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Unit information: Global Empires in 2021/22

Unit name Global Empires
Unit code HIST30122
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Vivian Kong
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit examines global empires as central agents in world history. Using examples from the ancient to the modern era, students will critically examine the rise and fall of empires, their strategies and drive to power as well as the seeds of their destruction. Case studies may include the empires of Rome, Islam, the Mongols, the Ottomans, the Spanish, the Mughals, the Manchus, the Dutch, the British, the Soviets, the Japanese and the Nazis. It will engage with key concepts such as the relationship between colonies and empires, the use of violence, forced labour and tribute to build power, and the ideologies of religion, ritual and imperium that sustained them. It will challenge students to reconsider the rise of the nation state and discover how global empires have shaped the world we live in.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of issues and themes in imperial history.
  2. Discuss and evaluate the key historiographical and theoretical debates surrounding the challenges of undertaking imperial history.
  3. Understand and interpret primary sources and select pertinent evidence in order to illustrate specific and more general historical points
  4. Present and frame their ideas in a fashion consistent with the conventions of proposals and applications familiar to the academic world and a variety of work environments.

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

1 x 2500-word Mock Proposal (50%) [ILOs 1-4]

1 x Timed Assessment (50%) [ILOs 1-3]


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. HIST30122).

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.