Bader International Study Centre


at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.



at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.

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IDIS 305/3.0 British Studies II

Instructor: Kate Turner

Course Description

IDIS305 is an interdisciplinary course that offers an alternative view of British identities, looking at the conflicts that have shaped the country. It follows the way the decline of British political power through the twentieth century generated a range of fissures, focusing on five themes:

Counter Cultures, Britain and the World, Political Dissent, Riots, and Villains.

Different theories on identities and dissent will frame the course, while its material will be derived from history, politics, current affairs, literature, art and popular culture. Particular effort will be made to ensure that the course requirements are accessible to those who don’t have background in one or more of the course’s disciplines.

Expected Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will have a good knowledge of:

  • British history, culture and politics
  • all contemporary debates on modern Britain
  • the wider European framework

Students will also be better able to carry out skills in: 

  • evaluating identities in a constructive manner
  • engaging critically with all different types of sources
  • contextualizing analysis
  • evaluating secondary sources
  • interdisciplinary learning
Field Studies

For this course there will be two trips. The first one will be a walking tour of the city of Brighton and will be focused on the theme of ‘dissent’. The Second will be a walking tour of central London and will focus on the constructions of national identity.

Primary Research Expectations

Primary Research and Experiential learning are central to the BISC study plan, which offers students an opportunity to develop new skills on how to engage on the spot, live, with a subject. IDIS305 students will be in constant engagement with different types of primary research: seminar sources, a live interview in the class, and field trips.

Students should transform from passive observers to critical thinkers: do not accept at face value anything, but aim to develop your own understanding; do not just describe but try instead to formulate a critical argument; evaluate and analyze the subject of your observations; ask whys, hows, and whats.


Assessment consists of a course essay (30%), an end of term exam (30%), a group presentation (20%), and class participation (20%).