The Cold War

Module code: HIST 2017

Module description

This module examines the history of the Cold War, adopting a thematic approach in order to explore some of the contested issues in our understanding of this key period in twentieth century history, and of subsequent ways in which this war has been interpreted and represented by historians, commentators and politicians. It will be a team-taught module, utilising the expertise of a number of staff.

The module will also engage with the debates which run at the heart of this topic, and will introduce students to the contested interpretations of key moments, individuals and documents and will explore why such divergent interpretations have emerged and assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of these interpretations.

The module will make extensive use of primary source material (in translation), and will devote considerable time to the interrogation of key documents and texts from this period.

Contact hours per student per year

  • Lectures: 11 hours
  • Tutorials: 11 hours


  • Essay: 40%
  • Unseen exam: 60%

Additional costs: No extra costs other than purchase of books