HIS21320 Sport and the modern world

Academic Year 2023/2024

Sport is central to life in the modern world. Why do people play sport, watch sport, talk about sport, dream about sport? And why do they choose the sports that they choose? This module examines the modern passion for sport and seeks to explain this passion. It assesses to what extent the straightforward pursuit of pleasure overwhelms everything else when people chose to engage with sport. But it also looks at how such choices are defined (or refined) by the influence of ideology and tradition, class and gender, commerce and geography, education and employment. From the colosseums of the Roman Empire to the stadia of the twenty-first century, this module will consider the creation of the modern sporting world and will analyse the place of sport within the context of social, cultural, political and economic change.

Module Aims:
1. To introduce students to various ideas and manifestations of modern sport and to situate these within the evolution of modern society
2. To place sport within a political, social, cultural and economic context
3. To examine the commercialisation of sport and the importance of class
4. To discuss the relationship between sport and the media
5. To discuss the impact of sport in a local, national and international context
6. To understand the complex relationship between continuity and change in the development of the modern sporting world
7. To explore the ways in which various interest groups seek to use sport and sporting organisations

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of sport in the modern world
2. Be able to analyse the forces that have shaped the creation of modern sport
3. Assess the historiography of sport
4. Present aspects of the historical debate on sport and modern society orally and engage in discussion
5. Write scholarly essays and produce other work appropriate for a Level Two student of History
6. Interrogate the place of sport in a local, national and international context

Indicative Module Content:

1. The Modern Sporting World: An introduction
2. The Bullfight: Tradition and Modernity
3. Empires of Sport
4. Native Games: Identity and Sport
5. Moneyball: Sport and Commerce
6. Putin: Sport, War and the Power of the State
7. Television and the Transformation of Sport
8. Gender and Sport
9. Taking a Knee: Racism and Sport
10. The Future of Sport
11. The Ubiquity of Sport: Themes and Ideas

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching in this module will include lectures; seminars; research training; active/task-based learning; peer and group work; critical writing; reflective learning; enquiry & problem-based learning; debates; and case-based learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: The completed paper of 2,000 words will be submitted at the end of the semester and must draw on at least six weeks of the readings of the module. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Assignment: The completed document analysis comprising 750 words to be submitted in Week Eight Week 8 n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: This will include contribution to class discussion, clear evidence of having properly researched the set material before each seminar, and performance in in-class exercises. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on the mid-term Essay Assignment is given in writing on Brightspace. Feedback on the end-of-semester Essay Assignment will be given by appointment in one-to-one meetings.

Name Role
Julien Clenet Tutor
Ms Hayley Kilgallon Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 12:00 - 12:50
Seminar Offering 2 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 12:00 - 12:50
Seminar Offering 3 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Seminar Offering 4 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Seminar Offering 5 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 14:00 - 14:50
Seminar Offering 7 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 15:00 - 15:50