Module Identifier IP10520  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Peter D Jackson  
Semester Semester 2  
Mutually Exclusive GW10520  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours (20 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours (8 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

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

- Discuss contending views on the origins of the Cold War;
- Examine the impact of the Cold War on the United States, Europe and the Third World;
- Assess the roles played by US and Soviet foreign policies in shaping the Cold War;
- Identify the origins of detente and reasons for its decline;
- Assess competing explanations for the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the end of the Cold War,
- Effectively deploy skills of: identification and location of appropriate sources; independent study; writing (essays and examinations); IT skills plus time-management.

10 ECTS credits

Brief description

This module examines the major events of the Cold War, from the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Japan in 1945 to decolonisation, the war in Vietnam and the collapse of Communist Party rule in Eastern Europe.


This module will introduce students to major issues and events which were crucial in shaping the international history of the Cold War (1945 - 1991).


The module begins by examining the origins of the Cold War through a consideration of the historical debates about the reasons for the Americans? use of the Atomic bomb against Japan in 1945. Students will then go on to consider the role played by different regions in the early years of the Cold War, and the impact of the superpowes' military, economic and ideological rivalry on Europe, Asia, the former colonies of the Third World and the Middle East. Students will focus closely on such key events as the Communist Revolution in China, the Korean War, the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Vietnam War. The dynamics of detente and arms control will be discussed and the module will conclude with an examination of the debates surrounding the reasons for the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Communist Party rule in Eastern Europe.

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills which will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Students will practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, and self management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.

Reading Lists

S. E. Ambrose Rise to Globalism 6th Revised. London and New York: Penguin Books
Simon Ball (1998) The Cold War: An International History London: Arnold
P.M.H. Bell (2001) The World since 1945: An International History London: Arnold


This module is at CQFW Level 4