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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3728 The Breaking of Contemporary Britain: Challenges from the Post-War Period

20 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Dr Alan Macleod

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module will examine the historical roots and developments of a number of issues of contemporary significance, which, at their centre, challenge the unitary British state. The module will examine the historical roots and developments of a number of issues of contemporary significance, which, at their centre, either seek to fundamentally alter a given element of the British political system or even threaten the continued unity of the British state. It will do so covering a timeframe that extends from the period of post-war austerity through to the present period of austerity.


On the completion of this module, students should:
- Develop an understanding of contemporary challenges to the unitary British state and their historical roots.
- Be able to engage with the historiographies on post-war British politics.
- Understand the perspectives of groups challenging British unity, whether constitutional political parties working within the system or paramilitary organisations attempting to overthrow it. Students will also investigate how supporters of the status quo are seen by members of these groups and, in turn, how they are seen by those supporting the status quo or those seeking to achieve the same ends but by different means.
- Be able to articulate their ideas and perspectives effectively in group discussion.
- Further develop their writing skills.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Analyse and understand the challenges to British unity.
- Critically discuss the history of these challenges.
- Identify historiographical interpretations, evaluate them, and form an individual viewpoint.
- Further develop oral and written communication skills.


1. Introduction
2. Austerity Britain
3. The Role of the State
4. Into Europe
5. Unions
6. Scotland
7. Wales
8. Northern Ireland
9. Insurgents
10. Out of Europe?
11. Revision Seminar

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will complete set reading, undertake self-directed study around the topic, and research and prepare material for assessed coursework and the end of module examination.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be monitored on their class contributions, participation in VLE activities, a presentation worth 10% of the overall class mark, and an assessed essay worth 30% of their overall mark.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 words due by 12 noon Monday of week 750.00
Essay2,500 words due by 12 noon Monday of exam week 150.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:25:08


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