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Age of Revolution (Online)

Key facts

TypeOnline and Distance Learning
DatesWed 10 Sep to Fri 21 Nov 2014
Subject area(s)History
CATS points10
FeesFrom £245.00
Application statusApplications being accepted
Course codeO14P463HIV
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email onlinecourses@conted.ox.ac.uk.


Revolution was a powerful dynamic in European politics and society from 1789 to 1848. All over Europe radical citizens and reforming governments changed laws and ruling structures in a way which has created the forms of the modern European state. This course will examine this tremendous era of change.

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Listen to Carl Wade talking about the course.

For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.


Revolution, the dramatic change in politics and society caused suddenly by collective action of rulers, or people, was a constant feature of European society from 1789 to 1848. It was both the engine of destruction, and the catalyst for growth and progress throughout the period. This course examines revolutions and revolutionaries, the events and the ideas, the people and their actions. We will examine the philosophy and strategy of the revolutionaries and the romantics and writers of the time. Against the background of the new industrial society, Europe struggled to build the political structures for the continent to advance and prosper in the future. How important for the future of Europe and the world were these events, and how does their legacy affect us all today?

Programme details

  1. The French Revolution: The End of the Old Regime
    • Europe on the Eve of Revolution 1789
    • Declaration of the Rights of Man
  2. Revolutionary Wars: Regicide, Terror and Conflict
    • French Revolutionary War
    • Execution of Louis XVI
    • Terror and Guillotine
  3. The Struggle for Hegemony in Europe
    • Emperor of France
    • Administrative Reform and the Code Napoleon
    • European War and Defeat
  4. Restoration and Repression: The Concert of Europe
    • Congress of Vienna
    • Restoration of Legitimacy
    • Police States
  5. The Age of Romanticism
    • Enlightenment
    • Revolutionary Writers
    • Art and Poetry
  6. Nationalism and the Revolutionary Underground
    • New Nationalism
    • Underground Revolutionaries
    • Independence and Repression
  7. Crisis and the New Industrial Economy: 'The Hungry Forties'
    • Harvest Failure and Unemployment
    • The New Industrial Economy
    • Destitution and Discontent
  8. The Liberal Revolution
    • A New Dawn
    • Springtime of the Peoples
    • Liberal Europe
  9. Liberal Failure and Reaction
    • Military Defeat
    • Age of Reaction
    • Constitutions and Authoritarianism
  10. Legacy of Revolution
    • Reform or Revolution
    • Democracy and Constitution
    • Historical Legacy
We strongly recommend that you try to find a little time each week to engage in the online conversations (at times that are convenient to you) as the forums are an integral, and very rewarding, part of the course and the online learning experience.



Mr Carl Wade

Role: Tutor

Course aims

This course aims to examine the topic of revolution in Europe from 1789-1848 and determine the importance of the political developments of the period for the evolution of the modern state. This course will enable participants to:
  • Establish the importance of revolution in the history of modern Europe
  • Examine the political and social developments of the period and determine the long-term historical legacy of those events.
  • To encourage the extensive use of a variety of primary sources to illuminate the developments and debates of the period, and to encourage students to engage in constructive critical argument and debate.


This course is accredited and you are expected to take the course for credit. To be awarded credit you must complete written contributions satisfactorily. Successful students will receive credit, awarded by the Board of Studies of Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. The award will take the form of 10 units of transferable credit at FHEQ level 4 of the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). A transcript detailing the credit will be issued to successful students. Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

Assessment methods

Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment due half way through the course and one longer assignment due at the end of the course. Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.

Recommended reading

To participate in this course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following books:
  • Rapport, M., Nineteenth Century Europe [2005], Palgrave, Basingstoke
  • Sperber, J., Revolutionary Europe, 1780-1850 [2000]. Longman, Harlow

Teaching outcomes

By the end of this course students will be expected to:
  • Have a good understanding of the main developments in the history of revolution, social and political change from 1789 to 1848, which will enable them to pursue further, more specialist, historical study of modern European history.
  • Demonstrate an ability to assess and evaluate a wide variety of arguments and sources with reference to the period, and be able to express their views interacting with other students.
  • Become familiar with the structures of academic learning and be confident presenting their argument in written form.

Fee options

Programme Fee
EU Fee: £245.00
Non-EU Fee: £295.00

Apply for this course

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to pay `Home/EU` or `Non-EU/overseas` fees, please read the UKCISA guidance notes to help establish your fee status.

You can apply for this course in the following ways:

Apply online
enrol onlineto secure your place on this course now
Apply by post, email or fax
Download a PDF application form PDF document.

Terms and Conditions, Student Contract.

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