Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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Unit Overview


Britain and Ireland shaped the modern world like few others. Innovations in science and technology, combined with military and naval power, helped the ‘workshop of the world' extend its influence over an Empire on which the ‘sun never set'. But behind the grandeur of industrial and global supremacy lay human suffering, resistance and repression that would threaten the very concept of the United Kingdom itself. This unit charts the rise, decline and break-up of Britain and Ireland from political union in the eighteenth century to armed conflict and partition in the twentieth. It considers how Britain, ‘Britishness' and ‘Irishness' were politically and culturally constructed in the face of opposition and rebellion; how Empire was conceptualised, marketed and received; and how the British nation state and its position in the world was challenged by colonial resistance, sectarian ‘troubles' and Irish and Scottish nationalist demands for self-governance. The unit also explores how hegemonic social and moral codes were experienced and resisted in people's day-to-day lives. It looks at how women overthrew a repressive gender ideology that denied them legal rights, how sexual moral codes were usurped, and how sport was wielded as a political and cultural tool to express competing identities and subvert existing power structures. How these historical themes connect to contemporary issues – including campaigns to tear down imperial statues and recognise Britain's slave history – will be explored throughout. The unit draws heavily on historical sources, including film footage and documentary, posters/propaganda, Belfast murals and personal and political correspondence)

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History; Human Rights major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) describe and assess the basic historiographical issues characteristic of the discipline of History; (2) identify and evaluate the historiographical approaches appropriate for the study of British and Irish history; (3) demonstrate a detailed understanding of social, cultural and political change in Britain and Ireland from the eighteenth century onwards; (4) locate and use appropriate sources for research essays; and (5) present arguments in both written and oral assessments using the conventions of the historical discipline.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) workshop participation; (2) major research essay; and (3) reflective essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor David Barrie
Unit rules
Successful completion of
12 points Unit(s) from any discipline
HIST2244 Britain 1750–1900: the First Industrial Nation.
HIST3344 Britain 1750–1900: the First Industrial Nation
Contact hours
Two-hour weekly workshops and one-hour weekly recorded lectures over ten weeks.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.