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HIS2095 : Social Histories of Alcohol: Britain and Ireland, 1700 - Present (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Shane McCorristine
  • Lecturer: Ms Jennifer Kain, Dr Luc Racaut, Professor Annie Tindley, Dr Clare Hickman
  • 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 aims of this module are two-fold:

1. To introduce and immerse the students in critical reflection around the social, cultural, economic and political aspects of alcohol and drinking in Britain, Ireland and the British colonial context from the eighteenth century to the present. There is an extensive if somewhat fractured literature on these themes, and material from cognate disciplines (geography; sociology; criminology; medical humanities) will be included.

2. To support the students to better identify then develop their skills, including those traditionally associated with History teaching (independent research and study; critical and reflective thinking; information literacy; written expression), and broader skills associated with employability (oral and personal presentation; team work; managing different audiences; entrepreneurialism).

Both aims are addressed in the teaching content and methods and in the assessment types. The module also aims to support the wider progression of the students and what is expected from them at Stage 2, building on their foundational Stage 1 year and preparing them for Stage 3.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will be co-taught and led by two nineteenth century historians, with guest lectures from three History colleagues.

The module will take a thematic (rather than chronological) approach to ‘drinking histories’, with a broad syllabus including:

Alcohol and the city;
The rise of connoisseurship in the c21st (case study: whisky politics);
Alcohol and travel
Combatting alcohol – temperance, prohibition, alternatives
Drinking and class – alcohol as a regulator of power
Alcohol and the industrial revolution – from artisan to mass production: the economic and business history of alcohol production (case studies: Stu Brew + Scottish & Newcastle; Wylam);
Drinking and crime;
Gender and alcohol;
Alcohol and creativity – literature, poetry, the creative arts;
Drinking and alcohol in the imperial context;
Alcoholism – from nuisance to disease: the evolution of its treatment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures of one hour duration, 2 per week
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion731:0073:00Preparation time for two assessment components (split as needed: poster presentation front-loaded)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminars: 1 hour per week
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities222:0044:002 hours per week of directed seminar preparation activities
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study501:0050:00General consolidation activities
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

As a Stage 2 module, aside from an in-depth understanding of the content of the module, the teaching methods, which focus on small group work, team work, lecture delivery and independent research and writing, relate to the core learning outcomes of supporting students in developing sophisticated research skills across a wide range of sources, being able to synthesise the information they collect and form convincing and coherent arguments.

Independent learning is essential to this module: students are expected to develop skills of source evaluation, critical reading and note-taking in an independent and effective manner. Seminar teaching complements these skills by allowing students the opportunity to share and debate information gathered independently. Moreover, a significant part of seminar teaching will test the development of primary source analysis and problem solving.

Small group teaching will allow the students to explore ideas and patterns together in a structured way, and great emphasis will be placed on primary sources and their interpretation. This will be assisted by an organised visit to Newcastle University Special Collections.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A753000 word research essay. Summative
Case study1M25Students will complete a case study (of a particular beverage, nation or theme) of 500 words. Summative
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
Essay1MA research essay proposal will be developed, ensuring students will start working on their essays in good time and allowing for formative feedback. 300 words max.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module (1) supports and assesses student progression into Stage 2 and (2) endeavours to support their skills development, including academic and employability.

The independent research element requires students to set their own deadlines and goals, plan their work and incorporate formative feedback. Organisational and time management skills are to the fore here. The research essay emphasises independent thinking and learning (supported by the Module Team), research literacy and finding skills, writing and structuring skills and working to deadlines.

This will be assessed mid-term with a short research case study (worth 15% of the module mark: summative) and then to support the formative research essay directly, a formative assessment, the research proposal, 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.

Reading Lists