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Congratulations on securing your place at Brunel

We’re looking forward to meeting you - either in person or online - and introducing you to life at Brunel. To help us get started, we’ve put together a short activity and some further information to help you prepare for your course - including a snapshot of the topics you’ll cover and useful resources. If you have any questions please email cbass-tpo-gask@brunel.ac.uk.

Your pre-arrival activity

We’d like you to complete a short activity before you join us. We can discuss your answers in one of your first personal tutor sessions. Your work will not be officially assessed however it will allow your tutor to get to know you better.

Is it time for Votes at 16?

We're going to be thinking about 'Votes at 16'. Campaigns to lower the voting age are underway in just about every democracy in the world - and in several cases they've been successful. Here in the UK, 16- and 17-year-olds have been able to vote in Scotland since 2014, and voted for the first time in Wales earlier this year. Is it now time to lower the voting age to 16 for all elections in the UK?

For those doing Politics and History, Modern History, Military and International History, please read the short articles below and answer the following question:

  • Why Votes at 16 is the next suffrage bridge we must cross: Further reading here 
  • Britain's democratic story is unfinished - let's write the next chapter: Further reading here 

You're going to be discussing how Votes at 16 fits into the evolution of Britain as a democracy since the late 19th Century. Is lowering the voting age the next logical step after the vote was granted to women over 30 and working-class men in 1918, then to women over 21 in 1928, and then to anyone over 18 in 1969? Or is it wrong to compare the denial of the vote to children today with the denial of the vote to women in the 20th century?

We also advise you to take a look at the information below. Completing wider reading and getting familar with what you'll be learning, will help prepare you for academic life at Brunel.

Sample lecture topics 

  1. What is History?
  2. Why do new types of and approaches to History develop?
  3. Do some types of History offer greater challenges to the historian than others?
  4. How do we conduct ‘history from below’?
  5. Why do empires rise and fall?

Reading list 

  • Jones, M.A., The Limits of Liberty: American History, 1607-1992 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995, 2nd Edition). 
  • Thomas, M. Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and their Roads from Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). 
  • Tosh, J., The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods and New Directions in the Study of History (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015, 6th Edition).

Students are also encouraged to expand their methods of preparation by listening to the BBC’s History Extra Podcast, available here.