ENG2505 - Identities in the British Isles

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course will give an historical introduction to the forming of different and competing national identities in the British Isles from 1500 to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the emergence of a British identity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and on how this has developed since in competition with the older national identities: English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish.

The course will take into account the different interpretations of Britishness that have been devised since the beginning of the seventeenth century, and look at how British identity has been affected by the emergence of a multicultural society in Britain since 1945.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • have an understanding of the nature of national identities in Britain and Ireland, with a particular focus on Britishness.
  • have an overview of the development of Britishness over time, and the particular challenges facing this identity today.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is strongly recommended that students take the survey course ENG1505 - British Civilisation, and introduction before they begin their study of Identities in the British Isles.

Overlapping courses


Seminar, two hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all.

Attendance is obligatory at least 8 out of 10 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation to the exam administrator.

Students must submit a first draft of the paper within a set due date. Feedback will be given.

During the semester, students will prepare one oral group presentation for the rest of the class.


A portfolio consisting of an essay 2000 words (+/- 10%), and a two hour written class room exam. The date for the exam will be published at the semester page.

You must submit your paper in Fronter. Read more about submission procedures

Previous exams

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

English-English dictionary.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Grades will be published on Studentweb three weeks after the submission date.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

For those who want to retake their exam: Since this is a portfolio exam, you must follow the classes and write a new paper in order to qualify. Admission depends on the capacity.

If it's just the class room exam you have missed because of illness, it's possible to apply for a postponed exam. Please contact the exam coordinator.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Reports from periodic evaluations (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






This course is not taught fall 2017

Teaching language