History, Literature, & Philosophy: 19th Century (3) DUMF3076

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This interdisciplinary course aims to develop a broad understanding of some of the principal cultural facets of 19th-century Britain, while also affording opportunities to study particular topics in some depth with reference to one or more of the disciplines of History, Literature, or Philosophy. Working collaboratively on selected materials (including novels, film versions of these, paintings, and certain theoretical standpoints) students will be encouraged to consider and discuss topics which may include, for example: the 19th-century's inheritance and struggles with Enlightenment conceptions of the human condition; certain facets of industrialism and the beginnings of environmentalism; the threat of and fascination with uncertainty and the rise of nihilism; school education in relation to fundamental ideas about knowledge and pedagogy; cultural resistance to mechanism in education or through portrayals of the supernatural; attempts to understand and oppose gender inequality.


Normal week will comprise of three 1-hour Lectures plus one 1-hour Seminar, though in some weeks there will be 2 Lectures and 2 Seminars at the regular class times.

Requirements of Entry

Students should have attained at least a D in one Level 1 or 2 Literature, History, or Philosophy course. Exceptional circumstances may be considered at the discretion of the Course Convenor.

Excluded Courses



Oral Presentation 10%

Summative Essay 1 (2500 words): 45%

Summative Essay 2 (2500 words):45%

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The Course Aims to:


develop a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of some of the principal cultural facets of 19th-century Britain


enable in-depth study of a more constricted selection of particular topics with reference to one or more of the disciplines of History, Literature, or Philosophy 


assist students to work collaboratively and interactively with students to encourage discussion of several crucial topics helpful to developing insights into the culture and thought of the 19th century


foster interest in the 19th Century's pertinence to our own times.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


Explore through discussion in class several main topics that broadly characterise certain cultural facets of the 19th century (e.g. the so-called 'woman question'/ gender inequality) in relation to at least one of the following disciplines: History (including History of Art), Literature, and Philosophy;


In at least one essay (formative/summative), discuss at least one topic/text(s) in some depth through either: a single disciplinary approach; or, some interrelation of a maximum of two disciplines (i.e. selecting from History, Literature, or Philosophy);


Provide: in one exam answer, an interdisciplinary critical discussion that utilizes a minimum of two disciplines (of History, Literature, or Philosophy); and, in the other exam answer, either a single or interdisciplinary discussion on a different topic/texts;


Generate (partly through the assistance of collaborative class discussions), written critiques that are explicitly situated within some general facet(s) of 19th-century culture (e.g. industrialism/ popular education/ utilitarianism), and which demonstrate a thorough knowledge of and an attempt to grapple with chosen materials from the history, literature, or philosophy of the 19th century;


Participate confidently in focussed group discussions in order to develop collaboratively a broad knowledge of the period and some more specific insights concerning at least one topic/ text/ work of art/ philosophical standpoint;


Express an awareness of the relevance (where appropriate) of at least one of the Course topics to the present (e.g. through comparing 19th-century school education with practices or theories or problems in 21st-century educational contexts).

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.