University of Strathclyde



Glasgow: Health, Culture and Identity is a second year class that provides an introductory overview to the History, Culture and Identity of Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, from the medieval period to the present day. An exciting and interdisciplinary approach will be used for the teaching of the class, involving history, literature, film, and material culture. Student-centred and independent learning will be encouraged by students undertaking visits to key historical locations in the city. Themes covered in the course include the medieval city, the Reformation, Act of Union, the Enlightenment, immigration and emigration, urban expansion and industrialisation, Empire, sport, technology, culture, architecture and health. The class aligns itself to the teaching and research cluster of Scotland and the world in the History section of the School of Humanities, and the Culture and Place theme in the English section, as well as vision and themes of Strathclyde’s Institute for Future Cities. The interdisciplinary nature of the class will appeal to students from HaSS and other Faculties. The class has attracted considerable attention from both home-based and international students and intellectual interaction between these two groups of students is strongly encouraged.


School Of Humanities

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Contact Details

Dr Manuela Williams


Interdisciplinarity, Internationalisation


The course aligns itself with Strathclyde’s vision of being a leading international technological university that is firmly grounded in the heart of Glasgow and committed to community engagement. Founded on the Enlightenment ideas of John Anderson as a place of useful learning and applied Enlightenment, the Strathclyde campus is located in what was the centre of the medieval and early modern city. Students will be fully encouraged to engage with the local material culture in the city’s development.



The class has received excellent feedback from students and has been featured in the Evening Times

showing a clear potential in reaching out audiences outside academia. 



There were not many challenges, the class had been thoroughly planned in advanced. Coordination of the multidisciplinary team proved to be relatively easy, and ensuring that students would be visiting sites on a weekly basis was not logistically challenging.

On an intellectual level, however, staff in History are considering how to take forward this class into third year. The coexistence of History and Modern Languages in the School of Humanities opens up opportunities for a third year class on European cities, looking at the history, architecture and culture of those cities and their contribution to social, political and intellectual/cultural developments in Europe. Our strong links with European partner universities located in major cities through History or Modern Languages means that we can draw on the expertise of colleagues overseas to deliver innovative and intellectually stimulating teaching.


Lessons Learnt

There is nothing that the course leaders would do differently at this stage; a comprehensive process of consultation was carried out at the planning stage, which involved not only potential internal contributors to the class but also external partners, for example third sectors and architects.



This is a second year survey class and so far it has attracted between 230 students in 2015-2016 and 132 students in 2016-2017 (please note that due to University’s cuts to the first year intake in 2015-2016, the  second year’s cohort of 2016-2017 is smaller than the previous ones). The class is not capped and can accommodate large numbers of students.


Suggestions for Transferability

This is an interdisciplinary class that includes staff from across the HasS Faculty and the University.



Evening Times, Why history is all around us in Glasgow

See also Course Handbook in file section below

  File Modified
Microsoft Word 97 Document Course Handbook 2016-17.doc Apr 25, 2017 by Robina Nicholson
JPEG File header image 2.jpg Apr 25, 2017 by Robina Nicholson