Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

The United States since 1945 HIST5148

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This is an advanced-level introduction to the history United States since 1945. Organised thematically, it exposes students to major historiographical debates and controversies from the history of capitalism and conservatism to the study of civil rights, religion, crime, populism, and the relationship between democracy and corporations.


10 x weekly 2-hour seminar as scheduled in mycampus

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,000 words): 60%

Report on primary source (2,000 words): 40%  

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Provide the basis for the development of a critical understanding of US history since 1945

■ Introduce new themes in US History, such as the history of capitalism and conservatism, religion, crime and populism.

■ Enable engagement with major historiographical debates in US history since 1945

■ Explore a wide variety of primary sources related to the specialized secondary literature on key topics in US history since 1945

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Critically evaluate specific issues in American history within a contextual broad knowledge of trends in US history since 1945

■ Appraise historiographical debates relating to US history in this period

■ Analyse relevant primary sources and specialized secondary literature on key topics in post-1945 US History

■ Propose arguments on key themes in US history since 1945 combining primary and secondary material, connecting analysis of sources to historiographical debates

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.