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A confused parent’s guide to the British universities admissions system (UCAS)

The UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has its headquarters near Cheltenham Racecourse. This is quite fitting when you consider its purpose: to manage the annual race run by the UK’s school-leavers to get a place at their preferred university or college. Only it’s like managing a race run by half a million horses, all with different destinations.

How to build an online course that sells

Field of Dreams?

So you want to sell online courses. Put your ideas online in an LMS course, and people will eventually find it. I mean there’s Google, right? And you’re such a great subject matter expert that people will line up and pay to drink from the fountain of your knowledge. What could possibly go wrong?

How will history change your future?

History isn’t dead. It’s living, present-day events that just happened to occur at a different time. Studying ancient civilizations is one of the most fascinating insights into our own times, because at one point these were current events, with the same human motivations behind them. Ancient history is almost like a roll call of the seven deadly sins: greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, avarice, envy and wrath. These tendencies are, for better or worse (mostly worse), hard-wired into the human brain and are just as prevalent today as ever.

Crowns and gowns: British royal fashion

Imagine a time when only certain people were allowed to wear purple. That time was the Elizabethan period, when your clothes defined who you were infinitely more than today. If you were a peasant or commoner then earth tones were your bag, and a penchant for purple could get your neck stretched. This was decreed by English laws known as the Sumptuary Laws. Only royalty were allowed to wear purple, for a variety of reasons including an association with Roman Emperors’ purple togas and the fact that the dye of that colour was incredibly expensive.

A fresh take on ancient civilizations

A new video lecture course has emerged which brings a fresh angle on the ancient and classical worlds, delivered by a lecturer whose enthusiasm for her subject shines through and brings ‘dead’ history to life. If you are looking for a deep dive into the civilizations which preceded the Middle Ages – how they lived, what they believed, how they rose and fell, what they left behind and their influence on successive civilizations right up to the present day – then this video lecture series is for you.

Popular Culture degree proves, um, popular

Is popular culture the frivolous fluff floating on the surface of human existence, or the very glue that binds societies together? Well, it’s both, really. You can watch The Simpsons just for laughs or analyse it as a serious social barometer. However you choose to consume it, though, the show sprang up spontaneously without intervention from the Establishment and is not highbrow, so it’s part of popular culture.