History Short Period: Europe in the 20th Century (V1319)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module addresses the long sweep of European history from before the First World War to the time after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

We begin by considering the cataclysmic destruction suffered during a second Thirty Years' War (1914 -1945), before moving on to examine the various economic miracles in Western Europe (the ‘Trente Glorieuses’ in France, the ‘Wirtschaftswunder’ in West Germany, the ‘miracolo economico’ in Italy) along with parallel attempts to build socialist utopias in Eastern Europe (1945-1975).

Overall this was a time of unparalleled prosperity that eventually gave rise to the present neo-liberal global age (1975 and after). You will analyse what drove these transformations by taking a comparative approach, with a view to identifying specific themes of overall importance, relating them to various national trajectories while, at the same time, trying to understand the emergence of a new European identity. As such the focus of the module is on Europe as a whole, cutting across distinctions of East and West, North and South, and encompassing a set of themes designed to draw out common features across the continent over the last century.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: