HIS-20107 - 'Shining City on a Hill'? The United States in the Twentieth Century
Coordinator: David Ballantyne Tel: +44 1782 7 34409
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module seeks to engage students in a critical discussion of crucial issues in twentieth-century US history. We will examine selected developments in American politics and society using primary and secondary source materials. This will give students a sense of how people thought about themselves and their society in various decades, and provide a backdrop for understanding current affairs in the US.

Intended Learning Outcomes

describe and analyze the main developments in US history from the turn-of-the century to the twenty-first century and engage with differing interpretations of important events in this time period: 1,2
discuss and interpret texts and present findings in appropriate oral and/or written form: 1,2
evaluate evidence critically, argue logically, and challenge taken-for-granted assumptions: 1,2
apply their critical understanding of historical processes through the analysis of a range of primary and secondary texts relating to the development of the United States in the twentieth century: 1,2

Study hours

12 one-hour lectures: 12 hours
12 one-hour seminars: 12 hours
12 one-hour workshops: 12 hours
Required readings and seminar preparation: 40 hours
Group presentation preparation: 12 hours
Long essay preparation: 62 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Presentation weighted 35%
Group Presentation
Small group presentation of up to 15 minutes to engage critically with assigned secondary and primary materials, and draw connections to wider course themes and raise questions for class discussion. The group is awarded a single mark.

2: Essay weighted 65%
Long essay (c. 2,000 words)
Submitted essay of 2,000 words (+/-10%, excluding notes and bibliography). Students will either choose from a choice of questions, or create a question in consultation with the seminar tutor. This assessment will develop the ability to engage with relevant scholarship and to construct a persuasive argument concerning a topic or theme addressed in the module. It tests all of the module ILOs.