The Rise of Nineteenth Century Socialism HIST4292

  • 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

Socialism was one of the most significant new intellectual ideas of the nineteenth century, arising as a result of powerful transnational networks of dialogue and exchange between Russian, French, British, American, and German intellectuals. Though predominantly a political discourse, it was powerfully influenced by the parallel emergence of modern political economy as pioneered by Adam Smith and David Ricardo, and later on by the Darwinian revolution in the natural sciences. This course reviews the emergence of this tradition via case studies.


Over ten 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 History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





This course will be assessed via three pieces of course work rather than by an exam.

The first piece of work (a supervised project) asks students to write a 1,700 word intellectual biography (essay).

The second piece requires students to write a 1,500 word book review (a report) of a primary source by a different thinker.

The third piece of work involves an 800 word equivalent seminar presentation on a set question.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will 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 aims to:


■ Develop their intellectual interests and analytical skills through an interdisciplinary approach acquired by students during their first two years.

■  Develop awareness of previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options and case studies.

■ Prepare for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers. ·

■ Show how a professional historian works, particularly in the field of biography. ·

■ Familiarise, through source criticism and object analysis, with a wide range of problems of interpretation associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).

■  Ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations and methods is fully recognised.

■  Encourage students to develop the confidence, 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.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Present in written and oral exposition an understanding of the methodologies and theoretical frameworks employed by historians to understand and write about historical figures

■ Demonstrate their mastery of the subject as a whole by answering a range of questions requiring them to locate both primary and secondary sources in their historical context, and to reconstruct the identity of the period;

■  to make accurate comparison of two or more alternative interpretations or renditions of a particular historical figure;

■ To develop appropriate sets of skills related to the writing of historical biography in particular, via a supervised project

■ To develop appropriate sets of skills related to reviewing a primary source in terms of identifying and describing ideas, sources, context, and both contemporary and subsequent influences.

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.