Summary module description:

Aims:
Periods involve the study of substantial chronological periods. They aim to acquaint students with the causes and consequences of continuity and change over the long term in the political, social, economic and cultural systems under study. Periods are distinguished as Medieval, Early Modern or Modern. This particular period in Modern History aims to examine the nature of the relationship between American foreign policy and domestic political and social change in the century since the Spanish-American War.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•identify and explain the main issues and events studied
•appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject
•think comparatively about aspects of British, European or American history over a substantial period
•assess the nature of social, economic, political and cultural change
•organise material and articulate arguments effectively in different kinds of written exercises and orally
•locate and assemble bibliographic and other information by independent research, using IT as appropriate

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations and team-working. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources, where appropriate.

Outline content:
The module will investigate the impact that American foreign policy has had on the development of a modern American state and society in the hundred years since the adoption by the USA of a significant world role in the 1890s. The impact of domestic affairs on the nature of America’s relationship with the wider world is also examined. The unit introduces students to the idea that a study of international relations has a broad social dimension as well as a political one, in terms of the ways in which social groups understand and respond to other nations in a domestic American context. Topics will include the impact of war on American society, American views of Bolshevism, the idea of an American empire, defining isolationism with reference to social trends such as immigration, the legacy of Vietnam, and the nationalism of the 1980s.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars, requiring preparatory reading and investigation, may include informal and interactive presentations by the module teacher; structured group discussion; short seminar papers by students; occasional tutorials; team-based simulation exercises and debates; examination of primary and secondary sources, as appropriate. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 169
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 67
Written assignment including essay 33

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write ONE essay of 2,500 words, to be handed in by the Monday of week 8 of term, which should be submitted electronically via Blackboard and in hard copy to the History office.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener 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:
    One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 2 examinations.

    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.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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