Electoral Politics in Britain, c.1900-1964: Sources (HIH3310)

StaffDr David Thackeray - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesAt least 90 credits of History at level 1 and/or level 2
Co-requisitesHIH3311 Electoral Politics in Britain (Context)
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will introduce students to the changing culture of British political campaigns between 1900 and 1964. Rather than offering a conventional, party-centred overview of political change this module explores key themes which reshaped what it meant to participate in political life: the enfranchisement of women, the emergence of radio and cinema, the development of the tabloid press, and the changing role of the political meeting. Students are encouraged to evaluate the reliability and value of a range of sources drawn from both national and local politics, place them in the broader context in which they were produced, and relate them to the subsequent arguments of historians.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Evaluate the different and complex types of source available for the study of British electoral politics in the period
  • 2. Analyse very closely those sources which the students focus upon in their seminar presentations and written work
  • 3. Analyse the complex diversity of the sources studied.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Analyse closely complex original sources and to assess their reliability as historical evidence
  • 5. Focus on and comprehend complex texts and media
  • 6. Follow the often complex reasoning of political discourses during this period

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Undertake independent and autonomous study and group work, including presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning
  • 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment
  • 9. Present complex arguments orally.

Syllabus plan

The seminars will utilise case studies to assess the role that various sources played in reshaping electoral politics between 1900 and 1964: - Devon politics and the archive - Pictorial lies?: The political poster - Imagining politics: The political novel - Politics and the press, 1900-1931 - Politics and the press, 1931-64 - Political film from the silent age to the age of Baldwin - Politics and the wireless - Party political broadcasts in the TV age - Beyond the fringe: TV and political satire in the age of Cook and Frost - Social networks: Party organisation from the Primrose League to the Young Conservatives

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 activities44seminars (22 x 2hr)
Guided independent study256Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations

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
Portfolio 80Total of 6000 words1-9Verbal and written
Individual presentation 2020-30 minutes1-9Verbal and written

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Laura Beers, Your Britain: Media and the making of the modern Labour party (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UP, 2010)

Lawrence Black, Redefining British politics: Culture, consumerism and participation, 1954-70 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Steven Fielding et el., England arise! Labour and popular politics in 1940s Britain (Manchester, MUP, 1994)

Stephen Koss, The rise and fall of the political press in Britain (2 vols., London: Hamish Hamilton, 1981-84)

Jon Lawrence, Electing our masters: The hustings from Hogarth to Blair (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009)

Frank Trentmann, Free trade nation (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

BBC suffragette archive Conservative party poster collection Digital cartoon archive LSE political poster collection Screenonline party political broadcasts Screenonline, politics and film 1903-1935

Available as distance learning?