New MA in Twentieth-Century Britain

One of the advantages of a permanent lectureship, after a succession of short-term teaching and research posts, is the ability to develop courses that really introduce students to the things I’m most passionate about.

Something I’ve been wanting to get History students doing for some time now is to get some hands-on practice of drawing links between history and current issues and policy debates. So I’m thrilled that I’ll be getting to do this when we launch a new postgraduate course in the autumn.

‘Stop the Cuts’ demonstration in Edinburgh, November 1975. Photograph taken by Pete White. (Licensed under Creative Commons 4.0)

From September 2018, a new MA course in Twentieth-Century Britain will run for the first time at the University of Wolverhampton. It’s a course that covers what we might call the long twentieth century, with some modules going back to the late Victorian era and others coming right up into the twenty-first century.

The course will bring students into contact with some of our most notable areas of real strength in social and historical research, with some leading scholars delivering modules on their areas of expertise.

Laura Ugolini, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution, will offer a module on popular consumerism in the early twentieth century.

Keith Gildart, Professor in Labour and Social History, and Rosalind Watkiss Singleton will offer another on postwar youth sub-cultures and national identity.

David Cox, Reader in Criminal Justice History in Criminology, will offer a module on the penal system and penal reform.

Michael Cunningham and Christopher Norton, Senior Lecturers in Politics, will be delivering a module on nationalism and politics.

My own module will look at the history of the welfare state, with a focus on themes of citizenship, over the twentieth century. We’ll be looking at health, education, housing and social security as well as how issues issues of citizenship and the welfare state have been reflected in the history of immigration. Instead of writing traditional essays, in this module students will be writing commentaries of selected primary sources and then writing a History & Policy style briefing paper.

Sociologist Sam Pryke and historians Karin Dannehl and myself will deliver a research methods module ahead of a 15,000-word dissertation, giving students an opportunity to really get stuck in researching the topics that interest them the most.

You can find out more information about the course over at the University of Wolverhampton website.

I’d also be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about this course. You can find by email address here.


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