Core Course: Social Theory And Social History HIST5004

  • Academic Session: 2017-18
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to the key theoretical issues that they are likely to confront in the arena of social history. The important figures in the modern discipline - for example, Marx, Weber, Gramsci, Scott, Foucault, Barthes - together with the theoretical issues they have generated will be read, discussed and assessed. The objective is to allow students to bring an improved awareness of these theoretical foundations of modern social history to their research and studies.


10 x 2 hours.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses



2 essays of 2,500 words each.

Main Assessment In: April/May

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. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ provide a grounding in the main branches of Historical Theory which have and are being applied in Social History in recent decades.

■ enable students to undertake research work for essays on diverse topics both for taught classes and for the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ demonstrate the diversity of theoretical traditions lying within contemporary Social History, specifically as taught within the British tradition, but encompassing experiences from Europe, North America and elsewhere.

■ Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the development of theoretical development with History over recent decades.

■ Demonstrate an appreciation of the uses of different traditions and theories, and how they can be reconciled and - in some circumstances -- not reconciled in the practice of History

■ Demonstrate an understanding of how scholars in the discipline use theory within empirical research and publication, especially evident through the Research seminars.

■ Demonstrate an ability to present coherent arguments supported with evidence to answer questions both orally and on paper.

■ Demonstrate a clearer idea of the way to apply theory in their studies in History, both in taught courses, and in the dissertation for the Master's degree.

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.