United Kingdom, Exeter

Britain and the Making of the Modern World

when 2 July 2016 - 23 July 2016
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 7.5 ECTS
fee GBP 1700

For much of the 19th and 20th century Britain was the world’s superpower, and its imperial connections not only left deep traces in America, Africa and Asia, but also in Britain itself. Thus to understand modern British history it is necessary to see it in a global perspective: not only were British politics and economics influenced by imperial considerations, but also most of its wars were global conflicts. Furthermore, British culture – food, fashion and architecture – was, and still is, shaped by its imperial legacy. By combining political, social and military history, this module introduces you to the key developments, ideas, events and people that shaped modern British history.

The module encourages you to explore the interdependency of national and global history in the last two hundred years through different scholarly methods and sources. You will learn how global events, like the slave trade, the First World War or the conflict in the Middle East, are linked with British history. You will also consider how life in Britain, for wealthy and ordinary people in London, Exeter or Bath, was influenced through global connections.

You will work with varied primary sources and visit the archive of the University’s Cinema Museum and the Exeter RAM Museum with their rich collections of imperial artefacts.

Key readings
John Darwin, The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World System 1830-1970 (Cambridge, 2009)
Andrew Thompson, Britain’s Experience of Empire in the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 2012)

Course leader

Dr Jennifer Farrell

Target group

Undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.0 or above; postgraduate students with an interest in the subject are also welcome.

Course aim

To introduce students to the key developments, ideas, events and people that shaped modern British history.

Fee info

GBP 1700: Tuition and social programme fees which includes a weekend in London, events on campus and day trips to Bath and St Ives.
GBP 760: Accommodation plus breakfast and dinner.


We offer a number of partial scholarships.