Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Third Reich (Part 1): Building the Dictatorship. Regime and Society in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Document Analysis One - 1 x 1,500 words  25%
Semester Assessment Document Analysis Two - 1 x 1,500 words  25%
Semester Assessment Written Essay - 1 x 2,500 words  50%
Supplementary Assessment (resit) Document Analysis One - 1 x 1,500 words  25%
Supplementary Assessment (resit) Document Analysis Two - 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. critically evaluate a variety of primary sources, showing an awareness of their significance, their authors’ purpose, the perspective from which they were produced and by whom and how they were received;
2. demonstrate an understanding of how and why the Nazi regime was radicalized, and its impact on German society, with reference to key concepts including totalitiarianism and the Volksgemeinschaft;
3. identify trends in the historiography of the Third Reich, and critically assess historians’ arguments and the controversies between them.


This module and its companion HQ38420 are designed to allow students who have already developed an interest in modern German history (e.g. through Options or a ‘Survey’ or a ‘Skills and Sources’ module) to pursue it further in respect of a relatively brief period. It introduces students to an exceptionally rich body of scholarly literature, and to an array of primary sources.

Brief description

This module considers the characteristics of the Nazi regime and explores the impact Nazism had on Germany’s state and society. Before the Nazi seizure of power, the German state had appeared weak, and society had been deeply divided along lines of social class, political culture, religion and region. The Nazis promised to create a Volksgemeinschaft: a harmonious community of the people. How they set about their self-appointed task, and whether they succeeded, are at the heart of this module.


Part I: The Construction and Radicalisation of the Nazi Regime: From the Seizure of Power to the Eve of the War
1. The Nazi Seizure of Power
2. Nazism and the State
3. Antisemitism, 1933-39

Part II: The Volksgemeinschaft Realised? Consent, Dissent and Resistance
4. Nazism, 'Revolution' and Religion
5. The Working Class in the Third Reich
6. Women in the Third Reich
7. Class - Generation - Religion: Old Divisions in the New 'People's Community'?

Part III: Persuasion - Education - Entertainment - Terror
8. Culture in the Third Reich
9. Propaganda
10. Terror and Compliance

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 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 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
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