Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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Unit Overview


Britain, perhaps more than any other country, has been the motor behind the creation of the modern world. Its empire devised the world economic system and its culture and language have come to dominate the globalisation of the twenty-first century. And yet for Britain, the twentieth century has been a time of slow erosion. From its unquestioned world leadership in the nineteenth century it has become one player among others in a globe dominated by the USA. However, notwithstanding this role reassessment, it has nevertheless been at the forefront of many of the most important political, social and cultural developments of the twentieth century. From its crucial role in both World Wars, to the way in which the postcolonial order was reconstructed in the era of the Cold War; from democracy to Princess Diana, from the Welfare State to Thatcherite neo-liberalism, from George Orwell to the Beatles, from soccer to miniskirts, from penicillin to the BBC, from racism to cultural plurality, from mass emigration to mass tourism, Britain has always been a dynamic instigator of what constitutes the contradictory world in which we live.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) describe and assess the basic methodological characteristics of the history discipline through the study of twentieth-century British history and historiography; (2) identify and evaluate methodological problems in the interpretation of twentieth-century British history; (3) gain and demonstrate detailed knowledge of some of the major developments experienced by Britain in the years covered by the unit; (4) locate and use a range of historical sources for researching and writing a major essay; (5) relate their independent interpretations to the complex historiographical debates concerning British twentieth-century history; and (6) present advanced arguments concerning twentieth-century British history in both written and oral assessments using the conventions of the historical discipline.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) written assignments; and (3) test. 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)
Dr Giuseppe Finaldi
Unit rules
a Level 2 History unit
or EURO2201 European Civilisation
or GEND2902 Men and Masculinities in History
HIST2245 Britain in the Twentieth Century
Contact hours
2 hours per week
  • 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.