The 'Taste of' Series

An image of the town of Aberystwyth with the words 'A Taste Of' a subject showcase webinar series written over it.

We are running a superb showcase of subject disciplines at Aberystwyth University. 

These lively interactive events will engage students in discussion of contemporary issues, designed to enrich their current studies whilst bringing to life the wealth of academic possibilities available at university.

Previous Episodes

A Taste Of Business: The Weird World of VAT

In The Weird World Of Value Added Tax (VAT), Dr Sarah Lindop, Senior Lecturer from Aberystwyth Business School, explores this key company reporting requirement in relation to the setting of financial objectives, analysing financial performance, and financial decision making.

The webinar focuses on:

  • How VAT works and how is it collected?
  • The difference between input VAT and output VAT
  • The different rates of VAT
  • The different items that fall under the different rates and the implications of this- the weird and the bizarre!


A Taste of Astrophysics: Space Exploration

In Space Exploration – A Taste of Astrophysics, physicists from Aberystwyth University discuss how we are working on current and future space exploration missions. 

Physicists are central to our understanding of the universe and our place in it; from our local environment here on Earth to our Solar System and the understanding of our source of life – our star the Sun – all the way out to far reaching explorations of further systems.

In this session, we discuss some of the research physicists at Aberystwyth University are involved in and the skills they need to undertake this exciting research.

A Taste of Criminal Psychology: Understanding Terrorism

In Understanding Terrorism – A Taste of Criminal Psychology, Jen Phipps from the Department of Law & Criminology offers students the opportunity to see how psychology can help us to explain and understand a certain type of crime, so that we might better police and prevent it.

The session provides an overview of how terrorist organisations manipulate ‘fear’ for their own agenda.

Students are given an insight in to the power of psychology and how it empowers and facilitates extremist and terrorist ideals, for their own agenda.

A Taste of Geography: Antarctic Ice Shelves in a Warming World

In Antarctic Ice Shelves in a Warming World, Dr Tom Holt from the Department of Geography & Earth Sciences introduces Antarctica’s ice shelves, their significance and importance, and how they have responded to a warming world. At the end of the session students should be able to:

  1. Define the key characteristics of Antarctica’s ice shelves and name/locate several ice shelves (examined through case studies)
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the importance of ice shelf systems and their wider significance
  3. Discuss the glaciological response of ice shelves in a warming world
  4. Explain how projected environmental change will impact on ice-shelf systems

Various interactive elements will be integrated into the session to engage the students.

A Taste of Mathematics & Statistics: Modelling & Testing the Spread of Disease in a Population

In The Spread of Disease in a Population: Modelling & Testing, Professor Simon Cox and Dr Kim Kenobi from the Department of Mathematics split the session into two parts: (I) developing a mathematical model and using graphs to analyse the solutions, (II) statistical interpretation – understanding conditional probabilities in a disease testing context.

Students see how differential equations can be used to model a real world scenario, in this case the spread of a disease within a population, and how features of the solution can be determined graphically without having to solve the equation directly.

In the second part students are given an opportunity to think critically about how to interpret the results of a biological test (for example the COVID-19 antibody test). Does a positive result always mean you have the disease?  Are you definitely clear of the disease if you get a negative result?

A Taste of Biochemistry: Parasites and Protein

In Parasites & Proteins, Dr Russ Morphew, Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), offers the opportunity for students to see how biochemistry can help us to understand and improve our control of infectious parasites of humans and animals.

The session, links well to level 3 biological molecules and genetics providing an overview of parasites and in particular parasitic worms (helminths). Russ explores how looking at proteins will help us develop new control strategies such as improved diagnostics, new drugs and novel vaccines.

A Taste of Politics: Fake News? Politics & Propaganda In The Age Of Trump & Putin

Dr James Vaughan, Lecturer from the Department of International Politics, will present Fake News? Politics & Propaganda In The Age Of Trump & Putin.

As Barack Obama has recently written: “If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition … our democracy doesn’t work.”

This session will take the form of an interactive workshop where students will learn how to identify, analyse (and even create) propaganda.

Understanding propaganda and manipulation techniques is an increasingly challenging but essential aspect of democratic politics.

This session will introduce students to the historical evolution of propaganda techniques as well as to some of the major ways in which it has impacted on some of the most important political issues of our times.

A Taste of History: Music in the Civil Rights Movement

In ‘Songs – a Weapon in the Battle’: Music in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr Steve Thompson, Senior Lecturer from the Department of History & Welsh History, considers the use of songs in the African-American civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

The session examines the particular ways in which songs were used in protest marches and demonstrations, and, in addition, gives consideration to popular and commercial songs as a medium that reflected and communicated the aims and ideals of the movement.

The session ends with a reflection on more recent uses of songs in the Black freedom struggle and specifically in the Black Lives Matter movement.

A Taste of Sport & Exercise Science: Wearable Technology

In this session Dr Marco Arkesteijn, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics, presents Wearable Technology For Sport, Exercise & Health.

Background: Technology is more and more ‘wearable’, meaning that individuals can collect data from devices they wear. Fitbits are a prime example, but also GPS tracking in elite teams sports is very common.

Objective: In this 45 minute session, we will explore some of these devices, and see how they work, where they are used and what information they provide.

Activities: In small groups/individually, attendees will select a piece of equipment and search the internet for information about it.

Output: The gathered information will result in an infographic that summarizes the pieces of equipment.

Benefits: By sharing the attendees’ findings at the end of the session, there will be an overview and discussion of different pieces of wearable technology.

A Taste Of Psychology: I See What You Mean. I Mean, I See What You See Now!

In I See What You Mean. I Mean, I See What You See Now!, Dr Catherine G. O’Hanlon from the Department of Psychology takes you through a journey of 40 years of research in Developmental Psychology, which has led us to understand key aspects of infant cognitive development that were largely misunderstood until 2005. In 2005, key changes in the methods used to understand the development of Theory of Mind took place, particularly in “perspective taking”, which is fundamental in everyday communicative contexts for both adults and children. Before 2005, we had this all wrong! We believed that Theory of Mind develops around 4-5 years of age. Textbooks have been re-written since.

This is one of the most engaging and fascinating topics to our Psychology Undergraduate students, and is still being researched today among neuroscientists to understand the underpinning neuronal associates.

A Taste of Modern Languages: French Culture in Film

In French Culture in Film, Dr Marieke Mueller, Lecturer in French in the Department of Modern Languages, discusses Céline Sciamma’s film Bande de Filles/Girlhood (2014).

We will focus on questions of gender, diversity in the film industry, and the changing representation of the banlieue.

Students interested in languages degrees will get an idea of the way in which film can give us an insight into a country’s history and culture.

The session will resonate with film and contemporary culture elements of the French/languages curriculum.

A Taste of Law & Criminology: Miscarriages of Justice

In Miscarriages of Justice – A Taste of Law & Criminology, Dr Sam Poyser from the Department of Law & Criminology looks at:

  1. What a miscarriage of justice is;
  2. Causes of miscarriages of justice;
  3. Impacts of miscarriages of justice

Students will benefit from the session by not only learning about how miscarriages of justice come about but also about how they impact people who suffer them.