British Political History

Module code: L2010
Level 4
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module provides an overview of the major developments in British political history since 1900, focusing mainly (but not exclusively) on the post-war period. You focus on the major challenges domestic and international which have confronted political elites and masses during the period. It provides a critical understanding of some of the major debates between and within the UK's major political parties, and introduces some of the academic arguments generated by them. Politicians, and indeed political scientists, often make use of particular versions of history in order to persuade people that what they are offering is either tried and trusted or, on the other hand, new and improved. Pundits are also fond of making casual allusions to political events of the past in order to illustrate or support their arguments about the present often based on little more than second-hand knowledge and outdated received wisdom. This module provides a firm foundation of knowledge on which to build the more advanced understanding promoted by more advanced modules. And, by subjecting to critical analysis what is often taken for granted, it encourages a degree of healthy scepticism towards any references to politics in the past made in both public and academic discourse.

Module learning outcomes

  • Identify the key features of British political history since 1945.
  • Contribute to discussion about British political history since 1945.
  • Read and comment in writing on an aspect of British political history since 1945.
  • Demonstrate a broad grip on the chronology and major themes of British political history since 1945.