The Russian Revolution and Civil War

Ref: C2224502

The course will examine Russian history back to Peter the Great in order to understand the background to the revolution. It will look at the 1905 Revolution, the First World War and the events of 1917. It will then examine the events of 1917-24: including the emergence of opposition to the Bolsheviks from a range of groups from Komuch on the Left to the various White groups on the right; foreign intervention;the conduct of the Civil War; creation of the Red Army; and the militarization of the Soviet state in the longer term.

Course aim

The course examines the Russian Revolution and Civil War as a whole rather than focusing on the Bolshevik perspective. It examines the opposition to the revolution and the internal conflict which resulted in a period of horror.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Describe the events of the period in chronological sequence.
  • Discuss how the events can be understood in different ways
  • Assess the relative importance of the different explanations of the events of the period which can be created by arranging information in different ways
  • Explain the rationale for their own explanations in a logical way.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • It would be helpful to undertake general reading about the Russian Revolution prior to the course. Mawdsely ,Evan The Russian Civil War (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2008)

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full Course information sheet

The Russian Revolution and Civil War


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 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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