Talks and activities

At our Open Days you will find a dedicated programme of subject talks, taster lectures and other subject-specific activities to help you gain a better understanding of the courses which you want to study.

In addition to the subject talks offered at the Open Day, which give you an insight into what the course is about, some of our academic schools also offer a range of interesting taster lectures. These lectures address a variety of fascinating topics which people interested in a variety of subjects will find appealing.

Open day talk in a lecture theatre

A schedule for these subject-specific taster lectures will help you plan your day (please note the options below are indicative sessions from our October 2019 open day):





Business and Management

Saturday 5 October

Time and location:

  • 2.15-2.45pm, Francis Bancroft David Sizer

Title: To be confirmed

Speaker: To be confirmed


Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 12.45-1.15pm, G.O. Jones Lecture Theatre

Title: Stereoisomerism and Chirality

Description: Stereoisomerism is the existence of distinct molecular structures that differ only in the spacial arrangement of their component atoms. Different types of stereoisomers will be described. These include chiral structures, which have the property of being non-superimposable on their own mirror images. The physical, chemical and biological consequences of chirality will be discussed and ways of distinguishing between individual stereoisomers will be explained.

Speaker: Xacobe Cambeiro


Saturday 5 June

Session 1

Time and location: 12-1pm, ArtsTwo, 2.18

Title: What is performance art?

Description: In Performance Art, an artist often uses her or his body as raw material and abandons the traditional tendencies towards acting, characterisation, and narrative that typify performances in the theatre. We'll explore some of the key experiments that Performance Art has included in the twentieth century.

Speaker: Dominic Johnson

Session 2

Time and location: 2.15-3.15pm, ArtsTwo, Film and Drama Studio

Title: Making listening visible: Using verbatim and headphone theatre

Description: In this practical session you will explore practical and ethical aspects of verbatim (‘word for word’) performance. How can we be authentic and truthful when we perform another person’s words? What does verbatim performance do to our listening? How can it make a social and political intervention?

Speaker: Maggie Inchley

Economics and Finance

Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 12.45-1.15pm, Graduate Centre, Peston Lecture Theatre

Title: To be confirmed

Description: To be confirmed

Speaker: To be confirmed


Saturday 5 October

Session 1

Time and location: 2.15-3.15pm, ArtsTwo, 3.17

Title: Time and Narrative

Description: This session looks at concepts of time in the theory of narrative, such as order, duration and frequency, and how they help us to understand texts such as Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, Graham Swift's Waterland and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go

Speaker: Mark Currie


Session 2

Time and location: 2.15-3.15pm, ArtsTwo, 3.20

Title: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

Description:This strange poem opened Wordsworth and Coleridge’s 1798 collection Lyrical Ballads. Its spellbinding rhythm and phantasmagorical narrative have fascinated readers ever since. Questions that this seminar will investigate include: who is the mariner? What relation does his journey bear to contemporary voyages of exploration such as those of Captain Cook? Is the poem an allegory or not? And what did Coleridge mean when he worried that the ‘Ancient Mariner’ had ‘too much’ moral?

Speaker: James Vigus

Environmental Science

Saturday 5 October

Time: 1.30-2pm, Geography 126 Lecture Theatre

Title: Remote sensing of the natural environment

Description: An introduction to the use of novel ground and satellite-based technologies to characterise earth surface landforms and processes. Using examples from river science, the session will illustrate how these methods are revolutionising our understanding of environmental systems from the scale of individual grains of sand to landscapes.

Speaker: Dr Alex Henshaw


Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 12 - 12.30pm, Geography 126 Lecture Theatre

Title: Hipsterfication: Understanding place change in inner London

Description: Bearded men with ill-fitting trousers and dodgy socks, sourdough bread, ‘artisan’ coffee and craft beer: what can the much-derided figure of the hipster tell us about place change in inner London? Using the example of Hackney – home of the hipster – this talk considers how inner London has been transformed over the last three decades, assessing the impacts of gentrification and redevelopment.

Speaker: Professor Alastair Owens

Global Health

Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 12.45-.1.15pm Graduate Centre, GC1.01

Title: Gender, Climate Change and Global Health

Speaker: As the effects of climate change are mediated by social and cultural factors, women who have less access to equality, rights and livelihoods suffer more. From a greater risk of mortality and morbidity during natural disasters, and increases in gender-based violence in crises, through to impacts on daily life, such as walking longer distances for water or working longer days on the farm only to face ever-decreasing yields, women are on the frontline of a changing planet. This talk will explore some of the gendered dimensions of climate change and its impact on health, with insights on how women are mobilising for gender just climate solutions in creative ways, worldwide.

Speaker: Dr Heather McMullen


Saturday 5 October



Time and location: 12-12.30pm, ArtsOne 1.28

Title: Latin America and Spain: The Long Lasting Legacies of Colonialism

Speaker: Dr Patricia D’Allemand



Time and location: 12-12.30pm, ArtsOne 1.36

Title: Why you should learn Russian to study Russian film

Speaker: Professor Jeremy Hicks



Time and location: 12.45-1.15pm, ArtsOne 1.28

Title: The Thinker as Poet: The Case of Friedrich Nietzsche's poem "Vereinsamt" (Lonesome)

Speaker: Professor Rüdiger Görner



Time and location: 1.30-2pm, ArtsOne 1.28

Title: Big opening lines in French

Speaker: Professor Eddie Hughes



Time and location: 1.30-2pm, ArtsOne 1.36

Title: The Narrative of Slavery in Brazil

Speaker: Frances Goodingham


Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 12.45pm-1.15pm, Art Two Lecture Theatre

Title: Trusts of the Family Home

Description: How the law of equity has adapted to social changes in the living arrangements of cohabiting couples (who are not in a relationship recognised by law), through recent decisions in the Chancery Court. Fancy a firefighter? What a difference a few words make!

Speaker: Rupert Seal


Time and location: 2.45pm-3.15pm, Laws 2.10

Title: Co-ownership of land

Description: What happens when you buy a flat with a friend? Who is on the legal title and does it make any difference who contributed more or less? More to the point, if you want to sell your share of the flat, can you do that? And what is the advantage (or disadvantage) of death?"

Speaker: Rupert Seal


Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 12-12.30pm and repeated at 2.15-2.45pm, Graduate Centre, GC2.01

Description: In this taster lecture you will see some counter-intuitive everyday probability whilst getting a glimpse of the different topics and teaching styles you will encounter in an undergraduate mathematics degree.

Speaker: Dr Rosemary Harris


Finance / Actuarial Science

Time and location: 12.45-1.15pm, Graduate Centre, GC2.01

Description: This session give you and insight if you are considering a joint degree such as Mathematics with Finance and Accounting or Actuarial Science.

Speaker: Dr Neofytos Rodosthenous


Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 2.15-2.45pm G.O Jones Lecture Theatre

Title: Astrophysical Plasmas and the NASA Parker Solar Probe Mission:

Description: This talk will describe how a form of matter known as plasma fills our universe, exploring the NASA Parker Solar Probe mission which is currently on its journey to become the first spacecraft to fly through the Sun's plasma atmosphere - a project Queen Mary researchers are involved in.

Speaker: Dr Christopher Chen

Politics and International Relations

Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 3-3.30pm, Francis Bancroft Mason Lecture Theatre

Title: Climate crisis: the politics of our future

Description:  Climate change is perhaps the most serious threat humanity faces today. Though the science has been clear for decades, a generation of politicians has failed to act. In this session, we’ll explore why climate change is so tough to solve. Why has it been so hard to coordinate international climate action? Does Donald Trump’s anti-science administration mean we are all doomed? And how can we think differently about political solutions?

Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Chatterjee


Saturday 5 October

Time and location: 12-12.30pm, G.O Jones Lecture Theatre

Title: Pulling at my heart strings: the power of music

Description: In this interactive taster lecture we will explore the relationship between music, cognition and behaviour.

Speaker: Sophie Pettit