ATS2590 - Twentieth-century Britain: Rule Britannia to cool Britannia - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit


Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Seamus O'Hanlon


Jamie Agland

Not offered in 2019


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.




Over the course of the twentieth century, Britain underwent massive political, social and economic transformation. In 1900 the country controlled the largest empire in the history of the world, but two world wars, a depression, decolonization, rapid deindustrialization, as well as major civil and industrial unrest meant that by the 1970s Britain was in serious decline, in some ways the 'sick man of Europe'. Recent years have seen a major revival in its fortunes and influence on the world stage. Drawing on a range of sources, including art, literature and popular culture, this unit traces the story of the rise, decline and re-emergence of the country across a century of rapid change.


On successful completion of this unit student will:

  1. Have a good understanding of the history of twentieth century Britain.
  2. Have an understanding of the importance of social movements to processes of political change
  3. Have an understanding of the importance of economic issues to processes of political, social and cultural change
  4. Have an understanding of the importance of culture - including popular culture - to historical research
  5. Be familiar with the research skills and methods of social, cultural and economic historians
  6. Have experience in working with a range of textual, visual and material historical resources
  7. Have further developed their oral and written communication skills, including skills in writing for non-specialist audiences
  8. In addition to the above, students undertaking the unit at level three will have demonstrated the ability to conceive and complete an independent historical research project.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study