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Last modified: 24 Jun 2020 14:31

Course Overview

This course examines the history of the First World War in an international comparative perspective through detailed study of contemporary as ell 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 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Anthony Heywood

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot 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.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

3000 word essay (50%)

2500 word annotated bibliography (50%)


resit: resubmission of coursework

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome

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