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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Scottish History

Undergraduate Course: Agriculture and Society in Early Modern Scotland (SCHI10078)

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 discusses how agriculture was practised in Scotland between about 1500 and 1750, and sets agriculture in its broader economic and social context.
Course description This course discusses how agriculture was practised in Scotland between about 1500 and 1750, and sets agriculture in its broader economic and social context.

The growing of grain crops and the raising of farm animals underpinned the whole of pre-industrial society. Not only did the common people live from the products of agriculture, but the elite drew the bulk of their income from peasant farmers, in the form of rent. The agricultural year is discussed, from spring ploughing to autumn harvesting. Women's work receives particular attention. Scotland is a diverse country, and the course looks in detail at particular localities. The distinct social systems of the Highlands and the Northern Isles are noted. Living standards fluctuated, with population growth putting pressure on resources. Farming was vulnerable to adverse weather; this led to occasional periods of famine, with mass starvation. However, the agricultural economy eventually achieved a minimum level of food security.

Much agriculture was carried out directly for subsistence, with peasants (small family farmers) cultivating their own holdings and eating their own produce. However, there was a slow shift towards commercial agriculture. The final seminar looks forward to the Agricultural Revolution of the later eighteenth century, and considers how far the ground had been prepared for it by early modern developments. All these aspects of Scottish rural society are analysed within a broad comparative context of European debates.
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 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
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 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 2 hour exam (50%)
One essay of 3,000 words (40%)
One document report, in which students submit a revised version of what they judge to be the best of their reports previously posted to the bulletin board (10%).
Feedback Students will receive immediate feedback throughout the course in class during discussions. Written feedback will be given on coursework. In addition, document reports, posted to the bulletin board by students throughout the weekly programme of the course, will receive immediate written feedback via the bulletin board, thus providing formative feedback.
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 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 primary source material;
  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
Karen J. Cullen, Famine in Scotland: The 'Ill Years' of the 1690s (Edinburgh, 2010)

T. M. Devine, The Transformation of Rural Scotland: Social Change and the Agrarian Economy, 1660-1815 (Edinburgh, 1994)

Robert A. Dodgshon, Land and Society in Early Scotland (Oxford, 1981)

Alexander Fenton, Scottish Country Life (Edinburgh, 1976)

Alexander Fenton and Kenneth Veitch (eds.), Farming and the Land (Scottish Life and Society: A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology series, vol. 2; Edinburgh, 2011)

Elizabeth Foyster and Christopher A. Whatley (eds.), A History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1600 to 1800 (Edinburgh, 2009)

Margaret H. B. Sanderson, Scottish Rural Society in the Sixteenth Century (Edinburgh, 1982)

T. C. Smout, A History of the Scottish People, 1560-1830 (London, 1969)

Jane Whittle (ed.), Landlords and Tenants in Britain, 1440-1660: Tawney's Agrarian Problem Revisited (Woodbridge, 2013)

Ian Whyte, Agriculture and Society in Seventeenth-Century Scotland (Edinburgh, 1979)

Ian D. Whyte, Scotland Before the Industrial Revolution: An Economic and Social History, c.1050-c.1750 (London, 1995)

Keith Wrightson, Earthly Necessities: Economic Lives in Early Modern Britain (New Haven, Conn., 2000)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - ability to draw valid conclusions about the past
- ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
- ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
- ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
- ability to extract key elements from complex information
- readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding
- recognition of the importance of reflecting on one's learning experiences and being aware of one's own particular learning style
- openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- ability to identify processes and strategies for learning
- independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- an ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought
- intellectual curiosity
- ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
- readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
- command of bibliographical and library research skills, as well as a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- ability to produce coherent and well presented text, sometimes of considerable length
- ability to produce text to meet standard presentational specifications as laid out in a style sheet
- ability to make effective presentations
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Julian Goodare
Tel: (0131 6)50 4021
Course secretaryMiss Alexandra Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 3767
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