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EL10500: Britain's international history: from the Romans to the Treaty of Rome

[Page last updated: 06 October 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Skills Centre
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 33%, ES 67%
Assessment Detail:
  • Research essay (ES 33%)
  • Seminar presentation (CW 33%)
  • Timed essay (ES 34%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: Having completed the unit students will be able to :
* outline Britain's relations with other countries over the past two thousand years;
* explain the impact of selected key events such as the Norman invasion, the Reformation and the American War of Independence;
* identify distinctive elements of Britain's history and make relevant comparisons with the experience of other countries around core themes such as colonisation and the emergence of nation states;
* critically review issues in British history, making international comparisons using what they have learned as well as knowledge previously gained from home countries/institutions;
* interpret current international events involving Britain in the light of history and explain the historical background to current events.

Aims: The aim of this unit is to give students an understanding of the history of Britain's relations with other countries and the effects of historical forces and events upon Britain's contemporary international relations, with a particular focus upon relations with other European countries and with former colonies. This unit is especially suitable for students with no previous knowledge of European history.

Skills: Having completed the unit, students will be able to:
* respond critically to historical and contemporary review issues (T/F/A)
* effectively deliver seminar presentation and lead discussions (F/A)
* identify, evaluate and engage critically with relevant primary and secondary material
* research and write an appropriately structured critical essay.

Content: The unit will offer an overview of selected issues in British history with a particular focus on Britain's relations with the rest of the world. Starting from the arrival of the Romans, the course will review the other invaders and later immigrants who contributed to the making of the English and later the British people. The Norman conquest and subsequent conflict with France will be studied: the reformation will be examined in the context of the consequent hostility to Catholic Europe and the developing concept of Englishness. The unit will continue with the founding of the early colonies in North America, trade and the American war of independence; the shifts in focus eastwards and the relationship with India; the slave trade and the scramble for Africa. The unit will conclude with study of the two world wars, the League of Nations and the UN and the founding of the European Union.

Programme availability:

EL10500 is Optional on the following programmes:

Academic Skills Centre


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
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