HS1JH1-Journeys through History 1:Power and People

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Joël Félix

Email: j.m.felix@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is compulsory for all SINGLE SUBJECT History students and all JOINT-HONOURS with History.


This module aims to introduce students to some of the major themes and concepts in history from the middle ages to the modern period.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
•identify and evaluate the significance of certain key themes in history
•demonstrate a critical familiarity with the concept of periodisation
•locate and synthesise relevant information
•organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing
•demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims:
•to encourage the development of oral communication skills
•to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations
•to assist students to think quickly on their feet
•to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources and interface.

Outline content:

The module is designed to give an introduction to the political and social history of Europe and the world in the last millennium. Pairs of weekly lectures focusing on ‘Power’ and ‘People’ explore the sources of power among dynasties, states and empires, as well as the popular pressures among societies at large. Revolution will be a common theme, tracing developments from riots, revolts, rebellions to full-scale revolutions. Students will also learn to distinguish between medieval, early-modern and modern historical periodizations.

  1. Introductions: Debating History; Revolt and Revolution

  2. Power of Kings; Landed Power

  3. Power of Nature; Peasant Power

  4. Power of God; Fear and Love of God

  5. Power of Parliament; the People Enter Politics

  6.      Week 6: break in lecture series

  7. The US and Haitian Revolutions; Slavery & Emancipations

  8. The British Industrial Revolution; Industrialisation, Class and the Labour Movement

  9. Totalitarian Power; Living Under Totalitarian Power

  10. The Rise and Fall of Imperial Power; Colonial Subjects

  11. Global Power; Globalisation 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

In addition to the series of 20 lectures outlined above, there will be nine 1-hour seminars in the autumn term (weeks 2-5, 7-11) requiring preparatory reading with structured group discussion and team-based activities. All assessment is by written coursework (there is no examination). There will be a primary sources analysis (33%) due in week 5 and a 2,500-word essay on a historiographical debate associated with one of the weekly topics, due in week 1 of the Spring term. Feedback on coursework will be given at a supervision meeting early in the spring term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary and students are reminded to email their Journeys through History seminar tutors for help and assistance whenever needed.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 9
Tutorials 1 1
Guided independent study 169
Total hours by term 199.00 1.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written assignment, including essay 100%: primary sources analysis of ca. 1000 words due at end of week 5 (33%) + 2,500-word essay on an historiographical debate due in week 1 of spring term (67%).

Formative assessment methods:

Online quizzes and exercises to be delivered via Blackboard for seminar preparation.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon on the last Friday in August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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