About Broadening

As a student at the University of Leeds, you will engage with a broad education which challenges, complements and reinforces the value of your degree subject. Broadening develops skills and intellectual flexibility which benefit your education whilst at university, and will enable you to compete and contribute in the workplace and wider society after graduation.

To enable you to take advantage of the breadth of expertise at Leeds, we have developed 10 interdisciplinary Discovery Themes. During your programme of study you will either explore the Themes as part of your programme (ie through your core and optional modules) or by taking discovery modules. Watch the video, produced by LSTV - a student-run society - to find out more about broadening, the Discovery Themes and the opportunities they offer.

How can I broaden my programme at Leeds?

The opportunity to broaden your studies beyond your core discipline, as represented by the Discovery Themes, is integrated into many programmes of study within the available combinations of compulsory and optional modules.

In other programmes of study you will use this website to explore the Discovery Themes to identify discovery modules to add to your compulsory and optional modules.


Discovery Modules

Discovery modules reinforce the value and interest of your degree by offering the opportunity to broaden your learning and pursue your own personal interests, while developing skills that will help prepare you for life after University. Your School can provide you with more information about the part that discovery modules play in your particular degree programme.

How discovery modules are organised

To help you navigate the extensive choice of modules on offer, we have organised them into 10 Discovery Themes which together represent the breadth of the University’s teaching from arts to sciences, and from theory to practice. You can click on any of the 10 Discovery icons below to learn more about each Theme. You will also find more specific guidance about taking your interests forward from year to year, so that your discovery module choices fit together to form a coherent addition to your degree.

Choosing discovery modules

  • A discovery module taken in your first year may increase your interest in a particular subject. You can use the website to find opportunities to study the same subject in more depth by exploring modules at higher levels in the same sub-theme.
  • Alternatively, you can apply the knowledge and skills that you have gained to a different context. You could explore different sub-themes within your chosen Discovery Theme or think about potential connections with the discovery modules in related Themes.
  • We know that interests change over time. If you have the opportunity to choose discovery modules for your second or third years, think about whether you want to progress further in a particular Discovery Theme or take your interests in a different direction and explore a new Theme.


Whatever stage of your degree you are at, think about where your interests lie, what your career plans are and what type of learning suits you best. When you decide which discovery modules you are interested in, you can add them to a shortlist in ‘My discovery modules’. Before making your final choice, check whether you meet any academic prerequisite(s) and whether the modules fit your timetable. Some modules are in high demand and have limited spaces so it's worth having a few different options. 

  • Creating Sustainable Futures

    Discover the environmental, social and economic issues facing society, such as climate change and poverty. This Theme is the winner of the UK Green Gown Awards 2015.


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  • Enterprise and Innovation

    They say necessity is the mother of invention. But where do ideas for new products and services come from, and how are they translated into solutions and delivered to users?

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  • Ethics, Religion and Law

    Ethics, religion and law: three societal pillars on the basis of which cultures are built, wars fought and lives lived.

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  • Exploring the Sciences

    “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” (Sagan)

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  • Language and Intercultural Understanding

    “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” (Wittgenstein)

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  • Media, Culture and Creativity

    Are you interested in art, heritage, literature, music or theatre?

    What about film, photography, the media, popular culture, technology and design? Cultural connoisseur or simply curious?

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  • Mind and Body

    What are the processes that influence our bodies and minds? 

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  • Personal and Professional Development

    Do you want to discover modules that inspire exciting ideas and transform your development at university?

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  • Power and Conflict

    “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace” (Mahatma Gandhi)

    “Every period of human development has had its own particular type of human conflict” (Isaac Asimov)

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  • Technology and Its Impacts

    “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity” (Einstein)

    Or has it?

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