A history of Germany

Key facts

  • Cost: £150
  • Credits: 0


Germany has been called a nation ‘uniquely problematic, tormented, peculiar, with its own strange, distorted pattern of history.’ A nation with a distinct creative culture, which produced the genius of Durer, Beethoven and Goethe, but also a uniquely destructive political history which gave rise to the genocidal tyranny of Adolf Hitler. This course traces the German speaking people’s tortuous path to belated nationhood from their first contacts with the Roman Empire through to the rise and fall of the Second and Third Reichs, ending with the second reunification of Germany in 1990 and its status as the leading political and economic power in Europe. 

Over a series of talks our expert tutor will explain: 

  • key political, religious, social, economic and cultural events in the history of Germany from the Roman empire to the present day 
  • Germany’s belated emergence as a nation in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars 
  • The story of the German Reichs both of which ended in destructive war and division 
  • key evidence from these events and later historical perspectives and debates 

You will also have the chance to reflect and debate various historical perspectives with other students and the tutor in seminars 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • why the German people were so fragmented for so long and how true national unity remains elusive and provisional 
  • Germany’s unique historical experience at the heart of Europe 
  • Consider the ambitions and failings of the Second and Third Reichs in relation both to the development of Germany and to world history in general 

Who is this course for?

Anyone new to studying history and interested in: 

  • German social, political and economic history 
  • The formation of European nations, European History 
  • German language, culture and people 


No credits are offered by this course. 

Mode of study

This 10-week course will be delivered online via 2-hour seminars led by a tutor over Zoom. 

Course materials will be provided via our online learning platform Moodle 


  • Can begin your study of history at university level  
  • contribute towards a Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education 

Find out more

The University holds open days throughout the year where you can meet with staff to discuss our short course provision. Find out more about University of Glasgow open days