Napoleon and Europe

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Paul Keenan


This course is available on the BA in History, BSc in Government and History, BSc in International Relations and BSc in International Relations and History. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

The Napoleonic Empire was crucial in the formation of modern Europe. Much of Europe was covered by the Napoleonic Empire and its impact was felt on all of Europe and parts of the non-European world. The course is taught thematically and also by country/geographical area. Themes covered include the impact of the empire on the European international system, as well as on law, constitutionalism, the economy, religion and culture. By studying how Napoleon's empire was created and destroyed, the course will also focus on the nature of power in this era. An attempt will also be made to place the Napoleonic empire in a global context. The impact of the Napoleonic era on the rise of nationalism will be considered as part of the legacy of this period. The course ends with an assessment of the historiography of both the man – the ‘Napoleonic myth’ – and the period.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

There will be a reading week in the Michaelmas and Lent terms and a revision session in the Summer Term.

Formative coursework

Two conventional essays, one set of gobbet answers and one timed essay.

Indicative reading

A full reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course. Useful introductory reading includes: G. Ellis, The Napoleonic Empire; M. Broers, Europe under Napoleon, 1799-1815; C. Esdaile, Napoleon's Wars; S. J. Woolf, Napoleon's Integration of Europe; P. G. Dwyer (Ed), Napoleon and Europe; M. Rowe (Ed), Collaboration and Resistance in Napoleonic Europe; D. Laven & L. Riall (Eds), Napoleon's Legacy; P. Geyl, Napoleon, For and Against.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Capped 2015/16: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2014/15 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 90%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)