Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: History


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Normally an A or B grade in A-Level History, or an acceptable equivalent (e.g. in terms of Scottish Highers or IB)


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The purpose of this module is twofold.
  • Firstly it is an introduction to the aims and techniques of economic history.
  • Secondly it acquaints students with a period during which Britain became the leading economic power in the world.


  • During 1750-1850 Britain made the transition from a predominantly rural/agricultural economy to a primarily urban/industrial one and was the first country in the world to do so.
  • As such what happened in Britain at this time represented the beginnings of modern economic growth.
  • The reasons how and why this took place remain disputed to this day and this module will examine what did happen in this period in order to try and explain why it was Britain that emerged as the first industrial nation.
  • The module will then investigate the consequences for the British people of this period of economic transformation.
  • Did all benefit from the prosperity that economic growth brought? Was society changed as a result? Whatever the conclusions this was a time in history when Britain was at the very centre-stage of economic events.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • a knowledge of the economic history of Britain from 1750 to 1914
  • an awareness of the concerns, approaches and tools of economic history.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Subject specific skills for this module can be viewed at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/history.internal/local/ModuleProformaMap/
Key Skills:
  • Key skills for this module can be viewed at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/history.internal/local/ModuleProformaMap/

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

  • Student learning is facilitated by a combination of:
  • lectures to set the foundations for further study and to provide the basis for the acquisition of subject specific knowledge. Lectures provide a broad framework which defines individual module content, introducing students to themes, debates and interpretations. In this environment, students are given the opportunity to develop skills in listening, selective note-taking and reflection;
  • seminars to allow students to present and critically reflect upon the acquired subject-specific knowledge, methodologies and theories, and to identify and debate a range of issues and differing opinions. The seminar is the forum in which students are given the opportunity to communicate ideas, jointly exploring themes and arguments. Seminars are structured to develop understanding and designed to maximise student participation related to prior independent preparation. Seminars give students the opportunity to develop oral communication skills, encourage critical and tolerant approaches to reasoned argument and historical discussion, build the students??? ability to marshal historical evidence, and facilitate the development of the ability to summarise historical arguments, think in a rapidly changing environment and communicate in a persuasive and articulate manner, whilst recognising the value of working with others and, occasionally, towards shared goals.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 Weekly in Terms 1, 2 and 3 1 hour 22
Seminars 6 3 in Term one, 3 in Term two; revision seminars 1 hour 6
Preparation and Reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two-hour written examination 100%
Component: Two Essays Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
essay 1 2000 words not inclusive of bibliography 50%
essay 2 2000 words not inclusive of bibliography 50%

Formative Assessment:

One or more short assignments submitted in writing or delivered orally and discussed either 1:1 or in a group context.

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