Free online course on British army history

A new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the British Army has attracted more than 1000 registrations from 59 countries since it was launched on 27 January.

Written and delivered by Dr William Butler and Dr Mario Draper in the  School of History, it is an opportunity for those interested in history to access the expertise and resources within the University and its partners.

The MOOC, entitled ‘From Waterloo to the Rhine: The British Army 1815-1945’, is free and open internationally for students of all ages, requiring only registration.

The course is delivered online in the form of filmed lectures, with images provided free by the School’s partners at the National Army Museum, as well as short articles, quizzes and online discussion forums. The Commonwealth War Grave Commission (CWGC) also granted the School the opportunity to film First World War content at sites in France and Belgium.

The course builds on the School of History’s strengths in 19th and 20th Century British, European, and Imperial history, providing students with the opportunity to see the causes and effects of war in modern world history.

Designed to be discussion-led, the course enables students to engage with the subject as an exchanging of ideas and resources, generating greater interest in broader history.

Delivered by FutureLearn, the MOOC is a first from the University’s School of History, and may be the first step towards attracting a greater range of people to the subject on a user-friendly platform.

The course is six weeks long, consisting of four individual weeks of focus on Waterloo, the Empire, WW1 and WW2. Following this, students can complete two brief assignments to be peer-assessed by other participants, at which point the student can apply for a certificate of completion.

Dr Will Butler, Outreach Officer for the School of History and one of the academic leads for the project said: ‘We are delighted with the huge uptake and are looking forward to seeing where future MOOCs can take the School of History in engaging with so many history enthusiasts. Among the course’s objectives, is the aim to increase the breadth of access to history among young people and we feel our numbers already reflect that this is working very well.’

To register for this MOOC go here.

WW1 photograph