SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MMV312073
Module Leader John Stewart
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject History
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Programme Entry Requirements, Normally an Upper Second Honours Degree in History or Cognate Discipline.

Summary of Content

The historical position of women and the role of gender in Social History and the History of Medicine and Health forms the central theme of this module. The changing status of one of the first organised occupations available to large numbers of women will be traced. Students will be introduced to a selection of case studies including the role of nurses in war; the evolution of professional organisations (the Royal College of Nursing) and professionalising strategies (e.g. establishing professional journals); professional regulation (the Registration debate and legislative framework). Study of the historiography of nursing directs the student to question the vocational and intellectual foundations of the occupation of nursing.


Topics dealt with may include 1. social class, nursing and women's work in the nineteenth century 2. Religion and religious women in nursing - towards an ethic of caring. 3. War: the significance of the Crimean War and World War 1 in the history of nursing and caring 4. international organisations and international alliances in nursing (International Council of Nurses and International Council of Women). 5.gender, status and geography in the history of midwifery in Scotland before the midwives Act 6. Gender and the professionalisation of nursing 7. Public health nursing: national and international controversies in the twentieth century (1918-1950). 8. Biography and the history of nursing.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to: 1. gain an understanding of the role of nursing in the history of women and health care in Britain;2. trace some of the issues of gender in the history of health care.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This is a seminar based module which encourages discussion and debate. The module leader will introduce the particular sessional topic and students will then engage with primary sources/historiographical debates through materials supplied by the module leader. Students will also be asked to make oral presentations on particular, pre-selected, primary sources. Assessment will be by a book review, (end of Semester B, Week 4, worth 25%); and analysis of selected primary sources (end of Semester B, week 8, worth 25%) and by an essay (end of Semester B, Week 12, worth 50%). The aim of this approach is to require students to engage with primary and secondary material and enable them to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the subject area on successful completion of the module).

Indicative Reading

Brush, B., Lynaugh, J, Nurses of all Nations: A history of the International Council of Nurses 1899-1999, (1999) Lippincott: Philadelphia. Cook, E, The life of Florence Nightingale, two volumes, (1913) Macmillan: London. Crowther, A. McGann S. Creating an identity for nurses: A history of the Royal College of Nursing, (2009) Manchester University Press: Manchester (forthcoming). Davies, C. Gender and the professional predicament in nursing, (1995) Open University Press: Buckingham. Mortimer, B. and McGann, S. New Directions in the history of nursing: international perspectives, (2005) Routledge: London. Nelson, S. Say little, do much: nurses, nuns and hospitals in the nineteenth century, (2001), University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia. Summers, A. 'Angels and Citizens: British women as military nurses 1854-1914, (2000) Threshold Press: Newbury. Sweet, H. and Dougal, R Community Nursing and Primary Healthcare in Twentieth-Century Britain, (2007) Routledge: London

Transferrable Skills

Students will further develop skills in 1. the critical analysis of historical and contemporary documents 2. essay and report writing 3. oral presentation and debating

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (PT) 147.00
Seminars (FT) 30.00
Tutorials (FT) 5.00
Assessment (PT) 18.00
Seminars (PT) 30.00
Tutorials (PT) 5.00
Independent Learning (FT) 147.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 50.00 45% Essay on topic relevant to course and mutually agreed between student and course leader (2000 words)
Coursework 0.00 25.00 45% Review of secondary text mutually agreed between student and course leader (500 words)
Coursework 0.00 25.00 45% Analysis of primary source relevant to course and mutually agreed between student and course leader (500 words)