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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Few changes in the twentieth century were more dramatic than the collapse of European colonial empires and of a world system centred on Europe. Drawing widely on a vibrant literature, this course will examine the decline of British imperialism. It will consider causes and consequences of that decline. It focuses on key areas including India, Africa, and the former settler colonies, Britain itself, and global developments such as the cold war and the rise of global humanitarianism. In so doing it sheds new light on a modern world still haunted by the ghosts of empire. Download Course Guide

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Andrew Dilley

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will examine the decline of British imperialism in the twentieth century. It will consider the nature of that decline from a number of perspectives, and consider the different meanings and timings of decolonization in different regions of the empire. The course will also consider the effects of decolonization for both Britain and its former colonies. The course will draw widely on secondary and primary source material, especially BDEEP (British Documents of the End of Empire Project).

Further Information & Notes

This module is available to students on all non-History degree programmes as a Discipline Breadth course for the enhanced study requirement. However, the admission of students with a non-History degree intention will be at the discretion of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt

  • 3-hour examination (50%)
  • 750-word book review (10%)
  • 2500-word essay (40%)


  • 3-hour examination (100%)

Formative Assessment

Weekly readings will be discussed in seminars. A mock exam will also be a part of the course.


The discussion in seminars will provide feedback on work as it progresses. Feedback on the essay, book review and mock exam will be delivered individually. There will also be group feedback on the mock exam.

Course Learning Outcomes


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