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HIS2323 : A History of Contemporary Britain

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Martin Farr
  • Lecturer: Dr Shane McCorristine, Professor Annie Tindley
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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


This module practises contemporary history: the history of the present. It will consider all aspects of life in Britain, and Britain's relations with the wider world.

It will

1. introduce and immerse the students in critical reflection around the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of contemporary British history.

2. support students to better identify then develop their skills, including those traditionally associated with history teaching (independent research and study; critical and reflective thinking; information literacy; written expression), as well as broader skills.

Both aims are addressed in the teaching content and methods and in the assessment types. The module also aims to support the wider progression of the students and what is expected from them at Stage 2, building on their foundational Stage 1 year and preparing them for Stage 3. The wealth of primary material makes this area highly suitable for dissertations.

Outline Of Syllabus

Subjects covered may include politics, social attitudes, the economy, the nations, culture, media, foreign affairs, defence policy, education, gender, and sexuality.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Lectures, one per week
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion671:0067:00Preparation time for assessment components
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities501:0050:00Structured research and reading activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminars, one per week
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study501:0050:00General consolidation activities
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce topics and provide expert orientation and exposition on a broad range of themes and issues, supplemented by the module reading list.

Seminars will also consolidate the learning progress from lectures, and weekly readings by enabling students to focus on connected issues and material in greater depth.

Both lecturers and Seminars will often led by ongoing events which allows for the exposition and appreciation of historical context.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M20500-word written exercise which feedback will feed through into final research essay.
Essay2A803000-word research essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing. The written exercise is intended to offer the chance for feedback and understanding writing technique which the research essay will build upon.

The research essay is an extended piece of writing based on primary materials, intended to prepare students for their stage 3, including dissertations.

Students will be able to choose freely from a wide variety of questions and topics.

Reading Lists