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

Undergraduate Course: Making and Breaking Medieval Britain: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales c.1100 - c1500 (HIST08039)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course traces the interlocked story of the various polities that occupied late medieval Britain and Ireland. It examines the way in which the understanding of Britain as a cohesive geographical, political and cultural unit strengthened in the 12th and 13th centuries, and how this process reversed in the 14th century, an age of war, plague and economic decline.
Course description The course provides students with an overview of the key developments in the history of late medieval Britain and Ireland. The course addresses and questions the comparative methodological approach pioneered by Rees Davies and Robin Frame (the so-called 'New British History') that seeks to understand the history of the British Isles as something more than a collection of 'national' political narratives. The chronological starting point is provided by the profound transformation of the aristocratic, ecclesiastical, administrative, economic structures, and cultural and social life, of the various polities within the British Isles that came in the wake of the Norman Conquest of Anglo-Saxon England. The course traces the way in which, thereafter, Frankish political and cultural norms extended over much of the British Isles and Ireland, drawing the various societies that inhabited the islands into European networks, largely mediated through the English crown and its associated institutions. The course outlines the way in which the 'Europeanisation' process allowed the English monarchy to reinforce its dominant position within Britain, before the impact of war, plague and famine in the fourteenth century destroyed the coherence of this 'English Empire'.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: violence and warfare, conquest and invasion, famine and plague, xenophobia. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: The Historian's Toolkit (HIST08032)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in any first level course achieved no later than August of the previous academic year.

Students on the Economic History (MA Hons) degree do not require the compulsory pre-requisite 'The Historians' Toolkit'
PLEASE NOTE: The pre-requisite is still compulsory for ALL OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMMES
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 1 introductory level History course 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 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 162 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
One 2000 word essay (50%)

One two-hour exam (50%)
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
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of History: essay-writing, independent reading, and group discussion
  2. show a sound knowledge of key aspects of medieval Britain and Ireland
  3. plan and execute a substantial written analysis of key events in the history of medieval Britain and Ireland
  4. evaluate and apply recent critical debates in the study of medieval Britain and Ireland
  5. demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on the source material for medieval Britain and Ireland.
Reading List
R. Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950- 1350 (London, 1993)
R. Britnell, Britain and Ireland 1050-1530: Economy and Society (Oxford, 2004)
D. Carpenter, The Struggle for Mastery. The Penguin History of Britain 1066-1284 (London 2003)
R.R. Davies, Domination and Conquest: Ireland, Wales and Scotland, 1100-1300. (Cambridge, 1990)
C.Dyer, Making a living in the middle ages: the people of Britain 850-1520 (Yale, 2002)
R. Frame, The Political Development of the British Isles, 1100-1400 (Oxford, 1995)
J. Gillingham, The English in the Twelfth Century (Woodbridge 2000)
S.Rigby A Companion to Britain in the Later Middle Ages (Chichester, 2009)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMedieval Britain
Course organiserDr Gianluca Raccagni
Course secretary
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