Module Catalogue 2023/24

HIS3357 : Coffee, Chocolate and Tobacco (Inactive)

HIS3357 : Coffee, Chocolate and Tobacco (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Luc Racaut
  • 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 1 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 concerns the history of trade and consumption of colonial products; uses material culture as an insight into economic, social and cultural history of Europe; and places previous knowledge of European history within a global context. It aims to explore the relationship that was forged between overseas trade and European consumption.

This module aims to:
1) Provide an opportunity to acquire a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature associated with it and to develop the capacity for independent study.
2) Provide an opportunity of investigating in some depth selected problems, including the appraisal of selected source material and the critical examination of current historiography.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus may vary from year to year. It will include some of the following,

1.       Introduction
2.       Chocolate, tobacco and Pre-Columbian America
3.       Europe discovers chocolate and tobacco
4.       Coffee in the Islamic world
5.       Europe discovers coffee
6.       Coffee and the end of the Old Regime
7.       Tobacco, coffee and the industrial revolution
8.       Transformation of chocolate in the nineteenth century
9.       Coffee, chocolate and tobacco and globalisation
10.       Advertising and the culture of consumption

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module students will be aware of
•       The relationship that was forged between overseas trade and European consumption.
•       How the introduction of new products, such as spices, coffee, tobacco, refined sugar and cocoa changed the pattern of European consumption in the course of the past five centuries.
•       The economical and ideological impact of overseas trade on both European and colonial economies and cultures.
•       How the introduction of new products, first as luxuries, and then as commodities, in European markets throws light on cultural, social and economical history of Europe.
•       Post imperial trade and patterns of consumption
•       The issue of whether decolonization changed anything about the relationship with former colonies.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Development of capacity for independent study and critical judgement and of the ability to respond promptly, cogently and clearly to new and unexpected questions arising from this study.

Development of associated 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
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00visual and textual lecture materials contributing to contact hours
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading561:0056:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00In-person seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Drop-in sessions for essay support and Q&A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study561:0056:001/3 of guided independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials provide the necessary context for weekly seminars for each topic. This materials will be delivered asynchronously as a connected set of lectures delivered via the Canvas VLE as a supporting framework. Seminars encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral communication, problem-solving skills and adaptability. This encourages students to worth collaboratively with their peers, developing the interpersonal skills necessary for their future careers. Seminars will be offered in person, dependent on the public health situation, and can be moved to online synchronous delivery in the event of public health necessity. Drop-in surgery time enables students to ask questions and receive guidance on research methods and essay composition.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14401A7524hr take home exam set online.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M251,500 words essay (including notes 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
Reflective log1M500 words on key concepts in the module
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Exams test acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided and to write clearly and concisely.

Essays test students’ abilities to conduct independent research, relate primary source documents to broader problems, the ability to formulate an interpretation of evidence in response to a question, and academic writing skills. The researching and writing of an essay is a tool of learning and understanding rather than merely a means of assessing progress.

The reflective log allows students to develop their understanding of key concepts in the module. By writing out their thoughts and understanding informally, and without the pressure of writing for assessment, students will explore the central ideas of the module alongside their preparation for assessed work.

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

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


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023 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.