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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HPSC5201M Current Approaches in the History of Science, Technology & Medicine

30 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Dr Adrian Wilson

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Same as for MA programme admissions, i.e. normally a good honours degree, 2:1 or higher.

Module replaces

HPSC5160 Current Research in HPS

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

If the module recruits three or fewer students, it will be delivered via 3 hours of supervision with the module leader (instead of the format specified below).


The module is designed:

- to outline a range of major historiographical approaches in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine;
- to examine their origins and interconnections, and the different ways in which they have been employed;
- to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches explored; and
- to promote a sophisticated analytical self-awareness among students as practitioners of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able:

- to demonstrate appropriately detailed knowledge of a number of major historiographical approaches in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine;
- to show familiarity with some of the key texts relating to each of the approaches;
- to appreciate the strengths and shortcomings of different approaches, and be able to engage in informed critical analysis; and
- to decide where they stand in regard to the different approaches, and to reflect critically on their own position.


The module will examine a series of major historiographical approaches in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, such as social constructivist, feminist, Marxist, Foucauldian, practice-oriented, communication-oriented, object-oriented, and integrated HPS.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

- Reading for seminars (6 hours/week) = 66 hours
- Preparing seminar presentations (2 x 15 hours) = 30 hours
- Reading over seminar notes (2 hours/week) = 22 hours
- Further Reading and Essay Preparation (2 x 32 hours) = 64 hours
- Essay Preparation (2 x 48 hours) = 96 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive feedback:
- informally during the course of seminars, when the leader will respond to observations and questions;
- on assessed essays (one mid-term, one at the end of term), which will be returned with written comments within three weeks;
- informally during the office hours of the module teachers.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words50.00
Essay3000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 05/04/2019


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