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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST1819 International History, 1919-1989: Conflict, Co-operation and Change

20 creditsClass Size: 96

Module manager: Dr Matthew Woolgar

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module


By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- define what is meant by the key terms in 20th century international history, such as Superpower, nuclear revolution, security dilemma, detente and decolonisation;
- identify and explain the principal sources of conflict and stability in international relations from the end of the First World War to the end of the Cold War;
- produce a critical assessment of the arguments about and approaches to the history of international politics found in secondary sources;
- demonstrate an appropriate capacity for critical reading and analytical writing;
- explain at an introductory level of understanding the methodological and historiographical problems international historians confront.

Skills outcomes
Teaches Common Skills listed below:

- High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
- Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
- Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
- Capacity to employ analytical and problem-solving abilities.
- Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
- Empathy and active engagement with alternative cultural contexts.
- Locating and handling relevant sources in libraries/ archives/ on-line environments.


The module will encourage students to make connections across the long periods that will be examined in depth in the second year of the programme. Broadly, the module covers the relative peace of the inter-war years, the Total War and the Cold War of the 20th century. In this module, students will consider whether the international system is essentially constant or evolves over time by focusing on the 20th century. Students will also look at the role of individuals, institutions, military technology and ideas/ideology in the maintenance of, and breakdowns in, international peace in the era of the Second World War and Cold War. Related subject areas, such as international conventions, the prosecution of the Second World War, the Vietnam War, the 'War on Terror' and the Middle East, receive detailed coverage in other modules.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Exam preparation
- Researching, preparing, and writing assignments
- Undertaking set reading
- Self-directed reading around the topic
= 180 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students are also expected to write one non-assessed piece of written work on an assigned topic (to be provided in seminars).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000 word assessed essay due by 12 noon on Monday of teaching week 940.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/02/2024


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