Reading History 1
On this unit, with Reading History 2, you will focus on the historian's craft, namely the ability to gain key skills in research, analysis, evidence-based theory and the importance of historiography (understanding what others have written before about the past) within a comparative framework. At the end of the unit, you will have completed an independent project proposal for your final year of study. Part 1 of this unit provides a grounding in the essential, generic skills of how to conduct academic research. Part 2 allows you to focus on your specific research passion and plans for independent research.
Reading History 2
On this unit, with Reading History 1, you will focus on the historian's craft, namely the ability to gain key skills in research, analysis, evidence-based theory and the importance of historiography (understanding what others have written before about the past) within a comparative framework. At the end of the unit, you will have completed an independent project proposal for your final year of study. Part 1 of this unit provides a grounding in the essential, generic skills of how to conduct academic research. Part 2 allows you to focus on your specific research passion and plans for independent research.
Modern Political Thought I
This unit introduces the history of modern political thought from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Studying a series of 'classic' texts by a range of political thinkers, we will discuss different frameworks for understanding key questions in politics such as: why should I obey the state? and what is political power, and how is it used? You will learn critical skills to evaluate the thinkers, examined with a focus on the social contract tradition.
Advanced Methods in Politics
This unit will help you to develop an understanding of research methods in politics. The unit will discuss both the limitations and advantages of quantitative and qualitative analysis for political research.
This unit will study North American slavery chronologically, charting the fate of the enslaved from the establishment of the Atlantic Slave Trade in the 15th and 16th centuries through to the emergence the abolitionist movement and the age of emancipation in the nineteenth century. It will also focus on specific themes such as ideologies of race and dominance, the economics and culture of slavery, the interplay of law and custom within an extreme form of chattel slavery, the gendered experience of enslavement and mastery, and the interplay of authority, resistance and accommodation in the operation of an unfree labour system.
Culture, Community and Conflict in Classical Greece
This unit explores the fascinating world of antiquity, focussing particularly on the distinctive society and culture of Classical Greece, as well as the causes, course and consequences of the Great Peloponnesian War, fought between Athens and Sparta.
British Society Continuity and Change 1900-1939
This unit evaluates key social, political and economic developments in British history during the period 1900 to 1939. It assesses the changing nature of society, before, during and after the First World War. The unit examines Britain’s social structure and social relations, youth, the women’s movement, poverty, the rise of Labour Party; the Decline of Liberalism and Conservative Hegemony during the interwar period and the foundation of Britain’s Welfare State.
Revolutionary China: From Confucian Empire to Economic Superpower, 1800–2000
This unit explores the revolutionary transformations (political, economic, social, and cultural) that occurred in China during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This tumultuous period saw the decline and overthrow of China’s last imperial dynasty, the creation of two Chinese republics (the Republic of China [1912–49] and the People’s Republic of China [1949–]), and China’s emergence as an economic superpower during the post-Mao era. Moving beyond traditional approaches that reduce historical revolutions to the study of high politics, this unit examines the many ways in which revolutionary transformations affected the lives of the Chinese people who experienced them.
From Imperial Russia to Soviet Union: Russia in revolution, 1890s – 1922
This unit investigates the factors and forces that undermined and ultimately destroyed Imperial Russia and then examines the creation of the Bolshevik-led Soviet Union. It employs the historiography that stresses the role of political elites as well as revisionist historiography looking at the history of Tsarist Russia, the Revolutions of 1917 and the creation of the USSR, as history from below.
From Manchuria to Hiroshima: WW2 in Asia and the Pacific
The unit combines a chronological approach to the war in the East, from the Japanese attack on Manchuria to the nuclear tests in the South Pacific, with thematic approaches highlighting topics such as food supplies, comfort women, Prisoners of War, animal and nuclear warfare, and troop entertainment.
Beyond Windrush: Race, Migration and Resistance in Modern Britain
In June 1948 the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks carrying hundreds of people from the Caribbean. This scene has become a national symbol in Britain’s history, yet Windrush was neither the first nor the last ship to carry migrants to the British Isles. This unit explores Windrush as part of a longer history of mobility in modern Britain, examine how race has intertwined with migration to order, reorder and contest the ways in which we live our lives. The unit therefore offers an alternative lens through which to understand modern British history, interrogating many of the concepts we now treat as natural (race, borders, citizenship) and situating them within a longer history.
The “Clash of Civilisations”: Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World
Espousing ideologies of holy war, discrete Christian powers went on the offensive in the late eleventh century conquering Muslim peoples in Iberia, Sicily and the Holy Land. The resultant history of the interaction between the Crescent and the Cross is much richer than one might expect. As this unit reveals, the greatest centres of political and military power in the medieval Mediterranean: Cordoba, Palermo and even the ‘crusader state’ of Jerusalem, produced great moments of cultural interchange and relative tolerance. Holy War was dispersed with long periods of peaceful coexistence. Muslims and Christians fought each other, but they also lived, worked, played and even prayed together in surprising and little known ways.
The Struggle for Mastery: Medieval Britain and Ireland, c.1066-1314
This unit explores the history of medieval Britain and Ireland from the Norman Conquest of 1066, to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. It looks at how the kings of England developed their power and came to be rulers of all of Wales and much of Ireland, and how their rule created new societies. It considers the ’paradox’ of Medieval Scotland, unconquered but heavily influenced by the south, and the ultimately unsuccessful attempts of Edward I and Edward II to subjugate the Scots. Finally, it considers the role of the Church, women, and of contemporary writers in medieval Britain and Ireland.
Egypt: Age of the Pharaohs
Ancient Egypt was one of the first great civilisations of the world. This unit explores its history from the formation of the state in the fourth millennium BC to the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332 BC. We will cover all the major periods and events of Egypt’s long history during these 3,000 years. From the lives of the pharaohs themselves – the pyramid builders and the famous Rameses The Great and Tutankhamun – to the lives of normal Egyptian villagers and foreigners living in (and sometimes ruling over) Egypt, we will look at all aspects of life down the Nile Valley. Throughout, we will study closely the primary sources left by the ancient Egyptians themselves, both written evidence and museum artefacts, including hieroglyphic temple inscriptions, papyrus letters, objects of daily life, statues, coffins, and human remains. Finally, we will look at the legacy of Egypt and the impact of this ancient culture on life in the 21st century.
Women in Power in Early Modern Europe
The unit focuses on the government and society of female rulers and leaders in seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe. It analyses the development of relationship between gender and social, political, and cultural aspects of history, and the increasing visibility of women as writers, scientists and political players in the Age of Enlightenment.
The Creation of Tudor England: 1485-1553
The Creation of Tudor England examines the establishment of the Tudor dynasty in England and Wales by Henry VII, Henry VIII and Edward VI in the period 1485-1553. Henry VII’s seizure of the throne in 1485 was a turning point in English history, ending the Wars of the Roses and creating a new dynasty – the Tudors. This unit examines how Henry VII gained control of the kingdom and how Henry VIII and Edward VI established Tudor rule throughout England and Wales. Using primary sources, it examines the social, political and artistic world of the Tudor Court and Tudor England.