Gender, Sexuality & Modernity in Victorian and Edwardian Scotland HIST4234

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • 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

This course examines gendered and sexual attitudes and behaviours in Victorian and Edwardian Scotland. Traditionally perceived as a period of change from 'prudish' Victorians to 'liberated' moderns, recent historiography points to diversity, ambiguity and continuity as well as change. 


10 lectures and 10 seminars as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





Examination (120 minutes duration) - 60%

Coursework essay (3,000 words) - 30%

One seminar presentation of 10 minutes accompanied by 800 word seminar paper or powerpoint slides - 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:


■ prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.

Students' research capacity will be enriched by their introduction to diverse source materials and their oral and written communication skills enhanced in ways designed to address employers' expectations for highly literate and highly articulate graduates who are fully cognisant of a range of research tools.

■ show students how a professional historian works.

By supporting students in the production of their essay and seminar presentation, students will gain first hand experience of the scoping and shaping of research projects and the challenges faced by historians in the pursuit of advances in knowledge.

■ familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide-range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).

The critical interpretation of key historiographical and theoretical debates relating to this subject will inform the close reading of sources. Provenance, perspective, context, intent and audience will be core considerations in students' interpretation of sources.

- ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised. The seminars aim to encourage student-led learning and the facilitation of rigorous and informed debate.

- encourage students to develop imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research or in any sphere or employment where these qualities are valuable.

Students will be encouraged to reflect on the range of generic research and communication skills they are developing over the course of this course in order to align their academic and professional aspirations and competencies and encourage reflective practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


- demonstrate knowledge of the diverse sexual and gendered attitudes and behaviours in Scotland in a wide variety of social arenas in the Victorian and Edwardian period, through the exploration of a range of themes, including science, medicine and the body; leisure and popular culture; nationalism and imperialism; and politics and women's rights;

- evaluate the nature and extent of historical change in these attitudes and behaviours during the Victorian and Edwardian period, through the critical evaluation of a combination of primary sources, recent historiographical research and key methodological and theoretical approaches;

- demonstrate an ability to assess primary sources in the light of the historiography and formulate a view on the relative merits of competing interpretations;

- demonstrate a familiarity with some of the leading methodological and theoretical approaches utilised in the study of the history of gender and sexuality;

- show an appreciation of the particular difficulties in accessing historical experiences of sex and intimacy;

-present their opinions effectively and with clarity in written and oral form, drawing on primary and secondary source material.

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.