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

Undergraduate Course: From New Jerusalem to New Labour: The Labour Party in Contemporary Britain (HIST10344)

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 a study of the British Labour party since c. 1940. It examines a range of issues, from leadership to ideology and considers how far the Labour party has succeeded, or failed, in achieving its aims.
Course description This is a course on contemporary British history and asks students to consider the nature, and motive forces, of politics in a mature democracy. Given the unprecedented current public cynicism about political parties and those in power, this is a highly topical course. It is hoped that by its completion students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the issues surrounding this.

The Labour party is its area of focus because Labour offers a rich blend of political forces. The course asks students to consider the relationship between ideologies and modern politics; the problem of turning doctrines into tangible policies; the importance of personality, ambition, and rivalry in public life; and debate the role of leadership in determining political outcomes. Internal party politics and Labours relationship with the wider polity and society will be equally central to the course. Students should seek to develop their own sense of the dynamics of modern British politics.
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 Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
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
Stephen Brooke, 'Problems of Socialist Planning: Evan Durbin and the Labour Government of 1945', Historical Journal (1991).

Alec Cairncross, Years of Recovery: British Economic Policy, 1945-1951 (1985).

Robert Crowcroft and Kevin Theakston, 'The end of the Attlee government: a whimper not a bang', in Timothy Heppell and Kevin Theakston (eds.) How Labour Governments Fall (2013).

K. O. Morgan, Labour in Power, 1945-1951 (1984).

Henry Pelling, The Labour Governments, 1945-51 (1984).

Robert Crowcroft, 'The 'high politics' of Labour party factionalism, 1950-5', Historical Research (2008).

Peter Dorey (ed.), The Labour Governments, 1964-1970 (2006).

Anthony Seldon (ed.), The Blair Effect (2001 and 2005).

Anthony Seldon, Blair (2004).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Independent gathering of evidence; critical consideration of learning materials; oral argument and debate; management of timetable and workload; and the production of work to deadlines
KeywordsNew Jerusalem
Course organiserDr Robert Crowcroft
Tel: (0131 6)50 3764
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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