Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Stalin and Stalinism (Part 1)
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Document Analysis - 1 x 1,500 words  25%
Semester Assessment Oral Assessment - 1 x 1,500 words  25%
Semester Assessment Written Essay - 1 x 2,500 words  50%
Supplementary Assessment (resit) Document Analysis1 - 1 x 1,500 words  25%
Supplementary Assessment (resit - in lieu of Oral) Doc Analysis2 - 1 x 1,500 words  25%
Supplementary Assessment (resit) Written Essay - 1 x 2,500 words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the Stalin era in the period of Stalin’s rise to power and the early 1930s, including important aspects of the politics, culture, and society of the Soviet Union under Stalin.
2. Identify and evaluate different historical debates surrounding Stalin’s rise to power, collectivisation, industrialisation, political and cultural changes.
3. Read, analyze and assess a range of different types of historical evidence relating to early Stalinism, including documents, biographies, literature, art, film and music.


This module and its companion HQ38020 will introduce students to the Soviet Union under Stalin and what Stalinism entailed in theory and practice. Engaging with a rich and controversial historiography, translated documents and cultural productions students will gain an understanding of key areas in the political, cultural, social and economic History of the Soviet Union under Stalin, an understanding of a range of relevant primary sources, and the currents and debates in the historiography surrounding the subject.

Brief description

Josef Stalin ruled the Soviet Union for over a quarter of the twentieth century. Both he and the particular brand of socialism that bears his name, Stalinism, have long been the subject of heated historical controversy, made sharper by the confrontational atmosphere of the Cold War. The debates have recently acquired extra impetus with the release of large numbers of secret documents from within the former Soviet Union. The module will make use of these as well as other sources, including film, art and literature, to try to answer questions which remain perplexing: how was Stalin able to rise to power and dominate the USSR? What was life like under Stalin? Why was the decision made to radically change the Soviet economy at the end of the 1920s? Did Stalin’s ‘revolution from above’ mean a retreat from socialism?


1. Introduction: the Contradictions of Stalinism
2. Stalin’s Rise to Power
3. Biography as a Source for the Study of Stalinism
4. Defeat of the Right Deviation and the Great Break
5. Collectivization and Resistance
6. Famine and the Western Journalists
7. Industrialization and Enthusiasm
8. Language and Identity
9. A Great Retreat?
10. Conclusions

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different late modern sources, including unpublished and published documents; develop the ability to use appropriate historical research tools effectively.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6