Leeds, United Kingdom

Building Britain, 1700-1840: Industrial 'Revolution' or 'Evolution'?

when 3 July 2021 - 17 July 2021
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 5 EC
fee GBP 1820

In the short span between the accession of George III (1760) and the death of his son William IV (1837) the face of England changed dramatically. Roads, railways, rivers and canals sprung up across the land, country hamlets became populous towns, factories replaced farms and chimney stacks dwarfed church spires, as technological innovations drove rapid economic growth. The structure of British society was changed forever, with mass migration from country to towns and cities. Yet, despite significant economic and social changes in this period, the popular notion that these developments were rapid and ‘revolutionary’ has been questioned by recent scholarship, suggesting certain industrial developments in the eighteenth century were the result of a culmination of gradual changes dating back to Tudor England.

This course sets out to examine both the processes and social effects of England’s Industrial Revolution and in so doing explore the accuracy of the term ‘revolution’. It will take advantage of the wealth of local evidence of industrial development in West Yorkshire (an important area in the broader history of England’s industrial past) and include study visits to sites of special historic interest. Field trips include visits to the National Coal Mining Museum, the Leeds Industrial Museum and the city of Liverpool.

Please note, the Leeds International Summer School runs for four weeks (3 - 31 July 2021). You can choose to study with us for two weeks or for the full four-week programme. Each module lasts two weeks so you study one module if you choose to attend for two weeks and two modules if you choose to attend for four weeks.

Course leader

Dr Alex Lock

Target group

Undergraduate/Bachelor students

Course aim

This module provides a broad introduction to Britain's 'industrial revolution', broadly from 1700 - 1840, to evaluate how far changed in the economy, technology, and social organisation, can be understood to represent a watershed (or revolutionary change) in the transition to a modern industrialized society. It is designed to introduce students to the key issues debated by historians of the period, and uses key primary source material to explore and evaluate these debates.

Credits info

5 EC
The module is worth 10 Leeds credits = 5 ECTS. You can transfer the credits earned back to your home degree subject to approval.

Fee info

GBP 1820: Includes tuition, accommodation, breakfast and lunch, Monday - Friday, academic field trip, weekend cultural excursions, social programme and premium gym membership.


Scholarships worth £500 are available for students with good academic standing to help pay your fees. You can apply as part of your application to LISS.