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4ABLLIB1 Lives of London

Module convenor: Dr George Legg
Credits: 15
Pre-requisites: none
Teaching pattern: The module will be taught by four one-hour lectures and four one-hour seminars. There will also be six two-hour workshops and three site visits. 

Module description: 

From Roman traders to modern commuters, millions of people have lived in the same few square miles where you will spend the bulk of your undergraduate career. This module will provide opportunity for you to form into groups with your fellow Liberal Arts students and stage an investigation into some of these London lives. In the first half of the module, in lectures and seminars, you will begin an interdisciplinary exploration of the history and culture of London and be introduced to some essential skills and methods of academic study that you will use not only in this module but throughout the Liberal Arts degree. In the second half, you will form into groups and be set an interdisciplinary question to prompt enquiry into an aspect of London, past or present. Guided by a tutor, as a team you will seek to answer your question by engaging not only with primary and secondary readings and resources for study within King’s, but with the streets and spaces of the city itself. You will present your findings via a digital portfolio and a group presentation. As you will come to see by the end of this course, London - in all its struggles and achievements - is a fascinating microcosm of the wider world; and as such, an ideal laboratory for the study of Liberal Arts.

Module aims:

  • To use London as a laboratory for the introductory study of Liberal Arts
  • To provide opportunity for students to develop a foundational understanding of skills and methods for multidisciplinary study, research, and enquiry (including team-working and communication skills) and to apply these

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the module, a successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical understanding of elements of the history and culture of London and the lives of its inhabitants
  • Identify, analyse, and interpret relevant primary material
  • Identify and integrate relevant secondary material
  • Reflect critically on skills and methods of academic study and their application to multidisciplinary questions
  • As a group, lead a process of enquiry and investigation into a set question and gather evidence to support findings
  • Communicate ideas and arguments clearly and persuasively in writing and using digital media
  • Work collaboratively and effectively as part of a team

Core reading:

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books/films is not mandatory:

Raymond Williams ‘City’ in Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (London: Fontana Press, 1988), pp. 55-57.

Jennifer Harvie, ‘Agency and Complicity in “A Special Civic Room”: London’s Tate Modern Turbine Hall’ in D.J. Hopkins, S. Orr and K. Solga (eds.), Performance and the city (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 204-221.

London: The Modern Babylon dir. by Julien Temple (2012). 


Assessment pattern: Individual reflective essay (1,000 words) 40%, group e-portfolio 45%, individual contribution 15%

Reassessment method: 

  • Alternative assessment for students with valid MCF for group e-portfolio: individual e-portfolio
  • Alternative assessment for students with valid MCF for contribution component: mark voided and other components averaged out
  • Reassessment for group failure of group components: resubmission of group portfolio  

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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