These are the flagship modules of The Strand Group and were in our previous incarnation as The Mile End Group. The module started in 1992 as ‘Cabinet, Premiership and the Conduct of British Central Government since 1945’. It was created by Professor Peter (now the Lord) Hennessy to analyse the mechanics of government and utilise his extensive contacts to being the foremost practitioners into the classroom. This module was the basis of the style and methodology that the MA in Government Studies still uses today.
The modules now are led by Professor Jon Davis, alongside co-teachers Dr Michelle Clement, Dr Jack Brown and Martin Stolliday. Special attention is given to the memoirs and diaries of the prime ministers, cabinet ministers and senior officials involved in managing the central machinery of government, as well as first-hand testimony from a selection of highly-relevant and high profile guests. Classes take place within No. 10 Downing Street itself, and guest speakers have included former Prime Ministers Sir Tony Blair, Lord Cameron and Theresa May, academic Lord Hennessy and Cabinet Secretaries Lord Armstrong, Lord Butler, Lord Turnbull, Lord Wilson, Lord O’Donnell, Lord Heywood, Lord Sedwill and Simon Case.
At the end of the module, students will have:
- A detailed understanding of how successive Prime Ministers government from 1945-1979;
- A deep and informed understanding of the interaction between different key personalities, policies, politics and processes that explain how government really works and has worked in the UK context;
- Acquired a deep and evolving understanding of the constantly-updating literature and ultra-contemporary historiography of these years;
- Gained experience of using primary and secondary sources as a means of analysing the history of No.10 Downing Street;
- Acquired a detailed understand of how No.10 operates currently and in the past; trips to the very heart of government to gain an understanding of the size and ethos of No.10 Downing Street;
- Undertaken a detailed investigation of at least one particular theme associated with this subject, using secondary and primary sources, to produce a finished piece of analysis.