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Programme & Unit Catalogues

PL50768: Britain and Europe

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 67%, SM 33%
Assessment Detail:
  • Essay (CW 67%)
  • Seminar (SM 33%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: This course seeks to familiarise students with some key issues in British history and contemporary politics, especially in relation to the question of Britain's past, present and future relations with 'Europe' and the wider world.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this course students should be especially familiar with:
i) The development and workings of the British political system;
ii) Debates about British identity in a historical context, and more specifically the development of party and public opinion towards 'Europe' since 1945;
iii) Debates about whether/why Britain has been an 'awkward partner' in Europe, and its relations with the wider world (including the US 'special partnership').
iv) Debates about the peculiarities of the British economy in a historical context, and more specific recent focus on issue such as Britain remaining outside the eurozone.

* Ability to select and use appropriate ideas to produce a coherent response to a pre-set question.
* Ability to select, summarise and synthesise written information from multiple sources.
* Ability to develop rigorous arguments through precise use of concepts and models.
* Ability to engage in effective oral academic communication.
* Ability to work to specifications and meet deadlines.

Content: This unit follows a largely chronological approach to the changing relations between Britain, Europe and the USA, especially in the post-1945 period. Although the lectures will largely follow chronology, the unit will engage in various key theoretical debates about the nature of international relations and the driving forces behind European integration. The basic teaching format will involve sessions which mix lecture-style presentation with interactive discussion/student presentation.

Programme availability:

PL50768 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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