Module code: POL1019

Module Overview

The 20th Century was full of contradiction: devastating world wars, intra-state conflict, revolution and economic disaster were met with recognition of the right of peoples to determine their own future, of an international human rights agenda, of unprecedented systemic institution-building in order to promote and perpetuate peace and economic growth that extended far beyond the “first world”. This module will review the main events and processes of the 20th Century in order to identify and understand the circumstances under which such major change came about. Students will therefore be required to acquire a detailed knowledge and understanding of international history and actors in the twentieth century. Beyond this, students will develop and apply knowledge of International Relations theorising acquired in other modules, including the historiography of IR theorising, in order to be able to identify and understand the dominant theoretical thinking of a particular time.

Module provider


Module Leader

KITCHEN Nicholas (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes the following:

History and historiography in the twentieth century: an overview; Empires and revolutions; World Wars and the Inter-war Years; The role of ideology; Institution-building; The Cold War; Rapprochement and détente; The fall of the Berlin Wall; The New World Order

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY 2000 WORDS 40
Coursework ESSAY 2000 WORDS 60

Alternative Assessment

Not Applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a key theoretical approach or empirical topic regarding politics and identities.

  • Critically engage with the subject matter

  • Present and develop a clear argument, within a very tight word count.

  • Analyse a topic (rather than merely describe it).

  • Critically evaluate an approach or competing approaches.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

x1 2000 word essay (40%)

x1 2000 word essay (60%)

Formative assessment and feedback

Feedback is provided in lectures and seminars where appropariate. Feedback and consultation hours are also held on a weekly basis for students to discuss this further.

Module aims

  • To introduce students to major political, economic, social and cultural processes and events (national as well as international) which have shaped international relations since the end of the nineteenth century
  • To provide a historical complement to relevant parts of modules POL1012 Introduction to Politics and POL1013, Introduction to International Relations.
  • To introduce students to modes of explanation, interpretation and analysis proper to the study of history.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a coherent grasp of the sequence of major international events and their influence on the evolution of global governance since the 19th century. KC
002 Understand the dynamics of actors, institutions and processes at national and international levels in shaping international organisations. K
003 Describe and analyse a range of contemporary historical phenomena including different interpretations of causes, effects and significations offered by historians and/or political actors. KCPT
004 Demonstrate the ability to apply theory in such a way as to help develop a critical analysis of key historical events. KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Encourage work both independent and group work

  • Facilitate critical thinking

  • Enhance analytical skills

The learning and teaching methods include:

11x1 hour lectures, 11x1 hour seminars, prescribed reading , group discussions, debates


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL1019

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MPA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.