Victorian England

Ref: C2225418

Victoria’s reign was the height of English power and influence as British industrial and military power peaked. However it was also a time when previously unheard voices in society, such as those of workers and women, clamoured to be heard. The sessions will be : 1. Introduction. Defining the course and the period. A Victorian life. 2. Power to the people. How representative government grew in the period and the problems it faced, e.g. inner city sanitation. 3. The Poor. The Poor Law and other solutions for poverty. 4. Transport; Railways, docks and other solutions. 5. Education. How a growing population needed both basic and further education. 6. Life in the Countryside. Changes and continuity in agricultural and rural life. 7. Turning the Map Pink. The growth of the empire. 8. Building on the Industrial Revolution. New technologies and scales of production. 9. Architecture, new styles and new types of building. 10. Conclusions. Victorian lives and objects.

Course aim

The course will consider the social and economic history of the Victorian period. Where possible the lives of real people will be used to illustrate general trends.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • 1. Identify the principal features of the Victorian Period.
  • 2. Analyse how governments reacted to pressure for improved education.
  • 3. Identify how local government expanded to deal with rising population.
  • 4. Recognise the main forces driving expansion of the empire.
  • 5. Identify how the successes of the Industrial Revolution were built on during the period.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

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

Download full course information sheet

Victorian England


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • 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 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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