History Britain & Europe 1945 - 2019

Ref: C2524618

The course will outline and allow students to research and discuss issues such as : Britain and a devasated Europe 1945 -1959; Attitudes towards early efforts at European Economic integration, Adenauer - Schumann 1950, negotiations towards a Common Market 1956 -1957, MacMillan's change of policy and his reasons for application for Britain to join the Common Market and the reasons fo De Gaulle refusing twice..Eventual entry in 1972 by Edward Heath and immediate public equivocation leading to a referendum under Harold Wilson 1975 and the vote to remain - emergence of long term structural -institutional issues. . The continous debate about immigration, and the part played by leading Euro Sceptics . The development and issues that arose under the successive governments of Margaret Tatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Bown and David Cameron. Plus, the role of the Media in shaping attitudes towards Europe and how rational have they been.

Course aim

The course is for those interested in the history of the United Kingdom's dual policies of working as a global power and as a power within Europe and the conflicting interfaces that have arisen 1945 to the Referndum 2016

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Identify the chronology of events shaping Britain's relationship with Western European powers 1945 - present day.
  • Identify how historical method and analysis can help to bring greater understanding of of how national policies are devised in view of economic realities, public opinion, and the media.
  • Discuss the validity of opposiing points of views and to respect them while not necessarily agreeing with part or all of them.
  • Identify how any government may face intractable, opposing issues without an easy solution - in the context of the relationship with Europe.
  • Debate with an informed view, one's own position and view of policies that should be followed by the United Kingdom in relationship to Europe and the rest of the world.

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Work materials extracted from relevant history and political sources wll be used to inform each week's class. Voluntary research tasks will be set as well as handouts for the following week. A significant amount of class time will be spent in small group and whole group dicussions.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • Each week there will be a short plenary session to plan, modify and if necessary change the following week's class given what issues have already engaged the group. There is also time before and after formal classes for individual members to discuss issues.

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • 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

  • A reading list will be provided for all candidates but it is permissive in that students can take a valuable part without any pre - rreading.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/

Download full course information sheet

History Britain & Europe 1945 - 2019


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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