Free course

From Brexit to the break-up of Britain?

Free statement of participation on completion
From Brexit to the break-up of Britain?

This free course sets the experience of Brexit in the context of the UK. It first analyses Brexit as a symptom of the political, economic and social geography of the UK, focusing on its uneven development in a country increasingly dominated by London and the South East of England. It then considers how the divisions within the UK (within England as well as between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) were reflected in the voting patterns of the 2016 referendum. Finally, the course reflects on the implications of these short-term and long-term trends for the UK’s future as a multinational state.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the geographical patterns of voting expressed in the 2016 referendum, particularly as reflected in regional outcomes within England and differences across the territories and nations of the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)
  • understand the underlying processes of uneven development that helped to shape those patterns and, in particular, understand how the development of the London city region affects patterns of development elsewhere in the UK
  • understand how the UK is constituted as a state, and how this has been affected by the referendum vote and the move towards Brexit
  • assess the role of nationalism and national identity in the context of the nations and territories that make up the UK
  • use and interpret a range of statistical data, including survey data. Interpret maps and understand the significance of the different ways in which they may be put together.

First Published: 20/12/2017

Updated: 15/02/2019

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371