Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The British Atlantic World in the 18th Century
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 1  (3,000 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Essay 2  (3,000 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1  (3,000 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2  (3,000 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant historiography of the British Atlantic World during the long eighteenth century.

Think comparatively about the differing experiences of the cultures and societies that circled the Atlantic basin in the eighteenth century.

Discuss the interpretative problems and prospects associated with this topic.

Illustrate, analyse and evaluate historical writing concerned with the British Atlantic World in this period, showing a familiarity with the genre of Atlantic history.

Brief description

Atlantic history is fast becoming one of the most fascinating ways in which to approach the study of early Europe and America. The discovery of the new world by Columbus in 1492 brought four continents and three races into interaction, where there had been little or no communication before. This module will concentrate on the British Atlantic world between 1689 and 1776. Settlers in the British colonies, in particular, lived in a world which was intricately connected to and shaped by cosmopolitan and international communities which spanned the Atlantic. The ocean facilitated rather than hindered travel, trade and communication with people from distant lands and cultures. This module will cover themes including the formation and settlement of Britain'r Atlantic empire, the interaction with and destruction of indigenous societies, migration, the growth of the slave trade, commerce, imperial conflict and revolutionary politics.


This module provides an extra British Isles dimension to the current modules on offer to those students following the early modern and eighteenth century MA pathways.


1. What is the British Atlantic World? / What is Atlantic history?
2. Settling the British Atlantic world
3. Migration
4. Trade
5. The British Atlantic slave trade
6. The Atlantic revolutions

Individual tutorials
2 tutorials of 15 minutes, primarily for giving feedback on written work.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Seminar discussion and essay writing. The latter is formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Seminar and tutorial discussion; tutors¿ feedback.
Information Technology Locating some journal articles electronically. Surveying the historiography of the subject using various search tools. Essay-writing and presentation
Personal Development and Career planning Studying the module puts students in direct contact with librarians at the National Library and elsewhere in the course of researching essays and considering research projects undertaken over recent years at NLW and elsewhere in Aberystwyth.
Problem solving Demonstrating an understanding of the nature of a comparative analytical approach, and how this approach can be applied to the study of the complex and multi-layered British Atlantic World across this particular period.
Research skills Mainly concerns the location of secondary material. Assessed through the essays.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a broad range of historical writing relating to the British Atlantic world and Atlantic historiography.
Team work Seminar work


This module is at CQFW Level 7