The Vietnam War In American History And Culture HIST4170

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

During this course, we will investigate the cultural and social legacy in America, of the conflict in Vietnam. From the experiences of Vietnam veterans, explored through oral testimonies and memoir, to representations in literature, cinema, art and music, we will take a wide ranging look at how the conflict shaped the cultural and social landscape of the United States, both for those who fought, and those who witnessed the war through the media at home. We will think about acts of memorialisation, as well as how the war changed the way in which trauma is understood, in medical and social terms. Through a broad and wide-ranging base of primary sources, we will discuss the lasting impact of this long and troubled conflict upon the history and identity of America, right up to the present day.


12x1hr lectures, 9x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into one of the History Honours programmes, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Examination (120 minute duration) - 60%

Essay (2,500 words) - 30%

Social Media Role (300 words) and participation 50 minute seminar - 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■ Develop the intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years;

■ Offer the opportunity to study previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide choice of options;

■ Offer the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness;

■ Introduce complex historical debates and interpretations, to develop skill in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform the discussion with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research;

■ Encourage the development of transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Explain the history of American involvement in Vietnam and comprehend American policies and experiences resulting from engagement in the Vietnam War;

■ To understand how and why the Vietnam War has had such a profound effect upon American society and culture, and what this reveals about the late twentieth century United States;

■ Work with a variety of source materials (primary and secondary) on this subject in essays and examination.

■ Establish a broad range of communication skills, including debating, roleplay, social media presentation, and general class participation. 

■ Exhibit an ability to conduct individual research online for relevant materials including: photographs, cartoons, film and television clips, music, or other relevant sources.

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.