History Short Period: Britain in the 20th Century (V1321)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module is concerned primarily with the social history of Britain in the 20th century though the module is built on the premise that this cannot be understood outside of its political, economic and cultural context.

We will take a thematic approach to show just how radically the lives of the British people, their attitudes and their outlook on the world changed from the turn of the century to Thatcher’s Britain in the 1980s.

You will be studying the world wars, the rise of the welfare state, attitudes to empire and immigration as well as learning about changes that affected work and family life over the course of the century.

As part of this module, you will also be introduced to many of the sources available to the historian of this period, including key primary material for historians of modern Britain from the Mass Observation archive housed at Sussex.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 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 2024/25. 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: