2 x 1-hour lectures weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Tutorial Paper, 1200 words (20%)

Tutorial Presentation (10%)

Major Essay, 2500-3000 words (40%)

Test (20%)

Tutorial Attendance and Participation (10%)
Topic description

As the attempt to recover from World War One finally collapsed into the Great Depression, Europe found itself divided between democrats, communists and the new extremist movements of Nazism and fascism. These tensions exploded into World War Two, a war that not only destroyed much of Europe but helped bring about the end of Europe’s global empires. In the aftermath of war, Europe hardened into a Soviet east and a NATO west, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 left behind an expansionist European Union and a wounded Russia looking to reassert itself on the world stage.

This topic examines European conflict and change during the period of the rise and fall of communism and fascism, and investigates how the new Europe of the EU, Russia and a newly isolationist Britain came into existence. Through the study of primary sources and new works, this topic will offer students the ability to understand how contemporary Europe came into existence.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Introduce students to major developments in European history in the period stretching from the Russian revolution to Brexit
  • 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 completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of key developments in European history in the period stretching from the Russian revolution to Brexit
  2. Show a familiarity with basic historical approaches and methods
  3. Reflect on the nature of various historical sub-disciplines
  4. Present their knowledge and thoughts in both written and oral forms to an appropriate scholarly standard