British Political History (L2010)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

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to illustrate or support their arguments about the present often based on little more than second-hand knowledge and outdated received wisdom.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.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Project)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: