Module Catalogue 2023/24

HCA1001 : Slavery

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jane Webster
  • Lecturer: Dr Stephanie Holton, Dr Christina Mobley, Dr Steph Moat, Dr Willow Berridge
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module explores slavery in the ancient, modern and early modern and modern periods. It is global in scope, introducing students to the experience and practise of slavery in Europe, Africa and the Americas. It will provide insight into the ideologies, practises and social structures that helped constitute the many different forms of slavery in these multiple eras and regions, and explore as far as is possible the lived experiences of slaves themselves.

Outline Of Syllabus

Will include some of the following:

Slavery in Classical Rome
Slavery in Africa
The Transatlantic Slave Trade
Caribbean Slavery
Slavery in Brazil
Slavery in the United States
Plantation Slavery: History and Archaeology
Abolitionism in Europe and the Americas

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will on completion of the module be equipped to adopt a comparative approach to different forms of slavery across a range of historical eras. They will be able to grasp complex debates about the definition of slavery, and to understand how ideas of race and gender informed the practise of slavery. Students will also develop an awareness of the different ways of studying slavery. They will come to understand how archaeology can serve as a tool to recover slave experiences and chart the slave trade, as well as coming to appreciate comparative methodologies and the merits of Diachronic analysis.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Development of students’ critical skills in research, critical reading and reasoning, sustained discussion and appropriate presentation of the results.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:002 hrs per week
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion501:0050:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading331:0033:00Formative practice - 3 hrs a week of required seminar reading.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading541:0054:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:001 hr per week
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures - impart core knowledge and an outline of the knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills.

SEMINARS encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral presentation, interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills, research skills and adaptability.

All lecture content is recorded, and therefore available for consolidation or (if a student cannot attend) as a supplement to being present.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A502,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Written exercise2M50Exercise exploring Digital Humanities resources on slavery (1500 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MWeekly Canvas Quiz (no word count)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Submitted work develops key skills in research, reading and writing and assesses intended knowledge and skills outcomes including independent thinking and the ability to critically evaluate the concepts and sources introduced in the module. Assessment I (Digital Humanities) encourages students to engage with scholarly resources beyond books, and to consider how data are collated and presented, and how scholars can use these resources. The essay allows students to focus in more depth on an aspect of the module: they must use data from at least two time periods and geographic zones, thereby broadening their knowledge and learning how to compare and contrast data from different periods. The formative assessment scaffolds for Assessment 2, a 2000 word essay. The seminar readings and allied quizzes support the Assessment 2 essay questions. The quizzes help students to develop critical thinking skills, and give them confidence in terms of articulating their learning in class.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. Where an exam is present, an alternative form of assessment will be set and where coursework is present, an alternative deadline will be set. Details of the alternative assessment will be provided by the module leader.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.