Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Modern Europe, 1789-1955
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 50 minute lectures (delivered twice a week)
Seminars / Tutorials 2 x 100 minute workshop seminars 1 tutorial of 10-15 mintues for each student


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Smester Assessment  1 x 2,500-3,000 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Semester Examination  2 hour closed examination  60%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary Assessment  completed any failed written work  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Supplementary Examination  resit 2 hour examination  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of Modern Europe during the period under review.

Demonstrate an understanding of the longer term historical questions connected to the development of Modern Europe, showing an awareness of their significance in a comparative context.

Demonstrate an ability to use and reflect critically upon a range of relevant primary and secondary material.

Demonstrate an ability to collect and analyse relevant historical evidence to produce appropriate arguments both oral (not assessed) and written.

Brief description

This period witnessed the ushering in of a new era following the French Revolution, with a drive for a change in the mastery of society. The ‘long nineteenth century’ saw industrialisation, the rise of nationalism, revolution across the continent, the rise of Social Democracy and a drift towards pan-European War. The Great War of 1914-1918 gave rise to revolutions, and led to the development of a challenging post-war situation that saw Europe return to war within two decades. This module addresses European politics and society from the French Revolution to the end of the Second World War, covering a wide range of European states and drawing comparisons between them in the period.


1. The French Revolution
2. The Industrialization of Europe
3. Population growth and migration
4. The Impact of Napoleon
5. Reaction: The Metternich System
6. The Revolutionary Tradition and the Revolutions of 1848
7. The Rise of Nationalism
8. State-Formation and Nation-Building: The ‘Unification’ of Germany and Italy
9. Imperialism
10. Changing Alliance Systems, 1872-1907
11. Labour Movements and Social Democarcy
12. The Causes of the First World War
13. Total War: Europe, 1914-1918
14. The Russian Revolutions of 1917
15. Fascism
16. ‘Totalitarian’ regimes: a) The Third Reich
17. ‘Totalitarian’ regimes: b) The Soviet Union
18. Popular Frontism and the Second World War

Seminars (students will choose 2 seminars out of a possible 4-5 topics):
1. The Impact and Legacy of the French Revolution
2. Industrialization: Comparative Perspectives
3. Nationalism in Comparative Context
4. Causes and Consequences of the First and Second World Wars
5. The Twentieth-Century Dictatorships: Comparing Fascism, Nazism and Communism

Individual tutorials
1 tutorials of 10-15 minutes, primarily for giving feedback on written work.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
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 encouraged 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 and to undertake appropriate research for seminars and the 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 An understanding of the specific historical debates relating to the study of modern Europe.
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