History 2A: The Social and Cultural History of Europe, 1500-2000 HIST2016

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will explore key features of 'modern' European societies and the nature of modernity. Students will explore ways historians make sense of change over time by looking more closely at various aspects of everyday life, including consumption, social identity, labour, power, gender, race, protest, violence, religion and ideology, the body, nationalism, empire, crime and social control.


Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am - 12noon [lectures] and seminars held as scheduled in the course handout

Requirements of Entry

A grade D3 or above in History 1A or History 1B, or at the discretion of Head of History.

Excluded Courses





Exam (90 minutes) - 60%

Essay (1,500 words) - 20%

Seminar Presentation (800 words equivalent) - 10%

Seminar Participation - 10%

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. 


Seminar participation (10%) and Seminar Presentation (10%)

Course Aims

The course will provide the opportunity to:

■ Gain an understanding of significant aspects of the social and cultural history of European and other societies in the period 1500-2000, exploring ways historians might make sense of change over time by looking more closely at various aspects of everyday life;

■ Improve critical and evaluative skills in the handling of a variety of primary and secondary sources, and as wide a range of evidence as possible, enabling progress to Honours in History;

■ Broaden awareness of a range of historical methods, historiography, interdisciplinarity and theory; 

■ Enhance confidence and independence of judgement in dealing with conflicting interpretations of major issues;

■ Improve presentational and analytical skills through assessed essays, seminar papers, discussion, and group work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify the main characteristics of modern society and place their development in a narrative framework;

■ demonstrate an understanding of the ways historians analyse changes in western society;

■ demonstrate an understanding of relationships of power and inequality, with reference to gender, race, labour, empire and social control, among other factors;

■ analyse issues contributing to social identity, including consumption, work, family, community; religion and ideology, among others;

■ distinguish narrative from interpretation, and appreciate the function of each;

■ explain the role that theory may play in historical explanation and interpretation;

■ interrogate a variety of source materials, including texts, images, data and artefacts, explain the problems and advantages of working with each, and describe their rôle in the process of historical explanation;

■ demonstrate critical and analytical skills in the deployment of primary and secondary sources to support clear and valid arguments both in writing and in discussion.

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.