2 x 50-minute lectures weekly
1 x 50-minute tutorial weekly
Course context
Associated majors: History; International Relations; American Studies

Bachelor of International Tourism; Bachelor of Archaeology
Tutorial Paper, 1200 words (20%)

Tutorial Presentation (10%)

Major Essay, 2500-3000 words (40%)

Test (20%)

Tutorial Attendance and Participation (10%)
Topic description
This topic introduces students to selected themes in contemporary European history from 1945 to the present. It will look at political events in their historical context, as well as questions of social history in a period of rapid change. Subjects to be covered may include the emergence of the Cold War and its impact on Europe; the establishment of a communist eastern bloc, the practice of 'real existing socialism' in the GDR and Yugoslavia, the expansion of democracy and the welfare state in the west, the revolutions of 1968 in both east and west, the emergence of radical politics and terrorism, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of the European Union as a major global player.

In learning about contemporary Europe students will also be introduced to fundamental historical skills of research, analysis and presentation.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • introduce students to major developments in European history in the period since 1945
  • discuss the expectations and requirements of historical practice at university level
  • acquaint them with key concepts in historical thinking as they relate to contemporary European history
  • introduce them to various historical sub-disciplines such as political, social and cultural history
  • introduce them to fundamental skills of research, analysis and presentation which will benefit them both as historians and as university graduates
  • foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation that encourages students to both learn through collaboration and to become independent and critical thinkers

Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a sound knowledge of key developments in European history since 1945
  • show a familiarity with basic historical approaches and methods
  • reflect on the nature of various historical sub-disciplines
  • present their knowledge and thoughts in both written and oral forms to an appropriate scholarly standard