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Unit information: Teenage Kicks: Youth and Subcultures in Britain since 1918 in 2021/22

Unit name Teenage Kicks: Youth and Subcultures in Britain since 1918
Unit code HIST30097
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Charnock
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

From flappers and Teddy Boys to football hooligans and ladettes, images of young people have often defined perceptions of British culture in the twentieth century. Teenagers were held up as symbols of Britain’s vitality and potential for the future at the same time that they were being criticised for their supposed hedonism, laziness and self-indulgence. As the contemporary media continues to emphasise the social distance between so-called ‘Baby-boomers’ and ‘Millenials’, this unit provides an opportunity to think more critically the ‘generation gap’ and how relationships between adults and young people shape British society.

This unit takes a thematic approach to consider the changing roles and perceptions of young people in Britain over the last century. The unit will explore broad changes in the lives of young people, considering how changes in education, work, politics and leisure came to reshape the nature of teenagers’ experiences. However, it will also look in more depth at a series of youth subcultures and use these as a way of thinking about how these broader changes combined to create distinct communities and cultures at specific moments in time.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically assess existing conceptualisations of youth culture and subcultures
  2. Differentiate between historians’ interpretations of changes in youth culture in post-war Britain.
  3. Synthesise and evaluate primary sources to build wider arguments about social change and continuity.
  4. Present their research and judgements in written forms and styles appropriate to the discipline and to level H/6

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

1 x 3500-word Essay (50%) [ILOs 1-4]; 1 x Timed Assessment (50%) [ILOs 1-4]


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If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HIST30097).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.