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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course uses sport as a way of trying to understand the historical past as well as viewing it as an active agent in producing historical change. The main chronological focus is on the development of modern sports from the nineteenth century onwards. Geographically, the focus is on western Europe, but there is also detailed consideration of the British Empire, the United States and other areas. Issues addressed include social class, 'race', gender, violence, senses of identity and governmental policies. A comparative and interdisciplinary approach is encouraged. Download course guide.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Alastair Macdonald

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • HI304A Cultural History of Sport (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course invites students to consider the study of sport as a way of trying to understand the past. A broad chronological framework will be adopted, tracing sporting activity and pastimes from the medieval period through to modern times. The geographical scope of the course will also be broad, with detailed consideration of themes such as the relevance of sport in the British Empire and developments in twentieth-century American sports. Issues to be addressed will include social class, race, gender, morality and the efforts of various governments to both control and use sport in different eras.

Further Information & Notes

This module is available to students on all non-History degree programmes as a Discipline Breadth course for the enhanced study requirement. However, the admission of students with a non-History degree intention will be at the discretion of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt

  • 3-hour examination (50%)
  • Gobbet test (10%)
  • 3000-word essay (30%)
  • Seminar contribution (inc. chairing - 10%)

Formative Assessment

Primary source exercises are completed by students and formative assessment is offered by the course co-ordinator.


Feedback on written work is given in written form, but also orally in face-to-face meetings with the course co-ordinator.

Course Learning Outcomes


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