The English Country House: History and Symbolism

This course will encourage you to develop a critical understanding of English country houses and their landscapes.

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Trips will explore grand country houses that inspire their visitors!

Nottingham and the surrounding countryside, with its villages, castles and stately homes, is one of the best places in the UK to experience the history and heritage of the British upper classes, and the people who served them.

This course will provide an overview of the development of the country house socially, artistically and symbolically. It will encourage you to develop a critical understanding of these buildings and their landscapes as products of the heritage industry in England today, and their use as public history.

Through visits into the countryside, you will explore the origin of the country house and its design and development. There are many examples to choose from: trips may explore the impressive Chatsworth House (home of the Duke of Devonshire), Hardwick Hall (an outstanding example of Elizabeth architecture from the 1500’s) as well as Calke Abbey, Kedleston Hall and Belton House – all grand country houses that inspire their visitors!

Through lectures and group work, you will begin to understand the political, economic and social importance of country houses. You will also learn about the symbolic heritage of the country house and the different values inherent in their presentation in the 21st century. During the course you will collect information and visual records, towards completing a short-written project based on a case study which you will present on the final day.

Upon leaving this fun and engaging course, you will be able to evaluate and illustrate the heritage issues within the presentation of country houses. You’ll be able to identify implicit messages and values and be able to discuss and demonstrate them. You will also have improved your research skills in finding and examining varied sources of evidence.

This course is ideal for anyone studying humanities subjects related to the history, heritage and museum industries, or for anyone with a general interest in the history and heritage of England. You should have the required English language skills.

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Visits will include Belton House, often cited as being the perfect example of an English country-house estate.

Course Details

Location: City Campus

Starting: 22 July 2019

Course Duration: Two weeks

Credits: 10 UK / 5 ECTS


Early bird discount applies to students who pay their tuition fee before 31st March 2019:

Early bird discount fee

Standard fee



If you are interested in booking as a group of 10 or more, please contact us for more information and package prices.

Application deadline 1st June 2019

Fees include:

  • Full social and evening events programme, supported by NTU student buddies
  • At least one weekend visit to one UK city or other attraction (maximum of three trips available for those on the four-week programme)
  • NEW for 2019 - English Conversation Cafe
  • NEW for 2019 - An end of course ‘Summer School Showcase’ at which student work is exhibited to NTU students, staff and summer school students
  • Access to NTU’s Global Lounges and services, including a free international lunch and week-day refreshments
  • An Employability / Alumni session
  • A GSS T-shirt
  • Certificate of completion and a transcript of results

How to Book

Please download and complete the application form, and email it to the Global Summer School team:


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