also available in 2018
A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
Develop your critical abilities within two vibrant departments of like-minded students and expert scholars and gain a strong understanding of how History and Philosophy intersect and influence one another.
History's core first year module is designed to extend and deepen your knowledge of the past and introduce you to major historical topics and themes from the ancient world to the present day. You will gain insights into how historians conduct research and interpret the past and develop your own research, essay-writing and presentational skills.
Many History students choose to take additional, specialised modules on topics ranging from the fall of the Roman Empire to histories of violence and empire in the modern world.
In your second and third years you design your own degree, focusing on the themes, periods and nations which interest you the most, with options that include British, European, American, Asian and Middle Eastern history, from the eighth century BC to the twentieth century.
The first year Philosophy module is an introduction to several key areas of philosophy, focusing on the nature of philosophy, the theory of knowledge, metaphysics, critical thinking and ethics. The emphasis is on developing skills in careful reading, critical reflection and rigorous interpretation and argument. You don't need to have studied philosophy before.
In the second and third year there is a wide range of optional modules on topics ranging from aesthetics and ethics, the history of philosophy, to philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. In the third year there are a range of specialist modules available where you will work in smaller groups with an academic on a specific topic and will be assessed by dissertation, rather than exam.
A Level AAB
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 35 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
An introduction to the discipline, Lancaster’s first-year History core course offers a fascinating survey of the last fifteen-hundred years. The course focuses on pivotal trends and events in European history, but it encompasses regions of wider world as distant as California, India, Japan and the South Pacific.
You’ll become familiar with a wide range of primary sources used by historians in the writing of history. You’ll gain insights into how historians conduct research and interpret the past, and will therefore better understand the reasons for changing historical interpretations.
In the process, by undertaking directed reading, by independent research, by attending lectures, by participating in seminar discussions, by working sometimes in a team, and by writing and receiving constructive feedback on what you have written, you will develop your study techniques and other transferable skills.
The long chronological range and types of history covered by the course will extend your intellectual and historical interests and enable you subsequently to make informed choices from among the many historical options available to you in Part 2, either as a History Major student or as a Minor.
This module introduces students to some of the central problems of philosophy and the theories produced in response to them. It also introduces some of the subject's technical concepts and vocabulary, and some of its techniques of reasoning and analysis. Reading includes both classical and contemporary material.
Philosophy has a significant role to play, both in acquainting students with some of the ideas which have helped shape Western culture, and in the critical understanding of ideas and methods in many other disciplines. The level of the module does not presuppose previous knowledge of philosophy. If students have studied philosophy before, the module will enable them to deepen and broaden their understanding of the subject and to improve their philosophical skills. The module aims not only to inform students with what philosophers have said but also to encourage them to engage with the issues. Topics will be drawn from the range of philosophical problems, approaches, and canonical figures.
This module is an introduction to the systemic and episodic violence that characterised Imperial British authority during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will begin by exploring recent debates about British imperial history and British identity. Has Britain ignored its imperial past? Should Britain apologise for its Empire and, if so, to whom? Subsequent seminars will look at the ways in which violence was normalised as inevitable and necessary during imperial endeavours. The specific topics for lectures and seminars include slavery, genocide, anthropology, photography, imperial sexualities, rebellions and counter-insurgency. The module will draw on examples and analysis from a range of geographic areas: the Translantic, South Asia, Australia, East Africa, North Africa and the Caribbean. The final week will return to Europe’s late-colonial twentieth century and discuss Aimé Césaire’s argument that European fascism represented the return of imperial violence to Europe.
This module combines social, political and military history, and will give you the opportunity to examine some of the current debates concerning the nature and evolution of the Great War, in particular the emergence of 'total war', using certain conceptions of mass industrialised warfare, especially after 1915.
You’ll focus on the Western Front and compare and contrast not only the nature of constantly evolving warfare on the battlefields but also include the so-called 'revisionist' arguments about the wider conflict, examining the unwelcome and unwanted national mobilisation forced upon Britain, France, and Germany and the many different consequences for these three war-fighting societies.
To conclude, you’ll examine the postwar building of memorials and the emergence of new socio-cultural dimensions for the three 'total war' societies.
Britain underwent radical change in the early modern period. In 1500 England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland were insignificant nations on the fringe of Europe. Out of the change came the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland', now a world leader on many fronts: for example, democratic government, religious pluralism, a consumer society and cultural achievements that rivalled France in art, science and philosophy.
This module will enable you to explore how groups of people who were not part of the traditional ruling elite came to exercise more power and control over their lives, and thus played their part in shaping modern Britain.
You’ll also develop an understanding of the periodisation of, and differences between, the medieval, the early modern and the modern, and you’ll develop familiarity with recent historiographical approaches to the period, notably those that emphasise underlying commonalities.
Ever since the English historian Edward Gibbon wrote his ground-breaking work The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in the late eighteenth century, the question of caused the loss of the Empire’s western provinces and the transformation of its eastern half into Byzantium has preoccupied historians. They have identified much relevant data, but they continue to disagree as to what happened to the Empire between the third and the seventh centuries AD and why. For some historians the barbarian invasions of the late fourth and fifth centuries were crucial, but others have argued that they merely finished off a society that was already in deep moral, social and/or economic decline. For some historians the Empire’s ‘decline and fall’ was a disaster; but others have maintained that the Empire never regressed, that the foundations of medieval (and even modern) civilisation were forged in the cultural ferment of the later rather than the earlier Roman Empire, and that the barbarian takeovers in the West made little difference to the lives of those who lived there. An introduction to this exciting period of history, this course invites you to discover what really happened and to assess the theories and interpretations that currently command historians’ support.
This module aims to provide you with a solid introduction to the discipline of history at the beginning of your Part-II studies. The module, accordingly, explores the discipline at large, including: its characteristic practices, methods, and traditions; its use of different source materials; and its relation not just to the past, but also to the present and the future. The module includes three thematic blocks. The first section (Contexts of History) provides an overview of different types of historical scholarship, focussing on the methods, theories and intellectual tendencies that characterise them. The second section (Sources and Evidence) examines the use and application of different types of sources as evidence in historical research. The third section (History in Public) considers the public role and function of the discipline, as well as the challenges that historians have faced in the public spotlight, and, finally, the role that the study of history can play in your future.
This module explores the history of the city of Paris in the modern age, asking how and why Paris has captured the imagination of generations and remained a focal point for the study of politics, art and culture. Key topics will include Paris's role in the Enlightenment and French revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the birth of a bourgeois consumer culture in the latter part of the nineteenth century, political and artistic movements of the fin de siècle and the turbulent history of twentieth-century Paris as a site of war, immigration and cultural exchange.
The module places marginal social groups centre-stage, arguing that the identity of Paris has been shaped in large part by the diversity, vitality and increasing visibility of these communities. Another core component of the module is its engagement with non-traditional historical sources – film, literature, music and art.
In this module, you will encounter the political, cultural and psychological consequences of the Vietnam War in the United States, and the ways that they combined and complicated one another. You will address the way the war was commemorated through a so-called ‘healing’ process designed to overcome wartime divisions; the repercussions of wartime atrocities; the position of Vietnam veterans as embodiments and reminders of the experience of the war; and the debates about the proper lessons of the Vietnam War and their application to later foreign and military policy contexts, including the renewed debates about the lessons of Vietnam in the wars in Asia after 2001.
The defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War changed the power relations in the Greek world significantly. In this module you will explore the major political, socio-economic and cultural developments in ancient Greece from the end of the Peloponnesian War through the age of Alexander the Great to the coming of the Rome (c. 403 to 31 B.C.).
You will focus in particular on Spartan imperialism, Athens in the fourth century, and Theban hegemony, as well as the rise of Macedon, the legacy of Alexander the Great, Hellenistic kingship and monarchies, and the emergence of Rome as an imperial power.
Using the main literary sources of Xenophon, Arrian and Polybius, together with iconographic and archaeological evidence, you’ll come into close contact with the most significant political, social and cultural developments in the late Classical and Hellenistic periods.
How did the ancient Greeks define themselves against the barbarians? How did the Athens and Sparta come into clashes with each other? To what extent was the ‘golden age’ of Athens an invention by the Athenians?
In this module you will study the major political, socio-economic and cultural developments in the Greek world from the emergence of the city-state to the end of the Peloponnesian War (c. 800 to 404 B.C.). In particular you will focus on the Persian Wars, Sparta as a hoplite state, Athenian democracy and culture, the heyday of the Athenian empire, and the conflicts between Athens and Sparta. While the focus is on Greece, you will also study the Greeks’ interactions with neighbouring cultures in the Mediterranean such as Persia and Asia Minor.
By using the main literary texts of Herodotus and Thucydides, together with Greek drama, visual and archaeological materials, you will have the opportunity to come vividly close into contact with the political and cultural life of the early Greeks. This module is open to all of you; those new to the topic are especially welcome: absolutely no prior knowledge of Ancient History is needed.
The papal call of 1095 to take up arms in holy war began a phenomenon that would endure for centuries, transforming the medieval world as masses of men and women were moved to journey thousands of miles to kill and die in the service of God. In this module you will explore the religious, cultural and military history of crusaders and mujahideen from the First to the Seventh Crusade, focusing on the Holy Land and Egypt. From the Christian triumph of the First Crusade to the encounter of Richard the Lionheart and Salah al-Din, and the calamitous defeat of Louis IX of France, you will investigate fundamental questions: why did people take the cross?; how did Christians and Muslims in the crusader states interact?; did women fight on crusade? You will also examine in combination Muslim perspectives on the period, including the concept and preaching of jihad. You will be encouraged to engage with the diverse range of sources available for the period, from narrative texts to letters, sermons, law codes, and physical evidence (in the form of the great crusader castles), as well as poetry written by the crusaders themselves.
The aim of this module is to provide students with a good, broad introduction to some of the key themes in epistemology -the theory of knowledge.
It begins with a core question; What is knowledge? This leads on to questions about how knowledge relates to other things, like belief, and truth. Throughout the term students will see that it is much harder to answer the core question than one might initially think, raising a question of why it is so hard to give a clear and general, account of what knowledge is. Students will also look at sources of knowledge - especially, perception, self-knowledge and testimony. The module also explores some of the relationships between epistemology and ethics, ending with the question of whether we ever ought to refrain from seeking knowledge.
By the end of this module, students will be able to understand and discuss critically the central problems and theories of epistemology, and explain how epistemology relates to other areas of philosophy.
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of some historical and contemporary approaches to the subject of ethics. It addresses central issues by engaging with classical texts in the history of the subject, such as Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism.
The module will also explore selected topics in moral philosophy, such as the nature, strength and weakness of consequentialism, deontology, and virtue theory. In addition to this, students will study topics in meta-ethics, such as the ‘moral problem’, non-cognitivist realism, and quasi-realism.
Other topics covered include topics in applied and practical ethics, such as issues of life and death in biomedical practice, the ethics of war, and the ethics of personal life; as well as the nature of moral motivation and moral psychology.
By what means was Indian independence seized from the British Empire in 1947? This module explores opposition to British rule in India from the end of the nineteenth century until 1947 when colonial India was divided to create the nation states of India and Pakistan. In particular, we will explore the modes of resistance that emerged from the Indian freedom struggle and in particular, the role of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress, an organization that had been founded in 1885 as a loyal and moderate organization. Gandhi created a mass movement that challenged the colonial state in extraordinary ways. British rule in India gradually lost credibility and struggled to find the means of maintaining control in the face of massive resistance to its right to govern India.
You will explore Gandhi’s philosophies of personal restraint and political resistance to the injustices of the colonial state. You will also trace the emergence of religious politics in India during this period and the increasing pace of communal conflict, in particular Hindu-Muslim antagonism. What was the role of the colonial state in firing communal anxiety? Did Gandhi’s political ideas allay or encourage the conflation of political action and religious identity? The course ends with the partition of India, the largest migration in history and a process in which over one million people lost their lives, and the event that led, in 1948, to Gandhi’s assassination by a Hindu fundamentalist.
Western philosophy has a long and rich history, and many of the questions occupying present-day philosophers have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years.
The exact structure of this module may vary from year to year, but core themes will normally include:
Students will study these problems, amongst others, by close consideration of a selection of texts from the history of Western philosophy. This may include selections from the ancient (classical), medieval, early modern (17th/18th centuries) period, and the 19th century. Thinkers who may be considered include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Scotus, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche.
This module is designed to improve students' knowledge and understanding of some key issues in metaphysics as determined by the syllabus. The module will focus primarily on some issues concerning space and time, the nature of physical objects and persons, and some key philosophical distinctions. Topics will include:
Studying this module should enable students to see connections between various philosophical issues that should be of value to them with regard to other philosophy modules that they are studying.
The aim of this module is to provide a broad grounding in some important aspects of the discipline of politics that are conceived of as both an attempt to understand the nature of politics and to assess the worth of various political arrangements. It involves consideration of notions such as politics, citizenship, democracy, government, state, welfare, individualism, utilitarianism, conservatism, socialism and, social democracy, together with an examination of the various ways in which political studies have been understood as a disciplined investigation of things political. The module covers four broad topics: freedom, markets and the state; citizenship, nationalism and democracy; equality and welfare; and politics and political science.
The module is divided into two sections over two terms. In the first term students will read, examine and discuss thinkers who make a contribution to the understanding of the notions of liberty and the individual (Hobbes, Locke, J S Mill, and Hayek). In the second term students will explore the thought of thinkers who are associated with the ideas of equality and community (Rousseau, Marx, the Fabians, and Rawls).
This is a rare opportunity to study a revolution in ideas about the world we live in. It begins in the Renaissance (1500), when blood-letting was a common treatment for diseases, when no-one suspected that the earth moved around the sun, when witches were executed for performing diabolic magic, and when students thought that the best authors on their reading lists had to have died two thousand years ago.
The module ends in the early modern period (1700), and with ‘modern’ thinkers like Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. But these people believed, respectively, that new inventions would recreate Paradise on earth, that the laws of billiards proved the existence of God, that the ocean’s tides proved that the earth moved, and that Christianity was a corrupt religion.
You will find out why Renaissance men and women believed what they did, discuss how modern the ‘moderns’ really were, and which historians have the best explanation of this exciting period in the history of ideas.
This module explores how globalization, shared cultures and new identities – key features of modern life – are not as new as we might think. Historians understand the repeated cycles of interaction and change over several centuries, but in this course you will examine just 20 years, focusing on ‘Eurasia’, that combination of Europe, Russia China and Japan. This process between 1919 and 1939 involved virtually every aspect of life, modern and traditional, with various influences flying in every direction; indeed, aviation played a significant role in the transformation. The module therefore uses diplomatic, political, military, social and cultural histories to examine the rich, and often surprising, interplay between states and societies in the Eurasian region that now dominates the international system.
After a brief survey of the main events leading to the declaration of war and the invasion of Poland, this module allows you to explore resistance and collaboration in countries that were first occupied in 1940, namely, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and the Netherlands. The transition between active collaboration to increasing resistance is next traced through Vichy France. The module then moves to the Eastern and Mediterranean fronts where the resistance was more effectively organized. The countries studied in this segment include Yugoslavia, Greece, and the USSR (Belarus, Russia, Baltics and Ukraine).
Lastly, you’ll examine countries that were first part of the Axis and eventually switched sides from 1943 onwards (Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania). Special attention will be given to the treatment of Jews, the Holocaust and the difficulties of coming to terms with what remains a contested past. Besides political documents, you will engage with photography, posters, films, documentaries and personal memoirs.
This module considers some of the difficulties involved in gaining knowledge about human societies. It focuses especially on economics and politics, disciplines which raise some of the largest questions about society – for example: Who gets what? Who rules whom? Can individual choices generate social change?
In this module students will not address such questions empirically, but instead step back to ask what sort of methods have been used to answer them, what sorts of modes of explanation or understanding are appropriate, and what assumptions are built into the ways economists and political scientists frame their enquiries. The aim of the module, then, is to critically examine methods and assumptions in both disciplines, in order to appreciate the scope and limits of their claims to knowledge.
This module aims to introduce students to a wide range of connected topics in the theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language, drawing on both classical and contemporary writings. It examines issues such as: the nature and justification of our knowledge of the external world, and the relations between knowledge and belief; the mind-body (or mind-brain) problem; the place of mental life and bodily continuity in the identity of individuals; and the different theories of truth, meaning and the language-world relationship, including logical positivism.
This module begins by examining issues in the metaphysics of mind, before moving on to epistemological issues: How can we gain knowledge of our own mental states, or of other people’s? How should psychologists seek to investigate the mind?
For the most part, this module will be structured around contemporary texts.
This module gives a broad thematic overview of the history of Germany in the twentieth century. Few country’s histories have been more tumultuous over the past two centuries than that of Germany. Rapid industrialisation, varied federal traditions, revolutions, the launching of and defeat in two world wars, responsibility for war crimes and genocide on an unparalleled scale, foreign occupation and re-education, and political division for four decades have made German history, and the ways in which Germans have remembered it, contentious and of broad public concern. In few countries have visions of the nation's history been so varied and contested, and few peoples have created and faced such challenges when confronting their 'transient' or 'shattered' past.
In order to provide a thematic focus, this module will examine in particular the reasons for the rise of National Socialism, the character of National Socialism, and the difficulties of the Federal Republic of Germany to deal with its difficult and contentious past, that is the attempt at 'coming to terms with the past' (Vergangenheitsbewltigung).
Do you enjoy hiking and climbing? Are you interested in the history of Britain’s landscape? In this 15-credit module, we’ll address these topics through an exploration of the cultural and environmental history of the Lake District. We’ll begin by reading accounts by c17 travellers to the Lake District (many of whom found the region terrifying) before considering the causes of a dramatic change in popular opinions about the Lakeland in the c18 and c19. We’ll conclude by examining the dedication of the Lake District as a national park in the c20 and by discussing debates that are currently shaping the region’s future. Along the way we’ll have the chance to delve into a range of important topics. These will likely include (but will not be limited to): the Lake District’s place in the history of environmental activism; the region’s connection with key cultural movements (e.g. the Romantic movement of the early c19); the rise of mass tourism and commercial leisure culture; the development of landscape aesthetics and modern cartography. We will also have a chance to evaluate the effect of the industrial revolution on the Lakes, and we will explore the region’s industrial heritage. The module may involve field trips.
This module combines a lecture series that offers an overview of the history of the United States in the 19th century with a closely linked set of seminars that focus on the construction of race, class and gender difference over the same period. This combination allows students to explore an important thematic aspect of world history (the construction of race, class and gender difference) while simultaneously providing grounding for further study and research into the history of the United States in the 19th and/or 20th centuries.
The module builds upon skills that you gained in Part I and, in particular, will explore the history of the United States, from the passage and implementation of the US Constitution (1789) to the conclusion of the Civil War (1865). The module is particularly focused on the culture and politics of race, class and gender in the rapidly industrialising and expanding nation.
Seminars meet fortnightly and are structured around primary readings and recommended secondary texts that offer critical and historical insight into the topics under consideration.
This module combines a lecture series that offers an overview of the history of the United States in the 20th century with a closely linked set of seminars that focus on the construction of race, class and gender difference in over the same period. This combination allows students to explore an important thematic aspect of world history (the construction of race, class and gender difference) while simultaneously providing grounding for further study and research into the history of the United States.
The module builds upon skills that you gained in Part I and, in particular, will explore the history of the United States from the end of the Civil War (1865) to the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). The module is particularly focused on the culture and politics of race, class and gender.
The module focuses on the hero cult in German history of the 19th and 20th century as a way to understand the prevalent social values at different times in history for different groups within society. In this perspective, heroes are seen and studied:
Studying the making and unmaking of heroes in German history will give you a sense of the changes of social ideals, ideologies and mentalities over time.
You will study topics such as ‘the people’s queen’ Königin Luise; the emergence of the ideal of the soldierly man in the 19th century in consequence of nationalism and conscription; national hero cults such as the Bismarck cult; the radicalisation of the soldierly role starting towards the end of the 19th century and culminating in the Third Reich; industrialists such as Krupp and Rathenau, film stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, and finally sports heroes.
Islam is deeply set in world history and the roots of many debates and issues in the modern Middle East can be traced back over a long period. This module provides an introduction to many such questions by offering an overview of the political, cultural, religious and social history of the main Islamic lands of the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Syria and Iraq/Iran covering roughly the first five centuries from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the Crusades.
You’ll develop an understanding of the diversity and fluidity of both Muslim identity and the nature and priorities of the early and developing Islamic community, and you’ll also engage with key debate regarding the source material on the period, both literary and artistic.
In particular you’ll explore Islam's place in Late Antiquity; the rise and fall of the caliphal dynasties of the Umayyads and Abbasids; the evolution of political and religious authority; the cultural and political position of non-Arab converts to Islam; the impact of non-Muslim influence on politico-religious debate in Islam, as well as sectarianism and the rise and fall of key dynasties in North Africa, Egypt, Syria and Iraq.
Who were the Victorians? Sometimes they are credited with inventing modern Britain, with the industrial revolution, urbanisation, democratisation, the transport network, and the law and order system listed among their achievements. Yet at the same time, they exhibited attitudes to gender, sexuality, race, politics, and poverty which would be considered shocking and disgraceful by modern standards.
This module introduces you to a fascinating and contradictory period in British history. You will discover nineteenth-century Britain by exploring its most important and contentious spaces, such as the factory, the workhouse, the prison, the city, the railway carriage, and the home. You will find out what life was really like in the long nineteenth century by studying a range of primary sources, including novels, press reports, paintings, cartoons, and autobiographies.
Why can't women pull the trigger? Why are men who refuse to fight labelled cowards? The experience of total war in the twentieth century has had major implications for understandings of both masculinity and femininity in war and in peace. In this module you’ll examine the experience of war on both the home and the battlefronts in Britain and learn how war both confirmed and challenged existing gender constructions.
Through an examination of gender roles in war and the representations of these in cartoons, films and posters, you’ll explore how war impacted on understandings of gender identities in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the First and Second World Wars. Themes include industrial and military contributions to the war effort, the relationship between the Home Front and the Battle Front, social change, as well as the combat taboo. In seminars you’ll contrast the expectations of men and women at war with actual practices by those conforming to or transgressing conventional gender roles.
This module explores the relationship between imperialism, race and the making of modern French identities. France's overseas empire was a context in which coloniser and colonised interacted in complex and unexpected ways, forging new hybrid cultures and redefining the meaning of metropolitan centres and colonial peripheries. You will encounter a variety of case studies from the Haitian Revolution of 1791 to the end of the French empire in Algeria in 1962, from the Americas to Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Key themes and topics include race, class, citizenship, the civilising mission, knowledge and power, gender and sexuality, violence and decolonisation, and the role of literature and film in history.
This module aims to encourage students to think philosophically about religious issues. Using the work of both classical and contemporary philosophers and religious thinkers, it addresses some of the central philosophical questions raised by religious belief. In addition, students will be encouraged to think historically ad contextually, in order to understand the ways in which the role of philosophy in relation to religion in the west has changed over time.
The module introduces students to the work of some of the most important philosophers from Plato to Wittgenstein and the implications of their thought for religion. It will also address themes and issues which may vary from year to year but will be drawn from the following: the nature of theism; immortality; the problem of evil; religious experience; and the implications of postmodern thought for religious belief.
Many writers have described the years of unprecedented historical change that surrounded the turn of the twentieth century as a time of 'cultural crisis'. This interdisciplinary module in US cultural history explores that so-called crisis through the close reading and analysis of a variety of important written and visual texts, including fiction and non-fiction, architecture and urban design, painting, photography and cinema. Course themes include: technology and culture, labour and capital, imperialism and the 'myth of the west', immigration and urbanisation, celebrity and consumer culture, reform politics, the Great War, and cultural modernism.
This module will explore how objects defined as ancient, beautiful or ugly, antique, artistic or collectable reflect the history of British Imperialism in South Asia. From the end of the eighteenth century, European scholars and bibliophiles were fascinated by Indian landscapes and objects. Sculptures and architecture could be described as beastly and regarded as dangerously erotic or they could be lauded as worthy of emulation. The pursuits of art history and archaeology were used to justify the necessity of foreign power in India. Antiquities were classified according to religious and chronological divisions, separating 'Buddhist', 'Hindu' and 'Muslim' materials. Museums and Art Schools were established to teach western aesthetic mores and technologies. By the end of the nineteenth century, Indian artists and art historians rejected these understandings of Indian art and art was used to challenge the colonial state.
The course will familiarise you with a range of sculptural, painted and architectural forms from India and the changing interpretation of those objects. The objects we will explore date from the third millennium B.C. to the 1940s.
This module explores the origins of modern ‘consumer society’ in Britain, introducing you to an exciting and innovative new field of historical research.
In the hundred years from the abolition of advertising tax in 1853 to the birth of commercial television in the 1950s, advertising became a ubiquitous feature of modern capitalism. You will examine the causes and consequences of this process of commercialisation using a variety of primary sources, from press reports, novels, and cartoons, to business archives, social surveys, and, of course, the advertisements themselves.
You will explore the changing relationship between people and their possessions, new retail environments, including the department store and the supermarket, how advertising has shaped modern gender identities, and how ethical consumerism was pioneered by the co-operative movement. Advertising is political, and you will also see how it helped Britain win two world wars and market the Empire to its own people. You will learn how advertisements work by designing your own advertising campaign in a particular historical context. You’ll never look at shops or advertisements in the same way again.
This module introduces central issues, problems and theories in philosophical aesthetics by critically examining specific topics in the philosophy of art, and by examining the theories of major figures who have contributed to the tradition of philosophical aesthetics. The module uses concrete examples from most of the arts, including painting, literature, film, and music, to illuminate theoretical debates and issues.
Topics and major aesthetic theorists covered may include the following (note that this list is not exhaustive and indicative only, not all topics will be covered) :
This module presents an unprecedentedly vivid picture of the lived experience of Europeans, Africans and indigenous Americans over a three-million square mile area (Carolina to the Equator; central America to Bermuda) in which Britons settled an area smaller than Yorkshire. Though you are unlikely to have much knowledge of the place or period when you start the module, most students' interests can be accommodated within the sources. You will also have access to a unique collection of (digital) facsimiles of printed and archive sources. You will study the roots of the colonial process but can adopt modern techniques of analysis and presentation such as web-authorship, databases, palaeography (handwriting). You will write traditional essays but also create an individual project, plunging into a fascinating period and place, asking challenging questions of the human experience and learning valuable transferable skills.
The seventh and eighth centuries A.D. were a time of tremendous ferment when the conflict of peoples (the Angles, Saxons, Britons, Irish and Picts), the introduction of Christianity and the partial recovery of Classical learning and knowledge were transforming the social and political landscape of the Britain. You will examine this formative period and its social and cultural conflicts as seen through the eyes of its most prolific writer, the Venerable Bede (673-735). The class will read and discuss several of Bede’s writings, especially his Ecclesiastical History of the English People; but these will also be set in their wider political, social, and cultural context through consideration of the rival perspectives of writers such as Adomnan, Aldhelm and Stephen the Priest.
This module aims to introduce the work of some key figures in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, such as Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Hannah Arendt and Habermas. The approach taken is predominantly philosophical rather than historical, and will involve critically examining claims and arguments about such matters as the existence and nature of human freedom, the relationships between knowledge, truth, power and morality, alienation and human labour, and the possibility of mutual recognition and community. It is expected that students will engage with the original texts, formulate the central arguments to be found in them and assess their cogency.
The module begins by looking at Nietzsche’s Toward a Genealogy of Morality, before turning to Foucault, who adapts Nietzsche’s method of historical analysis in order to challenge assumptions about progress toward freedom and welfare in modern societies. Finally students will study Arendt and her political thought on totalitarian politics using a parallel method of historical analysis.
This module will examine philosophical issues that arise in connection with specific sciences, in particular biology and medicine, as opposed to the general philosophy of science.
The following topics will be covered:
This module provides an opportunity for students to choose a topic related to some aspect of Politics and International Relations, Philosophy and Religious Studies which particularly interests them, and to pursue it in depth. The topic may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work. The intention is that students will develop their research skills and their ability to work at length under their own direction.
Students are expected to start thinking seriously about the 9,000-10,000 word dissertation towards the end of the Lent term of their second year, and to submit a provisional topic by the end of that term. Work should be well advanced by Christmas in the third year. The completed dissertation must be submitted by the end of the Lent term in the third year.
The Dissertation (HIST300) is a module that progresses from the methodological understandings acquired in Second-Year courses.
You will write a 10,000-word dissertation exploring a challenging historical problem. While, in many cases, we expect that the topic chosen will arise from courses you are studying, it should also be possible to accommodate topics which do not have a direct bearing on your taught courses. The aim is to give you the opportunity to work in depth on a topic of your choice, and to gain the satisfaction of working independently and of making a subject your own. Research for dissertations will usually combine work on secondary literature with the use of primary sources (in translation where necessary). You are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the wider historical context of the subject being explored by including a critical review of relevant published work and to show an awareness of the limitations of primary sources used.
Information for this module is currently unavailable.
What moral obligations do we have towards future generations -to those yet to be born, and to people whose very existence (or non-existence) depends on how we act now?
This module explores this question by examining both a series of practical case studies and some of the main concepts and theories philosophers use when thinking about these issues.
Questions considered include, among a range of others:
The labelling of the Second World War as the People’s War in Britain draws attention to the importance of the men and women who waged it. With the blurring of the Home and Battle Fronts, the conventional gender contract in which men fight to protect the vulnerable at home and women keep the home fires burning was challenged, not least by the revolutionary act of conscripting women to the war effort.
In this module you will examine how the Second World War was experienced by a wide spectrum of British men and women, some of whom identified with the war effort, some of whom were deliberately excluded, or chose to challenge gender conventions in their choice of role. You’ll consider different categorisations of experience (military/civilian; home front/ battle front; male/female) and explore whether there was a hierarchy of service and subsequently of remembrance. Were gender roles in Britain really transformed by the exigencies of war? Through a wide range of written and visual sources, including autobiographical materials, poems, photographs, films, parliamentary minutes, newspapers, posters and cartoons, we will seek to understand individual and collective experiences of the war, and their gendered dimensions.
This module focuses upon some key aspects of the history of 20th Century Philosophy.
The module begins by examining a revolution in philosophy at the very start of the 20th century with the origins of analytic philosophy. It then focuses on Wittgenstein’s radical philosophy (or anti-philosophy). Wittgenstein’s own philosophical development brings to the fore a deep schism, or tension, that has existed throughout the century’s philosophy, one which lays between those who hold that philosophy should align itself with natural science and mathematics, and those who reject this view. Students will examine whether philosophy should seek to emulate the natural sciences and illustrate the tension between scientistic and humanistic philosophy via mid-20th century debate about the nature of historical explanation.
The final lectures look at the distinction between analytic and continental philosophy in the 20th century, and upon the emergence of applied philosophy later in the century, asking whether philosophy can ever really be applied to real-life problems.
This module will introduce major themes and issues in Indian philosophy, focusing on the Hindu and Buddhist philosophical traditions. Beginning with philosophical sections in the Upanishads and the dialogues of the Buddha, the module will trace the development of Indian philosophy from the early to the classical periods. Various ethical, metaphysical, and epistemological concepts will be covered, such as: order and virtue (dharma), consequential action (karma), ultimate reality (Brahman), the nature of the self (atman), the highest good (moksha), and the means for attaining knowledge (pramana).
Throughout the module, students will look at the dialogical relationship between the Hindu and Buddhist philosophical traditions, particularly the shared practice of debate.
This module provides an introduction to formal logic together with an examination of various philosophical issues that arise out of it. The syllabus includes a study of the languages of propositional and quantificational logic, how to formalize key logical concepts within them, and how to prove elementary results using formal techniques.
Additional topics include identity, definite descriptions, modal logic and its philosophical significance, and some criticisms of classical logic.
Are psychopaths evil or sick? Should the NHS pay for the treatment of nicotine addiction? Is it right for shy people to take character-altering drugs?
Whether a condition is considered a disease often has social, economic and ethical implications. It tends to be taken for granted that what it is to be healthy can be identified and is desirable. Similarly, it is assumed that those who are diseased or disabled can be diagnosed and require help. In this module we question these assumptions via examining the key concepts of normality, disease, illness, mental illness, and disability.
This module is designed to allow students to gain experience of educational environments, to develop transferable skills, and to reflect on the role and communication of their own discipline. The module is organised and delivered collaboratively between Lancaster University Students’ Union LUSU Involve, the school/college where the placement is based, and the department.
The module will give students experience of classroom observation and experience, teacher assistance, as well as teaching small groups (under supervision). In particular, the module will not only give students the opportunity to observe and experience teaching and learners for themselves, it will also require them to reflect on how their own subject area (Religion, Politics and International Relations, or Philosophy) is experienced by learners, delivered in other parts of the educational sector, and applied in a classroom setting. Students will also be asked to reflect on how teaching and learning at this earlier level combines with what is taught and promoted at the level of Higher education (as experienced in the University).
Despite the title, this module explores a breadth of issues that preoccupied the educated elite of seventeenth-century England. We look at religious, political, intellectual, social and economic and intellectual factors affecting the emergence of the ‘new natural philosophy’ in England.
One of the most debated questions in the history of science is whether there was a ‘Scientific Revolution’ in early modern Europe. Mid seventeenth-century England underwent profound change, and makes an ideal test case. The achievements of Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton (“the last magician”) provide intriguing evidence, as do more co-operative ventures such as the founding in 1660 of the Royal Society and the earlier efforts of radical Puritans. Can we connect changes in thinking with the political crises of the English Civil War, The Restoration of the Monarchy, and the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688? (We can!) What were the roles of religious conflict and of England’s emergence as a modern capitalist society? (Big!)
The course begins with overviews (helpful for those new to the subject) of the developments we will study. It goes on to consider what we might mean by a revolution in thinking, and examines four leading historical explanations. We turn to the influence of Francis Bacon and his New Atlantis, his vision of a pious scientific utopia. We ask whether he inspired Royalists like William Harvey, Cromwellians like Samuel Hartlib and, later, the moderate Fellows of the Royal Society like Robert Boyle. Recent reassessments of Boyle and Newton as alchemists lead us to ask how new was their “new philosophy” or “new science”. Likewise, although The Royal Society is a prestigious institution today, how did it fare when first founded by Charles II, and did it produce useful knowledge and inventions of the kind foreseen by Bacon?
With its invention of democracy, the grandeur of the Parthenon, and the drama of Aristophanes, the Classical period in ancient Greece is often seen as the ‘Golden Age of Athens’. This module investigates religious, social and cultural life in ancient Greece in the Classical age, paying particular attention to how the Greeks negotiated relations with their gods, and how Greek religion interacted with politics, culture and other categories in the historical process. Major themes include Athenian democracy, the Olympic games, gender identity, archaeology of sacred space, monumentalization of the Greek past, deification of kings, dedicatory practices, divination and other means of communication with the divine.
You will engage with a range of evidence from Thucydides to Greek poetry and drama (in English translation), inscriptions on stone, and Greek art and iconography. One or two visits to museums will take place on certain Tuesdays at your own expense.
This module will examine philosophical accounts of the imagination. It will look at theories of the nature of the imagination and its connections to other mental states, such as attention, emotion, memory, beliefs, intentions, and desires.
In addition, a range of topics focusing on the role of imagining in a number of different domains will also be explored, including moral judgement, practical reasoning, perception, pictorial experience, and modal thought.
In this module you will address the construction of memory at various sites, principally museums and monuments, in which versions of the past are represented or conflict with one another. The main substantive module content you will study concerns some of the crucial cases in memory studies: the commemoration and representation of the Holocaust, war, and the history of race and slavery. You’ll encounter the commemorative landscape of the Washington, DC, Mall as well as memorials, museums, and historic sites in Britain and continental Europe. You will also consider representations of the past in materials such as films and written works. The module will require several field trips to regional museums and/or memorials, which will help to illuminate and prompt debate on module themes and form the basis for some of the assessed work.
In this module you will study the content, character and function of Nazi propaganda as it was presented in film. The films will be used to understand how National Socialism tried to sell its messages, ranging from the ideal of a harmonious national community, national strength and a militaristic attitude, to anti-Semitic hatred, the commitment to total war and relentless fanaticism. You will also study the retrospective presentation of the Third Reich in film ranging from the struggle to come to terms with a difficult past to the financially successful marketing of history. This will show both a wide variety of perspectives on National Socialism as well as the function such representations serve at the time they are articulated and visualised. The module thus enables you to explore the challenges and opportunities films provide as historical sources in trying to understand the past.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Our graduates have a number of career paths open to them, including journalism and publishing, marketing, PR and retail management. Core skills including independent research, critical analysis and effective presentation have enabled recent graduates to gain roles with major employers including Marks & Spencer, Santander, BskyB and Sainsbury’s. The interdisciplinary research methodologies, critical analysis, organisational and writing skills developed over the course of our degrees can lead to career destinations including business, marketing, the media, publishing, the Civil Service and the public sector. Many of our graduates decide to progress to postgraduate studies with us or other institutions, often entering into research and teaching positions.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2019/20 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2018 were:
Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more details here:
For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Optional field trips may be offered on this course for which students will be required to pay their travel costs
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.
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Typical time in lectures, seminars and similar per week during term time
Average assessment by coursework