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Last modified: 25 Mar 2016 11:36

Course Overview

This course examines the history of the First World War in an international comparative perspective through detailed study of contemporary as well as secondary sources. Following a series of introductory lectures on various aspects of the war, the students taking this course will be divided into sub-groups with normally a maximum of 20 students per group. Each group will focus on either the war experience of a particular country such as Russia or France or undertake comparative study of selected themes such as political, social and cultural transformations and the peacemaking process.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Thomas Weber

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 4

What other courses must be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The First World War brought to an end the longest period of peace in Europe that the continent had hitherto witnessed. The American diplomat and academic George F. Kennan thus, for a good reason, famously labelled the war the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century. The Great War heralded the bloodiest thirty year period, at least in absolute terms, in human history. None of our lives would be the same, had there been no First World War.This course offers students an opportunity to study the place of the war in the 20th century. How did the war come about? Why did it last so long? How were the people involved in it affected by the conflict? How did so many soldiers continue fighting for such a long time? What political, social, and cultural transformations did the war bring with it? Did the war indeed give birth to the two most successful totalitarian ideologies of the twentieth century? It concludes by asking why the Paris settlements did not bring long-term peace to the world.Following a series of introductory lectures on various aspects of the Great War, the students taking this course will be divided into two sub-groups with normally a maximum of 20 students per group.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

For level 4 the assessment will be 40% essay 3500 words; 40% annotated bibliography 3500 words; 20% primary source exercise 1500 words. This course may not be included in a graduating curriculum with HI30/354T[the equivalent level 3 course].

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Written feedback in individual meetings.

Course Learning Outcomes


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