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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2654 Global Business History

20 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Professor Regina Blaszczyk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Did you eat a banana or call your Mum on an iPhone today? How did these objects get into your hands? How can the history of commonplace objects like an antique Wedgwood vase or a pair of Nike trainers help you understand the global economy? This course uses the history of people, places, and things to explore the role of entrepreneurs, inventors, and companies in the creation of the global economy in which we live. Through a combination of lectures and discussions, we will examine the role of business in everyday life from the British industrial revolution to the global digital age. Essays by historians and period documents will be assigned as discussion aids.


The objectives of this module are:
- To teach students to understand the role of business in everyday life from the 18th to the 21st centuries;
- To help students understand the role of commodities in global trade from the 18th century to the present;
- To blend the study of business and economic history with the study of social and cultural history.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will demonstrate:
- A familiarity with important historical writings in global business history that are relevant to their experiences as citizens of the world;
- The ability to interpret a range of texts, including writings by historians, and original period sources;
- The ability to express and communicate ideas in discussion groups and in written presentations.


This module explores the history of globalization from the 18th to the 21st centuries through the lens of people, places, and things. It uses the history of commonplace objects, from shopping arcades to consumer electronics, to develop an understanding of industry and commerce, and the important role of the economy in everyday life. Seminar topics will include industrialization; transportation; the role of the state; electrification; communications; and 'high-tec' industries, from aviation to electronics. The course will focus on Europe and America, with reference to other parts of the globe.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparatory reading for lectures and seminars;
Preparing source commentary;
Engaging with the work of other seminar participants;
Writing the essay;
Reviewing reading and notes for the exam.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions; project report; assessed essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words to be submitted by 12.00pm on Monday of teaching week 840.00
ReportProject report10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/05/2019


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