Cultures of Colonialism (F8030A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

In recent years, how we understand the legacies of Empire has become a question of public and political significance.

This module:

  • introduces you to colonial practices, discourses and cultures across the 19th-century British Empire and the legacies of these
  • examines the British metropole and its colonies within a single analytical framework, considering how these places were made by the exchange of people, ideas and objects along the networks that connected them.

Initially, we will cover the main approaches to the study of British colonialism, including traditional imperial history, postcolonialism and decolonial approaches. In this first part of the module, we will reflect on the conditions that have produced different, and often conflicting, interpretations of British imperialism, and why how we think about the imperial past matters today.

The latter part of the module investigates some of the cultural, social and political impacts of British colonialism at specific sites across the world, including India, Australia, the Caribbean and New Zealand.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


40%: Coursework (Essay)
60%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 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: