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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3220 Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement

40 creditsClass Size: 14

Module manager: Dr Emily Brady

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

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
a) demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the strategies employed by the civil rights movement, and show awareness of the movement's successes and limitations.
b) appreciate the role played by 'ordinary people' in the struggle for racial equality.
c) construct lucid analytical arguments that engage intelligently with historical scholarship and draw upon primary source material.

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.


This course charts African Americans' long and unfinished struggle for racial equality since 1945. Themes explored in this module will include the impact of the Cold War on the civil rights struggle; the relationship between nonviolent direct action and Black Power; and the role of the federal government in securing advances for black Americans.

Although we will explore the role of civil rights leaders, particularly Martin Luther King Jr., the course will also emphasise the importance of ordinary people and grassroots organising to the black freedom struggle. Finally, the movement's success will be debated in light of contemporary race relations in the United States.

Teaching methods

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 exercises, an exercise or exercises worth 10% of module marks.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationFormat to be determined by tutor.10.00
Essay4,000 word essay to be submitted in exam week 2, semester 140.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 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: 24/09/2021


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