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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3300 Chartism: Popular Politics and Authority in Northern England, 1838-1858

40 creditsClass Size: 16

Module manager: Dr Malcolm Chase

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Chartism was Britain’s civil rights movement, mobilising over three million supporters at its peak. There are few points in modern British history where a historian can legitimately speculate how close the country came to revolution; but the history of Chartism (1838-58) encompasses two or three of them. Dominated by some of the greatest orators of the early Victorian age, Chartism also generated a ground-breaking and sophisticated political culture of newspapers, pamphlets, poetry and novels. It was of profound concern to the State, which went to extraordinary lengths to contain it. How was it that a movement that demanded the right to vote for men only could also mobilise tens of thousands of women? Why was it so popular in northern England especially? And what was its longer-term significance for British politics?


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- identify and critically evaluate the main debates and strands of historiographical thought concerning the Chartist
movement from its origins to the 1850s;
- demonstrate an informed awareness of the main developments in the Chartist movement, along with national and
government policy regarding it, with particular reference to northern England;
- interpret the key secondary and primary sources on the origins, course and consequences of Chartism.

Skills outcomes
Further enhances Common Skills listed below:

- High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
- Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
- Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
- Capacity to employ analytical and problem-solving abilities.
- Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
- Empathy and active engagement with alternative cultural contexts.

- Skills in interpretation and analysis of complex documentary-based material.


The first part of the course covers the evolution of Chartism and its development to 1842, along with official efforts to
contain and control Chartist activity; the second part the further evolution of Chartism, its related agrarian programme
and the significance of 1848 and its apparent accommodation with liberalism and decline.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours356.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

- Exam preparation;
- Researching, preparing, and writing assignments;
- Undertaking set reading; and
- Self-directed reading around the topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, two assessed essays, an oral presentation worth 10% of module marks.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationFormat to be determined by tutor Can be resat with 'an equivalent written exercise'10.00
Essay1 x 4,000 word essay to be submitted by 12 noon on Monday of the second week of the January examination period40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

10% oral presentations are redone with 'an equivalent written exercise'

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 50.00
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: 20/04/2017


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