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HIS8104 : Ideas and Influences in British History

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Rachel Hammersley
  • Lecturer: Dr Martin Farr, Dr Aidan Collins
  • 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


The module embraces a comparative approach towards the History of the British Isles at an advanced level. These aims are pursued through the analysis, discussion, and application of theoretical models to specific historical case studies.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will explore the study of the impact of ideas and influences throughout British history, such as political thought, and social and cultural values. Seminar subjects may include: liberalism, socialism, feminism, conservatism, consumerism, environmentalism, Marxism and communism, collectivism, absolutism, Keynesianism, social democracy, communitarianism, fascism, republicanism and religion.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion641:0064:00Research essay (summative); essay plan (formative).
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading321:0032:00Recommended and further reading.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities501:0050:00Preparation tasks and essential readings for seminars (5 hours per week).
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00Seminars focusing on debate in secondary literature and related primary sources.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Drop-in session to assist with completion of the assessment.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:00General consolidation activities.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminars encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral communication, problem-solving skills and adaptability. Seminars at MA level allow students to share perspectives on their reading and personal research interests, as well as to engage in an advanced-level critical discussion of the problems and issues surrounding the theme under review. Structured introductions to the explored topics will be provided on Canvas. The drop-in session helps students with their assessment by providing them with an opportunity to discuss their research essay with the relevant lecturer.

In the event that on-campus sessions need to be reduced, there is the capacity to hold live seminar discussions online and retain timetabled slots.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1003,750-word research 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 exercise1M250-word essay plan.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative essay plan supports students' preparation of the summative research essay through the provision of feedback on their ideas and intended argument. The research essay evaluates the acquisition of a clear general knowledge of a specific idea and/or influence in British History, as well as the ability to locate and synthesise relevant information and express complex ideas in written form using appropriate scholarly sources. The essay assesses students’ capacity to interpret associated primary sources, and their ability to use such evidence to construct a compelling argument. Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. All submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes and develops key skills in research, reading, and writing at an advanced level.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.

Reading Lists