The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST3331 History of Modern Britain

Semester 2 (2020-2021)

Lecture TimeMon 2:30pm-4:15pm

VenueOnline Teaching

ZOOM Link:
Meeting ID: 949 6765 5665
Passcode: 091007


Lecturer WOO Tze Yan Jessie ((852) 3943 7129 /



Course Description

Course Description:

This course examines British history from Victorian period to the twentieth century. The major political, social and cultural events are introduced in order to attain an understanding of modern Britain history.


Learning outcomes:

Students are able to have a full grip of modern British history after this course. They will be able to express ideas clearly and to analyze information and to critique differing viewpoints by the end of this course.



Introduction – Victorian Britain


War and Empire


Gladstone and Disraeli- British High Imperialism


The Great War


National Government and the Great Depression


Churchill and WWII


Swinging London and the 60s


Commonwealth and the Cold War


The Road to Welfare State


Irish Question


From Thatcher to Blair


Contemporary Britain: Who are the British?

Assessment & Assignments





Mid-term take home paper



Final take home



Basic Reference:

Walter L. Arnstein, Britain Yesterday and Today: 1830 to the Present, 8th ed. Lexington: Heath, 2001.


Selective Bibliography:

Brendon, P., The decline and fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997, London, 2007.

Himmelfarb, G ,The De-moralization Of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values, London, 1996.

Johnson, Robert., British imperialism, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Lynn, Martin(ed)., The British Empire in the 1950s : retreat or revival?, New York, 2006.

George Boyce, D., Decolonisation and the British Empire, 1775-1997, New York, 1999.

Marshall, P.J(ed.)., The Cambridge illustrated history of the British Empire, New York, 1996.

Salter, R., Peel, Gladstone and Disraeli, Basingstoke, 1991.

Rogaly, Ben., Moving histories of class and community; Identity, place and belonging in contemporary England, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.[electronic resource]

Fox, K., Watching the English, London, 2004.

Ferguson, Niall, Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World, London, 2003

Royle, Edward., Modern Britain : a social history, 1750-2011, London, 2012.

Fowler, David., Youth culture in modern Britain, c.1920-c.1970 : from ivory tower to global movement – a new history, New York, 2008

Marr, Andrew, The making of modern Britain: from Queen Victoria to VE Day, London, 2010.

Archer, Ellis., A history of modern Britain : 1714 to the present, Chichester, 2010.

Thane, P (ed)., Unequal Britain : equalities in Britain since 1945, London, 2010.[electronic resource]

Pitcher, B., The politics of multiculturalism : race and racism in contemporary Britain, Basingstoke, 2009.

Edwards, D and Cromwell, D., Newspeak in the 21st century, London, 2009.

Burrell, Kathy, Polish migration to the UK in the ‘new’ European Union: after 2004 , Burlington, 2009. [electronic resource]

Hallam, E and Prescott, A (eds.) The British inheritance: a treasury of historic documents, Berkeley, c1999.


Please log-in to E-learning for the course updated.

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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