War and Society in Europe c.1779-1990 - HIST4280

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 4 30 (15) Mario Draper checkmark-circle


This module will offer a comparative study of wars in Europe from the French Revolutionary Wars to the Cold War. The module will adopt the 'war and society' approach to this topic and so will focus on the social composition and combat effectiveness of the armies concerned, as well as the causes of the wars, civil-military relations and the various peace treaties. There will also be discussion of these wars at the strategic and operational level. This module will consider the French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleonic Wars, Crimean War, Wars of Italian and German Unification (including the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars), Balkan Wars, First World War, Spanish Civil War, Second World War and Cold War. Students will thus gain an overview of the wars which shaped modern Europe and will also gain some insights into political and economic change in this period.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 34
Private study hours: 266
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

• Essay 1 2,000 words 15%
• Essay 2 2,000 words 15%
• Source Analysis Exercise 1,000 words 10%
• Exam Preparation Essay 1,000 words 10%
• Seminar Participation 10%
• Examination 2 hours 40%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages: https://kent.rl.talis.com/index.html

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Understand the historiography and history of Europe at war, c. 1770-1990.
2 Demonstrate their critical and analytical skills, through a comparison of a wide range of armed forces, political systems and operational theatres.
3 Navigate the history and historiography of various wars in a comparative framework.
4 Practise a critical understanding of different historical approaches and degrees of bias as well as of the methodological complexities in the historical record itself.
5 Examine and evaluate primary sources, whether texts or images, and understand their context, strengths and limitations, and value.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate analytical and reflective skills and the ability to express complex ideas and arguments using a variety of methods, skills which can be transferred to other areas of study and employment.
2 Deploy communication, presentation and information technology skills.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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