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

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary British Conservatism (HIST10343)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is an analysis of the British Conservative party, its politics and ideology from the era of Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher to that of David Cameron. It also ponders the importance of 'conservatism' as a political doctrine in modern Britain.
Course description This is a course on contemporary British history and asks students to study the role of political ideas in a competitive democracy. It focuses on contemporary conservatism - because Thatcherism shaped modern Britain, because New Labour was often seen as a response to Thatcherism, and because David Cameron's own brand of conservatism is now in government. Therefore this is a highly topical course and connects to key public debates.

Ranging from the government of Edward Heath to the present, students will analyse what conservatism is; its relationship to the Conservative party; the nature of David Cameron's inclusive vision; the failure of Heath; Mrs Thatcher's ideology; how far Thatcherism was a crusade or merely pragmatic politics; the Conservative party's struggles with the trade unions and Europe; and the extent to which conservatism in Britain since the seventies has evolved or remained the same.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 50 3780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
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, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and 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, including peers.
Reading List
Tim Bale, The Conservative Party: from Thatcher to Cameron (2010).

Andrew Denham and Peter Dorey, "A Tale of Two Speeches? The Conservative leadership election of 2005", Political Quarterly (2006).

Stuart Ball and Anthony Seldon, The Heath Government (1996).

Peter Clarke, "Mrs. Thatcher's leadership in historical perspective", Parliamentary Affairs (1992).

Richard Cockett, Thinking the Unthinkable (1995).

John Campbell, Margaret Thatcher, volume two: The Iron Lady (2003).

E. H. H. Green, Thatcherism (2005).

Matthew Francis, "'A Crusade to Enfranchise the Many': Thatcherism and the 'property-owning democracy'", Twentieth Century British History (2012).

Geoffrey K. Fry, The Politics of the Thatcher Revolution (2009).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsContemporary British Con
Course organiserDr Robert Crowcroft
Tel: (0131 6)50 3764
Course secretaryMs Caroline Grevers
Tel: (0131 6 )51 1196
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