Age of Revolution (Online)


Revolution was a powerful dynamic in European politics and society from 1789 to 1848. All over Europe radical citizens and reforming governments changed laws and ruling structures in a way which has created the forms of the modern European state. This course will examine this tremendous era of change.

Listen to Carl Wade talking about the course:

Revolution, the dramatic change in politics and society caused suddenly by collective action of rulers, or people, was a constant feature of European society from 1789 to 1848. It was both the engine of destruction, and the catalyst for growth and progress throughout the period. This course examines revolutions and revolutionaries, the events and the ideas, the people and their actions. We will examine the philosophy and strategy of the revolutionaries and the romantics and writers of the time. Against the background of the new industrial society, Europe struggled to build the political structures for the continent to advance and prosper in the future. How important for the future of Europe and the world were these events, and how does their legacy affect us all today?

For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

Programme details

  1. The French Revolution: The End of the Old Regime
    • Europe on the Eve of Revolution 1789
    • Declaration of the Rights of Man
  2. Revolutionary Wars: Regicide, Terror and Conflict
    • French Revolutionary War
    • Execution of Louis XVI
    • Terror and Guillotine
  3. The Struggle for Hegemony in Europe
    • Emperor of France
    • Administrative Reform and the Code Napoleon
    • European War and Defeat
  4. Restoration and Repression: The Concert of Europe
    • Congress of Vienna
    • Restoration of Legitimacy
    • Police States
  5. The Age of Romanticism
    • Enlightenment
    • Revolutionary Writers
    • Art and Poetry
  6. Nationalism and the Revolutionary Underground
    • New Nationalism
    • Underground Revolutionaries
    • Independence and Repression
  7. Crisis and the New Industrial Economy: 'The Hungry Forties'
    • Harvest Failure and Unemployment
    • The New Industrial Economy
    • Destitution and Discontent
  8. The Liberal Revolution
    • A New Dawn
    • Springtime of the Peoples
    • Liberal Europe
  9. Liberal Failure and Reaction
    • Military Defeat
    • Age of Reaction
    • Constitutions and Authoritarianism
  10. Legacy of Revolution
    • Reform or Revolution
    • Democracy and Constitution
    • Historical Legacy

We strongly recommend that you try to find a little time each week to engage in the online conversations (at times that are convenient to you) as the forums are an integral, and very rewarding, part of the course and the online learning experience.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £10 fee.

See more information on CATS point

Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

All students who successfully complete this course, whether registered for credit or not, are eligible for a Certificate of Completion. Completion consists of submitting the final course assignment. Certificates will be available, online, for those who qualify after the course finishes.


Description Costs
Course Fee £300.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Mr Carl Wade

Carl Wade originally studied history at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has written and taught courses for OUDCE since 2004 in modern European and German history.

Course aims

This course aims to examine the topic of revolution in Europe from 1789-1848 and determine the importance of the political developments of the period for the evolution of the modern state.

This course will enable participants to:

  • Establish the importance of revolution in the history of modern Europe
  • Examine the political and social developments of the period and determine the long-term historical legacy of those events.
  • To encourage the extensive use of a variety of primary sources to illuminate the developments and debates of the period, and to encourage students to engage in constructive critical argument and debate.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand the main developments in the history of revolution, social and political change from 1789 to 1848, which will enable them to pursue further, more specialist, historical study of modern European history.
  • Demonstrate an ability to assess and evaluate a wide variety of arguments and sources with reference to the period, and be able to express their views interacting with other students.
  • Become familiar with the structures of academic learning and be confident presenting their argument in written form.

Assessment methods

You will be set two pieces of work for the course. The first of 500 words is due halfway through your course. This does not count towards your final outcome but preparing for it, and the feedback you are given, will help you prepare for your assessed piece of work of 1,500 words due at the end of the course. The assessed work is marked pass or fail.

English Language Requirements

We do not insist that applicants hold an English language certification, but warn that they may be at a disadvantage if their language skills are not of a comparable level to those qualifications listed on our website. If you are confident in your proficiency, please feel free to enrol. For more information regarding English language requirements please follow this link:


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.