Life among the Victorians: Researching and Writing 19th century British History

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Life among the Victorians: Researching and Writing 19th century British History

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content
    This module introduces students to life in Britain during a period of great reform, both in
    terms of the relationship between government and the people and in the way people
    saw themselves. We explore the transformation of a rural society into one concentrated
    in large towns and cities and the challenges this creates. We draw in issues of class,
    religion and poverty; changing attitudes to private and public lives; emergence of leisure
    as a commodity and consumerism as past-time; responses to new understandings of
    disease; debates about the role of women and changing ideas about family and children.
    Alongside these debates in social history, the module will investigate the politics of an
    era which saw a slow transition into a modern democracy, focusing on iconic figures
    such as Disraeli and Gladstone.
    Indicative content:
    * An age of reform: extending the franchise and the politics of reform, including
    the leading influencers of change such as Disraeli and Gladstone and movements
    such the Chartists.
    * The birth of party politics.
    * Technology and mobility, from the railways, the telegraph and telephone to the
    motor-car; 'What the Victorians did for us'.
    * Urbanisation and industrialisation: the relationship between these twin pillars of
    Victorian society
    * The significance of the rise of the middle class: class and respectability in
    Victorian Britain.
    * The birth of ?Big Government?: poverty, public health crises and education for the
    masses; and of ?Big Society?: philanthropy, charity and relationship with changing
    influence of religion on people?s lives.
    * Changes in leisure and culture, from the introduction of mass spectator sports to
    the birth of shopping as a leisure activity.
    * Women?s changing roles, their entrance into higher education, the workforce,
    and campaigns for the vote; and changing notions of the family.
    * Victorian Immigrant Populations: the search for the non-white British population
    in 19th century Britain.
    * Crime and prostitution
    * The rise of science as an explanation for the unexplainable and the unexplainable
    and the popularisation of science.

    Teaching: Lectures, workshops, seminars and field trips


    TUDY OPTION 1: two 2,000 word essays.
    STUDY OPTION 2: a 2,000 word essay
    STUDY OPTION 3: One 1500 word essay with accompanying 500 word source question.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.