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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HPSC3301 Science, Technology and Society

20 creditsClass Size: 100

In light of the effect of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions on students' learning experiences, the School of PRHS have made the decision to modify assessment in Semester 2 modules in the 2020-21 academic year. Changes may involve reducing the number of assessment points (e.g. assessing one essay rather than two) or reducing word counts where it is possible to do so whilst protecting the integrity of the module's Learning Outcomes. Information on any changes to assessment is available to enrolled students in the Minerva module area, and can also be sought from the module leader or the PRHS SES team.

Module manager: Dr Richard Gunn

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Pre-requisite qualifications

20 credits of level 2 HPSC modules
OR 40 credits level 2 HIST modules
OR 40 credits level 2 COMM modules

This module is mutually exclusive with

HPSC3130Science, Technology and Society

Module replaces

HPSC3130 Science, Technology Society

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This level 3 module provides a social history of Western science and technology in the period 1600-1830. It focuses firstly upon the institutional locations of science (universities, academies, and scientific societies) with particular attention to organizational innovation, patronage, and relations of science and technology to governmental and social power. Other prominent themes include communication and publicity, the role of science with respect to technological innovation, and the social reformation of scientific and technological institutions during the early phases of industrialization.Would suit: cultural and intellectual historians, anyone interested in the increasingly pivotal roles of science and technology in modern Western history.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

i) explain and utilize some key theories of the science-technology-society relationship;
ii) articulate a detailed historical understanding of specific episodes in modern science and technology;
iii) demonstrate advanced skills in the socio-historical analysis of science and technology.

Syllabus

i) Key theories of the science-technology-society relationship:
Social construction of science and technology; actor-network theory; socio-technical systems; the science-communication circuit (experts, writers and readers); critical comparative evaluation of these theories.

ii) Key episodes to be chosen from histories of
Scientific and technical institutions; the Industrial Revolution; the rise of science and technology as public phenomena; science, technology and war; the rise of 'Big Science' using relevant primary and secondary sources.

iii) Advanced skills in the socio-historical analysis of science and technology;
Critical application of theories in i) to the key episodes in ii) to enable student to analyse the episodes from a range of scholarly perspectives and construct their own interpretations.

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
Lecture111.0011.00
Seminar81.008.00
Private study hours181.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

3 hours reading per lecture: 33 hours;
4 hours reading per seminar: 32 hours;
Essay preparation: 30 hours;
Examination preparation: 30 hours;
Background reading: 56 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1 x 2,000 word assessed essay, to be submitted by middle of the semester and returned with comments to students by week 7/8.

Methods of assessment

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


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 word assessed essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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


Exams
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: 09/07/2010

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