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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 British politics and society, 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.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: racial prejudice, racial violence. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: The Historian's Toolkit (HIST08032)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in any first level course achieved no later than August of the previous academic year.

Students on the Economic History (MA Hons) degree do not require the compulsory pre-requisite 'The Historians' Toolkit'
PLEASE NOTE: The pre-requisite is still compulsory for ALL OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMMES
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
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  103
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 161 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
2000 word essay (50%)

Two hour exam (50%)
Feedback Formative feedback will be given in writing on the essay plan. Summative feedback will be given in writing on the essay mark sheets and on the examination mark sheets. Tutors will also be available to offer oral feedback during their office hours.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, a sound knowledge of the subject considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. demonstrate an ability to make informed contributions to class discussion;
  5. demonstrate an ability to organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
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 Benjamin Weinstein
Tel: (0131 6)50 3762
Course secretaryMiss Katherine Perry
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