The Rise of the Modern International Order (L2007)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

Today we take it for granted that the peoples and governments of the world are linked in a single international system. Yet it was only during 'the long 19th century' that, for the first time in history, a truly 'world' politics began to emerge. This module examines how this came about by reviewing some major events and process of international history in the period from 1789 to 1914.

It begins with the international impact of the French revolution and the industrial revolution, and moves on to the formation of nation-states in Europe and outside. It analyses the role played by Great Britain in organising the Victorian international system, as well as the occupation of the non-European world by European imperialism. Finally, the module reflects upon the combination of factors that caused this 'long 19th century' to end in the carnage of the Great War. At the same time, by looking at some of the major controversies that historians have had about how to understand these events, the module also raises key questions about the nature of historical knowledge itself.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 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: