Leeds International Summer School
Since 2010 Leeds International Summer School (LISS) has attracted students from all over the world to take part in an academic, cultural and social programme lasting two – four weeks in July. The credit-bearing programme is diverse and attracts students from all over the world.
Following incremental growth over 8 years, LISS 2019 saw a tripling of student numbers to almost 300. This growth reflects the deliberate positioning of LISS as an important contributor to the University’s International Strategy and Global Opportunities Plan. The 2023 edition of the programme welcomed over 400 students from over 25 countries to campus.
We are looking for academic staff and Postgraduate Researchers who are interested in delivering teaching as part of LISS. Find out more a below, or contact the LISS team. Full details of the programme are on the LISS website.
Why LISS matters
Our aim is to continue to grow the International Summer School based on the following benefits.
- The summer school has potential for income generation to re-invest in student mobility, for example widening participation scholarships and outgoing summer school bursaries.
- LISS is offered on exchange (i.e. with a tuition fee waiver) for key strategic partners which is offset against our full-year outgoing students enabling more of our students to be mobile. We are unable to meet current demand for our outgoing students as we do not attract sufficient incoming students from the destinations our students prefer. The summer school therefore plays a significant role in maintaining outgoing opportunities at these institutions.
- LISS is also used to target markets for PGT/PGR recruitment. According to the end of LISS survey, 80% of LISS students seek information about further study at Leeds.
- Hosting an international summer school supports our international profile and can often be an offer to emerging partners without the need to set up full student exchanges. Arrangements are made for group bookings at strategic partners for example where traditional exchange is unlikely to be viable.
School and Faculty
LISS supports the international strategy of Schools and Faculties and delivering teaching as part of the summer school offers the following benefits:
- Showcase teaching and research strengths to prospective Postgraduate students.
- Provide Professional Development for staff and PGR through tailoring and delivering existing modules or building new 10 credit modules.
- Pilot new disciplinary or interdisciplinary modules.
- Transferability of content and methods to support internationalisation of the curriculum.
- Contribution to ensuring outgoing places continue to be available to students through the exchange agreements and outgoing summer schools.
- Provides an infrastructure to accommodate school or faculty requests to develop bespoke summer schools.
Individual Benefit - for LISS module leaders
- Opportunity for staff and Postgraduate Researchers to deliver intensive teaching to an international audience
- Potential for piloting teaching innovation and conducting research in the area of teaching and learning within the module subject area
- Staff are financially rewarded
- Staff enjoy the overall LISS experience, leading modules and teaching LISS students
LISS modules usually:
- are level 1 and worth 10 credits
- are delivered over 2 weeks (either block one or block two of the summer school)
- involve a minimum of 24 hours of seminar-style teaching over 8 days (usually mornings 9.30am – 12.30pm)
- include a full day field trip led by the module leader/teaching assistant
- have small class sizes – minimum of 9 and maximum of 30
- are taught above workload
- can be taught by one module leader, or by two or more members of staff. NB Postgraduate Researchers are encouraged to lead modules and/or deliver teaching if they have teaching experience.
- have coursework assessments e.g. written work, presentations, reflective logs, portfolios, reports (there is no exam period)
Details of current LISS modules are available on the LISS website and you can download the LISS Module Tutor job role and the LISS Module Teaching Assistant role. Please contact the LISS Team if your School or Faculty is seeking to develop an international summer opportunity that does not fit the standard LISS model outlined above e.g. upper level module, non-credit bearing, longer/shorter than two weeks etc. It may still be possible to take advantage of the infrastructure of LISS e.g. admissions, programming, student experience etc. for these models.
Stacey Mottershaw, Teaching Fellow
I joined the Leeds International Summer School (LISS) as module leader for 'Applied Ethics for Business and Society' in 2019. It was nice to have the opportunity to create a new module on a topic that I was particularly interested in, and my experience of submitting a new module to our PAG gave me an insight into the quality assurance process undertaken at Leeds.
I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the module and although I was initially concerned about teaching a 100% international cohort, I was pleasantly surprised at the high academic calibre and English language skills of my students. Teaching the module intensively over two weeks of the summer was a novel and rewarding experience; in addition to giving me space to try out new techniques with a smaller class, it allowed me to fully focus on and engage with the module and my students without the distractions of a usual semester.
The timing of the module also allowed me to reflect on my teaching ahead of the following academic year. In terms of my own professional development, I used my experience of leading the module in my PRiSE application, following which I was successfully awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA, Advance HE) in December 2019.
In summary, I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending LISS to colleagues - the team have been a pleasure to work with and I thoroughly enjoyed delivering a module as part of this key international activity.
Ian Sapiro, Associate Professor
I’ve been teaching a course on ‘Music in Film’ as part of LISS for the past four years, and each year has brought something different. The students come from a wide range of backgrounds – geographic, cultural and educational, not to mention (specifically for my module) musical and filmic – and this usually leads to a rich and varied classroom experience.
I have learned to think differently about my points of reference and what might be considered general knowledge in my subject area, and I think this has been of benefit to me when developing and delivering my teaching to the students on our undergraduate Music degree courses.
I have always found the students on LISS to be engaging and enthusiastic, and the experience of teaching them to be fulfilling and (believe it or not) fun. Similarly, the LISS team is very easy to work with, well organised, excellent communicators and very supportive of the academics delivering the modules.
Timeline for module leaders
September – October
- LISS Team to liaise with Schools and academic colleagues to confirm delivery of new and existing modules
October - January
- Submit proposals for new modules / module amendments to relevant School Taught Student Education Committee or Programme Approval Group (PAG) for approval
January - March
- Confirm preferred module field trip(s) with LISS team
- Update module information on Minerva, including pre-arrival reading/tasks
- Receive details of students enrolled on your module and write an e-mail to introduce yourself, the module and the pre-arrival readings/tasks
- Deliver the module and return hard copy feedback forms at the end of teaching
- Marking and moderation deadline is two weeks after the end of LISS and the assessment board is usually held in late August