The Russian Revolution from Lenin to Stalin: 1905-1941

The details
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
10 April 2024


Requisites for this module
HR619, HR621



Key module for


Module description

The Russian Revolution was one of most seminal process in the Twentieth Century. It brought about the first socialist state, served as example for socialist movements in other countries, and changed the world forever.

The module will present and discuss the history of the Russian Revolution predominantly in chronological order, beginning with revolutionary movements in the Nineteenth Century, but focusing on the Twentieth Century. The Russian Revolution is famous for its many possible endings. The one here chosen is developed Stalinism and the beginning of the Second World War.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To familiarise the students with the Russian Revolution and its different conceptualisations in historiography.

  • That the students practise the work with primary sources.

  • That the students practise the work with secondary sources.

  • That the student learn to write essays on a scholarly level.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be expected to:

  1. Form an informed opinion on the history of the processes of the Russian Revolution.

  2. Have an awareness of the historiographical approaches to the topic and their application.

  3. Interpret primary sources within their context.

  4. Communicated argument effectively through written work.

Module information

Indicative syllabus

  • Roots of revolution

  • The Revolution of 1905

  • Constitutional Russia & First World War

  • February Revolution & Dual Power

  • Revolution across the empire

  • Kornilov-Putsch & Fall of Provisional Government

  • The Bolsheviks in Power & Red Terror

  • Civil War & Making of the Soviet System

  • Kronsthadt, Tambov & introduction of NEP

  • Failed World Revolution & Death of Lenin

  • Lenin’s testament & Stalin’s rise to power

  • The Soviet Union in international politics

  • NEP – Soviet domestic life in the 1920s

  • Collectivisation & ‘Great Famine’

  • The new NKVD & and rule by terror

  • The Gulag

  • The ‘Great Terror’

  • Culture in Stalin’s Russia

  • The end of the Russian Revolution

  • Stalin’s long shadow

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • Twenty 1-hour lectures
  • Twenty 1-hour seminars



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Primary Source Analysis, Autumn Term (1000 words)    18% 
Coursework   Essay, Autumn Term (2000 words)    32% 
Coursework   Primary Source Analysis, Spring Term (1000 words)    18% 
Coursework   Essay, Spring Term (2000 words)    32% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Felix Schnell, email:
History UG Administrators:



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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