This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.
Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989
The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers – the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.
History is an imprecise art and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened in the past. Most people's knowledge about the past doesn't come from professional historians at all but rather from 'public history'. Public history is the collective understandings of the past that exist outside academic discipline of history. It is derived from a diverse range of sources including oral traditions, legends, literature, art, films and television.
This module will introduce you to the study and presentation of the past. It will consider how the content, aims and methods of academic and public history compare and contrast and you will engage in your own small research project to investigate this. The module will also teach you about the fundamentals of studying and writing history at university. You will learn about essay writing, group work and critical analysis and employ these skills to understand and assess history today, both as an academic activity and as public knowledge.
Modern British History
This module explores the broad sweep of the history of the United Kingdom since its modern creation in 1801. It brings together different approaches from political, economic, social and cultural history to consider the different ways the history of a nation can be studied. At the module's heart are questions of what constitutes a nation and the extent to which British society can be considered to be unified.
The Practice of History
The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization.
At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.
The Welsh Century: Politics, Nationality and Religion, 1847-1947
This survey of modern Welsh history from the 1847 report on the state of education in Wales, to the social reforms of the Attlee government at the end of the Second World War, traces the emergence of Welsh identity through key developments such as temperance and the Sunday Closing Act, religion and the disestablishment of the church and the emergence of Welsh national institutions. It considers how Welshness adapted to and intersected with other loyalties, defined by race, gender, class and empire, and it deals with the changing social and cultural scene which saw anglicizing influences alter demographic and linguistic patterns in Wales.
The Long 1968: Protest in a Global Perspective, 1960-1980 (II)
Student activism, worker unrest, anti-war agitation, the civil rights movement, feminism – why did protest explode on a global level in the 1960s and 1970s, and what were the consequences? In this module, we will explore this question through a series of seminars focused on the analysis of a range of primary sources. We will look at forms of protest that transcended national borders, and will consider the ways in which protest movements were interconnected at a transnational level. We will also seek to place these protest movements within the broader history of the Cold War, and assess their impact on contemporary politics, culture and society. With HIH 3221, this module forms the second part of a two-part Special Subject and will allow students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the main historiographical problems, debates and primary sources concerning this period in history. Students taking the module will focus in particular upon primary sources relating to the 1960s and 1970s.
Sport and British Society (i)
This module examines the history of modern sport from its development in the late nineteenth century to the advent of the television era in the 1950s. It sets sport firmly in its wider social, economic and political context and examines sport’s different meanings to communities and individuals across Britain. Students will thus learn about the diversity of sporting traditions across British history and examine how they were shaped by wider forces such as work, class and gender. Local studies will be compared to assess the place of sport in British society and to question the idea of a national culture. The source material of sports history lies at the heart of the module and students will analyse its uses, problems and limitations.
This module forms the first of a two-part Special Subject (with HIH 3240) and will concern the main historical problems and debates concerning the history of sport. It will also introduce students to the primary sources for this period.
Sport and British Society (II)
This module examines the history of modern sport from its development in the late nineteenth century to the advent of the television era in the 1950s. It sets sport firmly in its wider social, economic and political context and examines sport’s different meanings to communities and individuals across Britain. Students will thus learn about the diversity of sporting traditions across British history and examine how they were shaped by wider forces such as work, class and gender. The source material of sports history lies at the heart of the module and students will analyse its uses, problems and limitations.
This module forms the second part of a two-part Special Subject (with HIH3239). It will be studied through the subject’s primary sources.
The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.
Britain since 1945
While Britain emerged from the Second World War as one of the victor powers, the conflict left a deep mark on the country. By the end of the war, the British government was virtually bankrupt, and in foreign affairs Whitehall faced Britain’s relegation into the second division of world powers within the emerging bi-polar world order of the Cold War. Despite the difficult economic situation, consecutive British governments pushed an ambitious programme for social reform at home and attempted to regain power in international relations through the acquisition of nuclear weapons. This third year option examines society, culture and politics in Britain since 1945. Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, we will be studying key events and developments in postwar Britain, in particular changes in the role of the state and the success or failure of social and economic policies, the Cold War and the wider international relationships – either European or transatlantic – within which Britain has pursued its interests, aspects of social change in the 1950s and 1960s (e.g. gender roles, postwar affluence and student protests), the impact of decolonization and immigration on postwar British society, the Irish question and devolution as well as Thatcherism.