Edwardian Britain

Ref: C2341104

The years between the death of Queen Victoria and World War I were some of the most eventful and formative in the history of Britain. At the beginning of Edward VII's reign the country was still fighting a war in South Africa - one that would raise serious questions about health and welfare as well as military competence. The Labour Party challenged the dominance of the Liberals in national and local politics, and suffragettes used ever more militant tactics to campaign for votes for women. Industrial unrest prompted new efforts to limit the powers of trade unions, while unemployment and how it should be relieved became one of the great issues of the day - not least in Leicester. All this took place against a backdrop of growing tension between the European ‘Great Powers’, and deteriorating relationships around the 'Irish Question' - but we will also look at the lighter side of Edwardian life, including its music halls, cinemas, and the 1908 London Olympics.

Course aim

The course will consider different aspects of life in Britain between the death of Queen Victoria and the outbreak of World War I, from some of the major social and political issues of the time to the lighter side of Edwardian life.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Identify some of the major political and social issues of the Edwardian period in Britain, and their origins.
  • Give examples of how they were addressed, and with what success.
  • Make some comparisons with Victorian attitudes to social problems, and explain how and why some of these changed in the early 20th century.
  • Know where to find further information for personal interest and research.

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 or pre course work is required

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

Edwardian Britain


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

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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