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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Soviet Union under Khrushchev (1953-1964) (HIST10369)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the history of the Soviet Union under one leader, Nikita Khrushchev and covers the period from 1950 until Khrushchev's dismissal in 1964. The aim of the course is to examine the scale and character of Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation. The course takes a thematic approach in order to enable a comparative history of Khrushchev's leadership as a whole. The students will be offered a survey of Khrushchev's domestic and foreign policies as well as the response of Soviet society and the world to his initiatives. The students will study the political, economic and social system of the Soviet Union in the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s.

This course will give students a solid understanding of Khrushchev¿s leadership in the Soviet Union and enable them to more fully contextualise the developments of the Cold War during this period. At the same time, the course aims to provide students with a different perspective on important contemporary debates: what were the dilemmas of Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation? Was de-Stalinisation inevitable? Did Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation start the process of collapse of the Soviet Union? What was Khrushchev's legacy?

The course is inspired by the course organiser's research interest in history of the Soviet Union and Ukraine.
Course description Introduction
1. Stalin's heirs and their state inheritance

Ascendance to power
2. Death of Stalin and power struggle (1953-1956)
3. From 'Secret speech' to 'Anti-Party group'

4. Economic reforms
5. Nationality relations
6. 'The Thaw': de-Stalinisation in culture
7. Society and social policies under Khrushchev
8. Khrushchev's Cold War: the Berlin crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis
9. The Eastern Bloc under Khrushchev

Fall of Khrushchev
10. Reforms and the Party. The Fall of Khrushchev
11. Interpreting Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503783).
Additional Costs none
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  26
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students will complete one essay of 3,000 words and sit one two-hour Degree Examination. The final mark will be composed of the essay mark, weighted at 40 per cent of the final mark, mark for oral presentation at 5 per cent, mark for participation in seminars at 5 per cent, and the exam mark, weighted at 50 per cent of the final mark.

Oral presentation will be assessed on content, clarity and delivery.

Students will be encouraged to make use of overhead projectors, whiteboards, and PowerPoint. Formal presentations should remain within the time limit stipulated by the tutor. Students who fail to deliver their presentation must within five day provide their tutor with an alternative, written presentation. The grade awarded for this written presentation will be 50% of what would have been awarded had the presentation been made in the normal way. Written versions handed in more than five days late will incur the same penalties as late essays. Students who for good reason cannot deliver their presentation must inform their tutor immediately and, if at all possible, prior to the seminar. In such cases the tutor will attempt to re-arrange the presentation for another date or will give the student an alternative presentation topic. Should that not be possible, the student will be asked to submit a write-up in lieu of the presentation. Write-ups submitted after the agreed hand-in date will be subject the same penalties as late essays.

Mark for participation will reflect student's attendance and the quality of his/her contribution, namely relevance of comments, analytical skills, and knowledge and understanding of the subject. Absences will result in reduced seminar participation and a lower oral grade.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate through exam and essay a coherent grasp of key political, economic, social, cultural and ethnic development in the Soviet Union in the period from 1950 until 1964;
  2. demonstrate through exam and essay a better understanding of the development of the Cold War that involved the participation of the Soviet Union;
  3. demonstrate a familiarity with a change in the historiography on the Soviet Union in the designated period and understanding of how and why historiography on the USSR has developed over time;
  4. further develop and demonstrate transferable skills (during oral presentation, participation in class discussions, writing essay and exam): a capacity to critically analyse the work of others; a capacity to engage critically with the relevant textual and non-textual primary and secondary sources; an ability to gather and organise relevant material for presenting their findings in front of the public; an ability to work under established deadlines; and public speaking.
Reading List
Allen, Robert C., Farm to factory : a reinterpretation of the Soviet industrial revolution (2003)
Armstrong, J.A., The Politics of Totalitarianism: the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1934 to the present (1961)
Bahry, D., Outside Moscow: Power, politics, and budgetary policy in the Soviet republics (1987)
Conyngham, W.J., Industrial Management in the Soviet Union: The role of the C.P.S.U. in industrial decision-making 1917-1970 (1973)
Filtzer, D.A., Soviet Workers and De-Stalinization: The consolidation of the modern system of Soviet production relations, 1953-1964 ( 2002)
Khrushchev, S.N. (ed.) Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, vol. 2; Reformer (1945-1964) ( 2006)
Miller R.F. and Féhér F. (eds) Khrushchev and the Communist World (1984)
Nove, A., The Soviet Economic System (1977)
Smith J. and Ilic M. (eds) Khrushchev in the Kremlin: Policy and Government in the Soviet Union, 1953-1964 ( 2011)
Taubman, W., Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2003)
Taubman W., Khrushchev S. and Gleason A. (eds) Nikita Khrushchev, ( 2000)
Tompson, W.J., Khrushchev: A Political Life (1995)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop further their capacity to pursue independent lines of research; work in groups; present their individual conclusions both in writing and orally.
Course organiserDr Nataliya Kibita
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50
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