Victorian Britain: Politics, Society and Culture - HI416

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 3)
Autumn 4 15 (7.5) PROF K Jones checkmark-circle


This module examines the principal themes of the political, social and cultural history of Britain during the Victorian era (c. 1830 –1900). This period saw the building of one of the world’s greatest empires, the transformation of Britain from a rural society into the world’s first and leading industrial nation, and the development of a modern state and new forms of democratic participation.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

This module will be taught through one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week, with the exception of Enhancement Week and one week that will be dedicated to coursework feedback.

Method of assessment

This module is assessed by:

- Blog Post (1,500 words) - 40%
- Essay (2,500 words) - 40%
- Seminar Participation - 20%

Indicative reading

NORMAN MCCORD & BILL PURDUE - 'British History 1815-1914' , Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2nd ed, 2007
STEINBACH, SUSIE - Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain (London and New York: Routledge, 2011)
BOYD, KELLY & McWILLIAM, ROHAN - The Victorian Studies Reader (London and New York: Routledge, 2007).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes of this module are that, on completion of this module, students will be able to:

- Demonstrate a familiarity to the main political and socio-cultural developments in the history of modern Britain between c. 1830 and 1900; and the skills needed to understand evaluate, contextualise and communicate effectively their knowledge of history
- Demonstrate intellectual interests in modern British history and their skills in researching historical subjects and in communicating their knowledge and ideas, both orally and in writing.
- Understand the disciplines of political, social and cultural history.

The intended subject specific learning outcomes of this module are that, on completion of this module, students will be able to:

- Demonstrate an understanding of modern British history in its international/European context, which should help to equip them to live and work in Continental Europe.
- Consider critically relevant intellectual concepts as well as differences of opinion and interpretation both in the past and among historians, and they will also be encouraged to develop their ability to identify and solve problems
- Utilise problem solving skills, and the ability to work both independently and within groups. Students will engage in independent work, using library resources, and will practice and improve their skills in time management, historical research, organisation and analysis of material, oral presentations and essay-writing.
- Undertake group work to interact effectively with others and to work cooperatively on group tasks.
- Communicate complex concepts effectively both orally and through written work.
-Demonstrate communication skills and skills in IT


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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