Czechoslovakia: A case study of a country in Europe through the history of film HIST4261

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will offer the unique opportunity to study the history of Czechoslovakia, a democratic country in Europe that has been dragged through Nazism and communism to emerge again as a democratic country by analysing a series of period feature films which bear testimony of the value system of each historical era. The analysis of the period film works will be framed within lectures and seminars explaining, with the help of relevant literature, the cultural and historical context.


10x2hr lectures; 10x1hr seminars over ten weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

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





Essay x 2 (2,000 words) each - 45% and 45%

Presentation (8 minutes) - 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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 aims to:


■ Review a case study of the twentieth century history of a medium-sized European nation to give an understanding of developments in recent European history;

■ Improve critical and evaluative skills in the handling of a variety of primary and secondary sources, including period cultural material from the realm of cinema within the context of a relevant historical framework;

■ Broaden awareness of a range of historical methods, historiography, interdisciplinarity and theory;

■ Enhance confidence and independence of judgement in dealing with conflicting interpretations of major issues;

■ Improve presentational and analytical skills through assessed essays, seminar papers, discussion, and group work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Identify the key characteristics of twentieth century historical development within a typical Central European nation and interpret cinematic cultural artefacts within the appropriate historical context

■ Understand thoroughly the major political and social issues which have affected the lives of Europeans over the past hundred years

■ Employ the appropriate historical methodologies involved in studying cultural artefacts;

■ Explain the role that theory may play in historical explanation and interpretation;

■ Interrogate a variety of cinematic source materials and describe their role in the process of historical explanation;

■ Apply critical and analytical skills in the analysis of cinematic cultural artefacts.

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.