Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 1 hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour seminars 2 x 15 minute essay tutorials for feedback


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 X 2,500 WORD ESSAYS  40%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   1 X 3 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate a firm understanding of current approaches to and on-going debates on the history of Victorian culture.

Demonstrate a broad knowledge of Victorian cultural attitudes.

Demonstrate an ability to use and reflect critically upon a range of relevant primary and secondary material.

Demonstrate an ability to collect and analyse relevant historical evidence to produce appropriate arguments.

Demonstrate an ability to work independently and collaboratively.

Demonstrate the skills appropriate to the study of the history of Victorian culture and produce work in a professional manner.

Brief description

Who did the Victorians think they were? How did they see themselves and their culture? Victorians of all classes were acutely aware that they lived in a rapidly changing world and spilt a great deal of ink in making sense of their place in it. Often, bodily decorum was bound up in ideas about moral probity and as a result managing bodies played an important part in the efforts of Victorian individuals and groups at self-fashioning: remaking their identities for a modern, industrial and increasingly urban world. This module will look at how the Victorians looked at themselves from a variety of perspectives, ranging from fashion, to manners, medicine and sexuality and using sources ranging from manuals of etiquette to medical textbooks, advertisements and self-help magazines.


The module is designed to introduce students to the historical tools and perspectives of the history of Victorian culture, with particular attention to Victorian ideas concerning the relationship between body and self. It complements existing offerings in modern history, the history of medicine and social and economic history.


1. Revisiting the Victorian stereotype
2. State of the nation
3. Public, private and family life
4. Being seen
5. Earnestness and entertainment
6. Self-improvement
7. Muscular Christianity
8. Victorian bodies and minds
9. Sex and the Victorians
10. Victorian fashion
11. Buying the perfect body
12. The machinery of the body
13. Ladies and gentlemen
14. Incarceration and control
15. Nervousness and degeneration
16. Performance and respectability
17. The Victorian self
18. Looking back

1. Who were the Victorians?
2. Victorians in Private.
3. Victorians in Public.
4. The Philosophy of Self-help.
5. Victorian Bodies and Minds.
6. Consuming the Victorian Body.
7. Manners and Morals.
8. The Non-Victorians.
9. Being Respectable.
10. Looking Back.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; improve listening skills during the lectures, and consequently develop skills in note taking; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in two essays; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but not assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies; devise a personal action plan to include short and long-term goals and to develop personal awareness of how to improve on these.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD-Roms and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills, beliefs and qualities in relation to course in progression; plan and prepare for future course / career.
Problem solving Identify problems and factors which might influence potential solutions; develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Understand a range of research methods and plan and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars); exercise negotiation and persuasion skills; evaluate group activities and own contribution.


This module is at CQFW Level 6