Churchill: Soldier, Politician and Statesman (Online)


Sir Winston Churchill is regarded as one of Britain's greatest statesmen. His impact on the course of twentieth century history was profound yet his name still provokes controversy and debate. The aim of this course is to study Churchill's life in detail, to assess his successes and failures and to gain some insights into the complex personality of this fascinating politician.

This course was written by Annette Mayer who specialises in nineteenth and twentieth century British history. Annette is the author of three online courses for OUDCE.

Winston Churchill was a controversial figure whose larger than life figure dominated for many years the stage of British politics. He was in his time reckless, brave, irresponsible, disloyal, rude, single-minded, insightful and persistent, an impressive orator but above all, a great statesman. From being the lone voice in the wilderness he came to lead his country at a moment of great crisis, providing the people with the determination to resist the threat of fascism. What was it that enabled this incredibly energetic and charismatic man to become one of the most famous prime ministers of all time?

This course will examine his life from that of a lonely schoolboy, cavalryman and journalist to that of politician and world leader. We will assess his writing and speeches in order to appreciate his mastery of the English language and his skill in swaying public opinion. We shall also seek to understand the private man whose complex personality tested both the love and friendship of those who knew him.

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

Programme details

1. Introduction to Churchill

2. The Radical Politician

3. The First World War

4. The Outspoken Politician of the 1920s

5. The 'Wilderness Years'

6. His 'Finest Hour': 1939-1940

7. The 'Big Three'

8. Churchill the Individual

9. The Post-War Era 1945-1955

10. The End of an Era

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.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £10 fee.

See more information on CATS point

Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

All students who successfully complete this course, whether registered for credit or not, are eligible for a Certificate of Completion. Completion consists of submitting the final course assignment. Certificates will be available, online, for those who qualify after the course finishes.


Description Costs
Course Fee £324.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Mr Carl Wade

Carl Wade originally studied history at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has written and taught courses for OUDCE since 2004 in modern European and German history.

Course aims

  • Study and evaluate the life of Sir Winston Churchill.

Course Objectives

  • Students will be able to form critical and balanced judgements about the successes and failures of Churchill as a politician, prime minister and world statesman.
  • Students will gain an understanding of Churchill as a private individual.
  • Students will develop a range of historical skills through the evaluation of primary sources and analysis of historical interpretations.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be expected to understand:

  • The main achievements and failures of Churchill as a politician, prime minister and world statesman.
  • The nature of Churchill as a private individual.
  • How to use primary sources in order to develop and support historical arguments.

By the end of this course students will be expected to have gained the following skills:

  • The ability to write both critical and balanced analysis in order to evaluate Churchill's main achievements and failures as a politician, prime minister and world statesman.
  • The ability to describe the characteristics of Churchill as a private individual, together with an assessment of his abilities other than those of a politician.
  • The ability to compare, evaluate and interpret primary sources in order to develop and support historical arguments and to communicate their own ideas successfully to debates about Churchill.

Assessment methods

You will be set two pieces of work for the course. The first of 500 words is due halfway through your course. This does not count towards your final outcome but preparing for it, and the feedback you are given, will help you prepare for your assessed piece of work of 1,500 words due at the end of the course. The assessed work is marked pass or fail.

English Language Requirements

We do not insist that applicants hold an English language certification, but warn that they may be at a disadvantage if their language skills are not of a comparable level to those qualifications listed on our website. If you are confident in your proficiency, please feel free to enrol. For more information regarding English language requirements please follow this link:


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

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

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.