HIS10070 The Making of Modern Europe: 1500-2000

Academic Year 2024/2025

This course will introduce you to some of the momentous changes which have taken place in Europe over the past five hundred years. We will explore some of the major landmarks in Europe's social, political, and economic development: the development of European Empires, religious change, witchcraft, the industrial revolution, democratic change, war in the modern world, the Cold War and socio-cultural change since 1945. One lecture every week will introduce you to these themes, but the heart of the course lies in the seminars. Here, you will be encouraged to challenge interpretations of the past, to debate ideas and to draw on primary evidence.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1) To introduce you to the study of history at university level. You will develop an appreciation for the difference in studying history at school level and at third-level.
2) To develop your confidence in handling a range of primary source material; to analyse documents and set them within their broader historical context; to use documents intelligently in both seminar discussion and essays.
3) To broaden your awareness of the practice of history writing, with emphasis on different approaches, debates and controversies. You will also begin to reflect on the influences which have shaped these approaches.
4) To gain an awareness of some of the most important themes in early modern and late modern European history.
5) To develop confidence in debating issues in seminars, and in delivering presentations.
6) To hone essay-writing skills.

Indicative Module Content:

New Worlds
The Rise of Democracy
European Imperialism
War in the Modern World
Cold War
End of Empires

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The course has been designed with the needs of first semester first year students in mind, to transition you from secondary level to third level study. Every Wednesday, you will listen to a lecture delivered in Theatre L in the Newman Building which will introduce you to key topics in Modern European History. Some of the themes raised in these lectures will then be discussed and debated more broadly in your seminar (groups usually of no more than 20 students). The seminars are also designed to give you confidence in analysing a range of primary source evidence, through problem-based learning. As importantly, you will also learn through reading broadly - beyond textbooks, to specialist articles and monographs. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment(Including Essay): Gobbet (primary source analysis) n/a Graded No


Exam (In-person): 2 hour exam; 2 essays. n/a Graded No


Participation in Learning Activities: Contribution to in-class discussions; pop-quizzes. n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

You will receive feedback on your seminar contributions. General feedback may also be offered within the seminar group to deal with common issues/challenges. You can also request feedback on your examination scripts.

Name Role
Professor William Mulligan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer