Module Details

HR385-6-SP-CO: The British Empire In The Indian Ocean World, 1780-1930

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Year: 2017/18
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 Mark Frost
Teaching Staff: Dr Mark Frost
Contact details: Belinda Waterman, Student Administrator,

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

From the mid-18th century on, the Indian Ocean world witnessed a series of convulsive transformations which saw sail give way to steam power, the birth of modern telecommunications and the rise of the world's first truly global superpower. How did this period of drastic historical change affect the merchants, coolies, peddlers, pirates and pilgrims (to name just a few) who traditionally moved across this ocean and depended upon it for their material (and spiritual) livelihoods? Did European imperialism forever disrupt the region's earlier organic unity? Or, did non-Europeans continue to weave maritime networks that survived the British Empire, in some cases contributing to the Empire's strength and in others to its downfall? Ultimately, how successful were British and European efforts to dominate this great watery expanse?

This module introduces students to the history of globalization in a new historical arena, encouraging them to explore the experiences of a range of people whose lives were shaped by rapidly-changing seas.

Learning and Teaching Methods

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


100 per cent Coursework Mark


One document analysis exercise (2000 words) and one 3000-word essay.

Further information