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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST1060 Faith, Knowledge and Power, 1500-1750

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Sara Barker

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides an introduction to some of the central issues in the study of early modern history. In the period between 1500 and 1750, Europe was transformed by the fragmentation of Western Christianity, an information and media revolution fuelled by the spread of literacy and printing, and changing socio-economic structures which fundamentally reshaped everyday lives and the relationship between rulers and ruled. The module will trace a path from the early sixteenth century to the mid eighteenth century, through three main themes: religious conflict and controversy; order and disorder in early modern society; and cultural change. Encounters and interactions with non-European societies will be studied to reveal how Europe was becoming part of a global economy and society. Students will be introduced to the diverse range of primary sources which are available for the study of early modern history, facilitating engagement with the ideas and beliefs of people living at this time.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- assess the nature and impact of religious reform on different geographical contexts;
- show familiarity with diverse traditions, cultures and transformations of knowledge in the period;
- understand the consequences of political, economic, social and cultural change for the framework of life and the structure of society;
- demonstrate awareness of the relationship between Europe and the wider world in this period.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will have:
- developed discussion and analytical skills;
- developed their ability to interpret primary source material;
- developed research and essay-writing techniques;
- developed skills of historiographical survey;
- enhanced skills of VLE discussion and posting.


The module is based around three key themes: Religious conflict and controversy; Order and disorder in early modern society; and Cultural change. Within these themes, likely topics of study might include:

Protestantism, Catholicism, and other global religions

Crime, deviance and the law


Households, families and gender

Commerce, consumption and cultural exchange

Early modern communications

Science and medicine

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Researching, preparing and writing assignments
- Undertaking set reading
- Self-directed reading around the topic
- Exam preparation and revision
- Consultation of VLE materials and electronic resources.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be monitored throughout the course on class participation and non-assessed work which will be completed throughout the duration of the module teaching. Students will also be given the opportunity to contribute to VLE discussion forum, and their postings and contributions will be monitored by the module tutors. Formal assessment will be monitored as detailed below.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment1500-word essay40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins60.00
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: 25/07/2022


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