News: Making sense of it all

Lydia Burns, September 12, 2017

Donald Trump, the EU referendum, the General Election, austerity. Society has been changing so rapidly over the last few months that at times it has been a struggle to keep up.

If you want to try to make sense of it all, a new evening course run by the University of Bristol could be for you and is inviting participants to bring their own experiences and questions into the classroom.

‘Understanding Society’ starts at the beginning of October and will meet on 15 Wednesday evenings from 6pm to 9pm, finishing in February 2018.

The course is open to people of all ages, and no previous qualifications are required. The aim is to help adults in progress to further study, whether on the university’s Foundation in Arts and Humanities programme, or on a local Access course.

‘Understanding Society’ is being offered by the School for Policy Studies, which offers undergraduate degrees in childhood studies, social policy and criminology.

The interactive course will consider topics from social inequalities to the general election, September 11 to the justice system, protest, the environment, and what it means to be part of society. It will also consider how policy can make a real difference to people’s lives, in good and bad ways.

“The course isn’t about how you did in school,” says course leader Emily Moreton, who recently completed a PhD part-time, while also holding down three different part-time jobs.

“Don’t be scared if you feel you’re not academic enough. One of the joys of a course like this is that we will look at various theories, but we’ll test them against what you think about the world and what your experiences have been.”

The fee for Understanding Society is £385 but bursaries are available for those on low incomes.

To download an application form for Understanding Society, visit For more information, email


Photo by Dan Rowley

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