The British Army and Society since 1660 - HIST4270

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 4 30 (15) Timothy Bowman checkmark-circle


This module will examine various aspects of the British army since its formation in 1660. The term 'Army and Society' has been used in the title of the module to emphasise that the central focus of this module will be a ‘new military history’ of the British army in this period. Thus the focus will be on how the army was recruited, the composition of the officer corps (pre and post purchase), the political interventions made by the army and the role of the army in shaping the British state. The module will include thematic studies of central issues such as the composition of the officer corps, the politics of the army and the survival of the regimental system which need to be placed in a long chronological pattern.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 40
Private study hours: 260
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Written Assignment 1 Plan (250 words) 5%
Written Assignment 1 (1,500 words) 25%
Short Exercise (705 words or equivalent) 15%
Written Assignment 2 (1,500 words) 25%
Thematic Timed Essay (2,000 words) 30%

Reassessment methods:
Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Understand, evaluate, contextualise and communicate effectively their knowledge of the history of this topic.
2 Understand the British army in this period. In particular: the social and political groups which provided its officer corps and other ranks, its role in politics and its role in shaping the British state.
3 Navigate the disciplines of political, social and economic history and their various methodological approaches.
4 Practise skills appropriate to level 4 students by setting them specific, differentiated tasks.
5 Access a range of sources of information and present the results.
6 Practise skills of conceptualisation, reflexivity, critical thought and epistemological awareness.
7 Take with them knowledge and understanding of the past and particular aspects of the historiography and methodology, assisting them in other courses.
8 Adopt an understanding of different historical approaches and degrees of bias as well as of the methodological complexities in the historical record itself.
9 Examine and evaluate primary sources, whether texts or images, and understand their context, strengths and limitations, and value.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Demonstrate analytical and reflective skills and the ability to express complex ideas and arguments using a variety of methods, skills which can be transferred to other areas of study and employment.
2 Show enhanced communication skills as well as IT skills where relevant.


  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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