Historical Childhoods (X3253)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

This module provides an introductory overview of the history of childhood and youth from antiquity through to the early modern and modern period, drawing primarily from Western European traditions but with reference to global contexts where appropriate. It will frame contemporary understandings of childhood and youth through the evaluation of different social constructions, different ways of exploring childhoods of the past, and the use of diverse types of historical sources.

The module will examine how childhood was conceptualised by contemporaries and scholars and look at how historical childhoods were shaped by evolutionary changes in parenting, welfare, work, health, education, leisure, and culture alongside the impact of more dramatic events like warfare and epidemics. Through a process of enquiry you will be challenged to consider key questions and debates such as whether “childhood” is a contemporary construct or an evolving state of being across history and why the child’s position in the workforce has fluctuated over time.


100%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Project)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 36 hours of contact time and about 114 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.