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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Lords and Vassals in Medieval Scotland (LAWS10186)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law 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 will explore the creation of the Scots common law in the middle ages and the components that made it up with a special focus on the development of feus and feudal law, though paying attention to royal institutions.
Course description The course will consider the background to the 'feudalization' of Scotland, reflecting on Celtic institutions and their survival, before considering such 'feudalization' in the light of the work of Reynolds and MacQueen. The introduction of Anglo-Norman institutions and structures of government will be assessed, reflecting on their impact on the law, and how they moved to create a Scots common law. Consideration will be given to royal courts, baronial, and feudal courts, Parliament and the impact of the English Conquest and the Wars on Independence, as well as on the role of the Church and its laws. Students will understand why feudal tenures and structures were introduced, how they were introduced, and their impact on Scottish society and Scots law, developing a critical understanding of and insight into the origins of Scottish law and governmental practice in the later middle ages.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework, consisting of:
Essay 1 (30%), 2,500 words maximum
Essay 2 (70%), 3,500 words maximum
Feedback The first essay will be formative as well as summative. Feedback will be provided to the students after the first essay, which has a much lighter weighting in overall assessment, but also with an element of feed-forward to assist in preparation of the second.

The feedback from the first essay will also involve feed forward for the second, thereby helping the students hone their writing skills; but the fact that the first is also summative encourages students to take it seriously, though the weighting means they cannot be significantly disadvantaged.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a comparative knowledge of the position of Lords and Vassals in Medieval Scotland and of the complex history and law surrounding them.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to research and write about historical legal source and secondary material in a thoughtful and critical way.
  3. Consolidate and develop writing skills through the production of essays.
  4. Have consolidated their ability to reflect and to consider historical and legal material, and have expanded their skills in critical reasoning.
Reading List
Susan Reynolds, Fiefs and vassals: the medieval evidence reinterpreted (OUP, 1994)
H.L. MacQueen, Common Law and Feudal Society in Medieval Scotland (EUP)
GWS Barrow, The Anglo-Norman Era in Scottish History (1980)
Atlas of Scottish history to 1707 (1996)
C J Neville, Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland (EUP 2010)
Alice Taylor, The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1100-1290 (OUP 2015)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsLords,Vassals,Medieval Scotland,Legal History,Lords
Course organiserProf Hector Macqueen
Tel: (0131 6)50 2060
Course secretaryMs Tracy Noden
Tel: (0131 6)50 2053
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