A history of India

Ref: C2334930

The growth of early Indian culture is powerful story of ambition, knowledge and conflict that finally produced one of the most sophisticated civilisations in the ancient world. This course will follow the development of that extraordinary culture.

Course aim

This course will aim to examine the rise and progression of the Indus Valley Civilisation of the Bronze Age, including key features of its culture and reasons for its decline.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

The extent of the Indus Valley Civilisation, including the northwest Indian continent and northeast Afghanistan, along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early civilisations of the Old World; its origins and rise will be examined, along with its key features that lead it to flourish during the 3rd millennium BC. We will look carefully at the evidence for its architecture and urban structures as well as its technology, trade and transportation and the probable functions of its citadels. We will go on to consider the possible social structure of Bronze Age Harrapan culture, as well as examining possible conflicts and reasons for regional integration and later disintegration. We will conclude by considering the rise of the Aryan culture and the subsequent decline of the Indus Valley into regional centres, along with some consideration of the impact of climate change in northern India at the end of the Bronze Age.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

Provide insights into the origins of the Indus Valley Civilisation Discuss aspects of the Bronze Age culture of Mohendjo-Daro Give reasons for the importance of the Painted Grey-Ware culture of Northern India Give some consequences for the Aryan Migrations of the Late Bronze Age

How will I know I'm making progress?

The course will include a series of informal tutorials and a variety of media including illustrations, hand-outs, archaeological data and video material; assessment will be made through discussion, progressive timeline reconstructions and illustrative maps. There will also be opportunities for field trips to museum collections.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

None required

Reading and information sources

"Ancient India" EJ Rapson, Chios Classics "India: A History" John Keay, Harper Press "The Story of India" Michael Wood, BBC Books

What could the course lead to?

The course is primarily intended for those who would like to pursue an interest in the nature and study of medeival history.

Download full course outline

A history of India Course Outline

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2015
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing