HIST137-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Modern World History

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course explores some of the major ideas and events that have shaped world history since 1945 and asks: Which are stronger, the forces for world unity or the forces for fragmentation? The first half of the course looks at the immediate post-war period. This is the time when Europe declines, European colonies become new nations and the United States of America (U.S.A.) gains power. It is the time of the Cold War when the world is divided by 'an iron curtain' between western capitalist states led by the U.S.A. and eastern bloc communist states centered on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The second half of the course looks at the world after the collapse of communism. We study the global impacts of the struggle for resources and the increasing prominence of terrorism in the modern world.

This course will explore some of the major ideas and events that have shaped world history since 1945.  The course focuses on post-war decolonisation and the making of new nations. It looks at the impact of communism on Europe and Asia and on global politics. We also consider the struggle to develop and maintain democracies, changing world power relations after the cold war and the competition for resources. The course is truly global, including aspects of Middle East, African, Asian and Pacific history as well as European and American. It asks the question: Which is greater, the forces bringing the world towards greater unity or the forces tearing it apart?

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
1. Communicate insights into the impact of colonialism and decolonisation in shaping the world post 1945
2. Explain relationships between decolonisation, the cold war and the spread of communism
3. Discuss the relationship of decolonisation, the end of the cold war and ideological difference to the struggle for political freedom.
4. Discuss the changing political alliances post cold war and the competition for resources.
5. Analyse and discuss primary and secondary sources
6. Demonstrate historical insights into modern world history in both written and oral form.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Engaged with the community

Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Jane Buckingham


Peter Field , Evgeny Pavlov , David Monger , Steven Ratuva and Katie Pickles


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Tutorial Contribution 5% 3 minute oral presentation
First Essay 25% 1500 words (including Footnotes excluding bibliography)
Second Essay 30% 1800 words (including Footnotes excluding bibliography)
Exam 40%

Please check the course Learn page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

W. M. Spellman, A Concise History of the World Since 1945 (New York: Palgrave, 2006)

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2219584/Ghosts-war-Artist-superimposes-World-War-II-photographs-modern-pictures-street-scenes.html

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All HIST137 Occurrences

  • HIST137-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023