History (HIST) 486

The Industrial Revolution (Revision 2)

HIST 486 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None. Credit in at least one history course is recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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HIST 486 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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History 486: The Industrial Revolution focuses on the ways in which a series of changes in technology transformed peoples lives. The shift from domestic production to factory production that lay at the heart of the Industrial Revolution involved much more than simply a change of workplace. New ways of looking at the world—philosophically, politically, and scientifically—were part of this process, as were new relationships between women and men as well as between employee and employer. Subsequent events as disparate as the European expansion into Africa and the campaign for free trade in nineteenth-century Britain owed much to the changes wrought by industrialization. Early British industrialization (“the industrial revolution”) was a profound event that deserved careful and critical study.

Learning Outcomes

After completing HIST 486 you should be able to

  1. Understand the general outline of the Industrial Revolution.
  2. Assess multiple perspectives on each issue.
  3. Synthesize the course content and formulate some of your own conclusions.
  4. Discuss each of the topics below and come to a well-argued conclusion on:
    1. How the Industrial Revolution changed British social order and British demography.
    2. How the Industrial Revolution impacted the role of children and women in British society and in the workforce.
    3. The relationship between the Industrial Revolution and the modern labour movement.
    4. The dynamics that created the Industrial Revolution overall.
    5. The latest historiographical trends in the Industrial Revolution.


  • Unit 1: Global and Local Aspects of Industrialization
  • Unit 2: Early Industrialization and Its Impact
  • Unit 3: The Social Consequences of Industrialization: A Case Study
  • Unit 4: Organized Labour and Industrialization
  • Unit 5: The Meaning of the Industrial Revolution: Debates, Historiography, Concepts


To receive credit for HIST 486, you must achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on the final examination and a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 20%
Assignment 4 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Rule, John. The Labouring Class in Early Industrial England, 1750-1850. London and New York: Longman, 1986 (eBook)

Other Materials

Besides the textbook, HIST 486 is taught by a combination of other online materials, including a Study Guide, journal articles, and academic support.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HIST 486 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, February 10, 2021. 

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