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Unit information: Modern Revolutions in 2021/22

Unit name Modern Revolutions
Unit code HIST10067
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Carpenter
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit engages with the comparative study of modern social and political revolutions on the widest possible canvas. Each year, a variety of modern revolutions will be considered, which may include examples as diverse as: the British Revolution of 1688 (‘the first modern Revolution’), the American Revolution of 1776, the European Revolutions in 1789, 1830, 1848 and 1917, all the way to the Chinese Revolution of 1949 and the uprisings of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011. Questions and issues to be explored will include: How can historians make sense of revolution? How do ideas shape revolutions? What did these events have in common? What common processes shaped them? How can historians compare revolutions and revolutionary situations across centuries and continents?

This unit aims to introduce students to a wide range of historical approaches, theories and methodologies associated with the study of modern revolutions, and to engage in key debates about their causes, course, and consequences.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1.Identify and analyse key themes and concepts in the comparative history of modern revolutions.

2.Discuss and evaluate these themes within appropriate historiographical debates that surround the topic.

3.Interpret primary sources and select pertinent evidence in order to illustrate specific and more general historical points.

4.Present their research and judgements in written forms and styles appropriate to the discipline and to level C.

5.Compare the political, economic, social, cultural and technological changes associated with the question of revolution in a global context.

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

Summative assessments:

1 x 1000-word Essay (33%) [ILOs 1-5]

1 x 2000-word Essay (67%) [ILOs 1-5].


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HIST10067).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.