Study an interdisciplinary unit alongside your degree

Make your mark at Manchester

At Manchester we use knowledge and wisdom to create meaningful change and help make our world a better place.

Whether it’s tackling the challenges around sustainability, taking steps towards a fairer world, or learning how to make our digital environments a safer place - explore the ways you can make a difference.

We’ve created some one-hour taster courses where you can learn from our academic experts on the most pressing matters facing our future:

  1. Creating a Sustainable World
  2. Visualising Information
  3. Trust and Security in a Digital World
  4. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

These tasters are also available as full courses you can study alongside your degree, so if you enjoy them you can enhance your expertise on these topics and many others as a Manchester student.


21st Century Challenges &
the Sustainable Development Goals

Tackle the global challenges facing humanity

Discover what you can do to make a difference with our award-wining online course unit Creating a Sustainable World. You'll learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the vital role you play in our shared future.

Creating a Sustainable World welcome film

What can you expect?

The full course features in-depth online modules covering each SDG, but this taster gives a short introduction to sustainability including topics like SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 13: Climate Action.

Creating a Sustainable World is crafted especially for online study, and includes interactive activities, high-quality videos, innovative assessments and much more.


Uses and Abuses of Data

A picture is worth a thousand words - but only if you know how to read it.

Investigate how we consume and engage with visual information and the potential for charts, maps and graphs to mislead or confuse. 

You'll look at examples from a wide range of disciplines - from economics, meteorology and computer science to literature and history - and consider the principles of visual thinking and communication.

Visualising Information welcome film

What can you expect?

In this online taster unit, you'll look at why we want to visualise data in the first place, from understanding data to creating art with it.

From poorly presented pandemic data, to US gun deaths, to climate change graphs, you'll look at how data visualisations can be deceptive, and how to spot the signs of manipulation.

Finally, the taster explores 'Design Justice' - how data visualisation can empower and represent the experiences of previously marginalised people.

Some of the visualisation styles you'll explore in the full unit.

Some of the visualisation styles you'll explore in the full unit.


From Fake News to Cybercriminals

Delve into the world
of cybersecurity

Explore the risks to security in our super-connected, data-driven world and what can be done to preserve trust in our digital environment.

This course will enable you to understand the nature of digital harms, such as financial crime, online harassment and fake news, and will help you understand potential threats caused by online environments such as the Dark Web or cryptomarkets. We'll examine how these risks can be reduced or prevented so that you can make well-informed choices online.

Trust & Security welcome film

What can you expect?

In this online taster unit, you'll get to explore data harvesting, and find out what the apps you use might know about you.

You'll find out how criminals attempt to exploit wetware - that's you! - when committing cyber attacks.

You’ll also learn to distinguish useful information from clickbait with an in-depth look at the topic of Fake News.

Students taking the full Trust & Security discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunities for cybercrime

Students taking the full Trust & Security discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunities for cybercrime


Your Role in Shaping a Fairer World

How can you help
create a fairer world?

On this course you’ll consider the concepts of privilege, dominance and power and develop your self-awareness to enhance your inclusive leadership potential.

Explore a range of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) topics and feel empowered to take personal responsibility for promoting inclusive approaches to study and work, both here at Manchester and in your future life and career.

The full unit includes six interdisciplinary online modules:

  1. EDI: Where History, Law and Politics Meet
  2. EDI in the Workplace
  3. EDI in Research and Innovation
  4. EDI in Education
  5. EDI in Health and Social Care
  6. Your role in Driving EDI as Inclusive Leaders

Unit welcome film

What can you expect?

This unit takes a very different approach to EDI training you might be offered within an organisation. There are no right or wrong answers, instead it's about exploring what Equality, Diversity and Inclusion means in your own context and for your future career plans.

In this interactive taster, you'll examine John Rawls' "Veil of Ignorance" thought experiment, ask how a lack of diverse role models affects scientific research and innovation, and look at how racial discrimination can impact academic achievement.

Preview of an interactive timeline from the full unit

Preview of an interactive timeline from the full unit

Welcome to truly interdisciplinary learning

No matter who you are or what you’re studying, Manchester’s University College for Interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL) offers a variety of courses you can study as part of your degree at Manchester.

So, whether you want to learn how to set up a side hustle, improve your mental health or explore the existence of aliens, there are no limits to your learning.

  • Enhance your degree by taking a short course outside your subject, no matter what you’re studying
  • Meet and study with students from across the university
  • Stand out from the crowd and boost your employability

To discover what other UCIL units are available at Manchester, and to sign up, visit the website: