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

Undergraduate Course: Cities and Modernity: Urban Britain since c.1850 (ECSH10102)

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 urban history course explores the making of the modern British city, taking a thematic approach and using a diverse range of primary and secondary sources. Weekly themes include: structures and the built environment; movement and everyday life; power, governance and management; knowledge and mapping; health, reform and inequality; danger, crime and anxiety; sexuality and liberation; cities of empire and the global context; and the urban history of emotions.
Course description We live in an increasingly urban world. Understanding the forces and structures that have shaped cities over the last 200 years offers a critical lens on life in modern Britain since c.1850. Cities matter, whether from an economic, social, personal or global perspective. An urban setting might promise opportunity, excitement and liberation, but could also represent danger, disarray and inequality.

This course engages with the images and reality of the city, from the Victorian period and into the modern day, to offer a deep understanding of the urban environment. It takes a thematic approach, introducing the work of key writers such as Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau before exploring issues such as power, knowledge, health, danger, sexuality and emotions through an urban lens. Each week, case studies of a particular city or cities allow students to build up a broad understanding of modern urban Britain. By the end of the course, students will be comfortable engaging in theoretical and methodological discussions about the nature of urban history, as well as obtaining a critical understanding of experiences of living in the modern British city.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
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 CAHSS Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  42
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 55 %, Practical Exam 5 %
Additional Information (Assessment) - Exam (2 hours) - 40%
- Essay (3,000 words) - 40%
- Course diary (3 x 500-word reflective pieces, spaced throughout the semester, with formative feedback on the first piece) - 15%
- Class participation (with formative feedback halfway through semester) - 5%
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. By week 5, students will also receive formative feedback on their course diary and participation, and will be encouraged to respond constructively in order to further develop their work during the second half of the course.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the history of urban Britain since c.1850;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Dennis, R. Cities in Modernity: Representations and Productions of Metropolitan Space, 1840-1930. (Cambridge, 2008).

De Certeau, M. The Practice of Everyday Life. (Berkeley and LA, 1984).

Dyos, H.J. and Wolff, M. The Victorian City: Images and Realities. (London, 1973).

Ewen, S. What is Urban History? (Cambridge, 2016).

Guldi, J. ¿What is the spatial turn?¿. Scholars¿ Lab, University of Virginia Library, 2011. []

Houlbrook, M. Queer London: Perils and Pleasures of the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957. (London, 2005).

Lefebvre, H. Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life. (London and New York, 2004).

Lynch, K. The Image of the City. (Cambridge, MA, 1960).

Joyce, P. The Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the Modern City. (London, 2003).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Joe Curran
Course secretaryMiss Katherine Perry
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