BA Hons History & Social Policy

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: V1L4
  • Start date: Sep 2020
  • Study abroad: exchange partnerships with overseas universities

  • Applicant visit day: March each year

Study with us

  • we're ranked 3rd in the UK for Social Policy (Complete University Guide League Tables 2020)
  • learn about the context in which we live today through some of the most important and interesting periods in UK and world history
  • benefit from excellent teaching in a range of professionally relevant areas, such as problem-solving, communication, research methods and interpretation that enhance your employability
  • access to internships and placements
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Why this course?

Studying history – the story of humanity through the ages – develops your knowledge of the past and gives you a better understanding of the present.

Throughout your studies, you'll receive excellent training in areas such as problem-solving, communication, research methods and interpretation.

Our classes cover some of the most important and interesting historical periods at home and abroad, including Scotland’s ‘Highland Problem’ in the 16th century, Slavery in World History and Cold War Europe, 1945-1991.

Social Policy examines the ways in which societies distribute resources and develop services to meet individual and social needs. Key social policy issues examined include poverty; economic, race, age and gender inequality; social justice health; education; criminal justice and housing.

It utilises a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to improve our understanding of how societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs and how they measure progress in these areas. 

This programme gives you the opportunity to learn more about the social and economic challenges facing Scottish society and place these in a broader international perspective. It draws on disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, law, psychology, social anthropology and politics.

Old books spine facing toward camera

What you’ll study

History

Year 1

You’ll look at the origins and shaping of our modern world by introducing themes including industrialisation, empire, political reform, war and social change.

Year 2

You’ll choose from a range of national history classes, most of which cover a period of a century or more.

Year 3

If you intend to study at Honours level you must take the class in Historiography and Research Methods. You also choose further classes from a list that includes: Theory & Practice of Oral History, Slavery in World History and Scotland & the Americas in the 17th century and many more.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll write an Honours dissertation on a topic of your choice and choose from a range of classes. Student numbers for optional classes may be limited in Years 3 and 4.

Dissertation

All single Honours History students and many joint Honours students complete a 10,000-word dissertation, in which they demonstrate their research skills on a topic of their own choosing. The dissertation draws on scholarly literature and as much primary source material (documents, for example) as students can acquire. Honours students often say that this is the most satisfying part of their History degree.

Facilities

Our location in the Lord Hope building provides a social hub and access to student services such as the library, cafés, meeting areas and exhibition spaces.

The Andersonian Library, directly opposite in the Curran Building, has around a million print volumes as well as access to one million electronic books and over 105,000 e-journals. The library covers all subjects taught at Strathclyde and offers over 550 networked computers with access to the internet, email, a wide range of software and databases and extensive Wi-Fi zones for laptops/tablets.

Social policy

Year 1

Our Semester 1 module provides a wide-ranging introduction to some of the key challenges facing Scottish society in areas such as health, housing, education and social security.  The Semester 2 module asks how different issues come to be recognised and defined as ‘social problems’.  At what point do individual or personal issues come to be defined as social issues, and why?

Year 2

You'll have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the development of Scottish social policy. You will also discover more about some of the key concepts in Social Policy, including such issues as human needs, social welfare, inequality, poverty, citizenship, and social exclusion. You'll also get the chance to discuss the processes through which policies are made and engage in debates about their effectiveness.

Year 3

You'll be expected to undertake a more detailed examination of the development of Scottish social policy in a UK context, alongside in-depth studies of the particular social policy areas or themes that interest you.  You will also take a class in research methodology which will help you to prepare for your final year dissertation.

Year 4

You'll take a core module in Comparative Social Policy, alongside the more detailed study of a particular area or theme. Your classes will be based around the specialist research interests of the academic staff and you will be engaging in debates at the cutting edge of current Social Policy thinking. The 10,000-word Honours dissertation will be your chance to undertake some original research of your own in a key area of Social Policy.

Major projects

All honours students will have the opportunity to complete a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake independent research into an issue which is particularly important to you.

It might be based on a detailed analysis of original sources, such as policy documents or statistical records, or you might choose to generate your own data, using interviews or focus groups.  The opportunity to undertake original research into a topic of particular interest means that the dissertation is often the most satisfying part of any student’s degree.

Postgraduate study

Complete University Guide 2020 logo – no 3 for Social Policy

We're ranked 3rd in the UK for Social Policy

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Course content

History

History 1A

This class focuses on the history of the British Isles from 1700 to 1914. It was a period of phenomenal change in terms of who ruled the country, the main economic activities, emerging cultural expression and attitudes and the growth of British power overseas on an unprecedented scale.

In the class we'll use the British Isles as a historical 'laboratory' to discuss key themes that have shaped the modern world.

We'll look at:

  • the formation of the British state
  • the ideas that were shaped by the Enlightenment, in which Scottish writers played an important part
  • why Britain industrialised and Ireland did not
  • the often dire social consequences of industrialisation
  • how and why Britain created the Empire
  • the growth of British overseas trade will be looked at
  • the impact of Britain on Asian, African and American societies
  • the ideological effects of the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the 1798 rebellion in Ireland
  • the meaning of Victorian values in Scotland and the development of modern political parties and the growth of democracy
  • the roles of gender and class in shaping modern British and Irish society
This class will enable students to understand the origins of both modern British society and the beginnings of an increasingly integrated global community. In the tutorials, each meeting will involve the examination of a key document or two, as well as a discussion of that week's topic.
History 1B

This class follows on from History 1A and takes the story up to the end of the 20th century. We'll look at:

  • the effects of World War I on Scottish society and why Ireland broke away from the United Kingdom
  • the growth of the Labour Party and the rise of socialism will be traced
  • the effects of the Great Depression of the 1930s on British society
  • the reasons why the British government formulated a policy of appeasement, to show how foreign policy and domestic policy were inextricably linked
  • the impact of World War II on British society
  • the demands that led to the creation of the Welfare State will be explored
  • the new international realities facing Britain in 1945
  • the beginnings of the Cold War, to show how effectively Britain adapted to the loss of Great Power status
  • post-war society and the cultural revolution of the "Swinging Sixties". We'll ask whether a generation gap emerged
  • the long slow march of women's rights
  • the impact of immigration, to show the ways in which British society was changing fundamentally
  • the collapse of the traditional industrial economy in the 1980s and changes in Scottish family life, to show how social norms were being overturned
  • the advent and effects of devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Just as in the first semester History class, we will use carefully selected documents in tutorials to help us analyse each topic.

Social policy

Social Policy & Society in Contemporary Scotland

This class is designed to introduce you to some of the major issues confronting Scottish society and to provide an accessible introduction to some of the key concerns of Social Policy.  It will examine a range of issues, including questions of poverty and inequality, social divisions, health, housing, education, and criminal justice.

Private Issues & Public Problems

This class examines the different ways in which ‘private issues’ become recognised as ‘public problems’.  Using a number of different case studies, such as domestic violence, homelessness or poverty, it will look at the different ways in which social problems have been identified and at the different standpoints from which they can be viewed.

History

Choose three from this list

Scotland: Renaissance and Reformation

This course will focus on the period from the final establishment of the territorial boundaries of the Scottish kingdom in James III’s reign through to the Union of Crowns in 1603. In covering the era of the Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland, as well as the regnal union of 1603, it will focus on the reigns of successive Stewart monarchs and their subsequent accession to the English and Irish thrones, thereby creating a British imperial monarchy.

Scotland’s contact with Europe and its strained relations with England form core themes but political history will be studied in the light of the social, religious, economic and cultural developments that lend early-modern Scotland its distinct identity, thereby examining issues such as trade and economic development, the impact of the Renaissance in Scotland, literacy and the spread of reforming ideas, the arts, education and issues of identity.

Disease & Society

This class provides a broad introduction to the historical relationship between diseases and human societies in the early modern and modern periods.

It examines the core thesis that diseases and other health conditions have had dramatic impacts on history, shaping economic relations, political and social structures and cultural and religious beliefs.  However, it also explores the reverse of this, the thesis that human activities, ideas and behaviours have radically altered the diseases and conditions that afflict our societies over the last five hundred years.

The course is grouped around three themes:

  • infectious disease
  • chronic disease
  • society's responses to disease

Lectures in the first two sections focus on exploring the origins of key diseases/debilities, the ways in which social structures/behaviours have caused or abetted these conditions, and their impacts on society, economics, politics and culture.

In the final section, lectures focus more on the ways in which societies have sought to conceptualise, control and cure diseases. The key questions that students should be able to answer by the end is how have diseases and debilities shaped human societies, and how have human societies shaped diseases and debilities?

History of Scotland 1700-1832

This course will explore Scotland’s political, economic, religious, intellectual and social development in the aftermath of the Union of 1707 through to 1832.  The benefits, disadvantages and tensions that arose from the process of becoming part of the British state will be explored through such issues as:

  • causes and impact of union
  • the significance of Jacobitism
  • the nature and consequence of agricultural and industrial change
  • Empire
  • the role of the Scottish Enlightenment.
Modern Europe

This class examines some of the principal developments in international history of twentieth century Europe. It pays particular attention to:

  • the causes of the First World War
  • the impact of the war upon the international system
  • the rise of new powers within the international community after 1919
  • the causes of the Second World War
  • the Cold War and the forces driving European integration since 1945
  • the role of the USA and USSR in recent European history
In terms of geographical coverage the class will seek to balance consideration of Europe-wide developments with finer-focus treatment of French, Italian and German history. The class will introduce students to some of the main debates in the academic literature and encourage them to look at a range of relevant primary sources.

Social policy

Scottish Social Policy since 1845

This class explores some of the different ways in which social policy has evolved in Scotland in response to a variety of social problems since the introduction of the Scottish Poor Law Act in 1845. It covers all the main areas of social policy, including health, housing, education and poverty, and also explores the changing boundaries between individuals, families, communities, voluntary organisations, commercial welfare and state over the course of this period.

Key Concepts in Social Welfare

This class explores some of the most important concepts in the academic study of Social Policy, including such concepts as equality, justice, need, happiness, poverty and wellbeing. It also examines a number of different ideological perspectives on these issues, such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, social democracy, Marxism, feminism and the New Right.

The Making of Social Policy

This class examines the ways in which social policies are ‘made’ at both a national and international level.  It examines the roles played by different actors, institutions and ideas.  It also looks at the ways in which evidence is used to inform policy-making, and at the ways in which we are all involved, as citizens, in the policy process.  These themes are explored with the aid of a series of case-studies, including health and education policies, and the development and implementation of equalities legislation.

History

Oral History: Theory and Practice

Please note that this is compulsory for students who wish to use oral history in their dissertation.

Oral history is a way of engaging with the past via the experiences and memories of those who were there. ‘Oral history’ is a multifaceted term that refers to the sources (interviews), the methodology (interviewing), theory (analysis), and products (of which there are many).

This new class aims to alert students to the possibilities of using oral history as a way of understanding the past. It will examine key concepts and methodologies in oral history and explore how oral history has helped to shape historical understanding.

This class also has an important practice-based focus – students taking the class will gain an opportunity to develop practical skills in oral history interviewing and analysis as well as to reflect critically on theory in relation to practice. They will also get an opportunity to explore the application and use of history in the public arena through engaging with work on oral history and public history.

Because of the practical nature of this class and the limited supply of equipment, numbers are capped at 25.

Cold War Europe
Disability in Modern Britain

The aim of this class is for to gain an understanding of the key role that disability plays in the study of the historical past.

The class will explore the ways in which disability has been defined, treated and experienced. It will place developments in disability policy within wider social, cultural and political contexts. Students will engage with, and think critically about, primary sources ranging from official papers, newspaper articles, and oral testimonies, in addition to relevant secondary source material.

The use of oral testimonies in particular will help students to consider the lived experiences of disabled people and the ways in which society sought to define and treat disability. 

Medicine & Warfare

This class explores the role that health and medicine has played in the major wars of the twentieth century. In particular, it considers the vital contribution that medicine has made to manpower economy, discipline and morale.

Focusing predominantly on Britain, the USA and Europe, the class analyses the ways that different countries have responded to the medical issues posed by modern warfare in both military and civilian contexts. As such, it considers issues such as wartime disability, welfare provision, occupational health and psychiatry, and explores the role that military doctors, women and humanitarian organisations have played in shaping medical responses to war.

The key objective of this class is to place military-medical developments within their wider social, cultural and political contexts and to examine the impact of military health and medicine on the lived experience of war.

France at War

The class begins with the traumatic episodes of the Franco-Prussian War and the Communes of 1871. By analysing the often problematic political and cultural consolidation of the Third Republic, this class will explore the ‘culture wars’ and the internal divisions that culminated in the Dreyfus Affair. After the humiliation of losing its status as Europe’s dominant power, France sought greatness in colonial expansion in Africa and Indochina, while seeking to consolidate national identity by transforming ‘peasants into Frenchmen’.

You'll explore the experiences of the First World War, assessing the strength of French unity in the face of the German enemy. The interwar clashes between fascism and the Popular Front will then be examined and how the First World War impacted upon French foreign policy and attitudes towards future war.

You'll spend three weeks exploring the enduring controversies of the Second World War, focusing upon the collapse, resistance, collaboration, and French involvement in the persecution of the Jews, as France faced its ‘hereditary enemy’ once again.

The class concludes with an analysis of the French withdrawal from Indochina and Algeria and an assessment of France’s position in the post-war global order.

A variety of sources will be explored throughout the class, including paintings, monuments, films, literary sources, newspaper reports, memoirs and archival documents. 

Propaganda & War in the Twentieth Century

This class examines means by which states conduct informal activities to promote their domestic and foreign objectives during wartime. In particular, it analyses the role of propaganda throughout the twentieth century, focusing on the use of modern mass communication and technology by states involved in conflicts.

The class is structured around a number of historical themes, which help shed light on the emergence of propaganda as an important means of modern warfare. Key themes analysed throughout the course include:

  • the First World War as the first ‘total war’
  • the growth of international radio broadcasting
  • the creation of centralised propaganda machines in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union
  • home-front propaganda during the Second World War
  • propaganda, disinformation and the Cold War
  • the United States and the experience of Vietnam
  • information, media coverage and the Gulf War
  • 9/11 and the war on terrorism
During seminars, students will be exposed to relevant primary source material. Particular attention will be given to understanding the theory and practice of propaganda and analysing how technological developments have contributed to shaping modern information and mass persuasion.
Historiography

This class is compulsory for students who want to study history at Honours level.

This class will introduce students to the methods used by historians to reconstruct the past, exploring and analysing the techniques used by historians in doing primary research. The class is designed to demonstrate how students can use these techniques in their own work, particularly their 4th year/Honours dissertation.

Among the topics that will be covered are:

  • constructing bibliographies
  • using evidence
  • using academic conventions
  • constructing research plans
  • writing historical prose
The class will also introduce students to the subject of historiography – the history of history – and the ways in which our understanding and construction of history has evolved. The class is designed to promote independent learning and encourage students to reflect more deeply on the subject matter.
Madness and Society
Genocide in the 20th Century

The objectives of this class include introducing students to recent examples of genocide and related mass atrocities, and writing and thinking about these cases in a critical and engaged manner through analysis of primary and secondary materials.

Students will be introduced to historical, sociological, anthropological, and legal perspectives related to the occurrence of genocide and related atrocity crimes. Using case studies from the 20th century, we'll discuss:

  • contemporary issues related to the labelling of cases
  • the evolution of international legal, diplomatic, economic and military measures to prevent, interdict and punish atrocity crimes
  • the phenomenon of genocide denial
  • the politics of commemoration
  • the lingering legacies of violence on individuals and communities in the post-genocide period

Case studies will include clear-cut (recognized in international humanitarian law) examples of genocide, including:

  • the Armenian genocide
  • the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe
  • the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Less clear-cut examples will also be looked at, such as:

  • Canada’s Residential School System
  • Stalinist crimes in Soviet Russia
  • Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia
  • the scorched earth policies in Guatemala
  • ethnic cleansing surrounding the Bosnian War.
Society and Politics in Colonial India: 1880s-1947

This class will cover the political developments and social groups from the late-nineteenth century till the decolonisation of South Asia in 1947.

This is a key period in the social and political history of modern South Asia as it witnessed the growth of a mass-based anti-colonial struggle.  Simultaneously, the involvement of different social groups in this process led to the emergence of community and caste based identity politics.  Under pressure from demands for independence, the colonial state initiated a process of phased devolution of power, and decolonisation after the Second World War.  The class will compare these developments to raise questions about the 'modernity' of colonial society and polity.  The class will analyse how different social groups - such as the peasantry, the working class and tribal groups - participated in and shaped political movements in South Asia.

Students will also be encouraged to use the regional perspective of South Asian history to understand the different expressions of class, gender and ethnicity in non-Western societies.

Scotland’s Highland Problem

Historiography had tended to isolate Highland history from Scottish political development during the late medieval and early modern periods.  This class will re-address this trend, emphasising the Highlands as an integral part of Scottish society, at the same time exploring the division within Scotland between the ‘barbaric’ Highlands and the ‘civil’ Lowlands.

Students will study the nature and structure of clan society and place Highland events within the wider context of national and British politics during the sixteenth century.  While relations between the Scottish crown and its Highland subjects is the key theme of this class, students will analyse the extent to which such relations changed through time, and why.

The class will also highlight divergent policies within clan society itself, a factor which warns against treating the Highlands as a homogenous whole, instead taking into consideration regional, local and personal biases.  

Scottish Society since 1914

The class provides a broad survey of Scottish social history since 1914. The aim of this class is to explore the nature and development of Scottish society in the twentieth century by assessing the impact of industrialisation and the problems associated with de-industrialisation, as well as the development of an urban society.

By the end, the successful student should have expanded their knowledge of contemporary Scottish history and have a good idea of the diversity of issues, techniques and arguments which historians have deployed in the study of twentieth-century Scotland. Among the themes to be covered are:

  • the extent to which Scotland had a recognisable culture and identity
  • the myths and realities of 'Red Clydeside'
  • the notion that Scotland was a more intensely patriarchal society than the rest of Britain
  • the idea that Scotland was an anti-immigrant, racist and religiously intolerant society

Social policy

Compulsory classes:
Research Skills in Social Policy

This class will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the key methods used by researchers in the field of social policy.  It will introduce you to a number of different qualitative and quantitative methods, and to some of the basic principles of research design.  It will provide an essential foundation for your final-year dissertation.

Scottish Social Welfare in a UK Context

This class examines the ways in which recent political developments have placed questions of social policy at the heart of debates over the future of the United Kingdom.  To what extent do the different parts of the UK face different social problems?  To what extent do different parts of the UK possess a different approach to the resolution of these issues?  How has the governance of social policy in different parts of the UK been affected by its current constitutional arrangements?

History

Compulsory classes

Special subject classes (taught over both Semesters 1 & 2)
The Scramble for the Middle East: Arab Nationalism, Zionism and European Colonial Powers, 1914-1939

The interwar years are central to any analysis of the decline of European colonial rule in the Middle East and the formation of nation states. It was in the 1920s and 1930s that British and French mandatory authorities faced the emergence of nationalist movements throughout the Arab world as well as the increasing competition and penetration of hostile forces.

Students will examine historical themes and events that are significant to the development of political and cultural identities in the Middle East. Through the analysis of primary sources, students will focus on:

  • the debate surrounding British and French colonial practices
  • the emergence of the Zionist movement and the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine
  • the radicalisation of Arab nationalism and its impact upon the relations between local political elites and European colonial powers
  • the increasing tension between Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine
  • the creation of the mandates in Palestine, Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon and the process that led to the independence of Egypt and Iraq
  • the challenge brought by German and Italian subversive activities to British and French strategic interests in the region
Twentieth-Century Czechoslovakia

The class will explore major themes in twentieth-century European history:

  • the post-World War I settlement
  • the rise of fascism
  • the origins and course of the Second World War, Soviet expansion, the Cold War, the social and political revolutions of the 1960s and the waning of the Soviet Union in the 1980s and 1990s -- from the perspective of a central European country which was created in 1918, dissolved in 1993, and whose opinions were seldom taken into account by the Great Powers.

Students will obtain a solid grounding in the history of Czechoslovakia from its creation to its dissolution. The class should also offer a useful introduction to themes in twentieth-century European history more generally.

Independent reading will concentrate heavily on source material, enabling students to taste the excitement as well as the frustrations of historical research. By being encouraged to view European affairs from a Czech perspective while at the same time having special responsibility for one other European country, students will be led to consider the problems of historical bias and subjectivity, and should develop historical empathy as well as considerable sensitivity to the complexity of international affairs.

Rwanda: Peace, Conflict & the Politics

The purpose of this special subject is to introduce students to the study of peace and conflict, broadly defined, and to encourage them to write and think about these subjects in a critical and engaged manner informed first and foremost by history-based discourse, but also borrowing from political science, anthropology, and related disciplines.

The module will focus on the case study of Rwanda, with individual classes proceeding chronologically.

The first semester will cover the pre-colonial period to the start of the second Hutu Republic in 1973, while the second semester will cover 1973 to present.

Throughout, students will analyse relevant primary and secondary sources to explore the benefits of applying a historical lens to understanding a nation whose recent history includes both periods of peace and political stability, and several manifestations of state-sanctioned violence, including colonialism, small-scale ethnic, regional, and political conflicts, civil war, genocide, and authoritarianism.

Students seeking careers in human rights advocacy, international law, diplomacy, and journalism will also find this course particularly relevant.

Plantation in Ulster

This class will explore the plantations that took place in Ulster during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

Students will examine the emergence of the idea for plantation in Ireland, why Ulster was regarded as suitable for plantation, and the various endeavours by English and Scots to settle in the north of Ireland, whether by private enterprise or by the state. This will culminate in the official Plantation of Ulster, a 'British' project initiated by James VI and I in the early years of his reign as king of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Students will also look at a couple of cases studies of individuals who were involved in plantation, enabling a detailed study of the political, social, economic and confessional reasons why they chose to migrate to and settle in Ireland at this time.

Elective classes

France at War, 1870-1962

The class begins with the traumatic episodes of the Franco-Prussian War and the Communes of 1871. By analysing the often problematic political and cultural consolidation of the Third Republic, this class will explore the ‘culture wars’ and the internal divisions that culminated in the Dreyfus Affair. After the humiliation of losing its status as Europe’s dominant power, France sought greatness in colonial expansion in Africa and Indochina, while seeking to consolidate national identity by transforming ‘peasants into Frenchmen’.

You'll explore the experiences of the First World War, assessing the strength of French unity in the face of the German enemy. The interwar clashes between fascism and the Popular Front will then be examined and how the First World War impacted upon French foreign policy and attitudes towards future war.

You'll spend three weeks exploring the enduring controversies of the Second World War, focusing upon the collapse, resistance, collaboration, and French involvement in the persecution of the Jews, as France faced its ‘hereditary enemy’ once again.

The class concludes with an analysis of the French withdrawal from Indochina and Algeria and an assessment of France’s position in the post-war global order.

A variety of sources will be explored throughout the class, including paintings, monuments, films, literary sources, newspaper reports, memoirs and archival documents.

Medicine & Warfare in the Twentieth Century

This class explores the role that health and medicine has played in the major wars of the twentieth century. In particular, it considers the vital contribution that medicine has made to manpower economy, discipline and morale.

Focusing predominantly on Britain, the USA and Europe, the class analyses the ways that different countries have responded to the medical issues posed by modern warfare in both military and civilian contexts. As such, it considers issues such as wartime disability, welfare provision, occupational health and psychiatry, and explores the role that military doctors, women and humanitarian organisations have played in shaping medical responses to war.

The key objective of this class is to place military-medical developments within their wider social, cultural and political contexts and to examine the impact of military health and medicine on the lived experience of war.

Cold War Europe
Scottish Society

The class provides a broad survey of Scottish social history since 1914.

The aim of this class is to explore the nature and development of Scottish society (and place it in a wider context) and to examine dominant narratives of Scotland and Scots in the twentieth century.

By the end, the successful student should have expanded their knowledge of contemporary Scottish history and have a good idea of the diversity of issues, methodologies and arguments which historians have deployed in the study of twentieth-century Scotland.  Among the themes to be covered are:

  • gender relations (for example, analysis of the Scottish ‘hard man’ narrative)
  • religion (including sectarianism and secularisation)
  • health and deprivation
  • the arts and culture (including festivals, theatre, cinema and television)
  • industry (and de-industrialisation and its impacts)
Overall, this class will explore the extent to which Scotland had a recognisable national culture and identity and assess and deconstruct narratives of Scottish society since 1914.
Scotland’s Highland Problem

Historiography had tended to isolate Highland history from Scottish political development during the late medieval and early modern periods.  This class will re-address this trend, emphasising the Highlands as an integral part of Scottish society, at the same time exploring the division within Scotland between the ‘barbaric’ Highlands and the ‘civil’ Lowlands.

Students will study the nature and structure of clan society and place Highland events within the wider context of national and British politics during the sixteenth century.  While relations between the Scottish crown and its Highland subjects is the key theme of this class, students will analyse the extent to which such relations changed through time, and why.

The class will also highlight divergent policies within clan society itself, a factor which warns against treating the Highlands as a homogenous whole, instead taking into consideration regional, local and personal biases.  

Madness and Society
Genocide in the 20th Century

The objectives of this class include introducing students to recent examples of genocide and related mass atrocities, and writing and thinking about these cases in a critical and engaged manner through analysis of primary and secondary materials.

Students will be introduced to historical, sociological, anthropological, and legal perspectives related to the occurrence of genocide and related atrocity crimes. Using case studies from the 20th century, we'll discuss:

  • contemporary issues related to the labelling of cases
  • the evolution of international legal, diplomatic, economic and military measures to prevent, interdict and punish atrocity crimes
  • the phenomenon of genocide denial
  • the politics of commemoration
  • the lingering legacies of violence on individuals and communities in the post-genocide period

Case studies will include clear-cut (recognized in international humanitarian law) examples of genocide, including:

  • the Armenian genocide
  • the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe
  • the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Less clear-cut examples will also be looked at, such as:

  • Canada’s Residential School System
  • Stalinist crimes in Soviet Russia
  • Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia
  • the scorched earth policies in Guatemala
  • ethnic cleansing surrounding the Bosnian War.
Society & Politics in Colonial India

This class will cover the political developments and social groups from the late-nineteenth century till the decolonisation of South Asia in 1947.

This is a key period in the social and political history of modern South Asia as it witnessed the growth of a mass-based anti-colonial struggle.  Simultaneously, the involvement of different social groups in this process led to the emergence of community and caste based identity politics.  Under pressure from demands for independence, the colonial state initiated a process of phased devolution of power, and decolonisation after the Second World War.  The class will compare these developments to raise questions about the 'modernity' of colonial society and polity.  The class will analyse how different social groups - such as the peasantry, the working class and tribal groups - participated in and shaped political movements in South Asia.

Students will also be encouraged to use the regional perspective of South Asian history to understand the different expressions of class, gender and ethnicity in non-Western societies.

Social policy

Compulsory classes:

The Welfare State in Comparative Perspective

This class examines the development of welfare states as a global phenomenon.  It asks what we mean by the concept of a ‘welfare state’ and looks at the ways in which welfare states have developed in different countries.  It also explores some of the major differences between different types of welfare state, using the concept of ‘welfare régimes’.

Dissertation

Many students find that the dissertation is the most fulfilling part of their degree. It will provide you with the opportunity to undertake your own in-depth investigation into a topic of your choice, and to develop skills as an independent researcher.

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Assessment

You'll be assessed using a variety of methods, including not only traditional essays and exams, but also oral presentations, group work and other forms of assessment.

Learning & teaching

As a history student, you'll be expected to attend lectures and seminars and take part in group projects. Bibliographic search sessions in the University Library will also be provided. We encourage close, critical reading of texts and the evaluation of historical controversies to help self-directed learning and improve your analytical skills.

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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements:

  • 1st sitting: AAAA
  • 2nd sitting: AAAABB

(Higher English, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B, or equivalent)

Minimum entry requirements*:

  • 1st sitting: AABB
  • 2nd sitting: AABBB

(Higher English B and Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)

*Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

A Levels

Year 1 entry: ABB-BBB
Year 2 entry: AAA-ABB

(GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)

International Baccalaureate

36

(Maths SL5)

HNC

Social Sciences:

Year 1 entry: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B, or equivalent

HND

Social Sciences:

AAB in Graded Units may enable second-year entry to History with Politics & International Relations or Psychology with six HNC/ HND credits in each of the two subjects

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country by visiting our country pages.

Additional Information

  • deferred entry is not normally accepted
  • student numbers for optional classes may be limited in years 3 and 4

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding

2020/21

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

TBC

Fees for students domiciled in Scotland and the EU are subject to confirmation in early 2020 by the Scottish Funding Council.

(2019/20: £1,820)

Rest of UK

TBC

Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2020/21, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

(2019/20: £9,250)

International

£15,300

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

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Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

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International Students (Non-UKScholarships, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

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Careers

Many History graduates progress to careers in education, social welfare, the Civil Service and the Scottish Government or areas such as finance. Some graduates work in teaching, museums or heritage, while others find satisfying careers in library and information science, arts management and administration or journalism.

Many students expand their knowledge of history by taking further postgraduate study.

The most common employment destinations for social policy graduates include:

  • local & national government policy development and research
  • regional & urban development
  • business administration & management
  • third sector/charity research & policy development
  • children’s services
  • education
  • health & social welfare
  • protective services

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

Find out all about life in Glasgow
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Apply

History & Social Policy

Qualification: BA

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Contact us

Undergraduate Selection

Our team are available to chat from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm GMT.

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8600

Email: hass-ug-selectors@strath.ac.uk