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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Economic and Social History

Undergraduate Course: Living Standards in Victorian and Edwardian Britain (ECSH10089)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines working-class living standards in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. During this period, Britain was one of the world┐s richest nations. However, did its working classes benefit from the economic growth they helped to create? To answer this question, students will investigate a variety of topics, including employment, wages, the cost of living, poverty, housing, the urban environment, education, health, and mortality. Measures taken by individuals to cope with and avoid poverty and privation will be explored, from the careful management of household resources, to joining mutual-aid societies, to emigration. Students will also examine efforts by philanthropists and especially the state to improve working-class living standards, focussing particularly on the public health movement, housing policy, and the Liberal welfare reforms. Throughout, careful attention will be paid to change over time, and to differences in experience due to gender, age, status and locality. This course emerges from the course organiser's research on perceptions of emigration among working- and lower-middle-class Britons during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
Course description 1. Introduction: Measuring Living Standards
2. Male Employment
3. Female Employment
4. Children: Home, Work and School
5. Wages and the Cost of Living
6. Families and Households: Survival Strategies
7. Poverty: Extent and Causes
8. Self-Help and Mutual Aid
9. Housing and the Urban Environment
10. Health and Mortality
11. Social Welfare: Philanthropy and the State
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- evaluate working-class living standards in Victorian and Edwardian Britain in terms of the following factors: employment, wages, the cost of living, poverty, housing, the urban environment, education, health and mortality
- explain how and why working-class living standards changed over time
- describe measures taken by individuals to cope with and avoid poverty and privation
- assess the influence of gender, age, status and locality on working-class living standards
- critically and contextually analyse both primary and secondary sources
- find and select primary and secondary sources for use in writing essays
- communicate effectively in discussions
- work collaboratively with others in a small group
Reading List
None
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students who take this course will acquire an enhanced ability to:
- conduct research, particularly using ICT
- critically analyse primary and secondary sources
- write essays which are clear, coherent, well-structured, and supported by relevant evidence
- communicate effectively in discussions
- work collaboratively with others in a small group
KeywordsLiving Standards
Contacts
Course organiserDr Amy Lloyd
Tel: (0131 6)50 4614
Email: amy.lloyd@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMrs Caroline Cullen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3781
Email: caroline.cullen@ed.ac.uk
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