Global Histories of Children and Childhood HIST4303

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce students to children and childhoods using the lens of global history. Students will engage with some of the key debates surrounding childhood studies, including: what defines childhood and how does that definition change through time and in different places? How do class, race and gender affect experiences of childhood? And how can we uncover children's experiences and perspectives from the archives? Using a wide range of primary sources, including photographs, objects, drawings and children's own writing, we will explore a number of case studies of children living in empires from the 18th to 20th centuries. Students will be encouraged to think of creative ways to apply historical knowledge, including developing materials for children.


20 x weekly 3-hour seminars taught on-campus

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours in History.

Excluded Courses





Oral assessment and presentation

1 x 10 minute oral presentation (1000 words) 10%

Peer feedback (oral and written) on another student presentation (1000 words) 10%


Written Assignment

1 x literature review essay (3,000 words) 20%

1 x research project on selected case study (3,000 words) 20%



1 x creative learning resource for children 20%

1 x poster presentation of a material culture source with museum style label (1000 words) 10%

Peer feedback (oral and written) on poster presentation (1000 words) 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

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

The aims of this course are:

■ To introduce students to core theoretical debates about the nature of childhood and show how those debates and definitions have changed through time.

■ To develop practical skills in identifying secondary literature, locating and analysing primary sources, and developing new ways to communicate historical research to a broad public audience.

■ To use feedback productively to reflect on their work and make improvements.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Define key terminology related to childhood studies and relate it to the relevant historiography.

■ Explain the key debates around the history of childhood.

■ Assess the role of children as historical actors.

■ Evaluate and compare historical sources produced by and for children.

■ Propose and design a learning resource for children.  

■ Create an innovative medium to synthesize a selected piece of material culture.  

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.