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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Britain, Ireland and Empire c. 1800-2000 (HIST08040)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on the history of, and relations between, Britain, Ireland and the Empire over the period c.1800 to 2000. The main focus will be on British history but this will be placed firmly in the context of the evolving history of the United Kingdom and the British Empire.
Course description The course provides a wide-ranging introduction to the history of, and relations between, modern Britain, Ireland and the Empire over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Although the course is organised chronologically, various themes underpin it. These include the evolution of the British political system, the development of the British state, the changing nature of the union (with particular emphasis on British-Irish relations), the expansion (and eventual loss) of an overseas British empire, and Britain as a warfare state (with particular emphasis on the two world wars). Students enrolled on the course will not only be introduced to some of the key events and debates in these fields, but will also be encouraged to reflect on the notion of modern British history as a series of interconnecting circles radiating out from Westminster to the wider United Kingdom and far beyond.

Attached is a provisional lecture programme (Please note this is subject to modification):

c. 1800-2000

1. Introduction


2. Britain as a union state
3. Britain as an imperial state
4. Representation and reform
5. Parties and pressure groups
6. Moral and social reform
7. Monarchy and ┐Victorian values┐
8. When was Britain modern?


9. Women┐s suffrage
10. The rise of the Labour movement
11. The growth of the state
12. The Irish question
13. The expansion of empire
14. Britain and the origins of the First World War


15. The Great War
16. The creation of the Irish Free State
17. Commemoration of the fallen
18. Inter-war politics
19. The inter-war state
20. Britain and the origins of the Second World War
21. The Second World War
22. War and the geographies of nation


23. The creation of the welfare state
24. Consensus politics
25. Decolonisation
26. Britain, Europe and the USA
27. The Troubles in Ulster
28. Multi-cultural Britain
29. Thatcherism
30. New Labour
31. The new political elites
32. The break up of Britain?

33. Conclusion
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in any first level course achieved no later than August of the previous academic year.
Additional Costs Students may wish to purchase some texts.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 1 introductory level History course at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of source materials;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others.
Reading List
P. Adelman, Great Britain and the Irish Question 1800-1922 (London, 2001)
P. Clarke, Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2002 (London, 2004)
E. Evans, Parliamentary Reform 1770-1918 (Harlow, 2000)
E. Evans, The Forging of the Modern State 1783-1870 (Harlow, 2001)
D. Fraser, The Evolution of the British Welfare State (Basingstoke, 2009)
A. Jackson, Ireland 1798-1998 (Oxford, 1999)
P. Kennedy, The Realities Behind Diplomacy: Background Influences on British External Policy 1865-1980 (London, 1989)
F. McDonough, The British Empire 1815-1914 (London, 1994)
M. Pearce and G. Stewart, British Political History 1867-2001 (London, 2001)
B. Porter, The Lion┐s Share: a History of British Imperialism 1850-2011 (Harlow, 2012)
M. Pugh, The Making of Modern British Politics, 1867-1939 (Oxford, 2002)
M. Willis, Democracy and the State 1830-1945 (Cambridge, 1999)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and abilities in research and inquiry
┐ ability to draw valid conclusions about the past
┐ ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
┐ ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
┐ ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
┐ ability to extract key elements from complex information
┐ readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational inquiry
┐ ability critically to assess existing understanding and the limitations of knowledge and recognition of the need regularly to challenge/test knowledge
┐ ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding
Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy
┐ openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
┐ ability to identify processes and strategies for learning
┐ independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one┐s own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
┐ ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought
┐ ability to test, modify and strengthen one┐s own views through collaboration and debate
┐ intellectual curiosity
┐ ability to sustain intellectual interest
Skills and abilities in communication
┐ ability to make effective use of oral and written means to convey understanding of historical issues and one┐s interpretation of them.
┐ ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
┐ ability to collaborate and to relate to others
┐ readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness
┐ ability to approach historical problems with academic rigour
┐ ability to manage and meet firm deadlines
┐ possession of the confidence to make decisions based on one┐s understanding and personal/intellectual autonomy
┐ ability to work effectively with others, capitalising on diversities of thinking, experience and skills
KeywordsBritain,Ireland and Empire
Course organiserDr Jeremy Crang
Tel: (0131 6)51 1255
Course secretaryMiss Stephanie Blakey
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
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