Topics in British Politics

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr Peter Kerr

This module will allow students to develop a specialised interest in British politics. Students will examine key trends and 'topics' in British politics from an historical, conceptual and policy-related perspective. 

The course opens with six lectures aimed at providing students with an overview of key developments in, and scholarship on, post-war British politics, prior to more focused seminar work on a range of topics. 

The lectures cover key developments in postwar British politics, debates about state institutions and civil society in Britain and analytical approaches to studying topics in British politics.

In the seminars students will be asked to examine specific 'topics' in British politics through the lens of the key themes outlined in the lecture series. The topics are as follows: Political Change in Postwar;Britain; ‘Blairism’ and New Labour; Cameron and the Transformation of the Conservative Party; Constitutional Reform in Contemporary Britain.

These topics are designed to allow students to focus on a range of issues relating to the state and civil society in Britain.  The course is aimed at equipping students with an overview of key developments in British politics by focussing on issues such as change & continuity, power, policy developments and institutional change.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with general trends in postwar British politics.
  • Identify key developments and controversies relating to a number of the topics covered in the course.
  • Relate specialised knowledge of specific ‘topics’ to broader developments in postwar British politics.
  • Communicate ideas about British politics in a structured and coherent manner both orally and in writing


  • Term Two: 1 x 3,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 3 hour exam (50%)

Related courses:

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.