Module Details

HR294-5-SP-CO: South Africa: The Road To Apartheid

Year: 2016/17
Department: History
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: Yes

Supervisor: Dr Jeremy Krikler
Teaching Staff: Dr Jeremy Krikler
Contact details: Belinda Waterman, Student Administrator, Department of History;

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

Apartheid became notorious in the latter half of the twentieth century as a byword for racial discrimination and oppression. Although it was particularly associated with state policy in South Africa from the mid-twentieth century onwards, it built upon foundations laid earlier and was, in many ways, a repressive response to a movement for black rights led by people such as Nelson Mandela. This module explains how South Africa took the 'apartheid turn' but it also demonstrates how the country had long been on a road of increasing racial discrimination. The core of this module is the historical experience of South Africa from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, when the National Party came to power on its apartheid platform. The aim of the course is to give students a thorough understanding of the historical forces and struggles which gave rise to the segregationist state in South Africa. It aims to overturn common assumptions about South Africa such as those which attribute the country's institutionalisation of racism merely to the alleged peculiarities of its 'white tribe', the Afrikaners. The topics traversed include: the role of British imperialism in the founding of the South African state; the particularities of the country's economic development; Afrikaner and African nationalism; the consolidation of segregation; the experience of peasants and workers, and the role of labour and agrarian movements. Key protest movements are also analysed.

Learning and Teaching Methods

One-hour lecture and one-hour seminar per week.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


One 1,500-word document analysis and one 3,500-word essay.

Further information

External Examiner Information

  • Name: Prof Helen Laville
    Institution: The Manchester Metropolitan University
    Academic Role: Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education)