Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2160 Queens and Queenship in Medieval Europe, 11th - 15th Centuries

20 creditsClass Size: 42

Module manager: Dr Iona McCleery

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

Whether as rulers in their own right, wives of kings, or regents, queens were viewed in several different ways by their contemporaries and still hold an ambivalent place in modern historical studies. Were queens powerful politicians and diplomats or were they submissive bearers of royal heirs, irrelevant to political history? Are queens representative of medieval women in general or do they obscure research into the life and work of 'ordinary' women? This module will address these questions by focusing on the development of kingdoms and royal government, the changing nature of queenly power, the multifarious image of queens in art and literature, the religious symbolism of queenship, and royal evidence for the history of family life and the female life cycle. The study of queenship thus opens a window onto the politics, art and society of the period between c.1050 and c.1500.


On completion of this module students will gain a greater knowledge of the lives of individual queens and princesses as well as of the ambivalent and historically controversial issues surrounding their royal office. This will also expand their knowledge of medieval daily life and introduce them to gender studies and the history of women and the family, and of political power. Students will also become more aware of the importance of literary sources, religious symbolism and artistic representation in the construction of political power and personal identity.

Skills outcomes
Students will gain the skills to interpret both visual and textual evidence and evaluate different approaches to a subject. They will gain the ability to convey knowledge in written and oral form in a group context.


This module explores the lives of medieval queens across a wide chronological and geographical range. The aim is to look at the roles of ruling queens, queen mothers, regents and royal wives in turn, focusing on the relationship between their political power and their position within family, household and royal court. The module will also examine representations of queenship in literature and art and at the role of queenship in the study of women's history

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours183.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Exam preparation; researching, preparing, and writing assignments; undertaking set reading; and self-directed reading around the topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, an assessed exercise or exercises worth 10% of module marks, an assessed essay.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words to be handed in by noon of Friday of teaching week 730.00
Oral PresentationPresentation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

10% oral presentation is redone with 'an equivalent written exercise'

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2009


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019