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Courses / Modules / HIST2245 Room for Improvement: Building the University of Southampton, 1862-Present

Room for Improvement: Building the University of Southampton, 1862-Present

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 5
Module lead
Jonathan Conlin
Academic year

Module overview

Since its origins in 1862 to today the University of Southampton has been under construction. In this module we will be using the university's architectural history to explore our own story: a chapter in the social history of nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty first-century Britain. Each week will feature a session in the university archives and a site visit, allowing us to explore our built environment as well as the various masterplans adopted (but rarely executed) by the university throughout the past 150 years.

What can the university's halls of residence, teaching rooms, Student Union and other buildings tell us about changing ideas of the university? How has the university's relationship with the surrounding community evolved? How far has a focus on teaching students practical, marketable skills been balanced against other aims: imparting a love of learning for its own sake, for example, or instilling a set of practices and ideals capable of changing society at large? Whether "living out" or "sitting in", generations of Southampton students have had their self-image and personal aspirations shaped by the buildings in which they lived, played, studied and occasionally protested.

Linked modules

This module was already vetted and approved by SASEG on 10 October 2019. Covid prevented it from running in 2020.