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.

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
•deploy primary materials to shed light on the issues and problems being studied

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:
This particular module examines source materials which show the relationship of two nations that occupy centre stage at the beginning of the 21st century. One is the world’s sole surviving super-power, the other the world’s most populous state, now entering the fourth decade of the longest sustained period of rapid economic development of any third world country. Through weekly seminars the course examines diplomatic, military and economic relations between the United States and China from the late 18th century to present. The subject will be studied using presidential papers and addresses, private diaries, published government documents, in particular the Foreign Relations of the United States, memoirs, materials from the Museum of Chinese in America of New York and San Francisco, and contemporary critical literature. Specific topics covered include, the importance of the China market, World War II, the start of the Cold War, the military crises in Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam, Nixon’s trip to China and the US and China in the 21st century.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The teaching for this module and for HS3S47 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 will be required to prepare for seminars through reading from both the primary sources and the secondary literature. 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 100.00 100.00
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:
    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, by the last Friday of August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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