Victorian Britain

This course will look at how Britain changed from "Workshop of the World" to the world's leading power over the course of Queen Victoria's reign. We will look at the political changes and social revolution which happened at this time, as well as a look at how Britain used its new found power to forge an Empire upon which "the sun never sets".

Course Content

Subjects covered in this course will include

The Great Reform Act - How the vote (suffrage) started to become more democratic and less in the hands of solely the rich.

Gladstone & Disraeli - How two leaders came to dominate the political landscape of Britain from the 1840s through to the 1880s and 90s.

The Working class, Society and Birth of the Labour Party - Throughout Victoria's reign a new class developed as Britain moved into urban areas from the countryside. With them came at first poverty but then following social commentary from the likes of Charles Dickens, philanthropists like Barnardo and Rowntree.

Technological Advances - How the telegraph, underground and canal helped Britain achieve pre-eminence

Empire: India and The Scramble for Africa. We will cover such events as; Gordon of Khatoum, Fashoda, Suez Canal, the Zulu and Boer Wars.

Ireland & the Home Rule question

Victorian Britain and Europe - the balance of power and the Great Game.

Entry Requirements

The course will bring up many themes and so requires a reasonable level of English, although no previous knowledge of the topics or history in general is needed.

First Class Requirements

Please bring a pen and paper. Handouts will be given during the course.

Assessment Methods

Informal. There are no official assessments for this course

How much homework will I need to do outside of class?
There is no formal homework outside class but new material and resources will be constantly uploaded to Moodle and students are encouraged to read on the subject for their own pleasure.

What will happen if I miss a class?
Should you miss a class, please inform the tutor.

Are there any other costs involved?

Is there a reading list?
There is no formal reading though books, programmes and exhibitions will be brought up during the course for you to take notes should you wish.

Additional Information

Other history courses taught at the college, ranging from British Deolonisation to the American civilisations, Europe and ancient Rome. Mythology courses. WW1 centenary lecture days and projects. War poetry or art courses.

A vast range of philosophy courses are also on offer for those wishing to understand some of the ideas behind the events that shaped history.

For those wishing to go onto university, there is Access to Humanities which will broaden your historical knowledge academically.

There are no additional costs with this course due to its leisure study nature. However, students may wish to read books or watch documentaries at home in their own time to broaden their knowledge and provide discussion points.