The United Kingdom During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II (1952 – 2022)

PLEASE NOTE: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
25 May 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA VV38 Art History and History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV3B Art History and History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA T728 English and United States Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA MV98 History and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV18 History and Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L921 International Development (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV51 Philosophy and History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV5X Philosophy and History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA V115 History and Drama (including Foundation Year),
LLB M1V2 Law with History (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module offers an introduction to the historical events and processes that have helped to shape the contemporary United Kingdom. During the period in question, the United Kingdom underwent a series of political and cultural changes that were to have profound effects on the society and economy of the UK, its status in the world, and its national perception of its changing world role. The module examines the principle causes and phases of change during this period and the effect these changes had upon the UK as a nation with particular emphasis on British society / the people of Britain.

Over the course of the module, students will be introduced to a level of knowledge and analysis which will provide an appropriate academic background for those wishing to study other periods of history, and other humanities and social science subjects within the UK university system. The module does not assume any prior knowledge of (or experience of) studying British History or any of the topics therein.

As well as examining recent history, the module will develop the skills that will enable students to have an understanding of modern Britain, so that students can critique the actions of players and beliefs of thinkers and thus become possible agents of future change through interpreting information, thinking critically, assessing evidence and undertaking research.

The module will help enhance and refine students' writing skills, debating and other verbal skills, together with test-taking skills and strategies.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide a firm foundation of knowledge and understanding of key developments in UK history during the period studied.

  • To provide a firm foundation of knowledge and understanding of key developments in UK history during the period studied.

  • To introduce students to the workings of the British political system.

  • To develop students' ability to think critically and to analyse historical data from a wide range of sources, in order to construct and convey an argument, both oral and written.

  • To develop students' skills necessary for further academic study through the practice of seminar discussions, small-group work, academic exercises, seminar presentations, individual study, research, and reflective, critical reading.

  • To explain the use of historical terms and concepts.

  • To increase students' awareness of the many different approaches (chiefly political, cultural, social and economic) towards the study of history, and the provisional, ever-evolving nature of contemporary history.

  • To familiarise students with the academic working environment of a UK university through the study of history.

  • To acquaint students with what are – and what are not – the accepted modes of academic discourse, the need to cite sources, and the paramount importance of avoiding plagiarism.

  • To enhance students' knowledge of and interest in history by preparing them for potential undergraduate study of the subject.

  • To increase students' awareness of the importance of an understanding of historical issues to enhance their future study of other humanities and social science subjects.

  • Students will gain confidence in their knowledge of historiography and analytical skills by learning the basics of how to read and understand viewpoints by critically assessing conventional practices and schools of thought; in order to explore new ways of thinking and new ways of viewing historical happenings.

  • Students will be challenged to look beyond the obvious ways of viewing historical incidences and during seminar sessions engage in thoughtful discussions and debates. 

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of key events in the history of the United Kingdom during the period under study including the most significant cultural changes within UK society and the UK's changing relationships with its key overseas partners and allies, and assess how that historical knowledge contributes to a thorough understanding of the contemporary United Kingdom.

  2. Demonstrate awareness of the workings of the British political system, and of recent (and ongoing) political debates.

  3. Engage fully with the study of history, and other Humanities and Social Science subjects, through the taking of lecture notes, the undertaking of independent study and active participation in seminar discussion.

  4. Apply the key skill of critical, analytical thinking to the examination of historical evidence from a variety of sources in order to then incorporate this analysis of evidence into written work and seminar discussions.

  5. Analyse assignment and test questions, and research and construct an appropriate academic argument in response, writing clearly and effectively in doing so.

  6. Select and evaluate sources, primary, secondary and, if applicable tertiary, and reference them accurately and appropriately and construct an accompanying bibliography.

  7. Summarise, comment upon and analyse historical arguments and debates in an informed and coherent manner in written work and seminar discussions to a level that will lead to potential success in Year 1 of a BA History or related Humanities or Social Science degree.

  8. Students will critically evaluate perspectives and challenge conventional ways of thinking by engaging in thoughtful academic dialogue and debate.

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, students will have practised the following transferrable skills:

  1. Applying schools of thought to various contemporary issues.

  2. Team working through problem-solving in small groups.

  3. Time management and managing workload with weekly tasks and timely completion of assignments.

  4. Resilience and confidence building by practising and honing one’s critical thinking skills and analytical skills in relation to the material.

  5. Reflective practice via self-evaluation and feed forward to future assignments.

  6. Taking responsibility for one’s own learning, by undertaking research on a topic of your choosing – allowing personalisation.

  7. Enhancing IT skills through the use of various technologies, such as Moodle, Microsoft PowerPoint and Word.

Module information


  • What is History? What is Historical Research? Post-war Britain/Britain in the lead-up to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

  • Thirteen Wasted Years? (The Conservatives in power (1951 - 1964).

  • The Short Sixties (1964-1969).

  • Changing relationships #1 - Britain and the Wider World (1952 - 1969). 

  • The 1970s -The Decade of Decline? #1.

  • The 1970s -The Decade of Decline? #2.

  • The 1980s # 1. A Revolutionary Decade?

  • The 1980s # 2 The Them & Us Society.

  • Changing Relationships #2 - Britain and the Wider World (1970-1989).

  • Identity III: Britain Nowadays: Race.

  • Identity II Britain Nowadays: Ethnicity, Religion & Devolution.

  • Identity IV: Britain Nowadays: Gender & Sexuality.

  • Identity I: Britain Nowadays: Democracy, Class & the Establishment.

  • Changing Relationships #3 Britain and the Wider World (1990 – the present day)/

  • The 1990s #1 A Major Solution (or a Major Disaster?)

  • The 1990s #2 Cool Britannia? Life in Blair’s ‘New’ Britain'.

  • From the Millennium to the Coalition 2000-2009. AKA the Noughties.

  • From A to B. The Road to Nowhere. Britain in the Tens

  • Post Brexit Britain.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 100-minute lecture per week.
  • One 2-hour seminar per week.

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competencies to study at the undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.

Some lectures involve the viewing of audio-visual material – due to the technology used this may or may not take place within the lectures, if not it will be given as additional work. Seminars will involve whole-group discussion of the weekly topic and set reading, small-group work and, in the Spring Term formative verbal presentations. Moodle will be used to distribute module documentation and learning materials.

Learning support

Students are expected to engage with Moodle for materials and support activities. Students are also supported through the Listen Again facility and other teaching and learning technologies such as the TALIS list. All students will also be assisted during a weekly Academic Support hour.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment

  • There will be one formative assessment in the Spring Term exploring the possible subject of their future research essay through presenting orally possibly through the use of a PowerPoint Presentation.

Summative assessment

  • A History plan. 
  • A Moodle assessment on the subject of thematic elements within the first few weeks of the course. Plans for revision for the upcoming test/tests and initial ideas on topics to be used for the later research essay.
  • An in-person, open-book (restricted) test on themes in the first term.
  • Students are tested on their understanding of themes and main areas covered in the first term of the course. It will give an idea of the level of thought, reading, research and effort going into the course at this stage. The student can choose from several question areas.
  • A research essay. The essay title will be produced by the students in agreement with the lecturer After an initial formative presentation students will construct a research question for themselves (to make sure it is discursive/argumentative) and then proceed to address this question. This essay is to be submitted on FASer.
  • An in-person, open-book (restricted) test on themes in the second term. Students are tested on their understanding of themes and main areas covered in the last 10 weeks of the course. With 50% in total being awarded in tests this ensures that the overriding topics and concerns from the lectures are being taken on board and understood. The student can choose from several question areas.

Reassessment strategy

  • Failed coursework - Resubmit a piece of coursework (1,500 words) which will be marked as 100% of the new module mark. The reassessment task will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Christopher Walklett, email: cwalk@essex.ac.uk.
Chris Walklett
Becky Humphreys (becky.humphreys@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872217)



External examiner

Ms Linda Hurley
University of Southampton
Senior Teaching Fellow
Available via Moodle
Of 260 hours, 252 (96.9%) hours available to students:
8 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

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