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Heat your home more efficiently: Queen’s University’s Open Learning Programme

The current cost of living crisis is making us take a closer look at our indoor environments and how well insulated our homes are.

Lanyon South and the Quad

This is reflected in one of many practical courses in this autumn’s upcoming Open Learning Programme at Queen’s.

Programme Director, Professor Tess Maginess, said: “Heating our homes as efficiently as possible, given the rising costs of fuel, is a big priority for many people and the focus of our Healthy Buildings in Practice.

“Understanding the culture of new people coming to our shores is another key topic in courses such as The intercultural School, Teaching English to Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers and Migration in Literature and Film, Understanding Refugee Resettlement and Asylum.

“Current debates on slavery and its legacy are illuminated in the course, Am I Not a Man and a Brother? The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the Americas.”

The achievements of women are another focus this year, with courses on the Tudor Queens of England and the Women of the Wars of the Roses. There are also new courses offering insights in Understanding Equality, Diversity and inclusion in the Arts and Understanding and Developing Intergenerational Practice.

The large history section spans both time and space including the Ottoman Empire, The History of Iraq and The Lives of the Poor in Nineteenth Century Belfast. There are also walking tours in and around Belfast including the Builders of Central Belfast.

New literature courses have also been introduced, including Noir Up North: An Introduction to Scottish Crime Fiction and Crime Fiction from Ulster and, in Hollywood, Killing Time: An Introduction to Female Crime Writers in the 21st century.

The Open Learning Programme includes a wide-range of language programmes including French, German, Japanese, Irish, Italian, and Spanish; together with intriguing courses like Venetian Ninzioleti; a fascinating insight into the street names of the famous city.

Our enduring interest in our own locale is reflected in The Place-names and Surnames of Ulster, and for those who want to find out more about heritage and culture, there are courses including The Practice of Archaelology in Ireland and The Northern Irish identity.

The Programme also contains many practical and applied courses including First Aid and Creative Digital Photography, Speaking Confidently and Intelligent Investing.

Open Learning offers flexible daytime, evening, weekend and online classes running from Monday 3 October to Friday 9 December. No prior qualifications are required to join and there are concession rates available. 

For more information and to enrol, please visit: or contact 




Media enquiries to Zara McBrearty at Queen’s Communications Office on email:

Notes to Editor

  • Professor Tess Maginess, Open Learning Programme Director, is available for interview.