Mini-lectures

Our growing series of subject mini-lectures is an opportunity to bring our expert academic staff directly into your school or college, exploring academic perspectives on contemporary research, issues and approaches to higher education study.

This service is offered free of charge for post-16 student groups.

Arranged at a date and time to suit you, these sessions are available across a broad range of subject areas (including options not currently offered within schools and colleges) enabling your students to discover new courses or career opportunities that they may not have previously considered.

Titles on offer for 2018/9*

*Correct at time of publication, titles may be limited or withdrawn according to staff availability.

Art, Design and Media

To request any of the following titles, please contact Livia Lita with an email confirming your institution, year group and size plus up to 3 suggested dates for your session

Visual Communication Design for Performance Introduce your students to this often overlooked area, which encompasses includes; design and production for theatre, events, dance, puppetry, museums, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, themed environments, nightclubs, film and live arts.
Film and Animation Exploring traditional film making techniques and the latest in 3D animation technologies, this session is an insight into study and careers within the creative industries. 
Fashion and Textiles Textiles With an introduction to our School of Fashion and Textiles, this session will give your students the chance to find out more about the professional skills needed to get ahead within the fashion industry. 
English English and Media English at Birmingham City University is, by definition, interdisciplinary. Let us show your students how they can collaborate across disciplines to gain new perspectives on the relevance of English studies in the wider world.
Jewellery Jewellery Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter: a talk about the past, present and future of the historic Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, explaining how the School of Jewellery has played a key part in the Quarter since it started in 1890 and showing how students at the School can be part of a thriving and unique industry.
Architecture & Design Product & Furniture Design Introduction to BA (Hons) Product & Furniture Designs and Scales of manufacture

Business, Law and Social Science

To request any of the following titles, please contact Schools and Colleges with an email confirming your institution, year group and size plus up to 3 suggested dates for your session

Accountancy "Show me the money!"  The 60 minute session will give students an insight into the differences between Accounting & Finance and some of the exciting career opportunities that exist within these fields. Students will engage in practical activities that will give them a flavour of  both the accounting and finance functions in the real world.
Business Leadership, strategy and change This 60 minute lecture will look at how successful businesses utilise leadership and strategy to shape the future of their organisations.
Creative Problem Solving in a Business Context Business professionals cannot expect to be successful by merely matching the actions of others. In a changing business environment, it can be risky to rely on the same old answers.  This 60 minute session explores the understanding of business problems and how more imaginative and creative solutions can be found. 
Business Management Events, Venues and Experience - The EVE Dragons Students are challenged to WOW! the EVE Dragons. Exploring our new
BA (Hons) Events, Venues and Experience Management course, they will
discover what it takes to set up and deliver fantastic live sporting, musical or
social experiences.
Centre for Brexit Studies Netflix and Brexit Students have probably heard a lot of talk in the media about the UK leaving the Single Market as a result of Brexit, but perhaps their not entirely sure how this could impact them?
Along with issues for businesses to trade with the EU through physical goods and services by way of the Single Market, there is also the issue of services we use through the EU’s Digital Single Market, such as the internet and mobile data roaming whilst abroad. This talk will look at the area of brexit that we may not have thought of, and the wider picture
Business Management Global Sport Management – Engage the FANS! Students are challenged to engage the FANS! Exploring our new BA (Hons) Global Sport Management course, they will discover what it takes for clubs to engage fans across many different countries.
Criminology Solving the case - A practical introduction to criminal profiling In this hands-on 90 minute workshop session students will get the opportunity to work on a criminal case file. Using a range of criminal profiling techniques students will work on unearthing the identity of the offender.
Criminology The Dark Net: Trolling and Hate Speech  This talk is led by one of the country’s leading experts on terrorism and hate crime, Dr Imran Awan.  The talk will explore the role of the dark net and how everything online has become a space for hate speech and targeted online hostility.  It also involves a deep look at the dark net and what types of trolls exist, as well as the types of things people purchase on the Dark Net.
Psychology Eyewitness Testimony - Are you a good eyewitness? Students would be shown a video clip showing someone stealing something. The students will be split into groups of 3-4 and asked to describe the offender. Each group outlines what they think. The whole group are then presented with a line-up of potential suspects and asked to identify the offender. Tot up how many are correct. Most will probably choose the wrong person (although the discussion that follows will still work if they are correct). Group discussion about why people make mistakes (e.g. fallibility of memory, influence of other people, how line ups can bias decision making etc.) and the impact this has on eyewitness testimony/court.
Psychology The CSI effect - myths about crime Students are presented with a crime scenario (e.g. burglary). Split the students into groups of 3-4. Ask them what evidence they expect to find, whether it is solved, who the victim is, who the offender is, how long the prison sentence will be etc. Get each group to feed back their ideas. Discuss what the real outcomes etc. are. The idea is the get them thinking about the reality of crime and policing. The activity could be run with several different crime scenarios. 
Economics International Trade and Development Economics The session is designed to offer students a practical, conceptual and interactive encounter with the world of international economics. In the first part students will be guided through key topics in international and development economics such as poverty and inequality. In the second part of the session students will engage in a fair trade interactive game.
Games & Information In this session students will analyse key concepts in information economics and game theory. Working with our expert staff, students will explore a variety of games and activities, demonstrating decision-making theories and the effects of strategic interaction.
Marketing You're Hired! How to be a marketer An interactive session where students will be challenged to market some new business ideas. Giving participating students an insight into business, and marketing’s role within the sector.
Psychology How do we look at the brain?  An introduction to the techniques psychologists use to examine the brain. The session will include elements on scanning and neuro-psychology, as well as exploring the use of such techniques to diagnose and treat brain injuries.
Researching sex and crime: what an ethical dilemma! Humankind is a social species, yet conflict, negativity and criminal behaviours are experienced every day. Social psychologists want to know why. However, research in this area often covers sensitive and taboo topics, which itself raises a number of ethical issues. This session discusses the ethical hurdles relating to contemporary research.
Sociology Researching families and education: sociological perspectives Exploring sociological approaches to the study of both education and the family. This session discusses Marxism and functionalist approaches to understanding schooling, whilst analysing the role of the family in society and how this feeds into the education system.
Housing and social change  The provision and use of housing is both a reflection and a driver of social change. This session takes a critical look at the gentrification of homes and neighbourhoods in urban and rural context with a focus on processes and social outcomes.
Music and Society How can Sociology contribute to an understanding of music? This session provides an introduction to some of the key sociological ideas and perspectives on music, focusing on the social and historical settings in which musical forms are produced and consumed, and the ways in which music relates to social identity.
Deconstructing sexualised pop culture  This session will explore how gender roles are shaped, lived and experienced through aspects of popular culture. Through using current examples this session will encourage students to examine how stereotypes, representations and labels are formed and maintained. 
Masculinity and Advertising This academic session takes a critical look at gender and the circulation of advertisements, with particular regard to the use of the ‘male’ as symbol in contemporary social context.
Black Studies What Black Studies is and why it’s important If your students are interested in the history, popular cultures, artistic and social movements of people in the African diaspora, our new Black Studies course will provide them with the big picture perspective on this emerging discipline. Taught by leading, research-active lecturers and tutors, Black Studies will see them encounter a range of viewpoints, as well as gaining valuable experience within the public, private and voluntary sectors. 
Black Studies Gendered Islamophobia Addresses the growth of Islamophobia and discourses of terror and securitization in the West. Also looks at how Muslim masculinities and femininities are constructed differently under Islamophobia.
Law A day in the life of a Law student This session will see the Birmingham City Law Department use academics and their current students to give an insight into a typical day of a student. 
Law Writing personal statements for Law Our Law academics will give students an insight into what they are looking for from your personal statement. This session will be ideal for groups interested in what will make them stand out applying to Law and why study at Birmingham City University.

Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

To request any of the following titles, please contact Amy Prentice with an email confirming your institution, year group and size plus up to 3 suggested dates for your session

Computing Computer Networks and Security: Cyber Security This talk looks at digital security issues raised within programmes such as CSI, including an engaging demonstration on a number of security flaws in wireless networks and on our PCs. Not only for learners studying computing/ICT subjects but for anyone with any interest in understanding how the internet works.
Computer Forensics: Forensics vs Cybercrime! Posing new challenges to the police and intelligence agencies, the fight against cyber crime relies on forensics experts to analyse ‘digital evidence’ in order to bring criminals to justice. This interactive demonstration explores how digital devices are used by criminals, as well as the forensic techniques used to expose them.
Digital Technology Computer Games Technology: Game Development with Scirra Construct2 Many of us enjoy playing games and wish we knew the secrets to making them. Exploring many disciplines including art, animation, music and programming, this session will give learners an insight into how games are constructed using simple fun game development tools.
Built Enviroment Real Estate: Investment = Money? This session introduces the basics of the property market and property investment, getting students to think about how land and property assets can be managed for profit. The session links to business and economics subjects as well as being of general interest.
Property and Construction : The Pyramid Problem This game applies basic maths skills to a business situation. Students are required to choose a site and design for the Pharaoh’s tomb, calculate materials and labour cost, and ensure (on pain of death!) that the project is delivered on time, on budget.  The session links to maths, business subjects in particular, in a construction context.
Built Enviroment Real Estate - So Much More Than Bricks and Mortar Career opportunities in real estate offers a wide range of exciting professional options. Hear more about the tasks - development, valuations, acquisitions and management, and now add the different property profile - offices, shopping centres, childcare centres, and more. Finally who could you work for - private equity funds, real estate investment trusts, global property consultants and more. 
Can a robot do your Future Job? Time to Think About a Real Estate Career As new technology effects the way that humans think, communicate and make decisions, this presentation looks at technical developments and the impact on different occupations and how a career in real estate can prosper in this innovateive environment. 
Built Enviroment Property and Construction : Building Birmingham - Creating Tomorrow's Cities This session gets students to think about how cities are created and how they operate, what professions are needed to make them function well and how technology is changing the way cities work.
Students will have a go at designing a development, thinking about cost, sustainability, construction issues and different uses. It links to studies in business, law, maths and geography in particular.
Built Enviroment Planning,  Property and Construction : Sustainable Development in Cities and the Countryside This session – based around a board game www.participology.com -  gets students to think about what we have to consider when planning housing and other developments on the edges of cities. They will discuss issues such as green belt, community facilities, environmental protection, transport and developer priorities.
The session links to geography subjects in particular
Planning,  Property and Construction : Understanding the World of Property and Constrcution This talk gives an overview introduction to the different professions in the built environment field (surveying, construction, design, real estate, planning, civil engineering) It gets students to think about how cities work, what we need to think about when planning developments, how different professions work together to create places. It encourages students to consider how they can apply studies in ‘general’ subjects such as business, ICT, maths, geography or law to real life developments.
Engineering Engineering/ Formula Student: How do you design and build a car in 1 year? Where do you start when organising a project of this scope? What issues do designers face and what tools are available for them to use? This mini-lecture enables students to find out from industry experts about how these skills relate to the ‘real world’ and the engineering industry. 
Engineering/ Future of visualisation: Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality at its heart  Technological advancements in hardware are increasingly enabling people to play games, collaborate, construct innovative ideas, design products and shop in a fully immersive learning experience.

We often assume that these technological advancement are delivered solely by innovators in research labs. In fact, several of the most pioneering ideas came from those with little experience of science/technology. This session explores recent advancements, like smart glass, demonstrating that future technologies may be closer to science-fiction than people think!

Health, Education and Life Sciences

To request any of the following titles, please contact Marc Alner with an email confirming your institution, year group and size plus up to 3 suggested dates for your session

Biomedical Sciences Patient Detectives "An interactive workshop with a choice of diagnostic techniques.
• Biochemistry .Analysis of urine, blood and faecal samples (all fake but authentic! ) reveal clues about disease. Using case studies based on patients with diabetes, cancer, urinary tract infections and kidney disease you will have a chance to see how results from the clinical chemistry lab are used to help diagnose the physiological basis of illness.
• Genetics. Isolate DNA from a variety of sources and use techniques such as gel electrophoresis and PCR to investigate the genetic basis of disease and patterns of inheritance.
• Microbiology. investigate the microbes with which we share our external and internal environment and their role in health and disease. Also look at the problem of antibiotic resistance and possible solutions. "
Social Work Contemporary Issues in Social Work In this practical session, students will learn about the role of a Social Worker and discover some of the communication tools and techniques employed when working with children and young people. Students will have the opportunity to work with interactive activities and exercises used by Social Workers in practice.
Primary Education Who Wants To Be A Teacher? What are the techniques and strategies employed in the modern classroom?  How do teachers cater for individual needs?  How do students learn and develop?  This session explores the challenges faced by today's teachers.
Education Studies Education For All: Creative Learning and Development We all think we know about schools and education but how much do we really know; how far is our knowledge affected by our personal experiences? Working with academic staff from our BA(Hons) Education Studies course, students will explore a range of educational concepts to learn about creative learning and development environments.
Education For All:  Comparing Controversial Models of Education There are many different models of education within the UK.  This session compares and contrasts two very different models and discusses which teaching style is best.  A thought provoking, interactive session!
Childhood, Youth and Community Contemporary Issues in Early Years Familiarizing students with the breadth of study in this sector, this session will investigate current issues and research around child development. Exploring potential careers and the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional within a range of children’s services.
Conductive Education Enabling Disabled Children and Adults to Learn Without Limits What is Conductive Education?  This unique career area involves working with children and adults with physical disabilities.  An engaging and interactive session, looking at the strategies and techniques used to enhance the lives of children and adults with complex needs.