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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HIST5540M Defending the Nation: Britain during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1793 to 1815

30 creditsClass Size: 10

Module manager: Dr Kevin Linch

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Between 1793 and 1815 the British government and its armed forces faced a new kind of threat to its security from France - a revolutionary state that was able to mobilise significantly larger military forces than had been seen before and was willing to openly support internal insurrections. The British government countered this with a scale of mobilisation not replicated until the twentieth century and one that had a lasting and complex effect on British society, government, and its armed forces.We will study the multifaceted response of Britain to the external and internal threat, examining issues such as political mobilisation, concepts of security, military expansion, anti-invasion planning and fortifications, and the development of national defence. Furthermore, the module offers you the chance to explore how these changes impacted on a generation that grew up with the first 'Great War' and the communities they lived in, so exploring the debate on the significance of this period in British history.


On completion of this module students should be able to:
- analyse the developments in British national defence and security at both a national and local level
- assess the impact of Britain's mobilisation on society through a range of places and people
- explore and conceptualise the relationship between British society and the armed forces
- critically evaluate the historical debate on the importance of this period in British history
- evaluate a range of primary source material available for studying this topic.


Topics studied in this module will include:
- The political response to the war
- Defence planning
- Mass mobilisation
- Local dimensions
- Nationalism, patriotism, and the individual.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours278.00
Private study hours0.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

- Researching, preparing and writing assignments
- undertaking set reading
- and reading around the topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored in the same way all taught PG modules are monitored within the School.

Examples include monitoring: student interaction, participation in class and the preparitory work students complete.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 word assessed essay to be submitted by 12 noon on Monday of examination week 267.00
Essay1 x 2,000 word assessed essay to be submitted by 12 noon on Monday of teaching week 1033.00
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 15:25:09


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