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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)

Everyone would like a magic sword, but wielding them can be challenging. This course considers them in literature, from King Arthur's Excalibur in Malory and T H White, to Tolkien's Elven and Numenorean blades, Philip Pullman's Subtle Knife, and Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharing Knife -- and will even offer some practical lessons from an armourer, who will provide examples for closer examination.




Who can book?

Our weekend courses are open to participants over the age of 18 and courses are taught at approximately first-year undergraduate level. No academic qualifications are required and most courses are suitable for students who are new to the subject. Please ensure that you complete any required reading listed in your course materials before the course starts to enable you to fully participate and get the maximum enjoyment out of your course.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, you will need to satisfy yourself that you have the required near-native command of the language to get the maximum benefit from studying with us.

Accessibility for students with support requirements

We make every effort both to anticipate and to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of students with support requirements including those with unseen disabilities, including mental health conditions, and specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia.

Please ensure you let us know about any support requirements when booking so that we can offer you the support and advice you require before your course starts, enabling a smooth transition to your studies.

If when booking you indicate that you require additional support, you will be sent a Student Additional Requirements Form (SARF) to complete. The form asks for further details about your requirements and support needs, and requests that you submit supporting evidence.

If you have any particular requirements or queries please contact the Disability Liaison team at 

Course dates

21 Apr 2023 to 23 Apr 2023

Course duration

1 weekend

Apply by

10 Apr 2023

Course fee


Accommodation fees

Single room: £70 per night

Double/Twin room £60 per person, per night (2 people sharing)


Qualifications / Credits


Course code