Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required CIEE Courses
PUBH 3001 LCSU
Bioethics in Britain
In an age of rapidly advancing scientific developments, hardly a week goes by without a debate about a major medical issue in the British media. From the thrashing out of a government policy towards assisted dying, to the provision of fertility treatment on the NHS, to the fraught arena of allocating expensive life-extending medication on limited NHS resources, each day practitioners face difficult ethical dilemmas. In this course, students will examine a series of real-life bioethical case studies, focusing on the questions that arise in the relationships between life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law and philosophy. The focus will be on challenging students to develop analytical tools and apply critical thinking to all aspects of a bioethics debate. Topics will cover recent cases in the media, and will include: recreational drug use, organ donations, sperm and egg donation, drug allocation, informed consent, quality of life, confidentiality, reproductive rights, euthanasia and human subject research. The class will include expert guest speakers and a field trip to the UK’s leading biomedical charity, The Welcome Trust.
COMM 3002 LCSU
British “Reality” TV: Documentary’s Long and Winding Road
The British have always considered broadcasting as a powerful medium which should be carefully and creatively nurtured, rather than left to market forces. Since the days of radio, the ethos of the BBC and other public service broadcasters has been to inform and educate, as well as entertain the public. Critical to that philosophy has been the development of factual programmin—colourful tales of real lives, dealing with real issues which illuminate the world around us. This course will explore the rich history of British factual television, from John Grierson, who coined the word ‘documentary’ and made poetic films about the working class, to Michael Apted’s groundbreaking Up series, which has been filming the same group of people every seven years for 50 years, to the range of factual formats currently appearing on UK television. It will look at how the technological innovations, which paved the way for the American reality television phenomenon, have allowed the British to explore a much broader range of topics from manic depressive illness to cyber stalking and the “life” of a hospital bed. With daily screenings, visits from independent producers, and field trips to broadcasters, students will leave with an appreciation of the variety and richness of British factual programming, just how far it stretches beyond the American concept of ‘reality’ television, and the example it offers to the rest of the world.
PUBH 3002 LCSU
Britain's NHS, the Cost of Free Health Care
This course is intended as a lively and informative introduction to the British National Health Service. Established in 1948, Britain’s NHS owns the vast majority of the country’s hospitals, blood banks, and ambulance operations, employs most specialist physicians, and has made medical care available to every resident for free. Beloved by the British, the NHS remains controversial in the U.S., where it has been used as a lightning rod to inflame the health care debate, raising the specter of “socialized medicine.” This course will focus on building a nuanced understanding of the National Health Service. Students will study how the NHS emerged from the gradual nationalization of health services during World War II, and how it has grown to become Europe’s largest employer. They will gain an understanding of the governing structure of the NHS, and how policies are determined and carried out within it. Through screenings, class exercises, debates, and field trips, students will research the major challenges facing the NHS, including managing limited resources, the demands of a growing and aging population, providing community care, as well as the current reform efforts spearheaded by the Coalition. They will pay particular attention to the ethical dilemmas raised by a nationalized health system, e.g. setting guidelines for the provision of life extending medicines and the setting of targets for emergency admissions. Guest speakers will include NHS practitioners; field trips will include an outing to a general practitioners service and local hospita,l and the opportunity to talk to frontline health workers and NHS patients.
COMM 3001 LCSU
British Media in the Digital Age
The digital revolution has profoundly shaken up the British media establishment. The newspaper industry – which remains a lively, dominant force in UK society – has applied a range of strategies to embrace the digital age. Meanwhile the broadcasting industry has faced fundamental shake up in the way that it interacts with viewers and listeners. In this class, students will examine how the British media establishment has responded to the digital age. It will focus on challenges facing the traditional media, and failures and successes in its grappling with new media; focusing on the intersections between new and old media, and what can be learned from them. The course will include field trips to a production company leading the transmedia revolution, and to the Guardian newspaper to hear about its “digital first” strategy; it will also include guest speakers who are experts in cross platform media. Topics will include: the BBC in the digital age, the challenges of cross-platform projects, interactive programming, citizen journalism, internet-connected TV strategy; commissioning for convergence; broadcasting and the blogosphere; and innovations in user generated content. The class will also regularly look at relevant topical media news stories as a focus for discussion.