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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: British Politics and Policy in the Second World War (online) (PGHC11443)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryRanging across the domestic and international realms, this course explores British politics, policy and leadership during the Second World War. A research-led course, students will engage with primary sources as well as the latest historiography, and be encouraged to challenge enduring national myths.
Course description Ranging across the domestic and international realms, this course explores British politics, policy and leadership during the Second World War. From the appeasement strategy of Neville Chamberlain to Churchill's inspiring war leadership, and from the ascendancy of the Conservative party to the rise of the Labour party under Clement Attlee, students will examine the key challenges confronting national decision-makers at home and abroad. A research-led course, students will engage with primary sources as well as the latest cutting-edge historiography, and be encouraged to challenge enduring national myths.

Seminar Outline:

1. The Inter-War Conservative Ascendancy
2. Appeasement & the Road to War
3. The Phoney War
4. The Rise of Churchill
5. The Empowerment of Labour
6. The Crisis of Conservatism
7. Churchill as War Leader
8. Grand Strategy
9. The Origins of the Welfare State
10. The 1945 General Election
11. Course Conclusion
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Command of a substantial body of historical knowledge
  2. The ability to develop and sustain historical arguments in a variety of literary forms, formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence
  3. An understanding of the varieties of approaches to understanding, constructing, and interpreting the past; and where relevant, knowledge of concepts and theories derived from the humanities and the social sciences
  4. The ability to address historical problems in depth, involving the use of contemporary sources and advanced secondary literature
  5. Clarity, fluency, and coherence in written and oral expression
Reading List
Paul Addison, The road to 1945: British politics and the Second World War (1994)
Steven Brooke, Labour's war the Labour Party during the Second World War - ebook
Robert Crowcroft, Attlee's War: World War II and the Making of a Labour Leader (2011)
N. C. Fleming, Aristocratic appeasement: Lord Londonderry, Nazi Germany, and the promotion of Anglo-German misunderstanding - ebook
James Hinton, Women, social leadership, and the Second World War continuities of class - ebook
Talbot C. Imlay, Facing the Second World War strategy, politics, and economics in Britain and France, 1938-1940 - ebook
Kevin Jefferys, War and Reform: British Politics During the Second World War (Documents in Contemporary History) (1994)
David Reynolds, From World War to Cold War Churchill, Roosevelt, and the international history of the 1940s - ebook
Paul Smith, Government and the armed forces in Britain 1856-1990 - ebook
Andrew Thorpe, Parties at war political organization in Second World War Britain - ebook
Rhiannon Vickers, The Labour Party and the World, 1 The Evolution of Labour's Foreign Policy, 1900-51 - ebook
Ian S. Wood, Britain, Ireland and the Second World War - ebook
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - An understanding of the methods and skills involved in historical study
- The ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
- The ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
- The ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
- The ability to extract key elements from complex information
- The readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- The ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding
- The recognition of the importance of reflecting on one's learning experiences and being aware of one's own particular learning style
- The openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- The 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
- The ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought.
- The ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
- Intellectual curiosity
- The ability to make effective use of oral, written and visual means convey understanding of historical issues and one's interpretation of them.
- The ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
- The ability to collaborate and to relate to others
- Readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
- The ability to articulate one's skills as identified through self-reflection
- A command of bibliographical and library research skills, as well as a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- Close reading of textual sources
- An ability to produce coherent and well presented text, sometimes of considerable length
- An ability to produce text to meet standard presentational specifications as laid out in a style sheet
KeywordsBritish,Politics,Policy,Second World War
Course organiserMiss Sarah Moxey
Course secretaryMiss Clara Burns
Tel: (0131 6)50 4459
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