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HIST3054 The Third Reich 1

Module Overview

In this module, you will cover, the rise of national socialism in Germany, the nature of the Nazi regime, and the relationship between these regimes and German society.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

give you a clear understanding of the historiographical debates surrounding the origins of National Socialism, the causes of the failure of the Weimar Republic and the reasons why the National Socialist movement came to power;  give you a clear awareness of historiographical debates concerning the internal development of the Nazi regime, the nature of Hitler’s power and the implications of these for how policy became more radical;  give you a clear understanding of the relationship between the National Socialist regime and German society;  ask what impact the Nazi regime had on longer term secular trends in German society;

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • why German society produced the National Socialist movement
  • how the Nazi regime came to power
  • the links between the development of the Nazi polity and its pursuit of radical policies
  • the ways in which the Nazi regime maintained its hold over German society
  • the impact the Nazi regime had on the main groups in German society after 1933.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify and engage critically with the major historiographical texts on the subject
  • analyse the relevance of a range of primary sources, with regard to the conditions in which they were produced
  • reflect on contentious issues in modern German history
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • gather information and synthesise it
  • communicate effectively in group discussions, both as a leader of those discussions and a respondent
  • co-operate with others in identifying and solving problems
  • display effective time management in planning and completing tasks set.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • perform electronic bibliographical searches to support your essay work in relevant historical databases
  • collate and analyse primary and secondary information to produce coherent and relevant essay work
  • identify extracts from primary sources and draw out the methodological problems in their use as well as their significance to the module
  • argue persuasively in informal oral and written exercises and engage with the opinions of others


Following a brief examination of the emergence of the populist radical Right and the rise to power of the National Socialist movement, this module uses a variety of published and unpublished documentary sources (including written texts, film, and visual imagery) to consider the nature of the Nazi regime; it then considers the relationship between the regime and German society, exploring all aspects of Nazi social and economic policy.

Special Features

The student presentations, formulation of a weekly question by all students and input from the tutor will enable you to research each topic using the bibliography provided, and think critically about the secondary literature, as well as understanding the major debates. You can then develop this reading and expand it through bibliographical searches in order to write up your choice of specific essay topic. The use each week of primary source materials, including a close analysis of selected documents will enable you to identify these or related extracts in your gobbets exam, and to report succinctly and relevantly on the significance of that source for our knowledge of German life under the Nazis. You will also be able to include relevant primary sources in your essay. The module explicitly develops your skills of primary and secondary text analysis in order to equip you for the continuation of your studies with a research-based focus in The Third Reich 2.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include  primarily, two double sessions per week in seminar format with a variety of tutorial input  close analysis of a variety of primary sources and scholarly literature Learning activities include  presentations by module members and their discussion by the group  plenary discussions chaired either by the tutor or by members of the seminar group

Independent Study264
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham (1984). Nazism. A Documentary Reader Vol 2 State, Economy and Society. 

Neil Gregor (2000). Nazism. A Reader. 

Ian Kershaw (1998). Hitler, 1889-1936. Hubris. 

Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham (1983). Nazism. A Documentary Reader Vol 1 The Rise to Power. 

Ian Kershaw (2000). Hitler, 1936-1945. Nemesis. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback  an oral presentation by each group member  a brief bibliography exercise related to the chosen assessed essay topic


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Examination  (3000 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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