HI6039 - The British Women's Suffrage Movement in History and Memory

What will I learn on this module?

Amongst other things, the Representation of the People Act of 1918 gave women over the age 30, who lived in houses or on land with a rateable value of £5 or more, the vote. This was the culmination of decades of activism and campaigning by different individuals, groups, and organisations and 2018 saw a wide range of events commemorating the centenary of the Bill’s passing. Yet the Representation of the People Act did not give women the vote on an equal basis to men, and it only enfranchised approximately 2/3rd of adult women. Over the course of the module you will identify the key actors of the suffrage movement and analyse the sometimes radically different motivations and methods they employed in securing partial female enfranchisement. You will also consider how these actors and their campaigns have been remembered and memorialised – or indeed, how they have been forgotten. This module draws on a wide variety of sources including film, photographs, newspapers, documentaries, memoirs, poetry, plays, exhibition guides, novels, biographies and posters, to understand whose story has been remember, whose has been forgotten and how the narrative of female enfranchisement has been shaped.

How will I learn on this module?

The primary method of teaching for this module is through seminars. These weekly seminars are based on the discussion and analysis of pre-assigned primary and secondary literature and source material, and a variety of group work, presentations and written exercises. Reading lists and source material will be made available on BlackBoard and in hard copy (where appropriate). You will complete a weekly learning journal where you will reflect on the seminar prep material and source material covered in the seminar and how it is contributing to your overall understanding of the topic.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through your module tutor, engagement with your peers, and through the programme leader. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised Feedback and Consultation hours and via email. Your peers will provide you with a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your degree programme, of which this module is part. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures, and resources available on the eLP. Formative feedback will be on-going through seminar activities and assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key figures and organisations connected to the suffrage movement.
2. Apply critical theories of cultural memory and representation to commemorations and representations of the suffrage movement.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Demonstrate reflective practice and develop the ability to communicate ideas effectively and fluently
4. Display an ability to analyse and evaluate different kind of sources.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Show sustained reflection on your own experience of engaging with contemporary interpretations and narratives of historic events.

How will I be assessed?

1 x exhibition project portfolio (weighted 50%).
Students will complete an individual project portfolio for their final assessment in which they draw upon their knowledge of the topic to design a memorial, exhibition or event on the topic of ‘Women’s Suffrage in the United Kingdom’. This work will be submitted alongside a 1,500 -word reflective commentary on the ideas and decisions taken in developing the chosen output. This project will test the students’ ability to put their theoretical knowledge into practice, providing them with an opportunity to address directly issues arising from their research and demonstrate an awareness of the practicalities associated with the heritage industry.

The project portfolio will include the following:
1. Site plan (to scale)
2. Catalogue of object(s) to be included in memorial, exhibition, or event, to include:
(a) Object descriptor (i.e. name of object, size, material and source);
(b), either:
• for objects – original interpretative labels (no more than 80 words per label, up to a total of 750 words)
• for a memorial – up to 5 original interpretative poster boards (no more than 150 words per board)
• for an event – suitable accompanying material (no more than 750 words)
3. A 1,500 word reflective commentary

There will be a dedicated seminar session on the assessments and detailed guidance about the Individual Project Portfolio will be available on Blackboard..
(MLOs 1-5)

1 x 3,000 word essay (weighted 50%).
(MLOs 1-4)

Through weekly journal responses, you will undertake work that is formative for your portfolio assignment. Verbal and written feedback will be given on all summative assessed work.





Module abstract

Students taking ‘The British Women’s Suffrage Movement in History and Memory’ will use wide variety of sources including film, plays, photographs, newspapers, documentaries, memoirs, poetry, exhibition guides, novels, biographies and posters to identify the key actors of the British suffrage movement and analyse the different methods they employed in securing partial female enfranchisement in 1918. You will also consider how these actors and their campaigns have been remembered, memorialised - or indeed, forgotten - and how the narrative of female enfranchisement has been shaped. Students will be assessed by (1) a 3,000-word essay and (2) a student project portfolio. The Portfolio assessment encourages students to think creatively and design a memorial, exhibition or event on the topic of ‘Women’s Suffrage in the United Kingdom’ accompanied by a 1,500-word reflective essay. Students will learn how to analyse different types of source, challenge established thinking and develop important practical knowledge of the heritage industry.

Course info

UCAS Code V100

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy