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The Contemporary World - The Age of the Cold War

The Contemporary World - The Age of the Cold War short course will introduce you to the contemporary world, exploring social, political, economic, cultural and international changes which occurred from the Second World War. The Cold War is a central focus of the course, but we approach it in its global context, as well as in the more traditional approach of East-West divides in Europe. The course introduces you to the broad social movements of the postwar world, including feminism, radicalism, sexual liberation, and the politics of race and religion. You will be introduced to economic history by looking at the development of a global economy in the contemporary age and will look at how technological changes affected the development of mass culture. 

The course is taught via a series of lectures (from an undergraduate module) and a dedicated seminar. It may, therefore, be particularly appropriate for those considering a future transition to BA study. You will be encouraged to actively participate throughout the course.

indicative content

  • Introduction: World War II and the Contemporary World 
  • Welfare States 
  • Origins of the Cold War 
  • Decolonization and Development 
  • The Cold War goes Global
  • The World Economy and Globalisation 
  • 1960s Social Movements 
  • Race, Migration and Multi-Culturalism 
  • The End of the Cold War and Its Legacies
  • The Politics of Religion 

This short course can be taken as a stand-alone course or it may be available as part of a Certificate of Higher Education.

15 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students. You may have to fulfil specific prerequisites for some intermediate-level or advanced-level courses, but these will be specified where relevant.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration.
    • Courses of less than six months' duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You enrol directly onto the classes you would like to take, using the Enrol Now link below. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then enrol onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.

First class: Tue 14-Jan-20 6pm-8pm

Class location Central London
Class code SSHC421H4AAA

This class has already started. You can no longer enrol on this class.