HIS31400 British Atlantic History, 1607-1776

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module centres on British expansion and settlement into the Atlantic world during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. From the establishment of Jamestown in 1607 until the late nineteenth-century, the British were the most numerous of all European migrants who crossed the Atlantic. The British Atlantic was at its most vibrant, dynamic, and creative in the two centuries before the American Revolution. The British Atlantic was a world in motion between the British Isles and the Americas. This module will examine themes such as colonial settlement in North America and the West Indies, cultural encounters between native Americans and newcomers, Irish settlement in the Atlantic world, issues of religion, economy, migration, slavery and science in the British Atlantic.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students taking this module will acquire an indepth knowledge of current debates and scholarship in the field of British Atlantic history. They will be introduced to topical historiographical discussions through a thematic focus looking at questions of migration, settlement, economy, religion, slavery and science. Students will be encouraged to examine the British Atlantic world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with a view to understanding later political and cultural developments in North America and their impact on Britain and Ireland. Through seminar-based discussion and analysis of a selection of primary sources, students will enhance their historical knowledge and competence in document analysis and presentation. Students will also be supported in the development of critical writing skills.

Indicative Module Content:

WeeK 1: overview of the British Atlantic Week 2: Beginnings Week 3: Native Americans Week 4: New England Week 5: Irish settlement in the Atlantic world Week 6: Irish settlement pt 2 Week 7: religion Week 8; economy Week 9: migration Week 10: slavery Week 11: science

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This is a small group, seminar-based module. A weekly lecture provides an overview of the week's topic. This is complemented by an interactive weekly seminar which is structured around prescribed readings, discussion and debate. Advanced research, writing and citation skills are developed through a semester-long 4,000 word research project/essay. Autonomous learning is advanced through student-led debate and discussion of set primary and secondary sources each week. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Seminar participation (20%) and primary source analysis (40%) Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: 4,000 word research paper Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on the mid-term essay is given in wriitng on the returned hard copy. Feedback on the end-of-semester Essay Assignment will be given by appointment in one-to-one meetings. Feedback on performance is available on an ongoing basis by appointment.