Industry in Victorian Britain: Wrought Iron and Rivets

Ref: C3747078

Victorian Britain was known as 'the workshop of the world' by why was this and what did it mean? In this course we will explore how British industry came to dominate the world in manufactured goods, quality and engineering, exporting to all corners of the globe. We will look at how Victorian ingenuity created new processes and products and exploited the markets for them. We will examine what life was like in the factory and whether the common view of the treatment of the workers is really true. We will examine how Industry underpinned British culture and the economy, but also how much Britain was reliant on others. We will finally look at how British industry allowed the British empire to flourish and what this really meant for the indigenous peoples of those countries.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to British industry during the Victorian period and how it underpinned Britain's place in the world.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain what British industry actually was during the Victorian period and how it developed, and its impact on both the British economy and the world.
  • discuss what working in the factory meant to the workers, and how they were really treated.
  • explain the impact of Victorian scientific and engineering discoveries on both British industry and the world.
  • discuss the role of the British industry in the empire and what it meant to those who experienced it both at home and abroad.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

All materials for this course will be provided through the WEA's online learning system, Canvas.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Industry in Victorian Britain: Wrought Iron and Rivets


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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