HIS-10029 - Modern History
Coordinator: Anthony Kauders Tel: +44 1782 7 33197
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

The study of Modern History offers a wide-ranging introduction to the political debates and conflicts that frame our lives in the 21st century. In this course we unravel key tenets of the history of our recent past, looking at how societies modernised, populations grew and political ideologies developed since the eighteenth century. This is an era of empire and democracy, the growth of capitalism, huge technological advances, modern warfare, the decline and rise of religion and new political voices such as the Suffragettes and subaltern that have created new histories.
Five main themes are addressed: Politics - in which we look at the rise of nationalism and the age of revolutions; the Economy - in which we look at the process of modernisation and the development of capitalism; Religion - in which we look at secularisation and political ideologies; Marginal Histories - in which we discuss gender history and crime and deviance and Europe and the Wider World which takes us to the impact of imperialism and globalisation across the world.
This module is taught by leading scholars of modern history through weekly lectures and weekly small group seminars, which will involve discussions across the class and in smaller groups, looking at primary sources and engaging with the secondary literature. There are rich online resources and a range of stimulating course set books which you will use.
No previous knowledge of modern history is assumed and the module will appeal to all students interested in how historical developments can cast light on current problems and dilemmas, as well as being a vital module for students taking principal history.
Preparatory Reading can be undertaken by consulting the following textbooks: T.C.W Blanning (ed.), The Oxford History of Modern Europe (OUP, 2000) and C.A. Bayley, The Birth of the Modern World (Blackwell, 2004).

The module introduces first year students to the study of the most significant developments of modern history. It covers political, religious, economic and social themes and considers Europe within a wider world context. It aims to advance students' historical knowledge and understanding by enabling them to comprehend change and continuity in modern history, to relate evidence and case studies to more general issues and make critical evaluations of different historical explanations.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate their knowledge of the outlines of the core historical processes identified and explored in the lectures (the rise of nationalism, revolutions, the impact of industrialisation and mass society, secularisation, the emergence of political ideologies, gender history, crime and deviance, imperialism and globalisation) through both oral and written work: 1,2
identify key themes from lectures and consolidate these ideas through reading and discussion: 1,2
develop further their general skills in reading effectively, note-taking from lectures and reading material, oral presentations and debate and essay writing: 1,2
demonstrate and develop their ability to communicate with greater clarity about key historical ideas and concepts, and engage in debate: 1,2

Study hours

12 lectures
12 seminars
12 whole cohort workshops
30 hours seminar preparation
34 hours essay preparation
20 hours lecture consolidation
30 hours exam revision & completion

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 50%
An essay of c. 2000 words
Exercises set as formative assessments and used as the basis for seminar discussions. They will include analyses of a variety of primary source documents.

2: Open Book Examination weighted 50%
Take-home exam (8hrs)
An eight-hour take-home examination where students are invited to answer two questions from a list of eight