• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History, International Relations, Political Sciences, European Studies, Politics

In October of 1917, a revolutionary Marxist party seized control of a Russia riven by war and revolution. Against all expectations, the Bolsheviks maintained power and continued to hold it through civil war, rapid industrialization, colossal loss of life to famine and terror, Nazi invasion and the Cold War before the Soviet Empire collapsed in a remarkably bloodless dissolution in 1991. This course traces the rise and fall of the Russian Revolution, from the disintegration of the Tsarist Empire through the revolutionary era and Stalinism to the height of Soviet power after the Second World War and its dissolution in the late twentieth century. What was Communism and how did it triumph in Russia? What was life like before, under and after Stalin, and why did a regime that withstood civil war, invasion and cold war consign itself so meekly to the dustbin of history?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the history of the Soviet Union and Russian Revolution.
  2. Critically evaluate key interpretations of the social, cultural and political history of Russia in the twentieth century.
  3. Conduct research, analyse and integrate primary and secondary sources and present their research in written form.
  4. Demonstrate the significance of Soviet history for the contemporary world.

Indicative Assessment

1,000 word historiographical review (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1 - 4]
2,500 word essay (40%) [Learning Outcomes 1 - 4]
Final exam, 3 hours  (30%) [Learning Outcomes 1 - 4]
Tutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcome 1,2,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


A total of 130 hours, comprise of a weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour tutorial for 12 weeks (lecture will also be recorded and posted on the course Wattle site).  Students are expected to spend an average of 7 hours per teaching week outside these contact hours preparing for tutorials and completing assessment tasks.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of ANU courses towards a degree, or with the permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST6242.

Preliminary Reading

Ronald Grigor Suny, “Stalin and his Stalinism: Power and Authority in the Soviet Union, 1930-1953,” in Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison, eds Kershaw and Lewin, pp.26-52.
Martin Malia, “The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia,” in David Hoffmann, ed., Stalinism: The Essential Readings, Blackwell, 2003, pp.65-79.
Stephen Kotkin, “Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as Civilization,” in Hoffman, Stalinism, pp.111-126.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9375 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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