Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: The Politics of the End of Empire (PLIT10117)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science 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
SummaryThe British Empire was a significant phenomenon in contemporary history. The empire's dissolution, especially from 1945 onwards, shaped the modern world and its politics. This course explores the end of empire's consequences for British politics and the shape and form of post-colonial states. By exploring the political impact of decolonization students will see its influence on the former colonial powers and the empires' political legacy in the wider world.
Course description This course will give students an introduction to the political dimension of the ending of the British Empire and its impact on world politics. Brexit, race-relations, immigration, state-building and conflict have presented many political and international questions which have roots in empire. Students across disciplines are curious to know more about colonialism. This course would assess and analyse the UK's relations with its former colonies and give students a critical outline of recent political history regarding decolonization. It would provide an opportunity for students to see the political manifestations of British imperialism on contemporary politics and evaluate the legacy of Empire, particularly the British Empire, on the post-colonial world. While firmly based in the discipline of Politics there would be inter-disciplinary engagement with History within the course.

This seminar has two objectives:
Firstly for students to understand the political implications and contemporary history of the end of empire for post-war Britain;
Secondly by using examples from across the world to understand how the decolonization of the British Empire affected the post-colonial world politically.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists (PLIT08012) OR Politics and International Relations 1A: Concepts and Debates (PLIT08017)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who lack the compulsory pre-requisites but have completed comparable courses should contact the Course Organiser to confirm if they are eligible to take this course.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
** 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
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Seminar Presentation - 10%: A 5-7 minute presentation that addresses relevant theme.
Short Essay (2000 words) - 30%: A case study of student's choice, answering a common question.
Essay (3500 words) - 60%: An analytical study answering one of several available questions.
Feedback All essays will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission. Feedback will be provided about the research presentations. General feedback will also be provided.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically explore key debates about imperialism, decolonization and post-colonialism
  2. Identify and evaluate lessons of British colonialism and its impact on national and global politics
  3. Apply theoretical historical and political concepts to real-world issues
  4. Deploy research and project management skills successfully to enhance independent learning and group work
  5. Plan, prepare and present scholarly essays and papers in political science with attention to historical and contemporary issues.
Reading List
Burbank, Jane and Frederick Cooper (2010), Empires in World History - Power and the Politics of Difference, Princeton: Princeton University Press

Chakrabarty, Dipesh (2000), Provincializing Europe - Postcolonial Though and Historical Difference, Princeton: Princeton University Press

Cooper, Frederick (2005) Colonialism in Question - Theory, Knowledge, History, Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press

Darwin, John (2009) The Empire Project - The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Heinlein, Frank (2002) British Government Policy and Decolonisation, London: Routledge

Hyam, Ronald (2006) Britain's Declining Empire - The Road to Decolonisation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Mazower, Mark (2012) Governing the World - The History of an Idea, London: Allen Lane

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have strengthened their skills in:
Communication and Research - analysing evidence and using this to develop and support a line of argument in oral and written work;
Critical Analysis - comparing, contrasting and evaluating different arguments in the work of other authors;
Project Management - working independently and as part of groups, prioritising objectives, and working to deadlines;
IT - locating material online, using blogs, LEARN and other online resources;
Social Responsibility - developing awareness how political systems work and how they may empower certain individuals and states at the expense of others.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Harshan Kumarasingham
Tel: (0131 6)51 4750
Course secretaryMr James Heitler
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information