HS3S72-Victorian Lives, B

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: HS3S22 Victorian Lives, A
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof David Stack

Email: d.a.stack@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Specials aim to provide 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems. This Special aims to develop an understanding of Victorian culture and society through the study of a set of Victorian lives

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • achieve a detailed command of the themes, events and eras studied
  • locate and assemble information on the subject by independent research
  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing
  • recognise and interpret a wide range of different primary materials
  • undertake detailed textural analysis and comment on the texts

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student's effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:
The primary source material used will include: autobiographies; contemporary biographies; newspaper obituaries; and other contemporary assessments of the lives under consideration.

The course will study the lives of a set of key Victorian figures, through their own autobiographical accounts and other contemporary assessments. The individual lives studied will include: William Lovett; J. S. Mill; Annie Besant; Charles Darwin; and Queen Victoria. In addition seminars will be given over to a consideration of Victorian constructs such as 'Jack the Ripper' and the Victorian penchant for historical biographies, such as George Eliot's translation of Renan's Life of Jesus. These individual studies will build into an assessment of some key themes in Victorian culture - including progress, secularisation, and gender - as well as providing the material for a consideration of the limits and conventions involved in constructing a Victorian life. Students will consider questions concerned both with the detail of individual lives and the broader historiographical questions involved in writing and studying historical biography.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The teaching for this module and for HS3S22 together involves weekly two-hour discussion seminars. Students will gain 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through the detailed evaluations of key texts, and the light they shed on the issues and problems being investigated. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 11 11
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 88 89
Total hours by term 99.00 101.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Assessment is by a long essay to be submitted in the summer term. Papers should not exceed 3,500 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography. Papers which exceed the word limit by more than 5% will incur a penalty of five marks. Candidates will be rewarded for making appropriate use of the prescribed texts. Papers must be submitted electronically via Blackboard and a hard copy handed in to the History office in week 2, by noon on Friday at the latest.

Formative assessment methods:
In addition to the final long essay, between two and four pieces of formative written work, for instance essays, seminar presentations, book reviews, posters, will normally be required for this Special Subject over the two terms.

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:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree, but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Where students are permitted to resit this module, coursework must be resubmitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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