British History 1945 -1979

Ref: C3744851

1945 and 1979. Two General Elections. Two very different results. In 1945 Britain rejected the Conservative Party of wartime premier Winston Churchill in a move that surprised many, including Joseph Stalin and Harry S Truman. The Attlee Government then took responsibility for changes at home, including the nationalisation of coal, railways and health, and abroad, including building an atomic bomb and the move to Indian independence. 32 years later it was a very different country that elected Margaret Thatcher in another watershed Election. The course will take a thematic look at the changes that took place in the areas of politics, the economy, Britain's place in the world and society itself. Our fifth week will run as a seminar with a full chance to discuss issues of particular interest to course members.

Course aim

To examine and discuss post-war British history from 1945 to 1979.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Anyone with an interest in how post war British history has shaped the world we live in.

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

  • Describe the key developments in Britain between 1945 and 1979 in terms of politics, economics, foreign policy and social change.
  • Explain the factors that drove those changes.
  • Link the changes to the country as we know it today.

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
  • Four weeks of tutor input with questions and discussion of the four thematic areas. A final week to discuss issues of particular interest to course members.

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?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Each of the four initial sessions stand alone as talk/question/discussion sessions. Course members may wish to use the internet to investigate further areas of individual interest.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • A useful and accessible introduction to the period can be found in A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

British History 1945 -1979

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This course is not available for online enrolment.


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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