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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2050 Material Legacies: Objects and British Cultural Heritage, c. 1783-1851

20 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Katie Carpenter

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module takes Britain’s cultural heritage as an entry point into the social and cultural history of the period c.1783 to 1851. Britain’s cultural heritage includes a rich plethora of objects, heritage sites, museums and architecture across the country, from cemeteries to palaces to dinosaur fossils. This module will examine these ‘material legacies’ of the late Georgians and early Victorians, to uncover the values and trends which shaped and challenged their society and culture, including gender, class, imperialism and consumerism. We will also consider how this cultural heritage has changed meanings throughout history up until the present-day, to consider the representation of the past in today’s heritage landscape.


Drawing on museums and heritage in Leeds and beyond, the objective of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the social and cultural history of 1783 to 1851, and engage them with the material legacies of this period in our present-day world.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module, students will have:

Demonstrated an understanding of material culture as a method to explore the social and cultural history of Britain in the first half of the nineteenth century

Developed skills in research and analysis of material culture including familiarisation with museum collection databases

Applied their skills in material culture research

Critically assessed the representation of history in public through museums and heritage sites

Demonstrated the ability to apply fundamental standards and practices of historical study for research, discussion, and assessed work.


Lectures and seminars will introduce important themes from this period, with a particular focus on a relevant object or heritage site. Indicative topics may include: shopping and consumerism, science and natural history, gender and relationships, imperialism, food and drink, cemeteries, domestic space, architecture, and clothing.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours176.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading for seminars and lectures (55 hours); wider reading around the topic (21 hours); research and writing of blog postings (40 hours); putting together the exhibition and related writing (60 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive feedback via seminar discussion and office hours as well as on each of their blogs. Students will need to discuss/confirm their exhibition theme and objects with the tutor by week 7.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PortfolioPortfolio of a mini-exhibition of objects with 600 words of interpretation and an accompanying 1700- word essay60.00
AssignmentTwo 1000-word object commentaries presented as blog postings40.00
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: 03/05/2022


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