University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : History, Classics and Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: Witchcraft and Belief in Scotland, 1563-1736 (LLLE07008)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a for-credit course offered by the Centre for Open Learning (COL); only students registered with COL should be enrolled.

This course will examine the phenomena of witchcraft and witch hunting in early modern Scotland. We will examine the prosecution and persecution of those accused, and consider the significance of belief in witchcraft for early modern society. Other themes will be covered including religion, popular culture, law and order, illness and death, community tensions and gender differences.
Course description Content of course
1. Introduction - witchcraft in Scotland and Europe
2. Witches in the community: who were the witches and what did they do?
3. Witchcraft and demonology: God and the Devil
4. Witchcraft and popular culture: fairies and demons
5. Witch hunting: church, state and community
6. The justice process: from accusation to execution
7. Gender differences: the experiences of women and men
8. Regional patterns and differences; decline in witch hunting
9. Judicial scepticism, religious tolerance or scientific enlightenment?
10. Continuation of witchcraft beliefs
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  17
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. describe what was understood to be witchcraft by early modern society;
  2. discuss the relationship between popular and elite cultural interpretations of witchcraft;
  3. identify key features that were used to indicate demonic witchcraft;
  4. analyse contemporary documents;
  5. evaluate evidence relating to witchcraft belief and prosecution.
Reading List
Goodare, J., 2002. The Scottish Witch-hunt in Context. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Goodare, J., Martin, L. and Miller, J., 2008. Witchcraft and Belief in Early-Modern Scotland, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Larner, C., 2000. Enemies of God. Edinburgh: John Donald.
Levack, B., 2006. The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe. London: Longman.
Normand, L. and Roberts, G., 2000. Witchcraft in Early Modern Scotland: James VI's Demonology and the North Berwick Witches. Exeter: EUP.
Web sources
Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database (On-line database of witchcraft trial information) -
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This is a for-credit course offered by the Centre for Open Learning (COL); only students registered with COL should be enrolled.
Course organiserDr Sally Crumplin
Course secretaryMr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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