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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:29

Course Overview

The  long nineteenth century (c.1760-1914) saw dramatic rises and falls in political units and power systems (empires) bringing together a range of peoples and territories.  Generally, but not exclusively, they were dominated by Europeans (or those who at least claimed European descent). These global empires are now recognised by historians as a key feature of modern history, and have generated an increasingly rich and varied literature. This course offers you the chance to examine this crucial and controversial phenomenon which, for better or worse, made the modern world. Download Course Guide

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Alessandra Cecolin

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 2

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 construction of different forms of global empire (territorial, commercial, cultural) have come to be seen as a major dynamic of modern world history. This course will offer students an overview of many of the key developments of this period. It will also introduce students to the rich and varied literature surrounding the study of empire The course will focus on a range of empires and regions, particularly the British, but at its heart would be the phenomenon of global empire rather than any particular case. The exact content would depend on contributors and their preferred approaches but contributions collectively would focus on four themes providing coherence.

  1. The migration and exchange of people, ideas, goods, and money
  2. The causes and bases of imperial expansion.
  3. The impacts of contact, colonialism, and empire on land, labour, society and identity
  4. The political dialectics of empire: (encompassing the means by which power is created and asserted, subaltern agency in response to colonization, the relations between settlers-metropoles).

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

2500 word essay 50%

Take Home Exam 50%


Resit; Take Home Exam 100%

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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