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The South Wales Miners, 1898–1985

Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.

Available Dates:

This course is currently not being offered in the academic year 2015 - 2016.

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The south Wales miners were one of the most important groups of workers in Britain in the twentieth century. This course charts their history throughout this turbulent century, from the formation of their union in 1898, through the major strikes of 1910-12, 1921, 1926, 1972 and 1974, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the nationalisation of their industry in 1947, to the epic year-long strike of 1984-5.

Course syllabus

  1. Introduction
  2. The Welsh Miner
  3. The 1898 strike and the formation of ‘The Fed’.
  4. The Miners’ Next Step and the growth of coalfield radicalism
  5. “Struggle or Starve” – the General Strike and the Great Depression
  6. War and nationalisation – the 1940s and 1950s
  7. Pit closures – the 1960s
  8. The 1972 and 1974 strikes and the incentive bonus scheme
  9. Thatcher versus the miners, 1979-1983
  10. The Strike, 1984-1985

Who is this course for?

Anyone with an interest in the topic. No previous knowledge is assumed.

Learning and Teaching

Learning and teaching are undertaken by means of small group work. This is a 10-credit course, so there will be two-hour meetings once a week (20 contact hours in all) which will include group discussion, exercises, source analysis and presentation of material on PowerPoint and DVD. The aim is ensure that the classes are enjoyable and stimulating for all. This will encourage the development of knowledge and understanding of the topics and ideas discussed in the course.

Coursework and Assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

You will not have formal examinations. You may write an essay or other equivalent written assignments (such as a portfolio of shorter written exercises) to a total of 1500 words, demonstrating an understanding of core elements of the course material.

you may have class tests. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

Essential reading

Recommended Reading

Library and Computing Facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on

(029) 2087 0000.

Accessibility of Courses

Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.

Further Information

A range of further information can be found on our web site or in Choices.  This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.