ENG2501 – British Politics

Course content

This course addresses the development of British politics from 1975 to the present, focusing on the successive governments of the period. It starts with the election of Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Conservative Party, and moves on look at the Conservative governments from 1979 to 1997; New Labour from 1997 to 2010; the Coalition government formed in 2010; and politics since the end of the Coalition in 2015. Particular emphasis is placed on three British prime ministers in the period: Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and David Cameron.

In addition to building a basic understanding of British politics within the period covered by the course, there will be a topical emphasis that will vary with each offering.

Students are expected to stay abreast of the most recent developments relating to the particular topic addressed in the current semester.

Topic for spring 2020: Britain’s relations with the EU/Brexit

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • have an understanding of, and insight into the development of British politics since 1975
  • can analyse the impact of Thatcherism on British politics
  • can analyse the relationship between Thatcherism and New Labour
  • can analyse the impact of the Coalition government of 2010 on British politics
  • can analyse the development of British politics since 2015


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that students take ENG1505 British Civilisation before attending this course

Overlapping courses


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

Students are expected to turn up prepared for class, having covered the assigned reading for each session, and any exercises they have been asked to work on in advance.

Obligatory activity:

  • Attendance is obligatory on 8 out of 10 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements here.
  • A first draft of the term paper must be turned in by a stated deadline.

All obligatory attendance and assignments are only valid the semester you attend the course.

All obligatory activities must be approved in the same semester.


The exam consists of two parts:

  1. A term paper of approximately 5 standard pages (a standard page consists of 2,300 characters). References and bibliography comes in addition. 
  2. A 2–hour written exam.

A pass mark is required on both parts. You have to take both examination parts in the same semester. The examination parts will be graded separately with a combined final mark. The term paper counts for 60 % of the overall mark, while the written exam counts for 40 %.

Written examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Submission in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more about how to submit in Inspera.

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.

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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language