The Intelligence Machinery and the Implementation of British Imperial Policy

Ref: C2224552

The course will examine the development of the British and imperial intelligence machinery from the 18th century. It will consider both administrative and security/secret intelligence machinery at colonial level and in Whitehall and the way in which the different machinery developed in relationship to other parts, in the context of the professionalization of government. It will consider the development of coordinating machinery from the late 1930s and regional coordinating machinery during the Second World War. It will consider how different models of machinery were transported overseas at different times and how they were adapted for different conditions. Finally it will examine the development of a standardized intelligence model . The course is illustrated with a series of case studies on India, the West Indies, Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, and Central Africa

Course aim

The aim of the course is to examine how intelligence was used by the British and colonial governments during decolonization.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Describe the events of the period in chronological sequence.
  • Discuss how events of the past can be understood in different ways.
  • Assess the relative importance of different explanations of events which can be created by arranging information in different ways.
  • Explain the rationale of their own explanation in a logical way .

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full Course information sheet

The Intelligence Machinery and the Implementation of British Imperial Policy

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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