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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3723 Apartheid in South Africa: Origins, Impact and Legacy

20 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Dr Will Jackson

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

'partheid was one of the most severe systems of racial oppression in modern history. This module will examine whether the origins of Apartheid lay in South Africa's unique industrial experience, or in South Africa's long history of racial oppression - slavery, the Dutch republics and segregation. It will also analyse the impact of Apartheid, consider the reasons for Apartheid's collapse, and examine the legacy of Apartheid for South Africa.


The objectives of this module are:
1. To explore the nature of racial politics in South Africa over the past two centuries.
2. To analyse the historiographical debates relating to the origins and collapse of Apartheid.
3. To understand how Apartheid affected other aspects of South African life: culture, family structures, demography and disease.
4. To critically analyse a range of primary sources, both written and visual, relating to these issues.
5. To formulate sophisticated and nuanced arguments in relation to these issues, in written and verbal form.
6. To further develop generic, transferable and subject specific skills.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
a) have developed an understanding of the origins and impact of racial oppression in modern South Africa
b) have a sophisticated knowledge of the relevant historiography, including the most recent developments in the field
c) be able to analyse a range of source materials, from oral histories to court records
d) be capable of developing coherent arguments, derived from primary and secondary sources.


1. Introduction
2. The Mfecane
3. Slavery, abolition, the Great Trek, diamonds and gold
4. Afrikaner nationalism and the origins of Apartheid
5. The second world war and African mass nationalism
6. The nature of Apartheid
7. Black urban culture
8. Violence
9. Race, demography and disease
10. The collapse of Apartheid: economic change and black protest
11. Apartheid's legacy: South Africa under the ANC

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will read extensively each week in order to prepare for class discussion. They will also have to prepare for two oral presentations, one essay, and one exam.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through ensuring all students participate in class discussion, by evaluating performance in oral presentations, by assessment of essay and exam scripts.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000 word essay, due by 12 noon Monday of teaching week 930.00
PresentationVerbal presentation, format to be determined by tutor10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

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 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

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: 30/04/2019


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