Module Identifier HY36930  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Steven Thompson  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered 2004  
Next semester offered N/A  
Mutually Exclusive HY37830 , HA36930  
Course delivery Lecture    
  Seminars / Tutorials    
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1 X 2,5OO WORD ESSAY, 1 X 4,000 WORD ESSAY  40%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Describe and assess political developments in twentieth-century Britain;

Identify and explain elements of change and continuity in British political affairs during the last century;

Evaluate the different factors that acted upon British governments and political parties during the twentieth century;

Discuss with increasing confidence historiographical arguments through written and oral means;

Analyse with further sophistication primary source material in a critical and intelligent manner.

Brief description

This module offers an introduction to the political history of Britain in the twentieth century. It surveys the main political developments that have shaped Britain in the last one hundred years and locates them in the wider context of Britain'r social economic and international history. The module will examine the organisation and operation of political power in modern Britain; the influence of pressure from below and from outside Britain on governments and political parties; and the consequences of political decisions and actions on the lives of ordinary British people. At all times, questions of change and continuity will be placed in the foreground and students will be encouraged to question the factors underlying political change in modern society.


The module will introduce the students to some of the most important political developments in the recent history of Britain and explore some of the factors that have shaped Britain in the last one hundred years.


1. Introduction
2. The Victorian Inheritance
3. The Rise of the Labour Party
4. Liberal Reforms of the Edwardian period
5. The First world War
6. Female Suffrage
7. The Interwar Economic Depression
8. Fascism during the 1930s
9. The Second World War
10. The Creation of the Welfare State
11. Britain and its Empire
12. Conservative Domination, 1951-64
13. Celtic Nationalism
14. Northern Ireland
15. Into Europe: Britain and European Union
16. The End of Political Consensus?: Britain in the 1970s
17. Thatcher and the Rise of the New Right
18. A United Kingdom?: Devolution at the End of the Century

Module Skills

Problem_solving Students will be expected to identify and respond to historical problems and carry out appropriate research before the seminars and before writing essays. This will be assessed as part of the assessment of the essays.  
Research skills These skills will be developed through the research students are expected to carry out before the seminars and for the essays. This will be assessed as part of the assessment of the essays.  
Communication This skill will be developed through the two essays and the seminar discussions. Students will also be expected to give seminar presentations during the term. This skill will be assessed as part of the assessment of the essays. Seminar presentations are not formally assessed but feedback is given  
Improving own Learning and Performance Essays will be returned in essay tutorials where advice will be given on improving students? research techniques and essay writing skills.  
Team work Students will work together in seminar preparation and discussion  
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD-Roms and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.  
Application of Number Students will be presented with some statistical data during the lectures, notably election statistics, and the appropriate use of such statistics will form part of the assessment of the essays where appropriate.  
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help develop written and oral skills. Other activities, including research, assessment of information and writing in a critical and clear manner, will further develop useful skills of analysis and presentation.  
Subject Specific Skills Critical Historical skills  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
B. Coxall and L. Robins (1998) British Politics since the War
D. Childs (1997) Britain since 1945: A Political History
K. O. Morgan (1981) Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880-1980
K. O. Morgan (1992) The People?s Peace: British History 1945-1990
M. Pugh (1999) State and Society: A Social and Political History of Britain 1870-1997
Malcolm Pearce (2002) British Political History, 1867-2001: Democracy and Decline
N. Tiratsoo (1997) From Blitz to Blair: A New History of Britain since 1939
P. Johnson (ed.) (1994) Twentieth Century Britain: Economic, Social and Cultural Change
Peter Clarke (1996) Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-1990
Sean Glynn and Alan Booth (1996) Modern Britain
Stephen J. Lee (1996) Aspects of British Political History, 1914-1995
W.R. Louis (ed.) (1999) The Oxford History of the British Empire


This module is at CQFW Level 6