The First World War, 1911-1923 (SS) HIST4293

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the course of the First World War and its role in the wider histories of war, revolution and empire. It will adopt a broader chronological approach beginning in 1911 and ending in 1923. The course will consider the social, cultural and political transformations caused by the experience of the Great War in Europe and around the globe. It will assess debates concerning the war as an accelerator of pre-existing trends as well as a transformational event in its own right. These debates range from the nature of modern warfare to thinking about peace, from the social tensions and revolutionary movements to the changing dynamics of colonial control and oppression.


Three hours of seminars per week over 20 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 in the current session are available on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Senior 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





2x 2-hour exam papers - 50%

2 Essays (2500 words each) - 20%

2 Oral presentations, one per term, 15 mins each - 10%

2 seminar papers based on these presentations, one per term, (1000 words each) 10%

Oral contribution to seminar discussion in each term 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. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will 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:


■ Engage with and appraise core historiographical debates concerning the course and impact of the Great War.

■ Assess the social, cultural and political transformation that occurred during and a result of the First World War.

■ Analyse, discuss and write about both primary documents and secondary material.

■ Develop oral presentational skills

■ Develop key transferable skills.

■ Understand how a professional historian works

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Analyse and discuss the causes and course of the Great War

■ Identify the ways in which the conflict changed practices of modern warfare

■ Recognise the impact of empires and colonised peoples on the course of the war as well as the impact of the war on the practice of Empire, the experience of colonised peoples and the rise of anti-colonial nationalist movements.

■ Analyse and discuss the role of the war on gender relations within the belligerent states as well as in the historiography of the conflict.

■ Evaluate debates concerning the relationship between the war and the outbreak and course of revolutionary violence in Russia as well as central and eastern Europe.

■ Assess the Great War as a key moment in the modern history of genocide and evaluate debates concerning the causal dynamics of the Armenian genocide.

■ Analyse and discuss the impact of the wartime experience on global peace movements and the importance of these dynamics for the international order that emerged after 1918.

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.