SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3V324394
Module Leader Ben Shepherd
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject History
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

The module examines how the First World War was actually fought and experienced by Britain and Germany, and the changes to warfare, politics, society and culture which it brought about during the four years of its duration. The module considers, for example, how historians have brought an increasingly critical scholarship to bear on issues of command and battle tactics, particularly on the Western Front. Within a basic chronological framework, it covers a number of key themes, including war leadership; tactical and technological evolution; the war at sea; home front mobilization; the two countries' involvement in the global war; the war dead, and commemorative culture. Whilst the primary focus is on the experience of Great Britain and Germany, students are directed throughout to broader European, Commonwealth and global comparative contexts. Summary of how PRME-related issues / topics are covered in this module: students will be encouraged to develop a complex understanding of i) the processes that shaped the leadership and management of the war effort by Britain and Germany on both the home fronts and the battle fronts, and ii) why one war effort was sustainable and not the other.


-2784 Part One: Setting the scene -359-2784 1. 1. Introduction 2. 2. Europe 1871-1914 3. 3. Causes and outbreak -2784 Part Two: Deadlock -359-2784 4. 4. 1914: the war's opening moves 5. 5. War aims 1914-18 6. 6. The British Army on the Western Front, 1915: lions led by donkeys? 5. 7. The Eastern Front, 1915-16 7. 8. The Western Front: The soldiers' war -2784 Part Three: Navies, economies and societies at war -359-2784 8. 9. Naval warfare and naval blockades, 1914-17 9. 10. Britain, Germany and industrial mobilization 10. 11. Hindenburg, Ludendorff and Lloyd George: arrival of the "total war" leaders, 1916 11. 12. Britain, Germany and the battle for popular support 12. 13. Scotland at war -2784 Part Four: The wider war 14. Britain and Germany, and the war in Africa 15. Russia: war and revolution, 1914-17 16. The USA steps in Part Five: Final phase and aftermath -359-2784 18. 17. The British Army on the Western Front, 1916-17: Haig, the generals and the "learning curve" 19. 18. 1918: The final German offensives 20. 19. 1918: The end of the war 20. The war's impact on the wider world 21. Commemorating the war (1): the British case 22. Commemorating the war (2): the centenary

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module students should be able to In terms of subject-specific knowledge, focusing on the British and German cases but considering broader international contexts also, students will gain an appreciation ofi) the diverse key forces that shaped the development of warfare during one of its most pivotal periods, ii) how those forces interacted, iii) how the consequent changes in warfare generated social and cultural change in turn, iv) the experience of the war by its participants, v) the war's longer-term historical impact, and vi) the issues concerning the depiction of the war for the purposes of heritage/tourism and commemoration.More generally, students will by the end of the module have achieved:" greater independence of working;" a more in-depth appreciation of the diversity and interaction of forces behind historical processes;" a more sophisticated grasp of the different explanations put forward by historians on key debates;" a more advanced ability to analyse and evaluate the causes and effects of historical processes, and to present according arguments effectively through group discussion, spoken presentation and written work;" an increased ability to empathise with historical figures and groups of conflicting viewpoints;" an understanding of the broader issues concerning present-day depictions of past wars, and their place in the heritage sector.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCU Learn, to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission. The module will consist of two weekly lectures and a weekly one-hour seminar. An initial lecture will introduce students to the themes and debates which structure the module. Thereafter, whilst lectures will continue to offer an overview of issues, the learning process is essentially driven by student-led seminars. A strong emphasis is placed on in-depth class discussion convened by students. Two seminars will also feature role play exercises, both to vary the seminar format and enhance interest, and to enable students to engage further with select module themes. Transferable employability skills will be emphasized, including written and spoken skills and teamwork skills.

Indicative Reading

-567 Books and articles: By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -2784 H. Cecil and P. H. Liddell, Facing Armageddon: The First World War Experienced (London, 1996) F. Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War (London, 2007) A. Gregory, The Last Great War: British Society and the First World War (Cambridge, 2008) P. G. Halpern, A Naval History of World War One (London, 1995) M. Hastings, Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (2013) H. Herwig, The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary (London, 1997) R. Holmes, Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front, 1914-1918 (London, 2004) J. Keegan, The First World War (London, 1998) J. Morrow, The Great War: An Imperial History (London, 2003) E. Paice, Tip and Run: The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in Africa (London, 2008) R. Paschall, The Defeat of Imperial Germany (Chapel Hill, N. C., 1989) -2784 T. Royle, The Flowers of the Forest: Scotland and the First World War (Edinburgh, 2007) D. Stevension, 1914-1918: The First World War (London, 2005) J. Terraine, Douglas Haig (London, 2000) H. Tooley, The Western Front (Basingstoke, 2002) T. Travers, The Killing Ground (Barnsley, 2003) English Historical Review German History Journal of Military History War in History Online sources: -567 -2784 "" World War One: Trenches on the Web "" The World War One Document Archive ">" A Multimedia History of World War One "" Imperial War Museum Home Page "" First World War: The National Archives

Transferrable Skills

-2784 Research and bibliographic skills Communication skills: oral and written Independent and group work skills Presentation skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 35% 2,000-word report on field research trip to World War One-related sites in Glasgow/the central belt, interpreting and evaluating historical content and significance and presentation.
Course Work 02 n/a 50.00 35% Open book exam 2 question - 1000 each