HS1PP-Past and Present

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Mara Oliva

Email: m.oliva@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is optional for SINGLE HISTORY STUDENTS ONLY


Past and Present examines the history of key contemporary ideas and themes by setting them in a long-term historical context. It aims to show how History can help us understand the modern world, while allowing students to follow up topics in which they have a particular interest in more depth than is possible in the compulsory elements of the Part One programme.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
•identify and assess the major historical interpretations of the topic
•locate and synthesise information on the topic
•appreciate how the history of the topic has shaped its contemporary manifestations
•understand the need for historical contextualization to avoid anachronism
•organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays
•demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims:
•to encourage students to think independently
•to help students develop good oral and written communication skills
•to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations
•to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources.

Outline content:

This module gives students an opportunity to study the history of two key contemporary ideas of their choice, for an in-depth, historically-based understanding of these ideas and their origins. In the first three weeks of the autumn term, students will be introduced to the complex and ever-changing question of the relationship between past and present. How does the past shape the present and how can an understanding of the past help us understand the present? Can History help predict the future? What are the dangers of seeing the past through the eyes of the present, and can there ever be dangers in attempting to see the present in the light of the past? This part of the module will be lecture-based, to give students a broad framework for understanding the potential advantages and limitations of approaching major contemporary issues in this way, and to enable students to make an informed choice about which key contemporary issues they wish to study in more depth in the remainder of the module. Please note that while the Department will make every effort to allow students to study both their first-choice contemporary issues, this may not always be possible. All students, however, will be able to study at least one of their first-choice contemporary issues.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching is by one one-hour lectures, nine two-hour seminars in the autumn term, and by weekly two-hour seminars in the spring term. Students are reminded to email their tutors for help and advice whenever needed and to note office hours.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 1
Seminars 18 20
Tutorials 10 10 2
Guided independent study 70 69
Total hours by term 99.00 99.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Written exam50%: one 2-hour unseen paper requiring 2 answers

Written assignment, including essay50%: 2 essays (1 each term) of c.1500-2000 words, to be submitted on Blackboard via Turnitin, by latest 12 noon on the Monday of 11th week of each term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (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.

    Length of examination:

    2 hours

    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 of 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: 21 December 2016

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