University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Machiavelli and His World (HIST10361)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on knowledge and understanding of the life and works of Nicolo Machiavelli as a means of broadening and deepening knowledge of the Renaissance in Italy.
Course description The Florentine writer and political theorist Nicolo Machiavelli is one of the most original and controversial figures of the Italian Renaissance. His writings offer a stimulating and highly personal introduction to the troubled history of Italy during c. 1450-c.1530 and provide an introduction to the major themes of Renaissance culture from political duplicity and friendship to gender relations and the art of war. In this course students examine a wide range of Machiavelli's readings and place them in historical context in order to understand Machiavelli and his remarkable world.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting Students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 67 %, Coursework 33 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There will be one essay of 2,500-3,000 words (including footnotes, but excluding bibliography) worth 33% of your final mark.
There will also be one two-hour examination paper of seven questions (of which you must answer two) worth 67% of your final mark.
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge about Machiavelli considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of assigned texts by Machiavelli;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Primary Source
The Portable Machiavelli, edited and trans. Peter Bondanella and Mark Musa (Harmondsworth : Penguin Books, 1979)

Secondary Sources
Corrado Vivanti, Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography (Princeton University Press, 2013)
J. R. Hale, Machiavelli and Renaissance Italy (London, 1961)
John Najemy, Between Friends: Discourses of Power and Desire in the Machiavelli-Vettori Letters of 1513-1515 (Princeton University Press 1993)
Paul Oppenheimer, Machiavelli. A Life Beyond Ideology (Continuum, 2011)
Q. Skinner, Machiavelli (Oxford, 1981)
M. Viroli, Niccolò's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli (New York, 2000)
-- Machiavelli (Oxford, 1998)
The Cambridge Companion to Machiavelli, ed. J. M. Najemy (Cambridge, 2010) (electronic resource)
Machiavelli and Republicanism, ed. G. Bock, Q. Skinner, and M. Viroli (Cambridge, 1990),
G. Ruggiero, Machiavelli in Love: Sex, Self and Society in the Italian Renaissance (Baltimore, 2007)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical interpretation of texts; oral and written presentation skills
Course organiserDr Stephen Bowd
Tel: (0131 6)50 3758
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information