Search results - The First World War in Perspective (Online)
|Type||Online and Distance Learning|
|Dates||Wed 2 Oct to Fri 13 Dec 2013|
|Application status||Applications being accepted|
|Course contact||If you have any questions about this course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Enrol online now!
OverviewThe First World War is widely regarded as the defining event of the twentieth century, and continues to fascinate and appal in equal measure. This course seeks to explain why and how the war was fought, and to understand why its legacy remains relevant almost a century after it began.
DescriptionAs the centenary of its outbreak approaches, the First World War still attracts undiminished interest and evokes intense emotions. The carnage of the trenches and the suspicion of futility continue to exert a terrible fascination for commentators both academic and popular. Indeed, the flow of publications and media outputs about the war shows no sign of abating. This course, while not overlooking fundamental moral or ideological dilemmas posed by the First World War, focuses on examining the claim that it was the first genuinely global, total and modern war. The course therefore studies all major participants and campaign theatres - not only the Western Front - and explores the war’s transformative impact on technology, diplomacy, national economies, relations between states and their citizens, and cultural creativity. Finally, it seeks to appreciate how what happened between 1914 and 1918 shaped the years that followed, and why the ‘Great War’ retains its title.
Programme detailsUnit One: Introduction and Origins of the War
Introduction: some perspectives on the ‘Great War’
Origins of the First World War: an overview
The July 1914 crisis and the Fischer debate
Unit Two: The war in Europe - Western Front (Part 1)
Life in the trenches
Strategy, tactics and technological innovations in coalition warfare
The British army on the Western Front – a ‘learning curve’?
Unit Three: The war in Europe – Western Front (Part 2)
Mobilisation and war plans
Case studies: Verdun and the Somme campaigns
US entry into the war
Unit Four: The war in Europe – Eastern and Southern Fronts
Search for new allies
Russian, Austrian and Balkan fronts
Russian withdrawal from the war
Unit Five: The war outside Europe
The war in Africa, the Middle East and the Far East
The Arab Revolt – a ‘sideshow’?
The war at sea
Unit Six: Diplomacy – war aims and peace initiatives
War aims of Allied and Central Powers
Principal peace initiatives (1916-1917)
Impacts of Russian Revolution, US intervention and the ‘Fourteen Points’
Unit Seven: Total war – economic mobilisation
Relations between government, industry and labour
Women and war work
Economics as a tool of warfare
Unit Eight: Total war – social mobilisation
Challenges of mobilising consent and state control of the home fronts
The British experience: conscription debate, conscientious objection, DORA
Opposition to the war: strikes, mutinies, revolutions (1917-1918)
Unit Nine: Culture and Propaganda
War posters – ‘weapons of mass communication’
Popular and élite cultures
Modernism and the visual arts
Unit Ten: Legacy of the ‘Great War’
Aftermath – political, economic, social, international
Cultural legacy and memory of the ‘Great War’
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.
Course aimsThis course aims to:
Study the First World War from a variety of perspectives – military, political, economic, social and cultural. It will introduce students to the debates surrounding the War as the first global, total and modern conflict, and analyse the meaning of these concepts. It will also endeavour to examine the ongoing legacy of the Great War.
This course will enable participants to:
Gain basic information about – and some understanding of – the War’s origins, overall development and outcomes.
Appreciate the various dimensions of the conflict (economic/social/cultural as well as military/diplomatic) and the perspectives of a cross-section of its participants.
Examine the significance of the terms ‘global’, ‘total’ and ‘modern’, as applied to the First World War, and analyse the debates surrounding these concepts.
Develop skills of historical analysis through the study of primary sources, and evaluation of a range of scholarly debates and interpretations.
CertificationThis 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.
Assessment methodsAssessment for this course is based on two written assignments (approx 1000 words in total). Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.
Level and demandsFHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.
Recommended readingTo participate in this course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following books:
Ian F.W. Beckett, The Great War 1914-1918, 2nd. edn. (Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2007)
Hew Strachan (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War (Oxford: OUP, 2000)
Teaching methodsGuided reading of texts and internet resources
Group discussions (both structured and informal) of particular issues
Research topics with student feedback
Set questions on primary sources
Teaching outcomesBy the end of this course students will be expected to understand:
• Why the First World War occurred and became a global conflict, and the ways in which it was both similar to, and different from, previous wars between major states.
• The impact of the War on the economies, societies and cultures of the various belligerents, as well as on their military establishments.
• The practical and psychological legacy of ‘The Great War’ for the rest of the twentieth - and in to the twenty-first – centuries.
By the end of this course students will be expected to have gained the following skills:
• The ability to assess critically a range of historical sources on the First World War - both primary and secondary – and to utilise these effectively in presenting their own arguments.
• The ability to engage with other students in informed debates regarding the relative merits of different scholarly interpretations of the First World War.
• The ability to view and analyse the First World War from a range of different perspectives, beyond those with which they may already be familiar from their own particular academic or national background.
- Programme Fee
- Home/EU Fee: £220.00
- 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
- to secure your place on this course now
- Apply by post, email or fax
- Download a PDF application form .