Working Lives in the Factories and Mills: Textile History and Heritage




University of Strathclyde


Future Learn


Free (certificate fee: USD$ 59, optional)

Available in



This course describes the lives of textile industry workers during the Victorian era in order to better understand Britain's industrial heritage. It is offered by the University of Strathclyde through Future Learn, an online education platform.

It delves into the development for one of Britain’s key industries and discover how workers’ lives changed throughout the Victorian period, as they adjusted to new professional identities, workplaces and technology. Through video, participants will be introduced to four different millworkers’ heritage sites: New Lanark, Stanley Mills in Perthshire, Verdant Works in Dundee and Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, as you explore their history.

Some of the learning outcomes of the course are:

  • Exploring the range of activities involved in working in factories and mills in the long nineteenth century, and how these changed during the period covered by the course
  • Assessing representations of millworkers from this period, as well as writings by the workers themselves, and discussing how they relate to wider questions of class, gender, and professional identity
  • Investigating how museums represent factory workers
  • Locating material relevant to this field through online archives