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The British Isles and the modern world, 1789-1914 free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

The British Isles and the modern world, 1789-1914

The British Isles in the long nineteenth century was a place of rapid expansion and growth, when the United Kingdom became the so-called 'workshop of the world'. It was also a period of conflict and uncertainty, where poverty and political unrest prompted widespread anxieties about the nature of progress. Taking up these different perspectives, in this module you 'll look at the landmark transformations of the period such as the political union of Britain and Ireland, industrialisation, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the British Empire. By focusing on one century, this module provides you with the space for a deep engagement with historical method and debate.

OU course
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Art and its global histories free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Art and its global histories

This module presents a new history of art, starting with the Renaissance, when Europeans encountered a new range of desirable objects from across the globe. You'll explore the role of art and architecture in colonial expansion up to 1800, before looking in depth at art and culture in British India. The vital role that art played in the stories that Europeans have told about the wider world are highlighted, with suggestions as to the ways in which these stories might be challenged or revised. The module concludes by analysing the globalisation of artistic practice from the twentieth century to the present day.

OU course
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Changing geographies of the United Kingdom free course icon Level

Society, Politics & Law 

Changing geographies of the United Kingdom

This module explores change in the contemporary United Kingdom and how a geographical perspective can help us to make sense of this change. At the heart of this exploration is the idea that the United Kingdom exists as a contested geographical entity, marked by shifting borders and boundaries, and patterns of local and global circulation and connection. From connections to an ancient British past to contemporary relations with Europe, you'll develop geographical skills to help you consider how places are made, re-made and understood. You'll also consider how change has occurred within Geography as a discipline.

OU course
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Empire: 1492-1975 free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Empire: 1492-1975

Empires have had a remarkable impact on world history over the last five centuries. The six blocks of this module each focus on a particular question, from 'What are empires?' to 'Why do empires end?' You'll consider the British Empire in detail before drawing comparisons with others, including those of France, the Netherlands, Russia, China and Spain. You'll study a wide range of primary sources, including letters and diaries, newspapers, political papers, paintings, photographs and newsreel footage.

OU course
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The making of Welsh history free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

The making of Welsh history

This module explores themes that have shaped the British Isles, from medieval lordship and conflict, through the spread of Protestantism and the industrial revolution, to political protest and the rise of nationalism in an era of globalisation. By studying this module you will gain the skills you need to write a final 7,000-word dissertation, in which you will carry out an in-depth investigation of a topic that you select. Throughout this online module you will work together with other students to form a tight knit 'learning community', sharing ideas and sources and helping to improve one another's work. A knowledge of the Welsh language is not required.

OU course
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Living psychology: from the everyday to the extraordinary free course icon Level

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Living psychology: from the everyday to the extraordinary

This module draws on classic and contemporary theory and research in psychology and applies them to a broad range of contexts. You'll learn how psychologists have studied both practical and theoretical issues, such as nationalism or sexuality, with a particular emphasis on understanding and solving problems that directly affect people's lives. You'll explore core academic areas of psychology as set out by the British Psychological Society (e.g. social, cognitive, developmental) and applied aspects of professional practice (e.g. clinical, forensic, counselling). You'll also develop your understanding of psychological research methods, along with other useful academic and employability skills.

OU course
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British summertime article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

British summertime

The sun has got his hat on and people may be having a picnic, firing up the BBQ or taking a trip to the beach; what does British summertime mean to you?

Article
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Migration goes both ways: How Brits changed the world article icon

History & The Arts 

Migration goes both ways: How Brits changed the world

It's easy to forget that the British Isles have proved as fertile a ground for migrants heading elsewhere as it has a pull to migrants from overseas.

Article
Creative commons image Icon Flowers for Princess Diana's Funeral / CC BY 2.0 under Creative-Commons license
A Tale of Two Funerals: Shifting Britishness article icon

History & The Arts 

A Tale of Two Funerals: Shifting Britishness

How has British national identity changed over the last forty years?

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University
Rights Enshrined video icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Rights Enshrined

What is the role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the nature of its relationship with the UK Government? What impact does it have on UK law? With British membership of the European Union at the heart of the political agenda, the role of its Court of Human Rights and its influence on UK law has inevitably come under scrutiny. The coalition Government has pledged to withdraw the UK from the European convention of human rights, and to give Parliament the right to veto ECHR rulings. In these 4 films we hear from people who have taken cases to the Strasbourg court. We look at how cases are referred, what laws are used, what the process is like and what impact its judgments have had in the UK - in such high profile examples as Diane Pretty’s ‘Right to Die’ case.

Video
20 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Nathan Kendall/OFTV
The Brits Who Built The Modern World - Episode three article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

The Brits Who Built The Modern World - Episode three

Episode three focuses on the period from the late 90s to the present day.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Nathan Kendall/OFTV
The Brits Who Built The Modern World - Episode two article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

The Brits Who Built The Modern World - Episode two

Episode two focuses on the 1980s, when modern architecture was deeply unpopular.

Article
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