The History of German Reunification 1989/90: An International Perspective HIST4209

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

During the Cold War Germany was divided into two states. While West Germany became a liberal democracy within NATO and the European Community, East Germany was established as a socialist republic, belonging to the Eastern Bloc. It was not until the communist regime in East Germany collapsed in 1989/90 that with the approval of the four former occupying powers USA, France, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, the East acceded to the West. This course will examine the history of German reunification from an international perspective. Using public and archival sources, we will analyse the historical background of divided Germany, the political process of German reunification, and its consequences for Europe


15x1hr lectures over 10 weeks, 5x1 hr seminars per week over 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





■ 2 essays - (2,500 words each) - 45%

■ Seminar presentation - (6- 8 minutes) - 6%

■ Seminar contribution - (4%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ Develop intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years.

■ Be aware of previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options.

■ Develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness.

■ Develop familiarity with complex historical debates and interpretations, skill in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research.

■ Develop transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Explain the historical background of German Reunification

■ Identify the individuals, events, issues and ideologies which shaped German Reunification

■ Recognize and compare different perceptions and interpretations of German Reunification

■ Recognize the consequences of German Reunification in an international perspective.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.