Lenin and Leninism (SS) HIST4222

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Reviled in the West in his own lifetime as a 'Red Dictator', idolized after his death in 1924 until the fall of European Communism in 1991 across nearly three quarters of the globe, from Beijing and Havana to Ethiopia and Angola, the life, works and legacy of Vladimir Ilich Lenin continues to provoke controversy and arouse debate even today. This special subject offers the only all encompassing opportunity of its kind to examine the role and influence of one man in world history.


This course will meet three hours a week.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours in History.

Excluded Courses






Coursework - two essays (2,500 words) (10% each); two seminar papers ( 800 words) (6% each); seminar participation (4% each)

Examination - two exams each of 120 minutes duration (30% each)

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

The following aims are shared by all History special subjects:

1. to prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.

2. to show students how a professional historian works.

3. to familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).

4. to ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised.

5. to encourage students to develop the confidence, imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research or in any sphere or employment where these qualities are valuable.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. demonstrate an understanding of the philosophical roots of Lenin's thought and their importance in the context of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia between 1917 and 1924.

2. demonstrate an ability to distinguish between, and evaluate, different types of evidence (including memoirs, letters, biographies, contemporary articles and philosophical tracts) relevant to different aspects of the subject.

3. demonstrate an ability to master the subject as a whole by answering a range of questions requiring them to locate both primary and secondary sources in their historical context, and to reconstruct the identity of the period.

4. demonstrate an appreciation of the circumstances in which, and the purposes for which, a particular text was written or compiled; to judge the degree of partisanship and hindsight which it exhibits; to be able to comment, where relevant, on the scholarly competence with which the text has been edited; and to be able to assess the utility of the text to a modern historian of the period.

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.