Age of Stalin 1924 - 1953

Subject HIST30022 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week and a 1-hour tutorial for 11 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

8.5 hours per week: Total time commitment 102 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Stephen Wheatcroft


Stephen Wheatcroft

Subject Overview:

This subject considers several key aspects of Soviet history from the death of Lenin in 1924 to the death of Stalin in 1953. The subject describes the growth of the Soviet state, the move from the New Economic Policy to planned industrialisation and collectivisation of agriculture, the growth of the Red Army, urbanisation and major social transformations. Students will be asked to consider Stalin's role in the political system from archival and other records, not exclusively from myth. They will also be required to consider both the successes of the regime, including victory in World War II, as well as the costs, including political repression.


Students who complete this subject will

  • understand how the Stalinist State system, the Soviet Planned Economy and the Red Army grew and developed in the thirty years from 1924 to 1953.
  • be able to locate the role that Stalin and the Soviet Communist Party played in these developments.
  • be able to assess the achievements of the State,including victory in World War 2, and gain an understanding of the costs involved in these developments.

Two argumentative essays on comparative themes, each of 2000 words50% each (one due mid-semster and the other due at the end of semester).

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who complete this subject will

  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources.
  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
  • demonstrate understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Modern Languages (Russian)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: European Studies
History Major
Related Breadth Track(s): 20th Century History

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