Talks for secondary

These talks have been specifically designed with secondary students in mind.

We'll continue to add to these resources over time. 

Discovering talks

Discovering humanities

Hear from Charlotte Hoyland, one our PhD students about the benefits of studying Humanities degrees.


Why study presentations

Why study Architecture?

Diana Osmolska, a PhD student in the Manchester School of Architecture, breaks down what it’s like to study Architecture.


Why study Biological Sciences?

Hear from some of our PhD students about what makes Biological Sciences an interesting subject to study. 

Jason Chu


Katie Sadler


Why study Business?

Charlotte Hoyland, one our PhD students, talks about the benefits of studying a Business degree. 


Why study Chemistry?

James Beswick, a Chemistry and Biological Sciences PhD student, outlines the benefits of studying Chemistry. 


Why study Computer Science?

PhD student Kaspar Matas tells us how studying Computer Science allows him to pursue his interests in both art and maths. Discover the many different pathways within Computer Science and the careers it can lead to.


Why study English?

Hear from our PhD student and children’s author, Chantal Bright, about the benefits and joy of studying English in higher education.


Why study History?

Anne Stokes, a University of Manchester PhD student, discusses the benefits of studying History.


Why study Law? (Even if you don't want to be a lawyer)

Hear from Anna Nelson, one of our PhD students, as she talks about why studying law is still interesting, inspiring and productive – even if you don’t end up being a lawyer.


Why study Linguistics?

Here Alina McLellan, a PhD student in French and Linguistics, discusses the benefits of studying Linguistics.


Why study Medicine?

Hear from two students about the benefits of studying a medical degree and some of the key things to consider. 

Nadin Hawwash


Annie Baldwin

Teachers can download supporting worksheets and answers (PDF, 853KB) for this talk.


Why study Modern Languages?

Alina McLellan, a PhD student in French and Linguistics, tells you why she chose to study Modern Languages as part of her undergraduate degree.


Why study Music?

Here, Cameron Biles-Liddell, one of our Music PhD students, introduces you to the benefits of studying Music.


Why study Pharmacology and Medical History?

This recorded talk, delivered by PhD student Jess Traynor, gives an introduction to Pharmacology and covers some areas of Medical History.


Why study Politics and International Relations?

Hear from Joshua Barritt, one our Politics PhD students, as he talks about the benefits and opportunities that come from studying Politics and International Relations.


Why study Zoology?

James and Sam talk about benefits of studying a Zoology degree and key things to consider.



Workshop: Biology – Microbes and the mind

Have you ever felt the sensation of butterflies in your stomach before doing something scary, or told someone you have a “gut feeling” about something? There’s a good reason for these sayings, and the explanation may surprise you.

The gut-brain axis is a term we use to describe how the brain communicates with the gut, and vice versa. This workshop will explore the microbes that live in our guts and the surprising effects they can have on mental health and brain function.

Teachers can access a lesson plan below, and teachers and pupils can view the quiz as well as the answer sheet:


Workshop: Biology – Paper plane proteins: modelling genetic mutations

This recorded workshop delivered by PhD student Katie Sadler starts with an introduction into DNA, genetics, and how changes to our genes can result in changes to proteins and sometimes cause disease.

After the short introductory lesson, students are invited to make different paper plane models alongside the demonstration. Each model has a slightly different set of instructions which represent a different type of genetic mutation that might occur in our genes. By comparing the plane models we can observe how changing building instructions can change the outcome in different ways.

This workshop is aimed at KS3/GCSE students and can be done at home or facilitated in a classroom. A teacher could put students into groups which make each type of plane model. The only equipment required is paper and a pen.


Workshop: Fake news and chemophobia

James Beswick, a Chemistry and Biological Sciences PhD student, delivers a workshop on fake news and misunderstanding about the important roles chemicals play in our daily lives. 


Workshop: Forensic linguistics

Alina McLellan delivers a workshop exploring forensic linguistics and how this process can help solve criminal cases.


Workshop: Law and ethics – Balancing competing rights

This workshop explores the idea of competing human rights and the situations in which this might exist. It encourages pupils to think about the challenges involved in trying to balance different people’s rights and to consider what factors might influence someone’s opinion on how this should be done.

Teachers can access a lesson plan, teacher worksheet and activity support sheet pupils can access their worksheet: 


Workshop: Medicine – How to save a life (KS3/4)

In this workshop students will learn about the first aid training provided to medical students to give them a taster of what it is like to study Medicine. Students will find out about how medical students are taught to deal with unexpected situations. For example, how to respond to an unresponsive patient and how to deal with someone choking.

Please note that this workshop is a higher education subject taster session into Medicine and is not formal first aid training. Teachers can download the following supporting worksheets:


Workshop: Neuroscience – Stroke strikes fast

The Stroke Strikes Fast workshop talks about the two main types of stroke, the effects a stroke could have, available therapy and ongoing research. It incorporates two group activities that can also be run individually which look at stroke effects and life-style interventions to minimise the risk of a stroke.

It should provide students with general knowledge about stroke and the research done in this field, hoping to excite students about science and medicine.

Teachers can download a lesson plan below:


Workshop: Neuroscience – Introducing the unconscious brain

Have you ever heard your name in a conversation you weren't listening to or caught something before you realised it was falling?

This workshop introduces you to the complexities and mysteries of the unconscious brain. Learn how it is continually taking in information, computing the details rapidly and even editing reality.

Teachers can access a lesson plan:


Workshop: Palaeontology – When whales walked

Did you know that whales used to walk on land? The giants of the sea we know today are all descended from a group of small land mammals that looked like deer. Fossils from these animals are hugely important to palaeontologists, giving us an insight into the lives of species that went extinct nearly 50 million years ago.

In this workshop, a palaeontologist takes you through their work reconstructing how these fascinating creatures lived  and gives you a chance to examine some whale fossils yourself.

Teachers can access a lesson plan, and teachers and pupils can view the whale evolution worksheet:


Workshop: Philosophy – Should animals have human rights?

Join Matthew Wray Perry for this interesting and challenging workshop exploring the concept and application of human rights; and whether similar rights should be extended to animals and the consequences of such actions. Pupils can complete a workshop during the workshop:

Teachers can download the supporting lesson plan and worksheet:


Understanding talks

Understanding energy (KS4)

Zoe Cumberbatch, PhD student, has developed this workshop through which Zoe will help you find out about geology and energy. 

Additional resources: workshop guideenergy activity sheets, pipe cut-outs, energy definitions matching exercise


Understanding Manchester’s social history

In this video, Adam Waddingham, a History PhD, student shares activities with you to help you understand the social history of Manchester, and the benefits of studying History.


Understanding research in space

Ioana Mosneag, a PhD Student in Neuroscience usually researches drugs for stroke (brain attacks) and the blood vessels in the brain. But, she also has a passion for space medicine and has created a workshop to shar some of the amazing facts about space and research.

Go to workshop

Understanding rocks (KS3)

Zoe Cumberpatch, PhD Student, has developed this workshop through which Zoe will help you find out about different type of rocks and how they are formed.

Additional resources: Workshop guide.


Understanding social marketing

Charlotte Hoyland, PhD candidate in our Alliance Manchester Business School, talks through students through a set of activities that outline what social marketing is and how it impacts your everyday life.