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HIST279: Gandhi and the End of Empire in India, 1885-1948

Department: History NCF Level: FHEQ/QCF/NQF5//RQF5
Study Level: Part II (any yr) Credit Points: 15.0
Start Date: 10-10-2016 End Date: 05-05-2017
Available for Online Enrolment?: Y Enrolment Restriction: Fully available to all students
Module Convenor: Dr DR Sutton

Syllabus Rules and Pre-requisites

  • Prior to HIST279, the student must have successfully completed:

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

  • This course will begin by considering the relationship between imperialism and nationalism in South Asia. It will go on to explore the inception of political and religious organisations which were formed towards the end of the nineteenth century to challenge British Imperial authority. Students will engage with the various forms of criticism directed at the colonial state as well as the means by which popular support was garnered by nascent nationalist organisations. The course will examine the rise of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as a political leader, within and outside of the Indian National Congress. The course will culminate with the Quit India movement and the British acceptance of decolonisation.


    Indicative content will be:

    • Gandhi's philosophy of resistance
    • religion, caste and nationalism
    • the role of Indian women and the 'woman question' in nationalism
    • Ambedkar's criticism of Gandhi
    • communalism and nationalism
    • the constitutional organisation of British withdrawal
    • the Partition of India

    Lectures will provide introductions and background to the themes of the course. Seminars will develop explorations of visual and textual sources through discussion and assessed group work.

Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributes

  • Major/combined/consortial programmes administered by History:  History; History and Philosophy; History and Religious Studies.

    Single Major/combined/consortial programmes administered by others: French Studies and History; German Studies and History; English Literature and History; History and International Relations; History and Politics; History and Music; History, Philosophy and Politics; Spanish Studies and History.
  • 60% Exam
  • 40% Coursework

Assessment: Details of Assessment

  • Coursework (40% of final assessment)
    One essay (2500 words) that is due at the end of the term in which the module is taught. 

    Examination (60% of final assessment)
    Students will take a 2-hour unseen exam, answering two questions, in the main summer assessment period.

Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • The aim of this module is to allow students to develop an understanding of the means by which British political authority was resisted in South Asia. Students will gain an insight into the ways in which different social and political orders were affected both by colonialism and the freedom struggle. They should also become familiar with the particular historiographical questions raised by studying anti-colonial resistance. The course will develop an understanding of immediate and longer term affects of constitutional change in colonial governance, and students should also develop an appreciation of the ways in which orders of authority are reflected in the built environment.

Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • This module aims to teach a range of analytical and presentational skills through seminar work.

    Students will become familiar with using a range of primary and secondary reference materials to assist their studies. They will become proficient in the collection and synthesis of a variety of library (including metalib) materials in the construction of a historical argument.
    Students should become confident in 'reading' visual sources used as source materials, in particular in terms of the representation of gender and race. 

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to...
    • understand and discuss, in seminars, the social, religious and political expressions of anti-colonial resistance
    • evaluate the ways in which Indian nationalists resisted imperial authority
    • demonstrate written and verbal understanding of the Indian freedom struggle
    • construct historical narratives and analysis using a range of secondary sources

    These skills will be assessed both through submitted coursework and examination

Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to...
    • think critically about the inflection of authority in social contexts
    • demonstrate written and verbal competence in analysis and interpretation
    • mobilise evidence in a clear and lucid way to support an argument

    These skills will be assessed both through submitted coursework and examination

Contact Information

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