Module Catalogue 2024/25

HIS3341 : Lunatic to Citizen? Madness and Society since 1900 (Inactive)

HIS3341 : Lunatic to Citizen? Madness and Society since 1900 (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Vicky Long
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module studies social responses to mental disorder in Britain over a period which saw the polarisation of sanity and madness give way to a belief that mental health and illness formed a continuum, culminating in the creation of community mental health services and the closure of psychiatric hospitals. Throughout the module, students will study different primary source materials which can be used to research the history of mental disorder and will explore the divergent interpretations advanced by different historians to account for the ways in which society - and the medical profession - has responded to mental disorder. The module adopts a thematic approach, focusing each week on a particular topic, such as treatment methods, patient perspectives, the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s and community care. Students will be expected to read the assigned secondary texts in preparation for the seminars, and will critically engage with primary materials pertinent to their studies. The project component encourages students to apply historical knowledge to contemporary needs, thereby identifying the ongoing contemporary relevance of the historical issues covered over the module.

Outline Of Syllabus

Indicative syllabus; the precise range of topics may vary from year to year.

•       Deinstitutionalisation and community care
•       Anti-psychiatry, mental health and the counterculture
•       Abuse and neglect? Evaluating mental hospital scandals
•       Controversial therapies in psychiatry
•       War and mental health
•       From mental deficiency to learning disability
•       Madness, race and gender
•       Life inside the asylum, c. 1900

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the history of mental disorder in Britain since 1900;
• Display familiarity with theoretical and conceptual approaches to mental disorder from a range of disciplinary perspectives;
• Understand how contemporary issues in mental health services have arisen as a consequence of historical developments and debates.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas:
1. An ability to analyse primary source materials and to evaluate different historiographical perspectives and methodological approaches.
2. The ability to apply history, and research skills associated with history, to real world scenarios and contexts.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Lectures to introduce thematic blocks of the module.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials20:301:00Included in contact hours 2 x 30 minute lectures: 1) module orientation; 2) introduction to project.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion341:0034:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading911:0091:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities111:0011:00Weekly online asynchronous structured learning activities linked to primary source materials.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Weekly 2 hour seminars
Guided Independent StudyProject work311:0031:00Individual work on project component
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Two workshops: one focussed on preparing for the essay, the other devoted to the project.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time21:002:00Drop in surgeries, offering students individualised support on assignments and course queries.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The delivery of this stage 3 module is designed to foster student-led, engaged learning. At its heart lies a weekly 2 hour seminar. The seminars will focus upon students’ discussion of texts, debates, sources and approaches. By asking students to engage with readings which advance divergent and contradictory arguments, the module will encourage students to engage with the contested nature of historical knowledge. Dovetailing with the seminars, online asynchronous structured learning activities will introduce students to a range of different primary source materials, linked to each week's seminar topic, and will encourage students to critically engage with and analyse different source types, enriching seminar discussion.

The module is divided into four thematic blocks, and each block will be introduced by a one hour lecture that places developments in a wider context, and draws connections. Two workshops will help prepare students for the essay assignment and the project assignment, combining advice from the lecturer, practical exercises, and an opportunity for Q&A. Drop-in slots will enable students to seek individualised support on their assignments, and to raise questions about the course and its contents. Two short lectures created by the module leader will provide students with an overview of the module and an introduction to the subject, and an introduction to the project assignment; these are online resources, enabling students to access these throughout the module.

The course entails three forms of guided independent study: preparatory readings for seminars; independent research for the project assignment, which asks students to apply historical knowledge to contemporary dilemmas; and time allocated to complete coursework.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2A501,750 word report on project, including footnotes but excluding the bibliography and appendices; project to be included as appendix.
Essay2M502,000 word essay, including footnotes but excluding bibliography.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MStudents will complete a short form, indicating how they propose to meet the requirements of the project assignment. 250 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay (summative assessment 1) assesses students’ knowledge of the history of mental disorder, of debates in the field, and of theoretical and conceptual approaches applied to studying this topic. It also tests students’ abilities to structure their argument, write clearly, and follow presentation guidelines.

The project component requires students to apply their research skills in a real world context by producing an output for an external body (e.g. a poster, short article or letter) which applies knowledge of the history of mental health to address contemporary issues and debates. I will circulate a short form to students asking them to identify which organisation or individual they propose to target, what message they aim to convey, how this message is informed by historical knowledge, and what format they plan to adopt for their output (the formative assessment); this directs students' attention to the learning outcomes for this assessment, and allows me to offer suggestions and advice.

Students are encouraged to exploit the wealth of readily-available digitised primary source materials available for this topic, which are signposted throughout the module, in their project. The project is submitted alongside a reflective report (summative assessment 2) which enables the student to articulate their rationale for the project and how it is underpinned by historical knowledge in more detail

Both summative assessments are to be submitted and marked online.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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