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History of the European Cold War (Module)

Module description


  • To provide the students with the analytical tools to understand both cause and effect when it comes to investigating the prolonged nature of the Cold War division of Europe.
  • To examine the peaks and troughs of the post-war period and be better informed about the exercise of power and why some individuals succeeded in their quest and others failed
  • To appreciate the fact that recklessness or personal commitment to a cause can inflict such a toll in human misery  
  • To recognize the remarkable heroism and fortitude of ordinary people and why ‘people power’ can be so effective 

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will have been introduced to both sides of the Cold War equation and be in a much better position to appreciate the complexity of the problem that confronted Europe in these years
  • They will have acquired a breadth of knowledge in late modern history and international relations that will assist them when it comes to tackling other contemporary European modules @ KCL and in graduate work either here or elsewhere
  • They will have improved their analytical precision by critically examining both primary and secondary material drawn from a wide range of sources
  • They will have been expected to improve their oral and forensic skills by being required to debate even the most loaded motions in the face of considerable opposition
  • They will learn that a ‘black swan’ event is not as rare or as transformative as its considered to be

 *Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Professor Malcolm Murfett*

Teaching pattern

Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work. For a Full Year 30-credit module, this will equate to 40 hours of teaching time (2 hours per week) with 260 hours of self study.

Module assessment - more information

Coursework & Exam*

Key information

Module code 5SSW0011

Credit level 5

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 30

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No