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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

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

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: TBC
Email: TBC

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

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, either seek to fundamentally alter a given element of the British political consensus or event threaten the continued unity of the British state. The module will examine the changing nature of the British state, the relations between the different constituent parts of the UK, Britain’s relations with Europe, and various challenges that have been posed to the political consensus in the UK. It will do so covering a timeframe that extends from the period of post-war austerity through to the present time.


On the completion of this module, students should:
- Have developed an understanding of contemporary challenges to the unitary British state and their historical roots.
- Be able to Engage with the historiography 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 the same ends 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.


Topics covered may include:
Austerity Britain; the role of the state; the UK’s entry into the EEC; the role of the trade unions; Scotland; Wales; Northern Ireland; insurgents; and Brexit.

Teaching methods

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

Private study

Reading to prepare for seminars (95 hours)
Preparing and researching assessments, including formative elements (80 hours)
Reflection on feedback (3 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have the opportunity to discuss essay plans with the module tutor in one-to-one meetings and will also receive dedicated essay feedback meetings. These meetings are over and above usual office hours.
Weekly seminars.
Office hours.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 words50.00
Essay2,500 words50.00
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: 15/05/2024


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