Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Britain and World Politics from Global Empire to Brexit: The Diplomacy of Decline
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 Words  60%
Semester Assessment Essay  1500 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2500 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  1500 Words  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Discuss the key concepts and traditions of nineteenth and twentieth century British diplomacy in the context of Empire, foreign relations and defence

Explore and examine the ideological, political and economic factors that underpinned British imperial strategy before WW1

Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of the two world wars on British power and overseas policy.

Understand and analyse historical debates about British decline within the broader context of British foreign policy

Brief description

The module provides a broad historical and historiographical analysis of Britain's changing world role in the 19th and 20th centuries. It places particular emphasis on explaining the global expansion of British imperialism up to the period of the First World War, and, subsequently, analyzing and understanding the waning of British power and influence after 1919. Specifically, it focuses upon the driving ideological, political and economic forces behind British imperialism, the impact of the two world wars on Britain'r international role, processes of decolonization and the struggle to define Britain's international role in the post-1945 era. In this latter context it explores Britain's web of post-imperial relationships with Europe, the United States and the Commonwealth, and engages with late-20th century debates about British decline.


The debate about British “decline”

The ideas and realities behind British imperialism

British power and diplomacy in the 19th century world

Britain, the Great War, and the peace settlement

Britain and the Second World War

Understanding British decolonization

Britain and the USA since 1945

Britain and Europe since 1945

British diplomacy from Thatcher to the 21st century

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics.
Co-ordinating with others Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. Blackboard facilities such as the message boards and forums will also be used and students will be encouraged to contribute their comments to the entries.
Creative Problem Solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of two essays and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models;
Critical and analytical thinking Students will be required to undertake independent research and to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary political problems
Professional communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication. This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace.


This module is at CQFW Level 5