Race and Immigration in Britain Since World War II (HIH1008)

StaffSimon Peplow - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the broad range of sources available to the modern historian, through study of the main developments relating to race and immigration in Britain since World War II. Individual seminars (see topic list below) will focus on various sources, such as government records, oral history interviews, police reports and witness statements, legislation, opinion polls, photographs, letters, newspaper articles, films, and songs. Students will also have the opportunity to conduct their own research into these sources, consider their value and limitations, and use them to explore particular topics and themes. This module will help students develop skills in source analysis and research to provide a foundation for future historical work.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand and assess the main developments in British race and immigration history since WWII.
  • 2. Work critically with a range of written and visual sources relating to the topic.
  • 3. Assess the sources in relation to the historical debates, purposes for which different contemporary sources were produced, and analyse and evaluate their reliability and usefulness for the study of modern British race and immigration history.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and compare the validity of different types of sources.
  • 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
  • 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
  • 10. Write to a very tight word-length.

Syllabus plan

Weekly seminar topics may vary, but can include: the impact of the ‘Windrush generation’; 1958 Nottingham and Notting Hill race riots; immigration controls and Race Relations Acts; Bristol Bus Boycott; Enoch Powell and the ‘Rivers of Blood’; Black Power in Britain; the 1980-81 collective violence around England; Stephen Lawrence and institutionalised racism; the media and immigration; and identity and ‘Britishness’ in multicultural Britain.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22 hour lecture: Introduction to module
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2010 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.
Guided independent study128Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation (3-4 students)10-15 minutes1-4, 6-7, 9Oral
Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries500 words1-5, 7-8, 10Mark and written comments

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries602000 words (500 per commentary) (15% per commentary)1-5, 7-8, 10Mark and written comments
Essay on Sources401500 words1-5, 7-8, 10Mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries1-5, 7-8, 10Referral/deferral period.
1500-word essay1500-word essay1-5, 7-8, 10Referral/deferral period.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

• Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin, Who Do We Think We Are? Imagining the New Britain (London, 2001).

• Bleich, Erik, Race Politics in Britain and France (Cambridge, 2003).

• Fryer, Peter, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London, 1984).

• Geddes, Andrew, The Politics of Immigration and Race (Manchester, 1996).

• Gilroy, Paul, There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation (London, 1987).

• Goulbourne, Harry, Race Relations in Britain since 1945 (Basingstoke, 1998).    

• Hansen, Randall, Citizenship and immigration in post-war Britain: the institutional origins of a multicultural nation (Oxford, 2000).

• Layton-Henry, Zig, The Politics of Immigration: Immigration, ‘Race’ and ‘Race’ Relations in Post-War Britain (Oxford, 1992).           

• Phillips, Mike, and Trevor Phillips, Windrush: the irresistible rise of multi-racial Britain (London, 1998).

• Ward, Paul, Britishness since 1870 (London, 2004).     

• Winder, Robert, Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain (London, 2004).

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Key words search

Britain, Modern, Race, Immigration, Riots, Racism, ‘Britishness’