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School of History

HST4321 – Unravelling Britain: British History since 1801

Module code: HST4321

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 1

Module Convenor: Dr Rob Waters

Over the last two centuries, Britain has changed beyond recognition. From the industrial revolution to the sexual revolution, new forces have transformed the lives of ordinary men and women. The rise and fall of the British Empire, a series of global wars and migration to and from Britain challenged what it meant to be British, while political institutions became increasingly democratic. In the sciences, the theory of evolution, the invention of television and the coming of the atom bomb offered exciting and sometimes terrifying possibilities, with far-reaching effects on British society. New forms of leisure emerged, while attitudes towards homosexuality, race, religion and the rights of women have been redrawn. This module provides a rich introduction to modern British history, from 1801 to the present day. If you have not previously studied the period, it will give you the foundation for specialist modules in subsequent years. If you have some prior knowledge, it will challenge you with new interpretations from the cutting edge of historical research. The module introduces you to new critical approaches to the subject and draws extensively on primary sources such as film, pop music and visual imagery. It has a strong global dimension, showing how crises in India, Asia and Africa shaped the 'British World'. By the end of the module, you will have developed new skills in source analysis while challenging your preconceptions about modern Britain. Above all, we hope to enthuse you with the richness and diversity of British history, and the possibilities it offers for further study.

Assessment: Source Analysis (1,000 words) 7%, Essay 1 (2,000 words) 18%, Source Analysis 2 (1,000 words) 15%, Essay 2 (2,000 words) 35% and Take Home Exam (2,000 words) 25%
Level: 4

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