The Murghal Empire

Ref: C3678320

This course will begin by considering the reign and achievements of Akbar, focusing on how Akbar was able to extend the empire in all directions across India, how he created a new ruling elite loyal to the throne, implemented a modernised administration. We will then look at the Empire's later transformation under Jahangir, making some assessment of both the successes and shortcomings of his rule in India. We will then consider in detail the extent, culture and architecture of the Mughal Empire at its peak in the middle years and later 17th century under Shah Jahan. In particular, we will examine the developing Mughal relations with the Sikh movement, the Deccan Sultanates, the Rajputs and the rising influence of the European powers, as well considering the efficacy of the Mughal state to respond to own internal problems. We will then conclude with a consideration of the contradictions and difficulties of the reign of Aurangzeb.

Course aim

This course will look at the circumstances of India as it saw the growth and extent of the Mughal Empire to its "Golden Age" through the 17th century, alongside the decline of other Indian realms and the emergence of new states.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit:
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Provide an informed opinion as to whether the Mughal Empire of the 17th century was a state driven by conquests of its rivals
  • Make some assessment of the successes and shortcomings of the reign of Jahangir
  • Identify at least three factors in the growth of conflict between Sikhs and the Mughal Empire

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • 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

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • 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?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • 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

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • India: A History J Keay (Harper Press 2010) The Great Moghuls B. Gascoigne Robinson Press 1998

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Murghal Empire

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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