The Cold War (HIH3575)

StaffDr Nicholas Terry - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesNormally 15 credits of History at level 1 or 2.
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module will examine the course of the Cold War between 1945 and 1991 and how the conflict between the Superpowers impacted upon both Europe and the wider World. After looking at the origins of the Cold War and its extension beyond Europe to the wider world, an attempt will be made to assess the reasons for the 'end' of the Cold War.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. A detailed knowledge of the main themes in Cold War history, together with a very close knowledge of the areas selected for essay and presentation work.
  • 2. Ability to trace the changing nature and approaches of the Cold War period.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Ability to analyse the key developments in a complex and alien political and social environment.
  • 4. Ability to understand and deploy complex political terminology in a comprehensible manner.
  • 5. Ability to handle profoundly different approaches to history in a deeply contested area.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 7. Ability to digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 8. Ability to present arguments orally, and to work in a group.

Syllabus plan

Historical Debate over origins of the Cold War Europe: Cold War crises from the Berlin Blockade to the Prague Spring Asia: Korea to Vietnam Superpower rivalry in the Third World The collapse of Communism and the 'End' of the Cold War

The lectures will provide a spine of ideas and information which will be a key component of the students' learning experience. They will form a basis upon which students can build their own interpretations and ideas in the seminars. The seminar work will comprise (1) discussions of particular topics relating to the subject matter of the module and (2) group presentations on particular topics, developing students' teamwork and oral skills.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11Lectures (11x1hr)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Seminars (11x2hr)
Guided independent study267Independent study

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Better of two essay marks252000 wordmark and written comments
Group seminar presentation25peer-assessed and tutor-moderated
Exam502 hourprovided on request by module tutor

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

J.L. Gaddis, We Now Know (OUP, 1997) J.L. Gaddis, The Long Peace (OUP, 1987) J.L. Gaddis, The Cold War (Penguin, 2007) P. Calvocoressi, World Politics Since 1945 (7th edn., Longman, 1996) M. Dockrill, The Cold War (Macmillan, 1988) J. Smith, The Cold War (2nd edn., Blackwell, 1998) J.Young, Cold War Europe (Arnold, 1991)

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?