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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:29

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. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Andrew Dilley

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

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • 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).

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8 - 18

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

2500 word essay (40%)

750 word book review (10%)

Online Exam (50%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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