The Mongol Conquests

Ref: C3678992

This course aims to outline and examine the initial impact of the Mongol Conquests of the 13th century, and the effect they had upon the cultures and societies that stood in their path. In particular, we will look at the rise of Genghis Khan as a leader, and make some assessment of his achievements and conquests. We wil also look at the essential character of Mongol society and governance, and assess the degree to which those factors affected the later Mongol administration. Particular consideration will be made of the impact of the Mongol incursions into China, the Middle East, in Russia and Eastern Europe, to assess their respective influences on the course of each society concerned.This course will be followed by a second term that will consider the more long-term consequences of those Conquests, and the medieval world they left in their wake.

Course aim

In the 13th century, an almost unstoppable tide of Mongol Conquests swept over much of Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, altering the destiny of those regions for centuries to follow. This course follows those dramatic events.

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:
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: and
  • 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:

  • Identify at least three key factors for the early success of the Mongol Conquests
  • Provide a basic outline of the major consequences of the Mongol Conquests in Russia 1223 - 1240
  • Describe the essential significance of the conquests of the Mongols for the Middle East, Hungary & China
  • Outline the essential character of the Khanate of the Golden Horde & Ilkhanate

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:
  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. 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?

  • You will be able to keep a record of your progress and achievement using photos, audio, text or documents uploaded into the WEA’s digital learning platform, WEA Canvas.
  • 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 have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • 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
  • "Russia: A History" Gregory L Freeze, Oxford University Press "The Empire of the Steppes" René Grousset, Rutger University Press

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Mongol Conquests


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 declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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