BASS Politics and Sociology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Politics & Society in Britain Since 1940: From Blitz to Brexit

Course unit fact file
Unit code POLI20531
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course will analyse the development of post-war British politics, and especially such themes as the nature and durability of the consensus over social and economic policy that may have existed. The course will explore transformative changes ‘from above’ and also consider how social movements contest dominant political frames.  


The aim of this course is to provide an in depth understanding of British politics since the 1940s, considering in turn how far governments adhered to a dominant social-democratic policy paradigm after 1945, and similarly a post-Thatcherite or neoliberal paradigm since the 1970s. In the second part of the course, we will be looking at social movements that have challenged the dominant politics of the time to challenge the status quo. We will look into feminism, British Black Power, youth culture and struggles over housing. Throughout the course we will reflect on how these inspiring historical movements can help to inform our approach to social change in contemporary British politics.

Learning outcomes

  1. Develop critical thinking to examine, analyse, and put together academic arguments
  2. Analyse major transformations in UK politics and explain why these have happened; and
  3. Learn from historical social movements and relate these to contemporary politics in the UK.

Teaching and learning methods



Assessment methods

2 x essay of 2000 words - each worth 50%  

Feedback methods

Politics staff will provide feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission.

Students should be aware that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the external examiner and the final examinations boards in June.

For modules that do not have examination components the marks and feedback for the final assessed component are not subject to the 15 working day rule and will be released with the examination results.

You will receive feedback on assessed essays in a standard format. This will rate your essay in terms of various aspects of the argument that you have presented your use of sources and the quality of the style and presentation of the essay. If you have any queries about the feedback that you have received you should make an appointment to see your tutor.

On assessments submitted through Turnitin you will receive feedback via Blackboard. This will include suggestions about ways in which you could improve your work in future. You will also receive feedback on non-assessed coursework, whether this is individual or group work. This may be of a more informal kind and may include feedback from peers as well as academic staff

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Daniel Silver Unit coordinator

Additional notes


Length of course: 12 weeks

Return to course details