- A level requirements: ABB
- UCAS code: V100
- Study mode: Full-time
- Length: 3 years
Studying history changes the way you view the world around you and how you understand your place in it. If you have a genuine curiosity about history and a desire to develop a set of advanced skills in a challenging but supportive environment, History at Liverpool is the place for you.
You will start by exploring a broad range of historical periods, some of which may be less familiar, giving you a good basis for making choices later in the degree.
You will also experience a wide variety of approaches to history and are free to study aspects of the past that interest you the most. For instance, some modules focus on political history or the history of warfare. Others place the emphasis on social, cultural and gender history. You can also take modules on global history or ones that focus on national histories, whilst others will allow you to explore particular themes, such as slavery, human rights, medicine, religion, the environment or the Cold War.
The degree programme is designed to move from breadth to depth; from directed to more independent learning; and foster the development of advanced research techniques over the three years.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
In year one, modules cover global history, modern British and European history, and medieval and early modern European history. You will be introduced to independent learning and begin to develop a range of skills necessary to succeed at university.
The module provides a basis for the study of history at university level. It is designed to introduce students to the development, current state and relevance of history as a discipline. The module will help students engage with real historical questions, examining one important historiographical discussion by focusing on a key text or issue related to their tutor’s specific research. It will address some of the vocational skills and aptitudes required for and developed through the study of history.
The module will provide students with an understanding of the complexity of the historical record, including an awareness of types of primary and secondary sources, and an appreciation of a range of problems associated with the interpretation of evidence. Students will be encouraged to think about the discipline of history, the nature of historical enquiry and how professional historians go about their work.
This module provides students with an introduction to modern British history. It broadens their existing understanding by first considering factors of a general importance in the development of modern Britain, and then looking at particular events and themes. In this way, students will be given a grasp both of broad themes in British history – such as demographics, political units, ideologies and social change – and of the specific way history unfolded at key moments and turning points.
This module provides students with an introduction to modern continental European history. It broadens their understanding by first considering factors of a general importance in the development of modern Europe, and then looking at particular events and countries. In this way, students will be given a grasp both of broad themes in European history – such as demographics, political units, ideologies and social change – and of the specific way history unfolded in certain times and places.
This module covers a period of crucial significance for European history, including interactions between Europe and other parts of the world in the premodern period. Much of it will be unfamiliar to many of you, but, we hope, will be all the more interesting for that reason. At its broadest, this module covers more than a millennium, from the rise of Christianity to the European arrival in and settlement of the Americas. We start with the origins of Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean, before moving on to the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Islam. In Europe, we chronicle the rise of post-Roman kingdoms, the settlements of Vikings in Europe and more distant locations, the launching and objectives of the crusades. In light of the expansion of the papacy, we assess the emergence of new forms of spirituality and heresy, political conflicts between nascent states, and the impact of the Reformation and Catholic Reformation on other parts of the world. Underlying these events are some continuous themes, such as the foundation of the Christian Church, the development and evolution of notions of holiness, and the effect of religious belief on methods of education, ideas of difference and deviance, and responses to natural disasters. Another theme that runs through the module is to assess how gender mores affected the experiences of and possibilities for individuals who lived in these periods. Course content also looks at the practice of, and ideology behind, political activity and war. We aim to give you an appreciation of world views and of methods of representation based on the mental horizons possible in the age before modern technology.
In this module students will work independently and in groups to produce a polished research project on a topic and in a medium approved by the tutor. The group will then present the final project to an audience explaining and reflecting upon the project’s rationale and the research and creative process. The emphasis is on research skills, dealing with primary sources, communicating arguments about the past, and on learning to work independently and in groups.
This module explores contemporary issues and debates through considering global relationships in the past and how they have shaped the world in which we live. In light of the tremendous impact that modern imperialism and colonialism have had in shaping our world, the module focuses, in particular, on questions relating to race, empire and their legacies.
By exploring some of the ways in which historical investigation enriches urgent contemporary debates, the module aims to introduce students to a range of new ways of approaching the past, both in terms of subject matter and of new approaches to history, and to broaden their historical understanding of both western and non-western history (or what scholars refer to as the ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’) and the myriad connections between them. In addition, therefore, to preparing students for the range of subject matter, geographical areas and approaches that they will be able to study in the second and third years of their History degree programme, this module also aims to make students better global citizens.
ALGY101 introduces students to the concepts, methods and evidence that archaeologists use to study and interpret the past. Students gain core skills essential to building and evaluating knowledge about human material remains of the past.
ALGY109 is designed as an introductory, level one module aiming to provide students with an overview of Ancient Egyptian history from prehistory to AD 395 both in its chronological development and in its environmental and geographical setting, including the fundamentals of the chronology of Ancient Egypt (including the limitations of available evidence), and a good awareness of how major archaeological sites and other forms of primary evidence fit within this framework.
The module is designed to introduce key elements of British Politics in terms of political parties, voting behaviour and elections, ideologies and key aspects such as gender and media.
This course provides a survey of Irish culture and society from prehistory to the end of the Middle Ages. It begins with the arrival of Celtic language and ends with the efforts of Henry VIII to impose English rule. This long time span witnessed radical change, including the arrival of Christianity, invasions of Vikings, the English, and the Reformation. These events shaped Irish identities and contributed to longer term demographic, economic and political trends affecting the lives of people at all levels of society. Through close analysis of primary sources we can attempt to enter the mental world of people living in Ireland’s past to interpret their motivations, actions and ideals. This course will explore the experiences of the past but also highlight how debates about history still influence perceptions of Irish identity today.
This module introduces the history and society of the ancient Greek world, from the liberation of Athens from tyranny in the late sixth century BC through to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The module offers students a foundation of knowledge in the history of events, as well as exploring a range of aspects of Greek society and culture, including the Greek ‘way of war’, sexuality and religion. It also introduces a range of sources for the study of ancient history, especially the two great Greek historywriters, Herodotus and Thucydides.
This module introduces students to the design and implementation of archaeological projects (and thereby research design more generally). It is concerned with how archaeological questions are addressed through projects, the practices involved in the various stages of archaeological projects, including desk-based assessment, mapping, data collection and analysis, field recording, excavation strategy, interpretation and site/heritage management planning. There is a strong practical element to the module which focusses on the planning and execution of a project relating to a cemetery in Liverpool.
ALGY116 is designed as a year one module which aims to provide students with an overview of Ancient Egyptian culture. In particular it has as its core aim the development of students’ understanding of the broader thematic aspects of Egyptian society, such as writing, religion, art and social structure. The emphasis will be on the use of primary data (written and material culture), and on awareness of how major archaeological sites fit within this framework.
This introductory politics module focuses on the distribution of power in Britain and the nature of the British state. It outlines the traditional conception of the British political system as the ‘Westminster Model’ and considers the implications of this model for how democracy is conceived and how political power is mobilised, in whose interests and with what consequences, primarily in the UK but also in former British colonies and dependencies. The module examines the various component parts of the British political system including the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament, the judiciary, the civil service , regional and local government and devolved institutions, from both a constitutional and political-sociological perspective. It also assesses the emerging impact of Brexit on the UK political system and for the distribution of political power within it, including consideration of the role of ‘imperialist imaginaries’ in shaping discussion of the UK’s post-Brexit future. The module assumes no prior knowledge of the British political system or the particular issues under consideration.
This module aims to explore the various ideas that have contributed to the development of modern Ireland. It will explain how these ideas have interacted with one another and how they have shaped political debates and brought about social change.
This module deals with the history and society of Rome and the Roman world from the foundation of Rome to the end of the second century AD, i.e. the periods of the ‘Roman Republic’ and the ‘Principate’ (named after the princeps, a title of the Roman emperor). The aims are to provide (1) an introductory survey of the political and military history of Rome and the Roman empire; (2) to build a sound
chronological, geographical and conceptual framework for understanding the ancient Roman world; (3) to introduce students to reading primary sources in translation and evaluating their historical significance; (4) to introduce students to a limited range of scholarly views on ancient Roman history; and (5) to teach fundamental research skills.
In year two, the choice of modules includes a variety of African, American, Asian, British and pre-modern and modern European options.
In this module students will be introduced to the last four centuries in the history of the region that extends between Siberia and the Iranian plateau, and between the Caspian Sea and the Gansu corridor to the East. While current geopolitical discourse usually portrays Central Asia as the passive periphery of conflicting empires, recent historical scholarship, often with the help of anthropology, has shown the potential of studying the region in its own terms. Marked by the rivalry or cooperation between nomads and settled agriculturalists, Central Asian societies adapted in their own ways to early modern changes in military technology, while trying to overcome environmental constraints and striking deals with their neighbours. The extension of the sovereignty of Russia and Qing China over the region paralleled the growing involvement of Central Asia not only in global capitalism, but also in transnational Islamic religious and intellectual networks, to which local societies participated in a peculiar way. Furthermore, Central Asia represents an original case-study in the history of colonialism, given the lack of territorial discontinuity with the metropole. Finally, from the 1920s authoritarian modernisation, decolonisation, and developmentalist technocracy were combined in a long-lasting effort to integrate Central Asians into Soviet socialism.
What do we mean by the term ‘religion’? What is meant by the term ‘cosmovision’? When we say that a group of people are ‘religious’ what does this imply? In modern, secular Europe there exists a tendency to compartmentalise ‘religion’ as ‘something that can be done’ during a certain time of the week and then forgotten about. There is a similar tendency to assume that ‘religion’ is irrational and irrelevant, superseded by scientific progress and material concerns. Yet, this is a very recent mindset and one not shared by the vast majority of the world’s populations over the duration of human history. The civilizations of the Americas were no exception, and the Aztecs (c.1200-1750), the Incas (c.1200-1750), the Huarochirí (c.1000-1750), and the Early Modern Spanish (c.1500-1750) all inhabited worlds created and sustained by one or more gods, and in which they interacted with these creator beings, and other spirit entities and saints. These interactions were intrinsic to the shaping of their civilisations and were fundamental to the everyday decisions made by these populations. The relationship between people and their gods was all-encompassing and absolute. This module aims to understand in greater detail the nature of such relationships and the effects these have had on the historical development of human societies in the Americas.
The module then, will examine the cosmovisions of four key indigenous American civilisations: the Mayans, the Aztecs, the Incas and the Huarochirí. It will explore what happened when the Spanish and the indigenous cosmovisions came together. We will look at the methods used by the Catholic missionaries and institutional church in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to convert the indigenous peoples to Christianity (persuasion, debate, cultural production, as well as coercion) and will look at the indigenous responses to these efforts. We will look themes such as Baroque Christianity, the Jesuits, mysticism and magic in context in c.16th-c.17th Latin America.
This module examines patterns of popular belief in late medieval England (c.1300-c.1520). This era was marked by frequent warfare, high mortality, rising literacy, the spread of heresy, and new opportunities for the lower orders and women. We will explore how popular ideas about life and death, the everyday and the supernatural, gender and sex, wealth and poverty, and the authority of the social elites and the church, were acquired, debated and evolved during the late medieval period.
This module explores the remarkable transformation of Europe since the Second World War, from destruction and mass violence to peace and prosperity, with a focus on the role of emotions in this turbulent history. The story of European integration after 1945 has been explored by political scientists as a rational process of market reform, but the controversies sparked by contemporary debates about European identity demonstrate the crucial role of emotions in this history. In this module, we will draw on an important body of recent scholarship on emotions in history, as well as more familiar approaches to the social and cultural history of postwar Europe.
This module will study the ‘long’ history of the Civil Rights Movement in America, pioneered by African-Americans still living in the shadow of slavery, in the latter years of the 19th century, proceeding through the monumental political and social upheavals of the first half of the 20th century and culminating in the activism of the 1950s and 1960s that would end ‘Jim Crow’ racial segregation. Strategy and leadership will be a consistent theme, but the role of individuals in shaping the movement will be considered in relation to the broader context of the immense social, economic and cultural changes occurring within the United States over this period.
This module is focused on how the health of people in Britain has changed since the middle of the 18th century. Life expectancies have increased, from around 40 years to over 80 years; the pattern of diseases has changed, from infectious disease epidemics in the 19th century, to the emergence of cancers, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions in 20th century. This module acknowledges that health is shaped by social, economic and political issues as well as by the effectiveness of medicine. It draws extensively on Liverpool’s health history, and incorporates a public health trail and a visit to the iconic Nightingale-designed Liverpool Royal Infirmary.
This module surveys global nuclear cultures since 1945, focusing particularly on B ritain and the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Japan. Whilst the military, strategic, political, scientific and diplomatic history surrounding the attacks on Japan has been thoroughly explored, the more complex study of the global nuclear cultures that developed in the years following 1945 has been marginalised until recent years. This module explores the themes of nuclear anxiety (including fears over contamination, mutation, nuclear war, fallout from nuclear tests, the future, and parenthood), nuclear heritage, popular culture, and individual experience.
The module provides students with a work-based placement, to take place in a relevant public history institution, such as a museum, archive or library (other institutions may also be relevant). Students will normally spend half a day per week (or one school teaching day) a
week during one semester working with the chosen institution, which might involve teaching assistance, archiving, conservation, researching, building an exhibition, developing a public engagement project, etc.
In addition, they will attend fortnightly sessions on career development and fortnightly seminars on academic approaches to public history.
This module has two principal aims.First, it develops students’ knowledge and understanding of contemporaryChinese cinema (principally that produced in the People’s Republic of China inthe last 25 years), both in terms of its historical development and its recentproliferation around the world. Second, the module introduces a number oflandmarks in the history of twentieth-century China (Warlord era, Sino-JapaneseWar, Cultural Revolution, post-Maoist reforms), through their representationsin filmic texts. In tandem, the way in which the Chinese (mis)remembers itspast is dissected. The title of the module, “Projecting China”, thereforepoints not only to China’s cinematic production but also how the ideas of “China” and “Chineseness”are projected. The module begins with an exploration ofthe history and politics of Chinese cinema, with particular attention paid tothe rise, in the 1980s, of the so-called “Fifth Generation” of Chinesefilmmakers such as Zhang Yimou (1951- ), Tian Zhuangzhuang (1952- ) and Chen Kaige(1952- ). Their portrayals of trauma in the Anti-Rightist Movement and theCultural Revolution are analysed. The critical and commercial dynamics involvedin the global spread of Chinese cinema is studied through the lens ofTaiwanese-American director Ang Lee’s (1954- ) Lust, Caution (2007) and Zhang Yimou’s Hero (2002). Whereas Lust,Caution covers the theatre of revolution and espionage during theSino-Japanese War, Hero appears to bean allegory of present-day Chinese politics told through the failedassassination of the First Emperor of China Qin Shi Huangdi . The struggles ofthe “ordinary folk” in the Deng Xiaoping/Reform period and the pitfalls ofmodernisation are showcased through the realistic, documentary-style films ofLi Yang (1959- ). The module ends with the 2010 blockbuster on the 1976Tangshan Earthquake, Feng Xiaogang’s (1959- ) Aftershock (2010), which has been labelled a piece of “sentimentalpedagogy” that seeks to inculcate humanist values and restore a “human face” to“socialist market economy”. No previous knowledge of Chinese history, Chinesecinema or Chinese language is required.
This module introduces you to the turbulent history of France from the Paris Commune of 1871 to the Paris terrorist attacks of 2015. During this time, the French experienced two world wars unfold on their soil, as well as political extremism, imperial expansion, military occupation, rapid economic modernization, diminishing global influence, and the difficult process of decolonization and its legacies. Despite moments of national triumph, such as the 1998 World Cup victory, wars, political upheaval, social conflicts, modernization, decolonization, and globalization severely tested what it meant to be ‘French.’ As well as being interesting in its own right, the global importance of French Republican ideas and culture and the international significance of dramatic events, such as the May 1968 protests and the 2015 attacks, make France an important country to study if we wish to understand developments in contemporary history. It also offers an excellent opportunity to explore histories of gender, race, and other identities.
While the coming into being of dozens of new nation-states in the former colonial world has been rightfully regarded as one of the most remarkable transformations in modern world history, what, exactly, came into being? Were the post-colonial states that were created replicas of the Western nation-state or did the merging of colonial and indigenous cultures instead produce something different? Why, in fact, did so many anti-colonial freedom movements seek to produce variants of the very same state form that had colonized them in the first place, and what other ideas of freedom may have emerged alongside such desires? This module will explore such questions through focusing on the concept of freedom in colonial India between the 1880s and the partition of the country into two independent nation-states in 1947. India is an interesting case study to explore both because it was one of the few colonies that managed to successfully transform itself (at least part of itself) into a democratic nation-state, and because the struggle for freedom witnessed the emergence of so many competing conceptions of the meaning and nature of freedom, some of which were accommodated within the Indian nation-state, and some of which—as witnessed in the creation of Pakistan—were not.
This module introduces students to a period of history, typically taken between 1760 and 1850, which has traditionally been interpreted as a decisive moment in the transformation of Britain into the first modern industrial economy. However, the foundations underpinning this claim have in recent years been substantially questioned and revised by a number of historians: low levels of national economic growth, regional diversity, the limited impact of new technology, fewer changes in the organisation of labour, and sustained critiques of the term class, have all shaken the once solid view that a revolution took place. This module sets out to show why the term is still relevant, and how changes in manufacturing and the economy ripped through large sections of the British society, irremediably altering the social and geographical landscape in its wake.
This module explores the relationship between gender, monarchy and political power; looking at biography alongside cultural, religious and political themes. Students will consider how perceptions of gender, both male and female, were related to ideas about government and statecraft, and will make use of recent historiographies on the subjects of femininity, masculinity and the source of political authority.
This module explores the political, imperial and cultural contexts of the American Revolution. It traces the expansion of the British American colonies during the 18th century and considers the changing nature of imperial-colonial relations. Deep cultural shocks at home and revolutionary reverberations abroad, especially in Haiti, accompanied the American war for independence. The module will consider these wider effects alongside the significant ideological legacy left by the founding generations; a legacy that continues to be fought over. It will explore the Enlightenment ideas that animated them and the political institutions they built, as well as what these meant for the lives of ordinary Americans.
This module is about the history of public entertainment in the Roman Empire c. 300-600 CE. There will not be much space for Maximus Decimus Meridius: gladiatorial combat was phased out after its prohibition by the Emperor Constantine in 325 CE. But students will explore the fascinating textual and material evidence for arena games, charioteer racing, the theatre, and civic festivals in late antiquity. They will analyse the social and political functions of these events in a dizzyingly hierarchical society under an autocratic regime. Such games and festivals may have been intended to support the power of emperors, senators and civic grandees, but these crowd scenes all too easily resulted in expressions of political subversion and social unrest, from derisive chants to rioting and violence. Students will explore the experiences of the spectators and professional performers, ranging from charioteers and faction leaders to actors and sex workers.
Finally, they will consider how Christian churchmen sought to discourage attendance at such sinful—even pagan— spectacles, and replace them with (theoretically!) more wholesome Christian holy days—and whether they were successful in stopping all this fun.
This module will be looking at the significance and place of animals in the medieval period, as part of people’s daily lives and their philosophical and religious world. A particular emphasis will be put on understanding the role of animals in medieval belief systems. The aim of this module, by looking at different types of primary sources, texts and images alike, is to assess how animals, both real and imaginary, helped define the nature of human society and rationality.
This module focuses on issues relating to white racism and African-American resistance to white racism in the United States from 1865 through to the present day. The starting point for the module is a sustained critical evaluation of the concept of ‘race’ – examining the modes and processes of racialization, the barriers it forges and the violence it enacts, including: the manufacture of toxic white stereotypes of blackness (including their human impact and cultural legacy), the intersections of ‘race’, disability, gender, class and sexuality, and more recent dynamic and holistic conceptual models of systemic racism and the white racial frame. The persistence of various forms of prejudice and inequality endured by Black people (and other peoples of colour) in the United States is a key theme explored in the module, and the final units examine different forms of this racism – focusing on the environment, health and the criminal justice system – including exciting new research highlighting African-American anti-racist thought and activism. These topics return us to the central theme of the module and the question of how far America has been, and remains, a deeply racist, unequal and segregated society?
In the decades following the Second World War the British Empire was dismantled and new Commonwealth migrants arrived in Britain to live and work. While much has been written about the political history of British decolonization, the cultural and social dimensions of the end of empire have only recently attracted academic attention. This course looks at the immediate impact of decolonization on domestic Britain and assesses the lingering effects of imperialism on British society. How did Britain come to terms with decolonization? Did the British public care about the end of empire? Has empire continued to shape British identity after its collapse?
This module charts the impact warfare had in shaping England over the course of the long eighteenth century. It introduces students to the inter-relationship between politics, finance, culture and the forging of the English identity during this period. The seemingly endless stream of military conflict, especially with France, cost a great deal of money to finance. To generate the necessary revenue required the people to be taxed like they had never been before, fuelling an ideological and political backlash centring upon notions of rights, public credit and liberty.
This course will explore the history and culture of the Gaelic-speaking world and neighbouring territories from the end of Roman Britain to the beginning of the Viking Age—a period of immense social, political and religious change in these islands. Students will be introduced to the most important themes of early medieval Irish history, from
religious conversion to warfare, from the development of art and culture to the spread of beliefs about sin and the afterlife. A special comparative lecture will draw out common threads in the history of Ireland and Aksum (modern-day Ethiopia), two non-Roman territories that became Christian at roughly the same time. Students will also explore the connections between Irish territories and the neighbouring Pictish, British and English kingdoms. This will provide an opportunity to explore how the peoples of this era defined themselves—as Christians, as members of a barbarian people, as heirs of the Romans, or as something new—and to reflect on the later regional and religious identities of Ireland and Britain.
This module introduces the students to the history of the “Mongol explosion” and its long-term consequences in Eurasia, assuming the reign of Chingghis Khan as a major turning point in world history.
This module is chronologically and thematically complementary to HIST298 (Central Asia from Khans to Stans) and to ALGY223 Beyond the Wall: Archaeology of Nomadism, with minimal overlapping.
This is a survey module on Chinese religious history, covering from the Han (B.C 202-220) to the Qing (1644- 1911) Dynasty. Pre-modern period here refer to prior to 1911, the end of Chinese imperial dynasties. This module is not arranged chronologically, but a very basic knowledge about the imperial history is needed. Chinese religion differs from Christianity in a fundamental way. Unlike Christian faith, Chinese religion is polytheistic and even pantheistic rather than monotheistic. This means that sometimes “faith” is of secondary importance to “ritual”. Religion permeated in all aspects of people’s daily life in pre-modern Chinese societies. To use C. K. Yang’s term, Chinese religion is more “diffused” than “institutional”. In other words, Chinese religious life is better described as “doing religion” rather than “believing in religion”. However, religious institutions such as Buddhist sangha (monastery) and Taoist church did exist. But institutional religion is never as powerful as the Church in Medieval Europe, and always subordinate to the state power. Students, thus, should break away from “Christendom model” when studying Chinese religion.
In this course, we will be looking at both “religion” of scriptural traditions such as Buddhism and Taoism, and popular ritual practices without traceable textual tradition. The purpose is to convey the idea that the boundary between the two are not clear-cut at social/popular level. For example, many Buddhist liturgies in fact derive from indigenous rituals from the pre-Buddhist era on the one hand; some shamanic practices blend many Buddho-Taoist elements on the other. We should see “Chinese religion” from the ritualist perspective.
Myths of the “Indiana Jones” type portray archaeologists conquering and exploring exotic landscapes in search of hidden treasures and punching Nazis. They have encouraged the public to dream romantically of archaeological adventures abroad. But it is clear that individuals such as Aurel Stein (1862-1943) and Langdon Warner (1881-1995), reputed to be the models for Steven Spielberg’s “hero”, were not really as heroic as they sound. The idealised images created by such fictional accounts hide the ugly realities of the close connection between archaeology, imperialism, and war. Although popular sentiment in the West has tended to embrace the adventure rather than ponder the legacy of archaeological explorers like Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) or August Pitt Rivers (1827-1900), imperial powers’ allegations of having “saved” world heritage from neglect or destruction was often a pretext to expand political influence and disrupt the legal jurisdiction of target nations and coveted territories. As a result, those whose lives were entangled in some way with ancient monuments or artifacts often fell victim to the imperial war machine, saw their lands confiscated, artefacts looted and remains of ancestors violated, and lost local monuments to overseas purchasers. Archaeologists gained a reputation for being part and parcel of the process of conquest, and locals took to calling some archaeologists, like Victor Segalen (1878-1919), “foreign devils”. They blamed such foreign arrivals for destroying the historical and cultural patrimony of their lands and, in exceptional cases, were able to prevent them by any means possible from studying, destroying, or otherwise appropriating ancient remains for purposes understood to be counter to local interests.
This module is thus suitable to anyone interested in modern imperialism and colonialism, the history of archaeology, and museums studies. We will use these local institutions as a laboratory for our assessments. Besides this formal museological experience, the module has digital and global components.
There is a good case for saying that the sixth and seventh centuries CE were more significant for the development of humankind than any similar period, at least in the western hemisphere and before the invention of nuclear weapons. In the west of Europe and the Mediterranean, the Roman empire finally collapsed even as Christianity was taking decisive hold over hearts, minds and lands; in the east, Roman power endured (rebranded by historians as ‘Byzantium’) even as the followers of the new faith of Islam decimated its territory. Moreover, these epochal changes were accompanied by the collapse of the civilization of antiquity: warfare was endemic, agriculture retarded, famine frequent, and a virulent, bubonic pandemic appeared in the mid-sixth century and recurred continually over the next 200 years. But while the population suffered grievously, these changes also helped embed fundamental changes in their societies – the reconfiguration of the west and the establishment of the Islamic caliphate in the east – with whose consequences we are still living.
Beyond Binaries is module about the cultural and social history of genders and sexualities in a largely modern British context. Focusing on the later-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the module introduces students to a wide range of historiographical and theoretical approaches to gender and sexuality, taking account of trajectories in feminist thought, postcolonial work and queer theory. The module uses a variety of modern British case studies to unpack and challenge the dominance of heteronormative discourses. It also seeks to situate trends in ideas and practices within broader international contexts. Themes covered by the module include constructions of masculinity, intersections of race and gender, feminist activism and transgender experiences.
This is a workshop-based module that specifically equips students with a ‘toolkit’ of practical and theoretical skills for writing a piece of independent historical research but with wider application beyond the academy. Students work in groups to explore different ways of doing research and using theory. They learn to use these tools initially by applying them to topics the students are studying in other modules, thereby reinforcing and deepening their learning on those other modules, too. It then provides opportunities to use these tools in real-life contexts such as statistical analysis, funding and job applications. The module bridges progression from Year 1 towards Year 3, prepares students for Year 3 special subject and research dissertation, and exposes students to workplace-based applications of critical thinking skills.
This module offers an analytical survey of key aspects of American foreign policy from the 1890s to the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961), paying particular attention to the roles of presidents, secretaries of state and other senior advisors. There is a programme of eleven lectures, each lasting one hour, which address American attitudes and policies from the New Manifest Destiny in the 1890s through Woodrow Wilson and the First World War, interwar isolationism and Franklin Roosevelt and the Second World War to Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower and the Cold War. In addition, weekly two-hour seminars explore selected issues in greater detail.
The module provides students with a work-based placement, to take place in a relevant public history institution, such as a museum, archive or library (other institutions may also be relevant). You will normally spend one day per week during one semester working with the chosen institution, which might involve archiving, conservation, building an exhibition, developing a public engagement project, etc. In addition, you will attend fortnightly seminars on career development and academic approaches to public history.
War was a regrettable yet ubiquitous fact of ancient civilisation. This module provides a diachronic and cross-cultural comparative study of warfare as practiced in Bronze Age and Iron Age Europe and the Near East, including Classical Greece and the East Mediterranean. The study addresses six cross-cultural themes: Technology and Sources, Tactics, Society, Infrastructure, Death and Commemoration, and Religion and Ethics. These themes are then applied to the examination of three case study cultures (Archaic and Classical Greece, Iron Age Europe and the Bronze Age Near East).
ALGY253 aims to introduce students to Coptic, the last phase of the Ancient Egyptian language and the only one to be recorded in an alphabetic script showing vowels. This module is designed to promote the acquisition of key skills for the understanding of the Coptic language, texts and culture. Students will also develop an awareness of the continuity of the Egyptian language, from hieroglyphs into Coptic. In terms of text read, a central cultural topic is the study of early monasticism in Coptic Egypt.
How did the world begin? Who controls our universe – one god or many? What is the purpose of our being here in the world? Are the gods good? Are humans good? Why does evil exist? What happens after we die?
This module explores the fundamental ideas found in Egyptian religious belief, and studies their impact on Egyptian social structure. With an eye to broader anthropological theory, this module provides an in-depth look at textual, archaeological, and artefactual evidence to build up a rich portrait of the Egyptian intellectual universe – and sketches out their answers to the questions quoted above.
We cover gods, mythology, temples, rituals and priesthood, private expressions of religion, magic, concepts of death the soul and the afterlife, Egyptian religion and the influence of Greece and Rome, and the religion of the Amarna Period.
Teaching is lecture based, with tutorials covering specific questions.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MODULE ASSUMES STUDENTS HAVE ALREADY STUDIED AT LEAST ONE EGYPTOLOGY MODULE IN YEAR 1 (either ALGY 109 or ALGY 116).
With a focus on the archaeology of the Eurasian steppe, this module explores the emergence and transformation of steppe societies from their origins in complex huntergatherer communities to the formation of the first nomadic empires. It represents a rare opportunity to encounter the extraordinary archaeological record of Siberia and Central Asia and to focus upon societies whose contribution to global culture has been routinely dismissed in both
Eurocentric and Sinocentric stories of ‘civilization’.
Taught as a combination of lectures and seminars, the course will introduce to key concepts and general trajectories, whilst encouraging you to focus on the literature and to discuss both broad theoretical ideas and specific archaeological evidence from settlements and tombs. Throughout the course, we will investigate critically the changing relationships between steppe societies and
their neighbours, and the transformative role played by pastoralist peoples in conflicts, communication and transcontinental exchange, long before the rise of the Silk Roads.
The module is specifically designed as a broad entry point for students whose primary interests lie in the prehistoric archaeology and ancient history of Europe, Western Asia or China and it will also provide valuable baseline for those going on to study later periods of Eurasian history.
The Trojan War is one of the ‘great stories’ of Western culture. The Iliad most famously replays a crucial episode: the anger of Achilles following insult from the Achaean (Greek) leader Agamemnon and its deadly consequences. But alongside other contemporary epic poems, events from the ten-year struggle between the Achaeans and Trojans have been rewritten, restaged, and represented in literature and art across antiquity and down the centuries into modern times. This module examines some of these various attempts to ‘rebuild Troy’, tracing the myth through a range of source material, including epic poetry, Greek sculpture and painted pottery, Athenian tragedy, Hellenistic inscriptions, Roman poetry, nineteenth-century European art and film. By putting each ‘reception’ of the myth into its social, political and historical contexts, the module traces the fluidity and malleability of Troy in the cultural imagination, and asks what Trojan stories reveal about the societies that tell them, ancient and modern.
This module examines politics in the ancient world via narratives about the past (or ‘history’), and at the same time evaluates the role of history in politics. Moving from the Near East to Greece and then Rome, students learn about key political events (for example the battle of Marathon and the Jewish revolt), political phenomena (for example Persian kingship, Athenian imperialism, and Roman expansion), and influential persons (for example Pericles, Augustus and Boudica). In the process they become familiar with the different ways of telling history in antiquity: not only through written history (‘historiography’) but also poetic and theatrical performances, philosophical writings, biographical studies, public buildings and monuments and public ceremonies, such as the Roman funeral. While grappling with these different types of history, students develop understanding of the structures, strategies, debates and anxieties that characterized politics in the ancient world. And they recognize that in the ancient world, as today, to represent the past was to participate in politics.
This module is about politics, about policies, political institutions, and the political culture of Rome in the Late Republic. It does not only trace the deterioration of political consensus amongst the senate aristocracy and the rise of powerful individuals like Marius, Sulla, Pompey, or Caesar
put also aims to explore the wider cultural context within which politics unfolds.
Situated between the end of World War One and the Nazi takeover of power, the Weimar Republic witnessed a ‘crisis of classical modernity’; the period retains a reputation for modernity and decadence. Against a background of political and economic experimentation and uncertainty, it saw a growth in advertising, shopping, urban life and transport, fashion and film. Taught in a mixture of lectures and seminars, this module focuses on cultural representations of the period, through the study of two films: Berlin: Sinfonie der Großstadt (Berlin: Symphony of the Metropolis, 1927) and Marlene Dietrich’s first major feature, Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel, 1931); and two literary texts: Erich Kästner, Emil und die Detektive (Emil and the Detectives, 1928), and Irmgard Keun, Das kunstseidene Mädchen (The Artificial Silk Girl, 1932). Through close reading and thematic analysis, we will consider how they depict and define the modern metropolis; changing ideas about class and gender; and new forms of working life, entertainment and leisure.
The module offers students an in-depth examination of key themes in the cultural, social and political history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1949-1990, as well questions of memory after 1990. It explores key milestones in the history and politics of the GDR (e.g. the uprisings of 17 June 1953, the building of the Berlin Wall and the demonstrations of 1989), as well as central themes within society and culture, such as gender, youth and cultural policy. Each theme will be examined through a range of texts, films and other primary and secondary resources, in order to develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the meaning and significance of life and culture in the GDR and its relevance for contemporary eastern Germany.
This module explores the most significant periods and some of the major genres / films of Italian cinema from its origin to the present.
Learn how to read an image, images from advertising (commercial and public service), company logotypes, Asterix and satirical political cartoons (Charlie Hebdo)
The Basque language is the axis of a long-standing culture that came to feel at risk around the late 19th century. The Basque nation has since embarked on a fight for survival that has largely contributed to transform the Basque Country into an open, modern, and dynamic society. But contemporary Basque society is characterised by its conflicting identities, Basque and Spanish being the most noted of them. This module will analyse the most relevant areas of that conflict from a cultural, historical, and anthropological perspective. It will also offer a taste of contemporary Basque arts and the identity play between the local and the global in which they are inscribed. This is not a theoretical module. It is practical through and through. But by means of studying contemporary Basque society and culture students are invited to reflect about the concept of identity, both its importance to all of us and its striking fragility, and the way all that is linked to their own experience of nationality.
This module examines how fascists challenged governments and regimes across Europe during the interwar period. Focusing on movements rather than regimes allows us to approach fascism from the perspective of people who dedicated themselves to it, often with little hope of success. We will ask why it was precisely in interwar Europe that fascism was most popular, and examine the lives and beliefs of fascist activists within their historical contexts.
The legislative and management structures related to heritage, and the purpose, scale and effectiveness of these varies greatly across the globe, and is constantly being changed in response to economic, social, cultural and legislative forces. This module examines current agendas, policies and practices in a historical perspective, and then concentrates on a critical review of current practice. Aspects of the varied UK systems are considered within a comparative international context, considering the management issues associated with sites, monuments and buildings, and objects, museums and archives. Heritage managers mediate between remnants of the past and political, cultural and economic structures in the present. Whilst the module contains much that relates to practice within current legislative, cultural and economic systems, it also reflects on the ethical and socio-political dilemmas often facing heritage management.
This module surveys the history of Liverpool. It builds a detailed awareness of the city’s past while raising important questions about the study and interpretation of urban history more generally. Liverpool’s history demonstrates extremes of wealth and poverty, spectacular built environments, and an unusual diversity of ethnicity, race and religion for a British city prior to the mid-twentieth century. It is also a city well known for heritage and popular culture, and the module explores how historians approach issues of public memory and nostalgia.
This module looks at specific themes in Roman archaeology in their British context. The study of the monuments of Roman Britain is arguably the oldest facet of archaeological research in Britain. With a history than spans over 500 years, Britain as a Roman province possesses an unrivalled data base of archaeological research and its interpretation. In addition to this, recent work on the province has placed it in the vanguard of the on-going debate of the use of archaeological theory to practical applications.
ALGY244 is designed to explore themes of how the ancient Egyptians viewed the world around them. In particular, it will look at the ways in which the Egyptians saw the presence and operation of the divine within the natural environment, and how they built structures (especially temples and tombs) which allowed contact between the living and other
spiritual entities (the gods, the dead). The module will especially emphasise the ways in which the Egyptians integrated notions of ‘sacred landscape’ into their everyday lives.
This module explores the funerary environment of private tombs in Pharaonic Egypt through the comparative study of the three main groups of evidence: Architecture / archaeological material, iconography and texts.
This module covers current debates in British Archaeology for the later prehistoric period – Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age periods, to the advent of Rome. Is what we know about British society in the millennia before Rome correct; how can new work in Archaeology challenge traditional perceptions of the deep past? The course specifically aims at advancing your critical thinking skills in preparation for year three.
This module introduces students to Herodotus’ Histories, the first piece of historiographical prose to survive from Greek antiquity, and to some of the other evidence (especially Persian and Egyptian) that is needed for a proper contextualisation of Herodotus’ historical and literary enterprise. It examines a series of key themes in the study of Herodotus: for example, his representation of foreign peoples, or of Persian or Athenian imperialism, the role of religion in the Histories, and the causes of the Persian wars.
‘Empire’ is not a word that often follows ‘Athenian democracy’. We usually associate democratic origins with equality and fifth century BC Athens with exceptional cultural creativity. So how did ‘empire’ come to be associated with democracy? This module explores the relationship between the evolution of democratic structures and the extraordinary rise of drama, monuments, and art on the one hand; and the emergence of a territorial ‘empire’ across the Aegean Sea on the other. There are lessons, too, for our own understanding of how culture is connected to
politics and resources.
This module considers the institutions of government in the Roman Empire, the differing social groups within the empire, and the financial, agricultural and economic life of the Roman world.
The establishment of the UfA studios near Berlin in 1917 turned the German film industry, for at least a decade, into the major European film industry and into Hollywood’s main competitor in the world. Even through periods of crisis and turmoil, the German industry has remained an important site of creativity and German films have continued to garner international acclaim. This module provides an introduction to key movements in German national cinema, from Expressionist film, with its characteristic ghosts and shadows, through the ‘new wave’ of the New German Cinema to the present. From Lang to Fassbinder, Herzog and Wenders, it also offers an opportunity to study key films by some of the most influential directors to have emerged from the German speaking world. From Weimar film to Fassbinder’s appropriation of the melodrama of Douglas Sirk and Wenders’ turn to the ‘road movie’, the rivalry and dialogue with Hollywood also provides an important thematic strand that runs through the module.
The module develops a decolonial approach to the history of Italy, Africa and the Mediterranean, focusing on trajectories of colonialism and migration to and from Italy, from the age of the empires to the present. Adopting a decolonial perspective on the history of the Italian empire, its languages and cultures, the module examines some of the cultural and geopolitical tensions that shape ideas of heritage, citizenship and belonging between Italy and Africa. Exploring the making of individual and collective memories through a variety of media and languages, the module develops a language-sensitive approach to the study of history, memory and culture in the 21 st century.
This module offers an introduction to economic and social development in Latin America over the past fifty years and more recently the effects of globalisation in Latin America. We discuss key themes in the study of globalisation and development, including the nature of globalisation and the state, and the concept of development. After the introductory sessions, different weeks will look at changes in development policies in Latin America, from the post-war period to the most recent introduction of neoliberal reforms and the turn to left-wing politics. Subsequently, we will discuss key actors in the Latin American development process (the state, civil society, social movements, and international institutions). The module finishes with an overview of the international context of Latin American development, including US-Latin American relations.
This module introduces you to aspects of life in Britain and Europe between about 1740 and 1815. This period is often seen as the beginning of the modern world, when the ideas about human nature and society that still shape our own lives came into circulation and when the global entanglements generated by trade and colonisation began to have a lasting impact on everyday life in Europe. The module is taught by tutors from French, German and English Studies, and History, as well as staff from the National Museums Liverpool. It gives you an insight into the range of materials and methods that are used in research in eighteenth-century studies. Interactive lectures, seminars and fieldwork encourage a hands-on approach to learning. You start by inventing an 18th-century character and you follow that character through various experiences typical of the period: shopping, reading, travelling, thinking about political issues of the day. Images, artefacts and contemporary texts in English and other languages are made available to support your research. The aim is for you to develop your capacity for asking questions (curiosity) as well as for answering them (research skills).
This module considers display and public interpretation in museums and galleries on the one hand and publicly accessible sites and monuments on the other. This module examines current UK interpretation theories, policies and practices in an international comparative perspective. Heritage interpretation and display brings understanding of the past to peoples in the present, though what aspects of the past to reveal and emphasise can be highly political and controversial. The module concentrates on current practice, but it also reflects on the selectivity of heritage interpretation decisions, and the ways interpretation can exclude as well as include various sectors of society.
In year three, the emphasis is increasingly on independent study and the refinement of advanced research skills: namely, a three-hour weekly special subject module (centred on analysing primary sources) and preparing for the dissertation.
The History Dissertation serves as the capstone student research project for History Single and Major students and for History Joint students who choose to study a History dissertation.
In this module, we will examine the contemporary uses of history. We will reflect on how, as a society, we consume history. You will use your own historical research (for your dissertation, research essay or another piece of historical research that you have undertaken at university) as a case study to explore some of these issues. Industry
practitioners will help you to reflect on how to present your training as an historian in non-academic contexts. You will consider how to communicate your work to a non-academic audience – in both written and visual forms – and reflect on the potential interest of your research to a wider public (through the heritage, museums and entertainment industries) and/or to policy-makers.
In HIST360, students will undertake a supervised individual research project (on a topic of their own choosing) based on on-line sources. Our focus will be on gender, race and youth in twentieth-century Britain, and sources to be utilised include digital newspapers; electronic collections of archives (including the Mass-Observation Archive); and on-line collections of twentieth-century photographs and cartoons. Previous topics researched by students taking HIST360 have included: representations of inter-racial relationships in the national press; analysis of women’s fashion adverts in the 1950s and 60s; the role and representation of the British Union of Fascists in 1930s Britain; and the misrepresentation of the Mods in the 1960s.
This module explores crime, disease, deprivation and disasters in 19th and 20th century cities, and the reforms that tackled these crises. It examines the ‘under-class’ that featured in sensational exposés, as well as the new techniques, such as slum photography, that shaped public understanding of the city as a dangerous place that should be and could be reformed. Using case studies in Britain and the United States, the module covers a range of important themes, including ethnic and racial conflict; men and women as both victims and active reformers; the role of artists, journalists and social surveyors; and academic investigation as a tool of social reform. The module also introduces key debates about the relationships between protection, policing and governance in modern societies, the role of different forms of representation in political and social activism, and the role of activism in shaping modern urban life.
The relationship between British society and nuclear technologies has a complicated history. This module will outline the history of that relationship, and then move to a focus on the nuclear 1980s in order to map the different ways in which we might conceptualise how British everyday life was impacted upon by the nuclear arms race, the nuclear power industry and varieties of nuclear politics. This will involve an interdisciplinary research-led approach to the study of nuclear Britain.
In the twentieth century, extreme socio-political injustice and upheaval turned the region of Latin America into a microcosm of global political conflict. Those who survived had to deal with the consequences of death on such a massive scale, and transitions to democracy have been accompanied by the difficulties of confronting the past, remembering the dead, and struggling for justice. Should nascent democracies forget past atrocities in order to prevent renewed polarisation and allow for a future based on consensus? Yet how can a government be legitimate if it fails to provide justice for its citizens and protects the guilty? How can countries establish a firm ‘rule of law’ or function without one? Using government reports, revolutionary treatises, contemporary journalism, human rights reports, eye-witness accounts and film, alongside relevant secondary sources, the unit will investigate the traumatic socio-political processes, revolutionary conflicts and repressions of twentieth-century Latin America and will seek to understand their causes and determine their on-going legacy.
This module analyses the development, inner life, and socio-economic consequences of the Soviet system of repression, imprisonment, and forced labour under Stalin. “GULag” literally means “Head Administration of the Camps”, but besides the camps there existed also prisons, “special settlements”, and other forms of internal confinement. Not only political prisoners, but also criminals, suspect foreigners, and later POWs were to be found there. Members of entire ethnic groups were deported because of their alleged role as a “fifth column” against the USSR. One out of eight Soviet citizens in Stalin’s time would have been subject to one form of repression or another. The GULag is often viewed as the quintessential expression of Stalinist Terror. Yet, there was more to it than this: because of its dimensions and because of its implication in major building and industrial works, the GULag (and, later, its demise) shaped the Soviet economy and even environment. It developed its own specific sociability, political life, artistic expressions, and even a parallel legality. To what extent these reflected what was happening in the Soviet Union at large is one of the questions we will discuss.
How did the mid-twentieth century crisis in Europe transform the relationship between politics, culture and the individual? This module addresses that question through sources such as diaries, memoirs, films and fiction to explore how Europeans experienced fascism and antifascism, dictatorship, war, occupation and liberation, leading to new forms of individuality and selfhood between 1930 and 1950. We will ask how cultural forms, such as the theatrical and artistic avant-garde, as well as the everyday experiences of economic depression, political extremism and mass violence influenced the making of the self in the context of the ideological clash between Right and Left during Europe’s age of catastrophe.
The module will familiarise students with the impact of the Second World War on British society. It introduces students to the social and cultural history of Britain between 1939 and 1945, and it allows them to analyse how British society negotiated the strains of ‘total’ war during these years. Students on this module will critically analyse the notion of the ‘people’s war’ and consider the question of whether or not the war acted as a leveller in terms of people’s experiences, fortunes and lifestyles. The module will also give students a sound basis for thinking about broader questions about the relationship between war and social change.
Race, as a concept, is generally understood as a product of modernity. But many aspects of our ideas of race and ethnicity (from the Greek ethnos, ‘people’) have a long—indeed, an ancient—history. The forms of prejudice which have done such damage in ‘western’ modernity, and now motivate the resurgence of far-right and neo-Nazi groups, can be traced back to classical Greek and Roman notions of who was (or was not) civilised. Paradoxically, contemporary ethnonationalists often claim descent from the (so-called) ‘barbarian’ groups who helped bring about the end of the Western Roman Empire, and formed new kingdoms which—if you squint hard enough—look a bit like modern European nation states.
This module explores how late ancient people thought about ethnic groups, and traces the impact these concepts and identities had on the lives of those who inhabited late and post-Roman societies. It follows these ideas in action in the Western Mediterranean over the late fourth to the sixth century CE: that is, the period of the ‘Fall of Rome’. Students will examine a series of case studies which illuminate how late Roman people understood ethnic belonging, the ways in which these were reshaped by the creation of new, post-imperial polities, and the manner in which they intersected with other forms of identity and community (e.g. gender, religion and social status). Together we will place ancient and modern notions of identity, ethnicity, and race in dialogue. In so doing, we will seek to attain a better understanding of both, and debate whether we should revisit the idea that ancient and medieval people did not think in racial terms.
The history of human experimentation is as old as the practice of medicine and has always targeted disadvantaged, marginalised, institutionalised, stigmatised and vulnerable populations – prisoners, the condemned, orphans, the mentally ill, students, the poor, women, the disabled, children, peoples of colour, indigenous peoples and the enslaved. Since the end of World War II, the scale and the scope of human subject research has massively expanded, particularly in the United States, largely because of developments in professional medicine. This module explores what happens when professional medicine exceeds its limits.
This module addresses the relationships between Muslims and Christians between the eleventh century, prior to the launch of the First Crusade, up to the thirteenth century and the end of the Fifth Crusade. While the West had been in direct contact with Muslim power for centuries, in particular in Spain, which was under Muslim domination, we will be exploring whether the crusades impacted and significantly shaped the way(s) in which Christians lived with Muslims, and more particularly, whether it modified their perception of Islam.
This module involves detailed scrutiny of US foreign policy from the eve of the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 to the end of hostilities with Japan in 1945.
The theme of this module focuses primarily upon British industrialisation between 1640 and 1842. Understanding this process is one of the most controversial and hotly contested topics in history. What were the origins of the British Industrial Revolution? Was it simply driven by a distinct set of national characteristics – most notably Protestantism, the embracing of Newtonian science, and an entrepreneurial spirit, as some cultural and economic historians argue? Conversely is the explanation more mundane. Were there a unique set of institutional features vital to British industrialisation – most notably the work of State bodies and a national policy of economic regulation? What role did foreign trade and the colonies play? Was it crucial or simply of secondary importance? This module demonstrates the complexity and contingency of British industrialisation by situating it fully in the global world. Finally, did the withdrawal of State regulation and the emergence of free trade during the nineteenth century have a more negative than positive impact upon British industrialisation?
The module requires students to reflect upon the significance of Victorian laws and ethics debates for socio-legal developments in twentieth-century legislation. Students will debate the relationship between the law and social change and they will critically analyse the role of the law in shaping ideas about sexual morality. The periodisation of the module requires students to address developments in laws relating to matters of sexuality and gender since the implementation of the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act. Topics considered on the module will include, for example, the criminalisation of male homosexuality, challenges to the laws concerning prostitution, abortion law reform and obscenity legislation.
Seaport cities are among the oldest and most dynamic elements in the world’s urban systems. They have been places of transit and mobility for millennia, offering a great laboratory for historians to study the development of complex multicultural societies. They challenge mainstream ideas about urban history that are mostly derived from industrial cities, and offer new ways of understanding past, present and future urbanism.
In the nineteenth century, changes wrought by the industrial revolution and mass migration stimulated yearning in Western Europe and the United States for a simpler and idyllic past. This module will explore the appeal of the imagined Middle Ages in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe and the United States, and its impact on intellectual, architectural, and artistic developments on two continents. Some of the topics to be covered include the work of German folkorists like the Grimm Brothers; American interest in Anglo-Saxon law, the alleged Viking settlement of North America, and the chivalric code; fiction by authors like Sir Walter Scott, J. R. Tolkien, and Mark Twain; and the rise of the arts-and-crafts movement in England and Scotland. During the term, we will also examine some of the underlying tendencies implicit in the romanticization of the medieval past and explore their modern implications.
Violence is a phenomenon that historians have long had a hard time grappling with, since historical works on subjects such as wars, colonialism, violent crime, terrorism, or even genocide are generally oddly silent on the nature of violence itself, its origins, and its impact on human minds, bodies and societies. This module will challenge such absences through interrogating violence as an historical force and considering its causes, rationales, forms, impacts, and consequences in a variety of western and non-western contexts (including Britain, the United States, and India) from the nineteenth century onwards. Taking a thematic approach, the module will focus on subjects such as the ways in which law serves to rationalise violence, different forms of violence (such as war, conquest and colonisation, genocide and massacre, torture, gendered violence, and structural violence), and the impact of violence on individuals, groups, and societies.
The mass killing of people is a depressingly familiar feature of human existence, from the Thalheim Death Pit (5000BC) to the Royhinga genocide in contemporary Myanmar. Mass killings are nonetheless exceptional and emerge from specific contexts and human decisions. This module explores and compares the contexts, causes and dynamics of massacre, genocide and extermination from ancient history to the present day. Looking at case studies from across the world, students on the module will be able to apply different approaches and methodologies relevant to the study of the history of violence and pursue a range of lines of investigation such as the role of religion, race or gender or the formation of discourses of justification and critique of mass killing.
In this module, we are going to investigate the Chinese Rites Controversy – debates among different Catholic Orders around whether the indigenous Chinese religious practices such as ancestor worship were compatible with Catholicism. The Jesuits argued that they were compatible whereas the Dominican and Franciscans were against it. The debates, lasting for decades, went all the way to the Pope. The Pope eventually sided with the Dominican and Franciscans, which led to the expulsion of all missionaries from China in 1721. This event is a good case study of different “voices” (discourses) and perceptions. We are going to study various types of primary sources: Chinese emperor’s edicts, officials’ memories, Jesuits reports, Dominican and Franciscan reports, and papal edicts.
This module provides an overview of Viking activity in Ireland from the first raids in 795 until the beheading of the last Viking king of Dublin by the English in 1171. It is coursework based with a strong emphasis on primary sources from a range of different disciplines including history, literature, and archaeology. In this course we will explore key problems in the interpretation of the Viking world, explore life in the Viking Age and challenge students to broaden
their chronological and conceptual assumptions concerning this fascinating and underexplored area of medieval European history.
Greek culture was spread to the furthest limits of the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions by a series of so-called ‘colonies’, including such important modern cities as Marseilles and Istanbul. The motivations and methods behind this huge archaeological phenomenon remain unclear, but in the hands of the scholars writing in an age of neo-classical revivalism, the analogy to their own British Empire was clear and self-evident. This module combines History, Ancient History and Archaeology in its examination this crucial moment in world history and its subsequent use and abuse by imperialist scholars. No prior knowledge is required and the module includes a team presentation that aims to develop transferrable employment skills.
This module examines Egypt and the Near East during the Late Bronze Age as part of the world’s earliest well-documented international system. Students are introduced to the key events and political actors of this period, as well as the critical analysis of relevant primary sources. Key issues in International Relations theory are introduced through their application to the Late Bronze Age.
The module examines the socio-economic behaviour of the Egyptians, primarily through the evidence of texts (literary and documentary). Social organisation is examined, at the personal family level and in the political context, and related to economic behaviour and economic organisation. The integration between social custom and law provides a focus for developing an independent appreciation of the social realities of an ancient society.
This module will introduce students to the broader context of professional practice in the fields of heritage and archaeology in our contemporary society. Specifically, this module seeks to enhance students’ skills in identifying points of contention or interest between different sections of the community in relation to a series of key themes. The module will also enable students to think clearly through the potential ramifications of following particular courses of action related to the management of heritage assets – including archaeological remains, standing buildings and monuments, and landscapes both human and natural.These themes include the ownership of heritage assets, access to heritage assets, the presentation of heritage assets, issues of sustainability and the development of assets and, lastly, claims to authority over such assets by archaeological and heritage professionals.Teaching methods and assessment will concentrate on helping students to identifying potential conflicts of interest in the study and management of heritage, exploring the political and ethical nature of these conflicts of interest and presenting a specific case for action or resolution. The module will require students to become familiar with the detail of a series of current case studies.
This module aims to provide an understanding of the history, politics, and culture of Augustan Rome and its empire, through rigorous study of literary, documentary, and archaeological evidence and modern bibliography.
This module aims to examine the age of the Emperor Justinian, a fascinating period which is particularly well attested through a number of different sources. It will shed light on features such as the life of a Late Classical court, diplomatic relations between great powers, religious conflict and change, and trace the processes that changed the ancient world of late antiquity in the 6th century AD, which is a period of transition and change, in which the beginning of the Medieval Mediterranean took shape.
With films such as Nigendwo in Afrika (Nowhere in Africa, 2001), Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) and Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others, 2005), German film has once more been greeted with international acclaim. However, in contrast to the ‘art house’ film-making of the New German Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s, today’s ‘post-Wall’ German cinema is resolutely commercial, employing genres and forms familiar to international audiences. This module offers an examination of key developments in German film since the 1990s. It traces the rise and international success of a German variant of the ‘heritage’ film in which the trauma of German history in the twentieth century – through the Third Reich, German division and the urban terrorism of the 1970s – is reimagined and mined as the source cinematic narratives. The module also explores a return to an ‘art-house’ film-making preoccupied with questions of realism and representation in the work of Andreas Dresen and the so-called Berlin School of film makers. All films are available with subtitles and the module is suitable both for students of German and students without German who are interested in film and its relation to society.
This module explores the archiving, appropriation and distribution of non-mainstream moving and still images in and about the Americas, with a particular focus on Latin America. It examines a range of interactive processes with online content creation from social, institutional and personal perspectives and considers issues of archival policy, the ethics of re-appropriation and the connection between the amateur and professional and the public and private spheres.
This module will introduce students to debates about democracy in Latin American during and after the Cold War, including the breakdown of democratic regimes and democratisation. By examining the changing relationship between the state, civil society and citizens since the mid-twentieth century, we cover various aspects of the democratisation process in the region, including theoretical explanations. In the first half of the module, we examine the influence of the Cold War on Latin American politics, including the Cuban Revolution, US-Latin American relations, and the emergence of military regime. This is followed by an examination of the ‘transitions to democracy’, including topics such as transitional justice, human rights, and the memory and legacy of dictatorship. We finish by studying some of the challenges confronting Latin America societies today and the prospects for democracy.
From haute couture to prêt-a-porter, from textile production to designer training, France has historically been at the forefront of fashion and of clothing technology. This cultural investment in both dress and the visual arts provides the underpinning to this module. Unique in UK French Studies curricula, it brings together the academic study of dress history with literary and visual studies, and provides an introduction to the growing discipline of material culture studies. Taught in a mixture of lectures and seminars, the module looks at a range of cultural productions – medieval manuscript illustration, theatre designs, fashion-plates, lifestyle journalism, bande dessinée – and allows students to consider how dress functions as a tool for self- and group definition, and as a means of shaping and interpreting social and personal identity. Across the centuries, in France as elsewhere, what we wear sends out important messages about who we are and how we want others to see us. Getting dressed in the morning will never seem quite so innocent again.
This module examines different periods of Asian cinema from the early 20th century to the latest trends in Asian blockbusters. The course looks at directors, genres and trends as well as different stages of innovation in filmmaking in Asia. We will pay close attention to how the production and consumption of filmic texts in Asia has developed across differing time periods. We will look at a variety of genres, ranging from Chinese martial arts films to popular Japanese anime and the Korean new wave. By conducting close readings of these films from East Asia in conjunction with English-language scholarly articles, students will gain competency in methodological approaches for the study of Asian cinema as well as an understanding of topics such as auteurism, gender and sexuality, nationalism, transnationalism postcolonialism and censorship.
Northern Ireland is justifiably considered ‘a place apart’ in UK politics. The region experienced thirty years of bitter sectarian conflict and, to this day, remains a divided society. Its devolution settlement was created by an international treaty, its party system is unlike any other in the UK, and its model of government is unusual even by international standards. This module introduces students to the principal debates associated with the conflict, politics, and governance of Northern Ireland. It examines the main actors in the ‘Troubles’, the different interpretations of this conflict, how and to what extent the conflict has been resolved, the institutional design and day-to-day operation of the region’s power-sharing system of government, and contemporary politics and society in Northern Ireland.
In year one you will take history matters and presenting the past; either power, belief and identity: medieval and early modern worlds, C. 500-1600 CE or politics, economy and society in modern Europe and either the global history of the present or modern Britain: democracy, war and modernity. In year two, you will take four modules from the same list of options available to Single Honours students. In year three you take a research-focused module in semester one and write a dissertation in semester two.
You will experience a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, with no modules being taught entirely through lectures. Most teaching takes place in small groups where you’ll share and explore ideas with your tutors and peers. There is also the opportunity for historical field work in museums and galleries. You’ll also attend workshops and lectures and self-direct study through the course reading list and conducting research for your essays and projects. Academic staff are available on a weekly basis for one-to-one feedback and support through designated office hours. Course material is available 24-hours a day on Canvas, our online learning platform, and study support is available from our dedicated student services team.
Your second and third years benefit directly from research connected teaching, as your learning progresses from the core practice of studying History learnt in year one to a focus on more specific historical periods, places or concepts that will form the basis of your year three special subject and dissertation.
Students on this course are assessed through a combination of exams and coursework. Coursework can includes essays, group projects, individual or group presentations, writing opinion pieces, creating blogs or vlogs, or designing an exhibition. During your final year, you’ll also submit your dissertation and sit final exams.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
The Department of History is based in the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, an ornate Georgian property located on historic Abercromby Square. Students have access to extensive library facilities, special collections and Liverpool’s renowned museums, libraries and galleries, including the University of Liverpool’s own Special Collections and Archives.
Want to find out more about student life?
Chat with our student ambassadors and ask any questions you have.
A History degree from the University of Liverpool offers you the chance to develop skills such as teamwork, informed judgement, cultural awareness and leadership – skills which have been identified by the Association of Graduate Recruiters as those increasingly in demand with graduate employers.
Our graduates progress to a range of careers including banking, law, financial consultancy, national and local government, third sector work, journalism, publishing, teaching or work in heritage and culture organisations.
Recent employers include:
At Liverpool, our goal is to support you to build your intellectual, social, and cultural capital so that you graduate as a socially-conscious global citizen who is prepared for future success. We achieve this by:
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and student finance.
|Full-time place, per year||£9,250|
|Year in industry fee||£1,850|
|Year abroad fee||£1,385|
|Full-time place, per year||£20,000|
We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.
Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is AAB with A in the EPQ.
You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.
|GCSE||4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics|
|BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma||
Applications considered. BTEC applications are encouraged. We evaluate each BTEC application on its merits.
33 points with no score less than 4
|Irish Leaving Certificate||H1,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3|
|Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher||
ABB in Advanced Highers, combinations of Advanced Highers and Scottish Highers are welcome
|Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced||Accepted at grade A including BB at A level|
|Access||Accepted in a relevant subject, with 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit|
Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.
Have a question about this course or studying with us? Our dedicated enquiries team can help.
Live chat is available Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm.