Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Newspapers and the Writing of History
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,000 word short essay  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,000 word project  80%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 word supplementary (resit) short essay  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 4,000 word supplementary (resit) project  80%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an understanding of the social, political and cultural history of British journalism.

Demonstrate an understanding of a range of approaches to the study of modern British journalism.

Demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and limitations of newspapers as historical sources.

Construct cogent historical arguments relating to the social, political and cultural history of British journalism .


This module aims to provide students with an appreciation of the range and depth of primary historical evidence contained in newspapers; to give them a firm grounding in the social, political and cultural history of British journalism; and to explore the possibilities - and also the pitfalls - of using newspapers as historical sources.

Brief description

The module will introduce students to the wide range of historical evidence available in newspapers and periodicals, which will be helpful in the preparation of Third Year dissertations in any modern subject area. At the same time, it will help students to understand the legislative, moral and political contexts in which journalism was written, edited, printed and distributed in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Much of the module will focus on the ways in which news was gathered, nationally and internationally, how it was presented to a growing readership, and what effects it might have had on the social and political behaviour of readers and the wider society.


Weekly 2-hour seminars:

1. Introduction
2. The Victorian press, c.1830-1896
3. W.T. Stead, sensationalism and 'Government by Journalism'
4. Patriotism, the press, and the First World War
5. How to 'read' a newspaper: content analysis and qualitative methodology (includes project discussion)
6. 'Power without responsibility'? The inter-war press and British politics
7. 'Newspapers for the masses': The inter-war press and British society
8. The British press and the Second World War
9. History and journalism: journalists' memoirs as historical sources
10. Historians and the British press today

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed through seminars and feedback on written work. These skills will be assessed through assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given regarding the improvement of research and techniques and essay writing skills
Information Technology Through the retrieval of primary and secondary works from online resources and AberLearn Blackboard and through the writing, formatting and printing of essays.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will develop oral and written skills. It will also prepare students for careers which involve the research, critical analysis and presentation of material relevant to a particular problem or set of problems
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area, and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will be required to carry out research for seminars and written work.
Subject Specific Skills This module will require students to analyse in detail newspapers sources, and to appreciate their value to the historian’s craft.
Team work Through seminar activities, including seminar leading with another student.


This module is at CQFW Level 5