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2007/08 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3610 Consumers and a New World of Goods c1700-c1914

40 creditsClass Size: 16

Module manager: Professor JA Chartres

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

Year running 2007/08

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module students will be able to understand the interaction of income, population, and trade with new tastes and goods; the impact of their distribution on patterns of consumption, the structure and organisation of distributive systems, and the marketing of goods; and have an awareness of the multidisciplinary analytical issues involved in their study. Introduction to and practical work in analysis of primary source materials in the field. Development of presentational skills through formally evaluated and assessed seminar work.

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 end of subsistence crises and rise of marketed commodities; theories of taste and consumption; changing personal and family real incomes, consumer goods and the 'rise of industriousness'; exotic imports-sugar, tobacco, coffee, tea, brandy, and rum, and the calicoes; new domestic manufactures and import substitutes-gin and printed cottons; industrial brewing, its markets and the large scale brewing enterprise; the media; commercialised leisure spa and seaside resort; retailing-the mixed roles of hawkers, pedlars, shops, and fairs to the mid 19th century; the 'retailing revolution' from c1850-covered markets, shops, chain stores, commissioned agents and mail order; manufacture and design-branded goods from Bass red triangle to Bird's custard and blancmange, to Guinness; mature retailing systems-consumers attributing intangible value to branded commodities; advanced leisure systems, and the birth of professional sport; case studies in late-Victorian branding, such as beer, whisky, tea, bread, and cigarettes; background to the advertising business in the 20th century.

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. 356 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, two assessed exercises, an exercise or exercises 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.10.00
Essay1 x 3,000 word written exercise or equivalent to be submitted by 12noon on Friday of the second week of the January examination period.20.00
Essay1 x 3,000 word written exercise or equivalent to be submitted by 12noon on Monday of the May revision week.20.00
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: 09/01/2008


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