Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module EDUC1451: The History of Education

Department: Education

EDUC1451: The History of Education

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To put current education policy in its historical and regional context.
  • To enable students to reflect critically on the main issues that have dominated the English education system for the past two-hundred years;
  • To enable students to make informed judgements about the key ideas and concepts which have led to the development of education in England;
  • To demonstrate that studying the history of education is not a moribund activity but that it is a radical, relevant and on-going area of study.


  • The content will reflect a number of key themes including: the role of the state in the provision of education; different types of schooling; the way schools are organised; university education; and the ethos of educational institutions.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • a knowledge and understanding of the main features of the history of education and education policy.
  • knowledge of the social, political, economic, religious and cultural reasons for the provision of education in its current form.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the ability to utilise a range of relevant primary and secondary sources, including theoretical and research-based evidence, in order to expound and defend a thesis;
  • a developing ability to critically analyse educational history and policy concepts, theories and issues in a systematic way;
  • an ability to find out about the past through investigating a specific question or issue; and by selecting, evaluating and analysing relevant sources of information in order to draw and defend a conclusion;
  • the ability to identify, select, interpret and evaluate a range of historical sources;
  • an understanding of cause and consequence, continuity and change;
  • an understanding that topics within the history of education are open to a number of interpretations;
  • a realization that a study of the past can illuminate current educational policy and thinking;
  • an understanding that the past is a subtle place.
Key Skills:
  • communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively in written form;
  • manage time and work to deadlines;
  • construct and sustain a reasoned argument;
  • evaluate and make use of information from a variety of primary and secondary sources.

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

  • Students will be introduced to a range of analytical techniques relating to the issues and period under study through lectures, seminars and tutorials.
  • Students will further develop their knowledge and understanding of key issues by reflecting on ideas and demonstrating key skills through seminar presentations and formative and summative assessments.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 Weekly 1 hour 21
Seminars 11 Fortnightly 1 hour 11
Preparation and Reading 168
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 2000 words 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination Two hours 100%

Formative Assessment:

Oral presentations to be given during student led tutorials.

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