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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3930 The First World War: A Global Conflict

40 creditsClass Size: 16

Module manager: Dr Alexia Moncrieff

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The First World War has been described as ‘the great seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century’ and its legacies are still visible in the world today. This module places the war in its global context and examines key events and themes relating to the conduct, experiences, aftermaths and legacies of the war. Rather than seeing the war as one between European nation-states, this module will examine the conflict as a war between global empires. We will discuss the significance of African, Asian and Middle-Eastern theatres of war, the experiences of colonial and dominion troops, and the diverse and uneven effects of the war for different people and places around the world. Taking this approach disrupts the traditional periodisation of the war as commencing in 1914 and ending in 1918, and brings into view the mobilisation of millions of imperial subjects and their societies. We will discuss how these groups engaged with the conflict and sought to (re)negotiate their place in the world during this pivotal historical moment.


The aim of this module is to provide students with an in-depth historical knowledge of the First World War as a global conflict and to develop students’ skills when analysing events that transcend national borders.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the First World War as a global conflict

2. Analyse the links between events, processes, interactions and themes in the First World War across different cultural, political and national contexts

3. Locate, interpret and analyse a range of different types of primary sources

4. Critically analyse themes and trends in the historiography of the First World War from a global perspective

5. Apply fundamental standards and practices of historical study for research, discussion and assessed work


Topics may include:

Fighting the war (strategy and tactics; theatres of war; experiences of soldiering)

Mobilisation of economies, societies and empires (conscription; propaganda; industry and manufacturing; colonial troops and resources)

Spaces of cross-cultural encounter (hospitals; captivity; leave)

Aftermaths (negotiating peace; veterans and disability; revolutions and political unrest)

Legacies (politics of remembrance; cultural representations of war)

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours356.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Reading to prepare for seminars (120 hours)

Further self-directed reading (70 hours)

Preparing and producing the presentation, lit review and source analysis (80 hours)

Researching and writing the essay (80 hours)

Reflection on feedback (6 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be provided with feedback on their assessed work after each individual component. The essay in the portfolio is focused on secondary literature and the oral presentation is focused on primary sources, so students will receive feedback on their use of both before their major essay is due. In-class discussions will provide the opportunity to monitor student engagement and understanding, and feedback will also be provided in office hours and through individual consultations.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4000 words50.00
PortfolioPortfolio of comparative work including: 1000-word ‘state of the field’ essay, a 15-minute oral presentation on primary sources (plus 1000-word script), 1500-word critical analysis (15% each for presentation and ‘state of the field’ essay; 20% for critical analysis). Essay: semester 1/week 6; presentation in class – students to sign up for week of interest; written analysis: semester 2/exam week 1.50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits for the presentation may be via a 1000-word analysis of primary sources.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 03/05/2022


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