HS2O25-From War to the New Millennium: Making Modern Britain

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Natalie Thomlinson
Email: n.thomlinson@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module traces key themes in the making of modern of Britain. Between 1918 and 1997, the UK went through much transformation, in politics (expanding democracy, war, decolonisation and European Union), economics (the advent of social democracy, deindustrialisation and Thatcherism), society (class, gender, sexuality and race relations) and culture (media, youth and technology). By exploring these themes, it is hoped that students will gain a grasp of British histories, recognising divergent and overlapping strands in the country’s journey towards the twenty-first century.        


Part 2 Options can be either chronological or thematic. Chronological Options will usually take the form of a survey of a particular geographical area or nation over a defined period of one or two centuries. These Options aim to acquaint students with the causes and consequences of continuity and change over the long term in the political, social, economic and cultural systems under study. Thematic Options take key concepts, ideas, or debates in history and study them in a number of different contexts, either geographically or across historical periods. The aim again is to acquaint students with the causes of continuity and change, but this time by a more comparative approach.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • identify and explain the main issues and events studied

  • appraise critically the primary sources and historiographical interpretations of the subject

  • think comparatively about aspects ofAfrican, American, British, European, Middle Eastern and South Asian history over a substantial period

  • assess the nature of social, economic, political and c ultural change and the particular methodologies associated with tracing it

  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in different kinds of written exercises and orally

  • locate and assemble bibliographic and other information by independent research, using IT as appropriate

Additional outcomes:

The module aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations and team-working. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources and databases, where appropriate.

Outline content:

Beginning with a political overview, the module then examines questions of gender, class, race, education, work, culture and belief. The objective will be to study British history from both ‘above’ and ‘below’, examining how social change impacted on politics and society, and how socio-economic developments helped transform culture and politics. Throughout, the module will explore the contested nature of British history, highlighting competing narratives and interpreta tions.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The course is team-taught via a series of one-hour lectures and two-hour seminars. The lecturers will engage with their specialist subjects, as well providing open discussion with each other and their seminar group. Seminars will require preparatory reading and investigation, may include informal and interactive presentations by the module teachers; structured group discussion; short seminar papers by students; tutorials; team-based simulation exercises and debates; extensive examination of p rimary and secondary sources. We will be available for consultation as necessary.

1-hour project supervision (at the supevisor's discretion)

External visits (as directed by the supervisor and at the supervisor's discretion)

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 20
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study: 169
Total hours by term 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 2 examinations.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write ONE essay of 2,500 words, to be handed in by 12 noon on the Monday of week 11 of term, which should be submitted electronically via Blackboard. Five marks will be deducted if the coursework essay exceeds 2,625 words (i.e. 5% over the word limit).

Formative assessment methods:

A 1,000 words or two pages of A4 maximum to include, at the module convener’s discretion, an essay plan, bibliography, book review or other preparatory work towards the summative essay.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon on the third Friday of August.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: None

2) Specialist equipment or materials: None

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: None

4) Printing and binding: None

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: None

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: None

Last updated: 15 July 2021


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