Short Courses

Open Lectures 2023/24

The Centre for Open Learning's Open Lecture series will be back later in the year. Our previous open lectures recordings are below if you want to catch-up or re-watch any.


Open Lectures are back at COL!

Last year’s Open Lectures were enjoyed by so many, we decided to bring you some more - stay tuned for this seasons' schedule.

With such a diverse range of Short Courses, our colleagues have designed a range of exciting Open Lectures, offering you the chance to get a taste for a subject area you have an interest in.

And the best thing is – they’re completely FREE to join!

How to Love Learning Languages (In-person)

Dr Thomas Bak, University of Edinburgh, School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences 

Monday 4 December 2023 (18:00-19:15)| Free | Venue: Godfrey Thompson Hall

What’s the point of learning languages in the age of automatic translation? Doesn’t everybody speak English anyway? And, if we really have to learn a language, what’s the best method, leading quickly to perfect mastery, with as little effort as possible?  

Drawing on Thomas' experience as a cognitive neurologist, as well as an avid language learner, this lecture will question the implicit assumptions made about language learning. Are languages really just about communication? Is learning them always a burden? Should we make everything as easy as possible or can effort be a good thing? And can you fall in love with a grammar?!

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Monsters in the Bible (Online)

Dr Judith Blair, Teaching Fellow

Wednesday 6 December 2023 (19:00-20:15)| Free | ONLINE 

(Explore relevant courses)

Are there monsters in the Bible? One would not necessarily associate the two, however, as Jewish and Christian biblical traditions are closely related to the cultures of their ancient neighbours, the answer to this question is 'yes'; there are surprisingly many.

Leviathan and Behemoth from the Book of Job are two of the best known biblical monsters; they resurface time and time again even in modern horror culture. Then there are monsters in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel, Revelation.

This lecture will explore the religious background of these monsters and their 'afterlife' in later popular imaginations.

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Past Lectures