Module Catalogue 2023/24

HIS3220 : British Foreign Policy since Suez

HIS3220 : British Foreign Policy since Suez

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Martin Farr
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 20 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module analysis British foreign policy since the Suez Crisis of 1956.

The module aims to explain British foreign policy since the Suez crisis of 1956, after which point Britain’s reduced global status was finally undeniable, and the country was infamously accused of having “lost an empire, but not yet found a role”. It considers Churchill’s conception of Britain at the centre of three concentric circles – the US, Europe, and Commonwealth – and the determinants of foreign policy, both external and internal. Case studies will serve as a means of assessing whether British foreign policy was tied to coherent national interests, or was prone to “delusions of grandeur". It goes through until the present, the Global Britain agenda of 2021.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is a guide to the topics covered; actual topics may differ from those listed: the UK-US ‘special relationship’; European integration; decolonisation; ‘East of Suez’; the Cold War; the Falklands; Gulf War; Iraq; ‘Liberal Interventionism’; overseas development; the Foreign Office and central government.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will gain knowledge of the range of sources available for the study of the British foreign policy, their advantages and limitations. They will have a critical awareness of the historiography surrounding the subject, and be able to relate it to other relevant debates in British history.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The students will develop the following intellectual skills: the capacity for independent study and critical judgement and of the ability to respond promptly, cogently and clearly to new and unexpected questions arising from this study; Reading, understanding, critiquing, and comparing historical arguments; Analysing and evaluating historians’ use of evidence; Interpreting and contextualizing primary sources.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Part of student contact hours
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1671:00167:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Independent learning and wide reading are at the heart of this module. Students are expected to develop critical reading and note-taking in an independent and effective manner. A significant part the teaching will test the development of primary source analysis with an emphasis on contemporary history.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M501750 word essay
Essay2A501750 word essay
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2M500-word
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. The essays test knowledge outcomes and develop skills in research, reading and writing.

The formative will consist of a piece of writing on a mutually-agreed subject to help the student familiarise themselves with the tone and vocabulary appropriate for writing about foreign policy.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. Where an exam is present, an alternative form of assessment will be set and where coursework is present, an alternative deadline will be set. Details of the alternative assessment will be provided by the module leader.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Original Handbook text:

Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.