HIST376-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022

Making Imperial Britain, 1780 to 1914

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 July 2022
End Date: Sunday, 13 November 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 31 July 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 2 October 2022


This course explores social, cultural, political and economic developments in the history of Britain and its empire between 1780 and 1914. The course focuses mainly on events within the British Isles, but also investigates the expansion and operation of the British empire. A major concern of the course is the development of British identities, which is explored in the context of varying conceptions across the four nations of the British Isles as well as by Britons in the empire.

Lectures will be delivered in pairs each week, the first providing an overview of a broad theme across the period of the course (including such things as imperial expansion, religion, political parties, monarchy, social reform), and the second providing more focused explorations of specific topics relating to the broader themes (e.g. impacts of the French Revolution and wars, the campaign against the slave trade, the Great Famine in Ireland, women in public life, impacts of the Boer War). Students will thus be encouraged to explore imperial Britain both by considering the big picture and developments over time and the more specific detail of particular events.

In tutorials, HIST376 students will gain greater understanding both of the events and issues discussed in lectures and the ways in which historians construct their interpretations, through close reading and discussion of key historical accounts. Discover historians’ accounts of:
o The basis for British perceptions of themselves ‘as a distinct, special, and – often – superior people’.
o How a change in international trading policy was supposed to create a ‘new international order’.
o How colonial attempts to end the burning alive of Indian widows unwittingly increased the practice.
o The value of humour and insults in Parliamentary debate.
o Why working-class ‘mothers of the race’ were blamed for imperial decline.
o Why Britain and Germany were on a collision course for war by 1914.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the time students complete this course, they should have:
  • A broad overall knowledge of themes and developments in British history between 1780 and 1914.
  • A clear understanding of historiographical debates relating to the themes and topics examined.
  • A strong ability to engage with varied historiographical and contemporary interpretations via written work.
  • A stronger comprehension of the variety of historiographical interpretations available to historians and an ability to critically analyse them.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 30 points at 200 level from HIST, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


Timetable Note

Please note that all lectures for this course are recorded via the Echo system and are available to view online within a day of the live performance. Flexibility is thus available in case of a timetable clash for lectures.

Course Coordinator

David Monger


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Tutorial Participation 10%
Presentation 10%
Essay 1 20%
Essay 2 20%
Final Exam 40% 3 hours

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,597.00

International fee $7,200.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All HIST376 Occurrences

  • HIST376-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022