You will study four core modules:
New Directions in Modern British History
This module will expose you to some of the key debates and moments in Modern British Studies and its associated historiography. There are difficulties in identifying organising narratives for understanding modern Britain. How do we write history that remains intellectually inclusive, avoids privileging historic and contemporary historiographical concerns and creates conversations that cut across regional, temporal and disciplinary boundaries? This module will introduce you to historical works that have stimulated new visions the past and its role in public life. If British society and culture has changed, so has the way that historians have approached and conceptualised it. While the module focuses on a series of key interventions, we will situate these in the context of broader debates about Modern Britain.
Sites and Sources in Modern British Studies
This module goes beyond thinking about Britain in terms of the great and the good and introduces you to rich and diverse sources through which historians have tried to understand the contours of everyday life in the past. The module will enable you to capture the pluralistic and inchoate messiness of ordinary life and historical change. A seaside postcard can be just as useful to a historian as a work of art. It is a module that will give you grounding in the interpretation of different sources and the problems and possibilities these present in studying the past.
This module introduces you to the major developments in historical approaches since the Second World War and to some of the major schools of, or tendencies in, historical research such as the Annales School, the English historians’ response to Marxism, cultural history, the linguistic turn, gender, history of science and critical social theory (Geertz and Foucault). The focus is on the application of the ideas to historical practice then and now.
Research Methods and Skills: Dissertation Preparation
This module covers what the dissertation project will entail. You will be expected to produce a short dissertation proposal for submission and you will be allocated a tutor who will supervise your dissertation preparation work. You will have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor, but you will also attend available generic sessions on skills run on the Research Skills module and available across the University.
You will also choose optional modules to the value of 40 credits (two single modules or one double module). These can be taken from the Department of History or from other programmes offered in the School of History and Cultures, with the approval of the Programme Director. Options available in History may include:
- 'A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’: Nuclear Weapons and the Cold War
- Britain at the Movies
- Britain’s Wars of Colonisation and Decolonisation
- Hidden from History: Homosexuality through History from the Ancient World to the Present Day
- On the Road to Nowhere? Traffic, Transport and Mobility in 20th Century Britain
- Reason and Romance: the cultural history of 19th Century Britain
- Sex and Sexualities in the Modern British World, 1880-1970
- Speaking to the People: Political Communication in 20th Century Britain
Please note that the optional modules listed on the website for this programme are intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.