
Environmental catastrophes: volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes in prehistory
This lecture will provide an introduction to the world-famous eruption of the volcano of Thera (modern-day Santorini) in Greece which is fabled to have caused the demise of the Minoan civilisation. We will explore the sequence of the volcanic eruption, its environmental consequences for the inhabitants of the island and nearby regions, and explore the social impact of environmental catastrophes in prehistory.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form or Year 11.
  • Archaeology
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • History
  • Politics
  • Tourism
Islands of the mind
Over the last few centuries islands have become one of the most commonly used literary tropes, whose meaning changes according to the historical context. This lecture traces our attraction to islands and explores why islands are anything but simple constructs. This lecture is deliberately cross-disciplinary and will touch upon archaeology, history, literature, tourism, economics and politics.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form or Year 11.
  • Archaeology

What do archaeologists really do?
This lecture will include an introduction to archaeological methods, an introduction to key concepts used in archaeology (which are also applicable to geology, history, science and maths) such as stratigraphy and dating techniques, and some hands-on experience of archaeological kit and artefacts. 

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.

  • Archaeology
Forgetting the Flintstones: rethinking prehistoric hunter-gatherers 
This lecture will include a critical examination of how modern media presents hunter-gatherers and a re-examination of the archaeological evidence, including a hands-on session using real prehistoric artefacts.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.

  • Archaeology
Thinking through things 
This lecture will include a critical analysis of what material culture can tell us. It will consider whether material things static, passive and meaningless or do they communicate information? If so how can they do this? And how might this be useful to archaeologists and anthropologists?
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.

  • Archaeology
Who were the Neanderthals?
This lecture looks at our close relatives the Neanderthals. It explores how they dealt with the difficulties of living in Ice Age Europe. It also looks at debates surrounding their extinction. Did they die out because they were less intelligent than our own species or are there other explanations?
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Archaeology
Finding Britain's first house
This lecture will give students an understanding of an archaeological excavation. The example is a site in North Yorkshire known as Star Carr which dates from around 9,500BC. The talk will discuss the findings of excavations between 2004 and 2010, culminating in the discovery of Britain's oldest dwelling and a massive timber trackway.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Archaeology
The emergence of civilisation in ancient Mesopotamia
This lecture provides an overview of a period in which some of the foundations of modern civilization can be seen for the first time. Between 4,000BC and 2,000BC cities and states developed, writing was invented and empires were founded in southern Iraq, forming a new way of life that had a fundamental influence on subsequent periods of history.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Archaeology
Cannibalism in prehistory?
Cannibalism is a dramatic and controversial topic. Studying its possible presence as part of prehistoric ceremonies at the site of Domuztepe in southern Turkey provides an insight into human behaviour and the way in which archaeologists can begin to understand ancient practices.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Archaeology
Cultural heritage in the Middle East
A turbulent discipline, the Middle East has been one of the most volatile regions during the 20th century, following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. The human past has often been used as a weapon in the forging of new nations, and this lecture looks at the often striking relevance archaeology has had to contemporary societies over the last century.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Archaeology
Halls of the living and halls of the dead: recent excavations on Neolithic sites at Dorstone Hill, Herefordshire
Recent excavations by The University of Manchester have revealed deliberately burnt house structures beneath a series of funerary long mounds on Dorstone Hill, dating to the period around 3700 BC. This lecture details the process of discovery and the implications of this find.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Archaeology
Explaining the beginning of Neolithic Britain
Why did people give up hunting and gathering, and begin to herd animals and cultivate crops, to use pottery and stone axes, and to build monuments including long barrows from around 4000 BC in Britain? This lecture reviews the debates.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Archaeology
  • Art History
Cave art
This lecture looks at the appearance of the first European art around 32,000 years ago. From this time onwards we get the first decorated caves and sculptures of both humans and animals. Can we hope to understand why people decorated caves and look for the meaning of the earliest art?
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Archaeology
  • History
Bog bodies: interpreting the mystery
This lecture will provide learners with an introduction to the extraordinary preservation of prehistoric bog bodies. We will look at the science and environment of bog bodies, review the lives and deaths of different bog bodies (including Lindow Man, Grauballe Man, Tollund Man, Worsley Man) and interpret the different motives which explain this gruesome phenomenon.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for GCSE or A-level students.
  • Archaeology
  • History
Battlefield archaeology
What can archaeology contribute to the understanding of war? We will review key case studies including Fromelles and the Fleville bomber, and discuss the ethics and politics of digging up the war dead.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for GCSE or A-level students.
  • Archaeology
  • Medicine
Disease, illness and medicine in prehistory
This lecture explores how diseases, illnesses and general living/working conditions affected the ancient Greeks of the Minoan and Mycenaean periods. Drawing on skeletal evidence from a wide range of cemeteries, we will be investigating differences in life expectancy, nutrition, and access to medical and surgical skill.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form or Year 11.
  • Art History

Romantic art in public art collections in Manchester and the north-west
This lecture is an introduction to the extraordinary rich and diverse collections of Romantic art in the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), the Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool), Sudley House (Liverpool), the Victoria Gallery and Museum (Liverpool), the Lady Lever Art Gallery (Port Sunlight), Tabley House (Knutsford), the Harris Museum and Art Gallery (Preston), Brantwood and the Ruskin Museum (Coniston), Wordsworth Museum (Grasmere), and the Ruskin Library (Lancaster). It explains the importance of these collections by focusing on outstanding works by Joseph Wright, William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Samuel Palmer, JMW Turner, John Constable, JR Cozens, JS Cotman, James Barry, BR Haydon, James Ward, David Wilkie, William Etty, John Martin and John Linnell. 

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 14–17.
  • Art History
Victorian art in public art collections in Manchester and the north-west
This lecture is an introduction to the remarkable collections of Victorian art in the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), Manchester Town Hall, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, the Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool), Sudley House (Liverpool), the Victoria Gallery and Museum (Liverpool),  the Lady Lever Art Gallery (Port Sunlight), the Williamson Art Gallery (Birkenhead), Tabley House (Knutsford), the Harris Museum and Art Gallery (Preston), Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museums (Bury), and Bury Art Gallery. It explores these collections by spotlighting important works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt, Frederic Shields, Noel Paton, William Dyce, WP Frith, EM Ward, Frederic Leighton, Hubert Herkomer, Albert Moore, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Charles Ricketts and PW Steer.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 14–17.
  • Art History
Modern art in public art collections in Manchester and the north-west
This lecture is an introduction to the remarkable collections of modern art in the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), the Lowry (Salford), the Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool), Abbot Hall Art Gallery (Kendal) and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery (Carlisle). It explains the importance of these collections by examining key works by Walter Sickert, Spencer Gore, Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, Percy Wyndham Lewis, CRW Nevinson, LS Lowry, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, Cecil Collins, John Minton, John Craxton, Edward Burra, Ben Nicholson, John Bratby, Francis Bacon, Peter Blake, Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, Colin Self, David Hockney, Michael Craig-Martin and Ken Currie.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 14–17.
  • Astronomy
Hunting for other Earths
How do we find planets around other stars? What kind of planets have been found so far? How common are planetary systems and how do they form? What are the prospects for finding evidence of life on other planets? This talk discusses the current situation in the relatively new research field of extra-solar planets.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Astronomy
Measuring the microwave universe: from the Big Bang to spinning dust
Radio astronomers are now measuring the universe in immense detail. Using the latest technology to measure microwaves, we can make maps of the entire universe when it was just 380,000 years old – just after the Big Bang which took place some 13.7 billion years ago. This talk will show how this is done and what we can learn about the universe we live in.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Year 7 upwards (11+).
  • Astronomy
Cosmic explosions
We are all made of stuff that was created inside stars and spreads into space when they explode. In this talk the life cycle of a star will be described ending with the most powerful explosions in the universe: novae, supernovae and gamma-ray bursts.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Astronomy
Infinity!
A wide-ranging overview of our current ideas about the universe. We will travel from the solar system to the most distant galaxies, describing the Big Bang interpretation of the origin of the universe and exploring the future of the sun, the Milky Way and the universe as a whole. Finally, we will discuss whether modern cosmology has a chance of answering the fundamental question of whether space goes on forever.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

An X-ray vision of biology: exploring chemistry of the cell using crystallography  
This lecture describes the history and impact of X-ray crystallography on our understanding of biology at the cellular/atomic level. It will illustrate how chemists and biologists use this technique at large facilities such as the Diamond synchrotron to determine the structure and function of biological macromolecules (ie DNA, enzymes and transmembrane proteins). 

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 14 and upwards.
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Magic of clays: engineering solutions for environmental challenges.
A huge quantity of waste is generated on a daily basis worldwide, ranging from municipal and agricultural waste to the long-lasting radioactive waste. These can contain hazardous and toxic chemicals that can considerably impact on environmental sustainability and impose high risk to the public health if they are not managed and disposed properly. 

Engineering solutions have been developed to deal with the waste, its disposal and containment, and to protect our environmental assets including air, soil and water. Clays are among challenging geomaterials for civil engineers; however, they possess significant characteristics enabling the clays to adsorb, retain and mitigate chemicals.  These immensely important characteristics are hidden in the micro-structure of clays.

In this lecture, we’ll look at the clays and their microstructure, hazardous chemicals, and how they interact with each other. We’ll demonstrate experimentally how a clay soil reacts with pure water and contaminated water that contains heavy metals. We’ll discuss how clays are used in various forms in engineering applications such as landfills and engineering barriers, as well as the disposal of very toxic, long-lasting radioactive waste.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for above Secondary 3 (15+).
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Health Care
  • Medicine
Being a doctor: communication is key
This lecture will give an insight into the qualities needed to be a medic, focusing on communication and providing case studies from general practice. It will be delivered by a practising GP who also teaches communication skills to medical students. Although academic skills are crucial when it comes to being a doctor, many other practical and interpersonal skills are also essential – including understanding what it takes to communicate effectively with sick and vulnerable people.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 9–11 in the Greater Manchester area.
  • Biology
  • Earth Science

The explosive origin of animals
Much of what we know about the history of life on earth came from fossils. The earliest life on earth was simple, but this changed suddenly about 520 million years ago during the Cambrian period. Many of the major animal groups appeared almost simultaneously at this time, in some cases apparently fully formed. This dramatic and rapid event initially seems difficult to reconcile with ideas of gradual Darwinian evolution. New studies of Cambrian fossils, however, are helping us understand this event and how evolution generates new forms. Furthermore, laboratory experiments with rotten fish are providing unexpected insights into the preservation of the fossils and their evolutionary significance.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Yeas 1–13 (KS4 and KS5).
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work

The therapeutic nature of nursing
Nurses are highly skilled practitioners who are in contact with patients for longer than any other health care professional. This talk will discuss how nurses work with the patient/client towards recovery and outline how nurses are therapeutic instruments that can positively influence recovery.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 12 and 13.
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work

Pain hurts, or does it?
Injury causes a series of internal events in the body. These events are adapted and modified by the body’s internal chemistry and by changes in the brain which lead to pain. This talk will explore these changes and how in certain cases pain will be internally controlled. Discussion will explore how we might be able to switch on our own painkillers.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 12 and 13.
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work

Phantom pain
More than 80% of people who have an arm or leg amputated feel pain in the missing limb. This talk will discuss how it is possible to feel pain in a part of the body that is no longer present and explore how by understanding the nature of phantom pain we can help people with other chronic pain conditions.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 12 and 13.
  • Business
  • Management
  • Politics
Good government: the creative power of public administration
Government bureaucracies often get a bad press, when attention is drawn to their supposed inefficiency and red tape. While they undoubtedly have their problems, we tend to ignore the positive and creative roles that government administrations have played for centuries. This lecture will take a broad look at the history - both positive and negative - of public administration and ask what to expect from 21st century evolution of democratic governance.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Chemistry

Graphene and its applications in (electro) chemistry
This lecture discusses the science behind electrochemical energy storage, specifically the lithium ion battery, which powers all laptops, tablets and smartphones and is increasingly being used to power cars and for the electricity grid. We also discuss how new developments with materials such as graphene can assist the further development of such technologies.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for post-16.
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Physics

Giant molecules and 2D materials
Giant molecules – polymers – are all around us. Research at Manchester is developing new polymers, and putting them together with two-dimensional materials like graphene, to help solve some of society’s greatest challenges, such as how to ensure clean air and clean water for everyone.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for students aged 14+.
  • Classics and Ancient History
We offer a variety of lectures in Classics and in Ancient History topics.

More details are available on the Classics and Ancient History website.
andrew.fear
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Computer Science
Computers and brains 
An overview of the workings of computers and brains, focusing particularly on their similarities and differences. We'll look at why brains are interesting to computer engineers and how the SpiNNaker project aims to advance our understanding of brain function, which could have benefits both for the study of medicine and the future development of computers.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Computer Science

Reading and thinking without seeing: what does being blind and using a computer tell us about interaction with information?
This will be a personal talk about being a blind computer-user and what this experience tells us about interacting with the information a computer presents. By considering this, we can gain insights into the nature of information, how we think and how we use computers. I will illustrate this talk by showing how I use simple text and complex notations, glance at information, look at two things at once, and much more. Pencil and paper have so many fantastic features – some of which are not obvious – how can these be replicated in a computer, not only for blind people, but everyone

This talk will not provide all the answers, but will raise many questions and show how interesting it can be to think about how humans interact with computers.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for all ages.
  • Dentistry
Orthodontics, is it for me?
Orthodontics is a subspecialty within Dentistry. This lecture will explain what dentists do, including an outline of options when qualified and career paths.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for pre- or early A-level students.
  • Earth Science
  • Astronomy

Meteorites, stardust and the early solar system
The talk starts with an introduction to meteorites: what they look like, where they come from and how they get here. You'll learn what they reveal about the way planets like Earth grew in a disk around the sun as it formed 4.5 billion years ago. You'll also see how they preserve evidence of stars that died before our solar system formed, and that this helps us learn how the atoms that make up our environment formed. There will be an opportunity to handle meteorite samples.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
For primary, KS3, KS4 and A-level.
  • Earth Science
  • Environment

Climate change and Siberia
About half the world’s soil carbon is currently stored in Arctic permafrost, largely in Eastern Russia. This huge freeze-locked pool is vulnerable to global warming and is being released through thawing, increased river run-off and erosion, and transported to the Arctic Ocean. Warming caused an increase in Arctic permafrost temperatures of up to 2°C between 1971 and 2010, and a 7% increase in discharge rates of the main Arctic rivers, leading to increased release of carbon from thawing permafrost. In this lecture the fate of this remobilised carbon in the Arctic region, which is still a matter of debate, and the consequences for the global carbon cycle will be discussed.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
For KS3, KS4 and A-level.
  • Earth Science
  • Environment

Volcanic eruptions and mass extinction events
Mass extinctions in Earth’s history have made dramatic impacts on the biosphere, leading to conditions which promoted the development of human life. The purpose of this talk is to examine the processes that may have caused mass extinctions, and the scientific process that has allowed the strengths and weaknesses of diverse extinction processes to be evaluated. We focus in particular on the evidence supporting the Chicxulub asteroid impact compared with the Deccan Traps large igneous province as triggers for the K-T boundary mass extinction 65 million years ago, which devastated the previously prolific dinosaur populations.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
For KS3, KS4 and A-level. 
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Physics

The number that is you 
Digital technology is transforming the world. In this audio/video presentation you'll discover not just the power of digital signal processing but the fundamental meaning of information as a description of the Universe. There is a number out there that is... you!

Please note that this talk is for a minimum of 50 students, due to the set-up time required.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16 year olds and above. 
 
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Physics

Silicon power 
Every hour, the Sun bombards Earth with enough energy to power all human activity for an entire year. But how exactly do we convert that sunlight efficiently into electricity? Electrical engineers are looking for answers in the sand.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16 year olds and above. 
 
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Physics

Secrets of smart tech 
Q: Why is your mobile like the Eurofighter, CERN's Large Hadron Collider, or an advanced industrial robot? A: They're all smart enough to respond to their environment, and then change their behaviour autonomously. This lecture explains why we can't get through the day without our technological ‘nervous system’.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16 year olds and above.
  • English Language
English language in the real world: accent and identity
A discussion of accent is provided to see how our accent contributes to our personal identity and sense of self. However, when confronted with linguistic prejudice - accentism - do we choose to modify our accent to avoid negative stereotyping? If so, I investigate how this further affects our sense of who we are, as some equate accent modification with linguistic selling out.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for primary to secondary/sixth form.
  • English Language
  • Psychology

How do children learn to talk?
"The man hit the ball" means something quite different from, "The ball hit the man".  When learning how to talk, children have to work out how to combine words into sentences to convey their intended meaning. This lecture explores what we know about children's understanding of sentence structure and considers how children learn grammar.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for AS and A-level students only.
  • English Literature
Shakespeare
Lectures can be offered on a range of Shakespeare topics and plays. Please state your preferred topic(s) in your email.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • English Literature
  • History

Literature and colonialism
This lecture will introduce you to the complicated relationships between creative literature and the experience of colonialism. There will be a brief introduction to the history of European colonialism from the early modern period to the present day, followed by discussions of the different ways in which the works of novelists, playwrights and poets have responded to that history. We will cover Shakespeare's The Tempest, some of the great works of Victorian fiction and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, in addition to the works of writers from the postcolonial world in Africa, Asia and Latin America, such as Chinua Achebe and Aime Cesaire. Questions asked include:

  • How does English literature register the experience of colonialism?
  • How does postcolonial writing resist or write against colonialism?
  • How do writers respond to these experiences today?
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 11–18.
  • English Literature
  • History
  • Languages
John Rylands Library (Deansgate) activities
The John Rylands Library at Deansgate offers a range of on-site activities for post-16 learners, which are related to the specific collections of the Library.
jrul.education
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16 year olds and above. 
  • Health Care
  • Engineering

How 3D printing is shaping our world
The ability to print objects in three dimensions without almost any geometrical constraints is revolutionising our world. From the production of customised shoes and jewellery to high-performance aerospace/automotive components, 3D printing is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives. The future holds great promise but also great challenges. This lecture will provide a better insight into future applications of 3D printing with special emphasis on the generation of biological implants to regenerate human tissues and organs.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 14–18.
  • Health Care
  • Medicine

Public health in your area
This is an opportunity for you to get to know what the public health needs are in your local area – and what we can all do to make a change.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 12 and 13.
  • Health Care
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Social work

Nursing as a career
If you’ve ever considered becoming a nurse, then this presentation is for you. Here, you’ll be able to find out more about the many opportunities that are available in nursing today.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 12 and 13. 
  • History

What should historians do with heroes? 
From Admiral Nelson to Florence Nightingale, Scott of the Antarctic to George Best, history is filled with heroes. This lecture will discuss how and why societies celebrated certain men and women as heroes, and what that can tell us about the past.

Not available in the 2017/18 academic year.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Languages
  • German
  • Turkish

Wolfgang Becker's Goodbye, Lenin! and nostalgia for the east
A lecture on Wolfgang Becker's popular film which has become a classic document of 'Ostalgie' and of East German cultural memory.

Lectures on Turkish-German cinema and literature can also be requested.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form and AS and A-level pupils and can be adapted.
  • Languages

Russia under western eyes: perceptions and misconceptions
This lecture offers an overview of popular Western perceptions of, stereotypes about, and attitudes towards Russia, with a particular focus on the role of popular culture in shaping these views in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 16+ but can be adapted to younger audiences of 14+.
  • Law
Demystifying the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
TTIP (a trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and US) could, once concluded, be the most significant development in international trade of our time. The deal is highly controversial in many respects as it goes beyond the traditional technical trade barriers. This lecture will explain the significance of the deal and how it may affect many aspects of our everyday lives, eg public health.

Time: 30 mins
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 12–13. Can be adapted for Years 10–11.
  • Mathematics

The arrow of time
If you see a film clip of two snooker balls colliding, it's pretty hard to tell whether the film has been reversed: one ball smashes into the other and both zoom off in different directions, but pretty much the same thing happens if you run the film backwards. A mathematical way to see this is to note that the basic equations of mechanics don't change if you reverse the direction of time.

On the other hand, if you see a video of the break at the beginning of a snooker match it's pretty easy to tell whether the film has been reversed. In the version where time is running forward, a single ball smashes into a big cluster of stationary balls and the whole lot go flying, while in the time-reversed version a whole jumble of moving balls suddenly coalesce into a neatly organised, stationary block and a single ball goes zooming off on its own. Only the first of these looks familiar from everyday life. These two examples contain the key ideas of the classical (as opposed to quantum-mechanical) answer to the question ‘why is tomorrow different from today?’

In this talk, Dr Mark Muldoon will introduce the problem more fully and then discuss a certain simple model system, the Feynman-Kac Ring Model, through which one can explore these issues mathematically.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Mathematics
Patterns in the unpredictable
Why random behaviour is surprisingly non-random.  Most people are very bad at predicting random behaviour.  (For example, would you prefer to pick 1,2,3,4,5,6 as your lottery numbers or 3,17,18,21,33,46? Or if, when tossing a coin, it has come down heads seven times in a row, does that mean that tails is overdue?)
What many people do not realise is that true random behaviour often contains a surprising amount of structure and order.  Using simple ideas from probability theory, this talk gives some examples of this phenomenon, including why certain numbers appear far more frequently in the real world than you think they should, how to detect tax fraud and how to hoodwink your friends!
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Year 7 and above.
  • Mathematics
Enigma variations: cryptography and the Enigma machine
How do codes, ciphers and cryptography work? What was the Enigma machine? How did mathematicians such as Alan Turing shorten World War II and save possibly millions of lives? In this talk, we will look at how substitution ciphers have evolved from (easy to crack!) Caesar ciphers to the (much harder to crack!) Enigma machine and (impossible to crack!) one-time pads.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Year 7 and above.
  • Mathematics
Shuffling around
Why you shouldn't play cards with a mathematician. What is the best way to shuffle a pack of cards? How many times should you shuffle a pack to ensure that the pack is 'random' (and what does random mean)? What can go wrong if you don't shuffle properly? 
In this talk we'll try to answer these questions, using a branch of pure mathematics known as group theory.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Year 7 and above.
  • Mathematics

The mathematics of non-linear elasticity: how to be safe on a bungee jump
Making a bungee jump safe for a specific jumper involves a variety of factors, all of which can be modelled by fairly simple principles of mechanics. A specific, very important aspect that should usually be considered is that a bungee cord is not 'Hookean', ie it does not obey Hooke's Law where stress is proportional to strain. In this talk we discuss some of the consequences of this property and how it should be properly taken into account in order to avert disaster!

Not available in the 2017/18 academic year.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Mathematics
Dimensional analysis
The talk will begin with a brief discussion of the most fundamental of all mathematical problems (dividing ten apples between five people) and will proceed from the 'named numbers' of primary school arithmetic to scaling invariance in mathematics and physics. On the way (time permitting) we will briefly discuss the Pythagoras Theorem, pendulums, walking on earth and on the moon, the heart attack equation and turbulence in moving fluid.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only. 
  • Mathematics
Walking with Euler through Ostpreußen and the genome
Graph theory is one of the simplest yet most powerful abstractions in mathematics. This talk, which can take between 30 minutes and an hour, begins at the beginning, with Euler's solution to the Königsberg Bridge Problem (a topic that appears in the syllabus for Decision and Discrete) and ends by solving a problem that arises in the analysis of genomic sequences.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only. 
  • Mathematics
Approximating the heavens (and the real numbers)
This talk uses the practical problem of building a mechanical model of the solar system as the starting point for a discussion of ways to represent real numbers. Everyday decimal numbers appear in the form of numbers-as-lengths, but a second view, of numbers-as-areas, turns out to yield a different, interesting and useful representation: the 'simple continued fraction'.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only. 
  • Mathematics
Going to the dogs: applied probability with a dash of mathematical finance
Everyone knows that the only one who makes money at the track is the bookie, but what exactly does the bookie do? Using simple ideas from probability, this talk will explain how bookies can offer odds that will guarantee them a profit.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only. 
  • Mathematics
Counting to infinity, and beyond
Infinity is usually thought of as a rather vague idea but mathematicians take it seriously and Georg Cantor, at the end of the 1800s, developed a theory of infinite numbers. For example it turns out that there is a smallest infinite but there are also other bigger ones! All sorts of strange, apparently paradoxical, things happen once we move beyond ordinary finite numbers.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only. 
  • Mathematics
Arithmetic round the clock: modular arithmetic and secure communication
Using modular arithmetic is something that we often do (for example, clocks work in hours, modulo 12 or 24). The mathematics involved, especially in relation to the work of Fermat and Euler, has turned out to have completely unexpected applications for the security of internet communications.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form and well-motivated 14–15 year olds and above.
  • Mathematics

Complex numbers – through the looking glass 
This talk explores the algebraic and geometric properties of complex numbers, starting with solving quadratic equations and leading to amazing fractal images

Not available during academic year 2017/18.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Mathematics

The shape of space 
This talk explores different models of space and how they can be used to model the universe.

Not available during academic year 2017/18.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Cancer
  • Medicine
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
  • Palliative Care

Communication is more than words
Our values and how we behave are key to delivering better standards of care and promoting the voice of patients, carers, families and staff. However, the serious care failings of a Mid Staffordshire hospital tell us another story. This work shop will facilitate the students understanding about what really matters to patients and why effective communication is fundamental to better care. It will introduce students to the NHS Constitution and the values and behaviours that underpin it, especially treating patients with compassionate care, dignity and respect. Case studies and a collaborative exercise will be used to encourage students to actively participate and constructively challenge.

Can only take place within Greater Manchester.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for +16 year olds.
  • Medicine
  • Palliative Care

End of life care: what is it?
Interactive lecture/question-and-answer session about hospices, palliative care and how people at the end of their lives can be supported. The aim is for participants to appreciate what end of life care involves, but also to dispel myths and fears about treatments, hospices and other aspects of the end of life.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 10–11.
  • Medicine

Man vs bugs 
Bacteria are crucial for human health yet can present one of the biggest threats to our existence. Focusing on emergency medical practice, this lecture will explore how bacteria attack humans causing life-threatening infection (sepsis). It will describe how difficult this can be to detect and treat effectively, and will introduce students to the principles of innovative diagnostic technologies being developed at The University of Manchester aimed at saving lives from infection globally.

Not available this academic year.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 16–18 with an interest in biology and health care.
  • Medicine
Repairing the pump: how technology can be applied to treat heart disease
Covering techniques to restore blood supply to the heart muscle, open narrowed valves, close holes and correct abnormal electrical wiring within the heart. Linking anatomy, physiology and technology.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for ages 16–18.
  • Medicine
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
Pregnancy: the science behind good bad outcomes
Bacteria are crucial for human health yet can present one of the biggest threats to our existence. Focusing on emergency medical practice, this lecture will explore how bacteria attack humans causing life-threatening infection (sepsis). It will describe how difficult this can be to detect and treat effectively, and will introduce students to the principles of innovative diagnostic technologies being developed at The University of Manchester aimed at saving lives from infection globally
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Medicine
  • Health Care
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work

Mental health nursing
People with mental health problems often represent some of the most stigmatised and vulnerable individuals in the societies in which they live. I have over 30 years’ experience in mental health nursing and I’ve provided education and training to professionals and volunteers in the UK, the USA and South Africa. In this talk I will illustrate how mental health is conceptualised in different cultures and how this conceptualisation influences the way people with a mental health problem are treated. I will also describe what mental health nursing is like as a career and the difference a good mental health nurse can make to someone’s life chances.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 12 and 13. 
  • Medicine
Talking molecules: the biochemistry of communication
Just as all living things sense and respond to changes in their surroundings, individual cells in multicellular organisms alter their behaviour in response to physical or chemical stimuli. Hormones such as insulin cause complex biochemical changes inside body cells to provoke appropriate changes in behaviour, and errors in this signalling process can result in serious diseases, including cancer and diabetes.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for years 10–11 and sixth form.
  • Medicine

What makes the heart beat?
The cardiac conduction system (CCS) is responsible for your heartbeat. If it becomes diseased, this has serious consequences and is life threatening. Despite its importance, the CCS is the 'Cinderella' of the heart and it has been poorly researched and understood. This talk will consider:

  • The actual position and extent of the sinus node, and how this is different from what is portrayed in textbooks;
  • The distribution of major cardiac ion channels (responsible for the heartbeat) in the sinus and atrioventricular nodes, and the importance of this for our understanding of the CCS;
  • The complexities of CCS disease in ageing and heart failure.

This talk will particularly focus on the giant leaps forward made by recent research in this area and their importance in understanding of the heart.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for A-level students.
  • Medicine
Children and teenagers living with kidneys that do not work
This interactive, clinical talk covers what the kidneys do, why children can get kidney disease and what treatments they can receive (eg transplantation and dialysis) at the new Manchester Children's Hospital.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for A-level students studying science (especially biology).
  • Medicine
Finding out why people are sometimes born with abnormal kidneys
This interactive lecture will look at human genetics and also animal models, which we can use to learn how organs grow normally and what happens when this process goes wrong.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for A-level students studying science (especially biology).
  • Medicine
Digestion and health
It's surprising how many illnesses affect the digestive system – but doctors have lots of exciting ways to explore and treat the 'inner tube of life', literally from top to bottom. A perspective of the specialty of gastroenterology.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Years 10–13 (14–18 year olds).
  • Medicine
  • Psychology
So you want to be a psychiatrist?
This talk covers a week in the life of a busy consultant psychiatrist.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16–18 year olds, ideally, but can be adapted for younger GCSE pupils if they are seriously considering a medical career. 
  • Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work

Psychosis – recognising how it starts and getting help early 
Psychosis is a common condition affecting 3% of the population. The word describes when someone is having unusual or strange experiences which may be distressing and causes difficulty with recognising what is real and what is not. The trouble with psychosis is that it usually happens at a time of normal adolescent change or comes on very gradually so it can be difficult to spot. This talk will discuss what happens at the early stages and discusses what to do. The talk will also help debunk some of the common myths about psychosis and schizophrenia in particular.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for second-level students. 
  • Pharmacy

Bugs 'n' drugs
This presentation will focus on the spread of microbial infections, treatment, and the response of microorganisms to antimicrobial therapy.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
This lecture may also be suitable for 14–16 year olds. 
  • Philosophy

Time travel metaphysics
Metaphysics is the philosophical investigation of the fundamental nature of reality. Studying the possibility and nature of time travel – especially paradoxes involving backwards time travel to the past – is a fun way to become acquainted with some of the central metaphysical problems currently receiving attention from contemporary philosophers, such as the nature of time, causation, free will, personal identity, and possibility itself. 

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for final year students.
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences

Could a computer think? 
Science fiction is full of thinking computers. But is such a thing really possible? Some people think that our brains are complex computers and our thoughtsare akin to the programs that run on them. Is this the right way to think about thought? We will explore these questions by looking at what both philosophers and cognitive scientists have said on the topic.

Only available in the Manchester area.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16–18 olds.
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences

Is it rational to fear death? 
Most of us are afraid of dying. But is this rational? It would seem irrational for me to fear things that are not bad for me. Yet how can my death be bad for me given that as soon as I die there is no me for my death to be bad for? What attitude should we take towards our own death? Why does post-life non-existence seem so much worse than pre-life non-existence? We will explore these questions and more, looking at the relations between existence, non-existence and value.

Only available in the Manchester area.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16–18 olds.
  • Physics
Liquid crystals: organising of fluids for technology and biology
Liquid crystals are a part of everyday life – people use liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in their televisions, mobile phones, computers and many other appliances. Nonetheless, some people are unaware of what liquid crystals are and how the devices work. This talk describes liquid crystals in terms of organised fluids and explains why they are so important technologically. It also explains the key position that these materials hold in biology – for example your brain is 70% liquid crystal! Finally, the talk considers how liquid crystals might impact our life in the future.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16–18 year olds and laymen adults.
  • Physics
Evacuation, evolution, epidemics, economics – the science of agent-based models
How do you model the spread of a disease? How can physics help you to understand economics? What do evolution and game theory have to do with physics? This interactive talk will cover new and exciting applications of physics and maths across the sciences. Learn how a degree in physics can help to work on these problems, and why reading for a degree in physics is not always only about physics.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Physics
Nuclear energy – the facts behind the fuss
Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima are all names associated with the negative aspect of nuclear energy, but is this perceived bad reputation deserved? Is nuclear energy actually a bad thing that should never have been developed, or can it be the fuel of the future helping provide security of supply and reduce our carbon emissions in line with the UK’s global commitments? This presentation will explain nuclear energy, compare it to our other forms of producing electricity, including their comparative safety, and explain some of the unique nuclear issues such as radiation and the management of radioactive waste.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 14–16 year olds and sixth form only.
  • Physics
Particle accelerators – why you need them!
Most people think that accelerators are only used to smash subatomic particles together to help define the laws of nature, but that's really only a small part of the story. Particle accelerators are used for many purposes that affect our daily lives. This talk describes how accelerators work and the challenges involved in making them more effective. We will look at applications ranging from radiotherapy and making electricity, to making better chocolate and discovering the secrets of the past.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16 year olds and above.
  • Physics
Power from nuclear fusion
There is a great need for a new source of energy to meeting the growing demands of the world's population, and without the problems associated with fossil fuels. Nuclear fusion – which supplies the energy of the sun and many other stars – is a very promising possibility. This talk will explain the physics behind this process, showing why extremely high temperatures are required, as well as sufficiently high densities and confinement times. Such a hot gas becomes a plasma, which can be confined using magnetic fields. We will discuss how this is done in devices known as tokamaks, and will outline how close we are to achieving the goal of fusion, and what remains to be done.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 14–18 year olds.
  • Physics
Our active sun
The sun is our nearest star, and while it has been the subject of scientific study since ancient times, there are still many unanswered questions. This talk will focus on the corona – the outer atmosphere of the sun – which is only visible from the earth during total eclipses. Our knowledge of the corona has developed greatly in recent years due to space telescopes which observe x-rays emitted by the corona. These show the corona to be highly active. The talk will describe the corona and the important role played by magnetic fields, explaining phenomena such as sunspots, the solar cycle and solar flares. We will also cover the topic of 'space weather' and explain the major effects that solar activity can have on the technology we now depend on.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 14–18 year olds.
  • Physics
Blood, guts and lasers
This lecture looks at lasers and others light sources, and the properties that make them useful in medical and biological applications. Following a brief explanation of the interactions, we will then cover specific examples, from cancer treatments to laser tweezers.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 14–18 year olds.
  • Physics

Superfluids, superconductors, vortices and cosmic strings.
Superconductors are materials that lose any resistance to current when they are cooled well below room temperature. Tin and lead are superconductors but copper and gold are not. Superfluids are very cold liquids that completely lose viscosity and hence can flow in circles without ever slowing down. Understanding the underlying quantum physics of these phenomena has greatly enriched our knowledge of the laws of nature. It has also resulted in various applications that include MRI scanners in hospitals, high-power motors in the navy, levitating trains and particle accelerators. This talk includes a general discussion of the meaning and uses of low temperatures as well as some practical demonstrations.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Physics
  • Astronomy
Seeing the invisible
Modern astrophysics relies on seeing the invisible. This talk traces a journey around the world, from giant optical telescopes in the Andes to global networks of radio observatories, and farther still to orbiting spacecraft. We will explore how modern technology has extended the range of the human eye allowing us a more complete view of the universe.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

Filling up on sunshine: solar energy and solar fuel 
This talk covers current methods and research in the area of generating energy from sunlight. It includes topics such as silicon solar panels and new methods for generating electricity from sunlight (photovoltaics). It then asks what happens when the sun goes down and describes how scientists are now trying to generate fuels from sunlight using sunlight-activated catalysts and the advantages of this over photovoltaics.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 14–16 year olds.
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

On the face of it – surfaces and interfaces in physics, chemistry and medicine
This talk looks at the importance of surface interactions in a whole range of applications, from catalysis to medical implants to new solar cells. All of these applications involve processes occurring on a molecular scale. Surfaces are even thought to be important in the production of the chemicals found in interstellar space.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 14–16 year olds.
  • Physics
Making energy in the future – why nuclear reactors are actually a good idea
Nuclear energy gets a bad press, particularly in the light of Fukushima. But there is a need to understand what the issues are, and to compare nuclear energy with the alternatives, including the alternative of just making do with less. This talk will be an entertaining and thought-provoking look at the subject.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16 year olds and above.
  • Physics
  • Maths
Fractals
Fractals are structures that appear very complicated, but can be described by very simple mathematics. Examples are the root systems of plants, the lung or structures formed during urban growth. Even some modern paintings may be described by fractal geometry. All these structures have one thing in common: they exhibit scale invariance – one can zoom in further and further but always see the same structure. Interestingly, this leads to a fantastic world of non-integer dimensions. We will discuss all sorts of fractals, mathematical and in the natural world, and show some hands-on examples, such as aerogels developed by NASA to catch the dust of comets.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16–18 year olds and laymen adults.
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
Casino royale
A discussion and demonstrations of the mathematics of gambling.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
Drink to me
A discussion and demonstrations of the physics of hot and cold drinks including making an espresso with a bicycle pump, Pythogoras’s solution to excessive drinking, the hot chocolate effect and more.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
The mechanics of toys
This talk explains and demonstrates the mechanics and mathematics of a whole range of bizarre and unusual toys.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
The fluid mechanics of sport
A discussion, videos and demonstrations of the physics of ball games and others including golf, football, cricket, ski-jumping, hoop-trundling and more!
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
Games and sport
This talk contains highlights from The Mechanics of Toys and The Fluid Mechanics of Sport (see other entries).
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
Spin!
This lecture contains a discussion and demonstration of the physics of spinning objects, including odd things such as rattlebacks.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Physics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Engineering

A history of flight
This lecture provides an overview of the history of flight, including demonstrations.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Physics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering

My boomerang won't come back
This lecture covers the physics of why a boomerang comes back to you, with an optional session to make a boomerang depending upon time.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
The sound of music
This lecture involves discussion and a demonstration of the physics of musical instruments, including some music!
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for any age range and can be adapted accordingly
  • Physics
  • Astronomy

Soft matter
Come and meet the fourth state of matter! This comprises liquid crystals, polymers and colloids, which are known as soft matter. We encounter them every day: in mobile phone, laptop and flat-screen TV displays; as plastics, Kevlar and cotton T-shirts; or in items as diverse as ketchup and NASA-developed aerogels.

This lecture introduces soft matter by making connections between simple physics and its numerous applications, such as displays, colour-changing thermometers, light-reflecting beetles, crazy putty (visco-elastic fluids) and more. Students will be able to watch experimental demonstrations during the lecture, and also to try some of them out for themselves. Fundamental physical principles will be demonstrated through experiments.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 16–18 year olds.
  • Physics
  • Astronomy

Additional activities in the School of Physics and Astronomy
The School of Physics and Astronomy offers a variety of activities for pre- and post-16 learners in addition to the lectures listed here. 

More details are available on the Physics and Astronomy website.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Politics
  • Social Sciences

Enigma variations:  cryptography and the Enigma machine
How do codes, ciphers and cryptography work? What was the Enigma machine?  How did mathematicians such as Alan Turing shorten World War II and save millions of lives?  In this talk we will look at how substitution ciphers have evolved from easy-to-crack Caesar ciphers through to the much-harder-to-crack Enigma machine, and impossible-to-crack one-time pads.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for 14–16 year olds. 
  • Religions and Theology
Natural (Moral) law: new perspectives
Recent scholarship in this area has made a theological and scriptural turn. This lecture will consider how this new development impacts on the 'standard' presentation of natural law.
schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for sixth form only.
  • Anthropology
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology

Social science lectures
Social Science lectures give an insight into university study for potential applicants who are primarily interested in studying at Manchester. The lectures will be of value to students looking to study the following subjects at undergraduate level:

  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Criminology
  • Development Studies
  • Economic and Social History
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Politics
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Social Anthropology

The aim of the session is to provide an overview of how social sciences are studied in higher education. The session will equip students with essential information regarding their UCAS applications. Furthermore, students will be given an insight into how an undergraduate course is structured and how teaching is organised.

More details are available on the Social Sciences website.

tom.mccunnie
@manchester.ac.uk
 
  • Economics
  • Social Sciences

Social sciences pre-university classes
The School of Social Sciences offers a 10-week pre-university course for Year 13 learners. The course introduces students to the social sciences as potential areas of future study, through the discipline of economics. Based on the University campus, the course offers students from local schools and colleges some experience of the University and its facilities while providing them with the quantitative skills necessary to progress to undergraduate level. 

More details are available on the Social Sciences website.

tom.mccunnie@
manchester.ac.uk
Suitable for Year 13 students.
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Meteorology
  • Physics
  • Weather

Why do weather forecasts go bad?
The future of the atmosphere can be determined from a fairly simple set of five physically-based equations.  If so, why are weather forecasts sometimes so bad?  In this talk, I present the scientific basis for why weather forecasts are possible, how modern weather prediction occurs by computer, and why we sometimes fail.  I will also describe a web-based tool that anyone can use to forecast the weather on their own.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for Years 12 and 13 and can be adapted to almost any age group and ability range. 

  • Climate Change
  • Energy Usage
  • Geology
  • Physical Geography

Oil and gas: can we afford (not) to use it?
The talk starts by explaining how oil and gas is generated and trapped in rocks and how geologists locate economic reserves kilometres below the surface?  We will then review its current usage globally and how long oil and gas will be part of the global energy mix. All important considerations as we aspire to a carbon free world, and for anyone considering studying for a career as a geoscientists. 

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for Years 12–13.
  • Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Solar
  • Drug Delivery
  • Stem Cells

From today's biomaterials to tomorrow's therapies.
This presentation will consider key issues in biomaterials which include drug delivery, regenerative medicine, stem cell control, brain tissue repair and heart tissue repair. The discussion will consider current and cutting-edge approaches to biomaterials research.

The presentation time is ~ 45 min. 

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for Years 11–13. 
  • Materials
  • Solar
  • Energy
  • Renewables

Next generation solar cells: a bright low carbon future.
This presentation will consider current and future solar cell technologies. The principles for solar cell operation will be considered and also some of the science underpinning the state-of-the-art solar cells currently being investigated by the world’s leading researchers.

The presentation time is ~ 45 min.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for Years 11–13.
  • Astronomy
  • Computers
  • Data
  • Scientific Analysis

Astronomy images on your computer
Astronomers have been placing their astronomical data online for a very long time, but most people do not know that they can download these data and either create their own astronomical images or perform their own scientific analyses.  In this talk, I will describe how anyone with access to a computer can do this as well as show some of the images that I have created. I have been working on developing outreach materials related to publicly-available astronomy data and software. In addition to this talk, I can also lead hands-on computer-based workshops in the schools.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for 12–18 year olds. 
  • Medicine
  • Health Care
  • STEM

Generic medicine, STEM or teamwork presentations
I can talk about careers in STEM, Medicine, or Teamwork (the trauma team saving lives by working as a diverse team where everyone has a critical role).  Depending on age of the audience to how much blood and gore we show (broken limbs etc.).  I have tailored it from nursery (where we apply plaster casts and talk about what happens in hospitals) through to sixth form.  A good time is when teenagers are choosing their options as this I when girls may disengage with Science, or at GCSE level when they are thinking of career options but may not know about all the roles within the health/biological science sector.  I have very willing allied health professionals (physiotherapists and nurses etc.) and colleagues who can come with me and also some basic scientists.

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for any age group and can be adapted accordingly.
  • Medicine
  • Health Care
  • STEM

Doctors in schools
As part of The University of Manchester Medical School’s commitment to widening access to the medical profession, we have recruited a team of doctors who would like to deliver presentations on a “Career in Medicine” to pupils who attend state schools in the Greater Manchester area.  The doctors we have recruited have been fully trained to deliver presentations which outline the admissions process for medicine at the University of Manchester as well as talking about their own career path and motivation for being a doctor.

Audience suitability: The aim of the presentation is to engage with students who come from backgrounds which are currently underrepresented in higher education and inspire them to a career within medicine.  The University of Manchester Medical School has a long standing commitment to encouraging students that medical careers are achievable regardless of the background of an individual.  We hope that this will be a step towards breaking down barriers between young people, schools and the medical profession. 

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for Years 9–11 in the Greater Manchester area.
  • Materials

Alloys: probably the most important materials in the world
Alloys are used everywhere and have enabled the development of modern civilization, but they’re so often taken for granted (usually because they do their jobs so well!).  This talk explores what alloys are, the types of alloy we commonly, and why they’re so useful.  It includes two exciting demos of the usual behaviour alloys can display!

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Suitable for secondary schools and sixth forms. 
  • Materials

Hot and cold materials
This talk explores what happens when we heat up and cool down materials.  It begins by asking what the types of material we use commonly are, and what states of matter are about.  It then moves on to introduce what atoms are, how they behave in solids/liquids/gases, and what happens to them when we heat up and cool down materials.  It finishes with some cool demos of magical materials, as well as a liquid nitrogen demonstration!

schoolsandcolleges
@manchester.ac.uk

Can be tailored for any primary school year (particularly Years 3–6).