Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The British Isles in the Long Eighteenth Century
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 2 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  70%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour supplementary (resit) examination  70%

Learning Outcomes

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

display a knowledge of the history of the British Isles over a fairly broad historical period and a familiarity with the relevant secondary sources.

display a knowledge of comparative perspectives of society.

to read, analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts.

develop and sustain historical arguments with increased sophistication.

gather and sift appropriate items of historical evidence with further confidence.

work independently and collaboratively (not formally assessed).

Brief description

This survey will offer students a political, social and cultural history of the British Isles in the long eighteenth century, focusing upon the making of the British nation. Students will also study Britain's component parts and tensions between them. The key political points of crises like the Jacobite rebellion, the impact of the American War of Independence and the French Revolution and the Irish revolt of 1798 will be examined. Students will also explore the culture developments in the period, such as the Enlightenment and Romanticism. The eighteenth century saw Britain become the world's first industrial nation, and in this light students will examine the nature of urban and rural life, the growth of the British working class, and the development of the middling sorts. Finally, this module will place Britain within the eighteenth-century Atlantic world, looking in particular at imperial problems and the campaign to abolish slavery.


This module will:
provide students with an overview of the history of the British Isles during the period known to historians as the long eighteenth century;
offer a broad perspective on the history of the British Isles and the relations between its constituent countries
explore major themes and developments over a comparatively long sweep of history.


1. Introduction: Restoration and Glorious Revolution
2. The Scottish Union and Jacobitism
3. Rural Life
4. Urban Life
5. The Religious Revival in England and Wales
6. Touring the British Isles
7. The Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland
8. Britain and the Enlightenment
9. The British Isles and the American War of Independence
10. Crime and Punishment
11. Popular Culture
12. The Making of the British Working Class
13. The Middling Sorts
14. Britain and the Atlantic World
15. Britain and the French Revolution
16. Iolo Morganwg and the Forging of the Welsh Nation
17. The Irish Rebellion of 1798 and the Act of Union
18. The Romantic Tradition in the British Isles

Seminars (2 from:)
1. Enlightenment
2. Revolution
3. Romanticism
4. The polite and impolite eighteenth century

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop a knowledge of the making of Britain in the 'long eighteenth century' and will learn how to navigate the historiography on the broad changes over a long chronological period.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6