The Russian Revolution

Key facts

  • Cost: £150
  • Credits: 10


In 1913 the Russian Tsar Nicholas II celebrated 300 years of Romanov rule. The vast Empire he governed was both prosperous and powerful, and his autocratic rule seemed unassailable. Yet, within a decade both he and his regime had been obliterated; over 20 million Russians were dead, and a radical new autocracy was in power in the shape of Lenin and the Bolsheviks. How was the old order usurped so completely and a new Russia emerge? How did the revolutionary state evolve in turn into the vast USSR with Stalin in charge? Over a century later, what historical echoes can we trace in the Russian state we know today?  

Join this fascinating course to place the dramatic and shocking events of the Russia Revolution in a deeper and richer historical context, from the early idealism of the abortive revolution of 1905, through to the rise of Stalin in the late 1920s and the descent into the totalitarianism and terror of the Soviet system.  

Over a series of talks, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • The key events shaping the politics, society, culture and economy of Russia between 1905 and 1929, such as the First World War, the rise of the Bolsheviks over other revolutionary groups and Stalin’s ‘revolution from above’ 
  • the key archives, sources and first-hand accounts available 
  • the major historical perspectives and debates 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars. 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • the major causes and consequences of the revolution, the figures involved and their impact 
  • How the revolution still shapes Russia’s distinctive social, political, cultural, economic and territorial development in the 20th Century 

Who is this course for?

Anyone new to studying history and interested in: 

  • Revolutions and the history of Communism in the twentieth century. 
  • The legacy of the Soviet Uniohan in sping modern Russia. 


10 credits 

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