Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module HIST57530: A Social History of Alcohol in Africa, 1850-1990

Department: History

HIST57530: A Social History of Alcohol in Africa, 1850-1990

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to


  • None


  • HIST50130

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to study at an advanced level, the history of social and economic change in Africa, through the subject of alcohol which will enable students to acquire specific learning outcomes of the programmes as whole including:
  • a specialist knowledge of imperial history
  • bibliographic skills
  • an understanding of historical debates
  • advanced skills in writing history
  • general skills of the historian


  • This module will cover selected aspects of the history of alcohol in Africa reflecting current debate on the subject, and the particular interests of the student. Topics may include the following: alcohol as a discursive resource which people use to talk about authority and proper behaviour and as an economic resource for those involved and for states which tax it; background literature on alcohol and society; and the making and drinking of alcohol in African societies in the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and the changes in the use of alcohol in the context of social, political and economic transformation, and how and why ordinary people have been involved in making such changes.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should build up critical understanding of this aspect of African history and should become aware of other boundaries of current knowledge relating to the subject.
  • Students should acquire detailed knowledge and critical understanding of one topic chosen in conjunction with the supervisor.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to undertake a programme of intensive reading directed at a number of topics.
  • Students should be able to participate in regular discussion of issues arising from the reading with their supervisor.
  • Students should then be able to produce an extensive piece of writing on this agreed subject.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Tutorials 5 Fortnightly 1.5 hours 7.5
    Preparation & Reading 290
    Other: Unscheduled meetings as requested by the student. Variable Variable Up to a total of 2.5 hrs 2.5
    Total 300

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Essay 5000 words 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    Discussion of work in progress. Written or oral comments on any other agreed written assignment, such as a book review or exploratory essay. In addition, supervisors will normally read and provide written comments on not more than one draft of work being prepared for summative assessment.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University