Devolving the Nation: Scotland, 1945-2004 HIST4185

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course focuses on the changing nature of politics and governance in Scotland between 1945 (the end of World War II) and 2004 (the opening of the Holyrood Parliament). It examines the impact of the welfare state and rising living standards, the intensity of the devolution debate during the 1960s and 1970s, the effects of deindustrialisation in the 1980s, the constitutional challenge of the 1990s and the ultimate achievement of the devolved Parliament.


2pm - 3pm, twice weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays over 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry

Normal admission to Honours in History

Excluded Courses





■ Class essay (20%) c.2000 words

■ Seminar Paper/presentation (6%) c.1500 words

■ Oral Contribution (4%)

■ Examination (70%) 120 minutes duration

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of the History honours programme, to which this course contributes, are:

■ To develop the intellectual interests and analytical skills you acquired during your first two years;

■ the opportunity to study previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options;

■ the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness;

■ To introduce complex historical debates and interpretations, to develop skills in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research; and

■ To encourage the development of transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Demonstrate the ability to appreciate and understand the principal themes, issues and controversies relating to Scottish politics and governance between 1945 and 2004;

■ Demonstrate the ability to understand how the debate about Scottish control of Scottish affairs intensified, leading to the establishment of the Holyrood Parliament;

■ Demonstrate the ability to prove familiarity with a range of source material, both primary and secondary, and understand how to set it in the broader context;

■ Demonstrate the ability to formulate and present arguments, based on knowledge of the subject, in seminar discussions and in writing;

■ Demonstrate the ability to use historical sources with sensitivity, discrimination and critical awareness.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.