You will study two core course units, four elective units and complete a dissertation.
Core course units:
History Past and Present: Definitions, Concepts and Approaches
You will explore the development of history as an important discipline within the humanities and social sciences. It looks at how ‘history’ (discursive writing about the past) has been conceived and composed differently at different times, but how it always relates in some way to questions of power and politics, broadly construed. The unit will introduce you to the range of definitions, concepts and approaches current within the discipline.
Studying and Communicating the Past
You will be introduced to the range of skills and resources that you need to understand and deploy as historians. Some classes are entirely skills-based and some combine a reflection on conceptual issues with practical workshops and skills practice.
This is an important part of the course and gives you the opportunity to undertake a research project, either as an end in itself or as preparation for work on a PhD. The dissertation is a piece of original work of 12,500 - 15,000 words and is supervised.
Elective course units:
You will choose from a range of options according to interest. Examples include:
The Body in Renaissance and Early Modern European Culture
You will explore the ideas and practices concerning the body between the fifteenth and the late seventeenth century. You will consider differences and overlaps in the medical, theological and political discourses, and compares learned and “popular” views of the body as found in the accounts of patients and lay people and in the vernacular literature.
Conflict, Faith and Terror in the Middle East since 1945
You will focus on three main areas of conflict in the Middle East: Palestine-Israel, Lebanon, Israel and Syria, and the Persian Gulf. You will analyse the origins of these conflicts particularly in the light of the prevailing discourse in contemporary politics and the press, which tend to see these conflicts in religious and cultural terms.
Islam in Britain: Past, Present, Future
You will be provided with an extensive and comprehensive understanding of the history of Muslims in Britain. You will study the development of the various Muslim communities in Britain, from the 1800s through to the 21st century.
Introduction to Victorian Studies: Part One: Politics and Ideas
You will be offered a basic overview of the principal currents in Victorian politics, including a review of legislation and economic history; the focus is on conservatism, the church, liberalism, plebeian radicalism, the socialist tradition, and feminism.
Introduction to Victorian Studies: Part Two: Cultural and Social History
The unit provides you with a basic introduction to some of the leading debates in Victorian social and intellectual history over the past half century.
Public Decency and Private Morals: Twentieth Century British History
This course addresses thematic continuities and changes over the course of the twentieth century, taking a chronological approach and includes topics such as: The Victorian Legacy: Britain’s Zenith; Britain and World War One: Tradition and Modernity; Dawn of Affluence or the Devils Decade? Britain in the 1930s; World War Two and the Growth of the State; The 1960s: The Permissive Society; and Thatcherism.
History of the Holocaust
The unit covers the history of the Jews from the emancipation period onwards, especially the Jews of Germany; the emergence of political antisemitism in Germany and Austria; the rise to power of Nazism; the Euthanasia Programme and its relationship with the persecution of the Jews; and Nazi policy vis-a-vis the Jews and other victims (Afro-Germans, homosexuals, Soviet POWs etc.) in its various stages.
Interpreting the Holocaust
You will be provided with a thorough grounding in the historiography of and theoretical approaches to the Holocaust. You will begin by examining different 'grand narrative' explanations for the Holocaust (such as 'modernity' and 'genocide').
Faith, Politics, and the Jews of Europe, 1848-1918
You will explore the emergence of conservative Jewish movements opposed to assimilation and the response to anti-Jewish movements and ideologies from the late 1870s onwards, including the Dreyfus Affair.
Gendering the Modern Islamic World
This unit explores the issue of gender in the formative years of Islam. Students will analyse the emerging and developing relationship between gender, the state and society across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Violence in the American South, 1865-1955
The focus of the unit is the social, political, and economic origins and functions of violence in the American South between the Civil War and the civil rights movement. Topics covered include the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction, lynching, race riots, feuds, and labour-related violence.
China and the Wider World
This unit covers the relationship between China and other nations (including the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe and its Asian neighbour), the history, personality and ideology of China, its use of military force, issues of national sovereignty and the search for a developmental model, as well as cold war legacies and other contemporary issues..
Unforgettable Encounters with the West: Knowledge Transformation in Modern China
You will explore several important encounters between the West and China from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century. This course aims to explore the significance of these encounters, investigating how Chinese society, from rulers to ordinary people, experienced the impact of these contacts, and later internalized the knowledge acquired, assimilating it as a part of their own culture.
Tigers & Dragons: The Economic Development of China & Japan 1890-1990
You will study topics including: Economic Change in East Asia during the Twentieth Century; Japan: The Rise of a Major Industrial Power; War and Occupation, 1937-1952; China: Economic Development in an Age of Upheaval; War and Civil War, 1937-49; The People's Republic under Mao, 1949-1976; and From the Gang of Four to 'Special Economic Zones': Communist China in the Modern Era.
Culture Wars: a Genealogy of the European Civil Wars of 1947
This unit includes the following thematic blocs: ‘recasting bourgeois Europe’ (revolution & counterrevolution; the psychological & cultural legacy of the Great War; the militarisation of politics; mass mobilisation) and ‘Modernity & its Discontents’ (seeking order through ‘purification’: race, eugenics and sexuality; gender & social change; generations in conflict).
The European Civil Wars 1917- 1947
You will study violence and state building (the 'great breakthrough' in Soviet Russia; the fascist revolution; building brutal 'national communities' in Italy, Germany and Spain).
On completion of the course graduates will have:
a high level of skill in the research, analysis and presentation of complex/fragmentary data
an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the major concepts and theories that inform the subject
an understanding of the various explanations and theories for change and continuity in history
an understanding of the underlying social, cultural, economic, religious, ideological and political changes occurring during the periods studied.