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Unit information: Britain's Long Nineteenth Century, 1789-1914 in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Britain's Long Nineteenth Century, 1789-1914
Unit code HIST30120
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Sheldon
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Unit Information

This unit addresses the history of Britain between the French Revolution and the outbreak of the First World War. Between 1789 and 1914 a distinctively modern British identity emerged which still leaves its impression upon the twentieth and twenty-first century. Britain became the first urban and industrial society, witnessed unprecedented economic growth and linked population expansion. New political and cultural forms emerged side by side with this transformation. Gender relations were shaped and reshaped. The nature of politics also shifted onto a new terrain as mass participation by men and women grew. Britain’s relationship with the wider world was also transformed through war, empire, trade and migration. Many years of study and writing upon Britain in this period suggest it might be considered a jewel in the crown of historical scholarship. Students will be introduced to the period’s main processes, structural features and events as well as some of the rich primary sources (many of which can now be accessed digitally via university web resources). Approaches will focus upon social and cultural history including especially class and gender with a special focus on history from below.

Your learning on this unit

By the end of this unit, successful students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the key developments in British history across Britain’s ‘long’ nineteenth century.
  2. Discuss and evaluate key historiographical debates relating to the political, social and cultural history of Britain’s ‘long’ nineteenth century.
  3. Understand and interpret primary sources and select pertinent evidence in order to illustrate specific and more general historical points.
  4. Present their research and judgements in oral and written forms and styles appropriate to the discipline and to level H/6.

How you will learn

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

How you will be assessed

1 x Individual Presentation (25%) [ILOs 1-4]

1 x Timed Assessment (75%) [ILOs 1-4]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HIST30120).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.