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World History

30 Credits

World History provides students with a firm grounding for their studies. This is achieved by exploring the deep history of humanity from prehistory to the challenges of today.

The course takes a broad global perspective, giving equal weight to human experiences across the globe. It introduces students to a wide range of different societies and thus gives them the opportunity to develop an understanding of the variety of human experiences and achievements.

The title of the course is meant to be taken quite literally, for we are particularly interested in two themes:

  • global interactions throughout history
  • humanity’s interaction with the natural world

The focus on global interactions investigates the origins and consequences of global interactions and provides a firmer understanding of development of the modern, global world. The second focus, on humanity’s interaction with the natural world, explores how humanity has been shaped by the environment and how we have in turn transformed the world around us. It provides students with an understanding of the origins of the current ecological crisis and the tools to understand how this relationship can develop in the future.

Alongside this, World History provides students with opportunities to train in the key historical skill of source criticism through exposure to and opportunities to discuss and analyse primary sources from across the world.

The following is a list of some of the topics that will typically be studied:

  • The Origins of Humanity
  • Farmers and Hunter-gatherers
  • The First State Societies: Egypt and Mesopotamia
  • The Origins of Imperial China
  • Empires of Faith: Christendom and Islam
  • Medieval Africa
  • The Native American Empires: Before and After the Columbian Encounter
  • The Age of Revolution: Haiti, France and the USA
  • The Great Experiment: Socialism and Communism in the Twentieth Century
  • The Liberal World Order from World War Two to the Twenty-First Century