MA History / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today

Course unit fact file
Unit code HSTM60662
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


From the detonation of the first nuclear weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, nuclear weapons, nuclear energy and the culture surrounding them have shaped our lives and the world in which we live. Nuclearism transformed international military, political and economic relationships. It also transformed popular culture and social life: art, literature and film as well as politics and military doctrine have all reflected and embodied the traumas of nuclear culture


This unit aims:
  • To provide an introduction to the history and politics of nuclear weapons and to the culture of the nuclear age, starting from the atomic bombing in Japan and ending with the present days concerns about the uses of atomic energy and weaponry.
  • To explore the interactions of science, technology, politics, gender and cultural production in the nuclear world.
  • To examine and assess the impact of the nuclear age on human affairs.
  • To consider the various theories available in explaining nuclear weapons in the context of HSTM studies and the study of international relations and global affairs.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Essays will be submitted, and feedback delivered, electronically, typically via Turnitin GradeMark. Following the return of feedback, assessors will also be available for one-to-one discussion meetings with students.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Simone Turchetti Unit coordinator

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