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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST1090 Medieval and Renaissance Europe

20 creditsClass Size: 210

Module manager: Dr Jonathan Jarrett

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module looks at the principal historical themes in western Europe between 550 and 1550, including:- the expansion of Europe- the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy- the development of centralized states and the Church- the Crusades, and economic and demographic developments, including the Black Death- the Renaissance and Reformation.


On completion of this module students should have acquired:
- a broad knowledge of the contours of medieval and renaissance European history, and of their significance for later periods;
- an ability to analyse, and to explain orally and in writing, structures and changes within the period; and
- an ability to understand and explain basic concepts of medieval and renaissance history like 'Empire', 'Papacy', 'conversion', 'Crusades', 'monasticism', 'heresy', 'feudalism', 'humanism', 'renaissance' and 'Reformation'.

Skills outcomes
Teaches Common Skills listed below:
- High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
- Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
- Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
- Capacity to employ analytical and problem-solving abilities.
- Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
- Empathy and active engagement with alternative cultural contexts.


The Middle Ages and Renaissance (c.400- c.1550) are of crucial importance in European history. They witnessed the replacement of the Roman Empire by the so-called 'Barbarian kingdoms', the conversion of northern and eastern Europe to Christianity, the origin and development of nation states and governmental bureaucracies, and the eventual collapse of the religious unity of Christendom with the Reformation.

This module introduces students to these events and movements, and examines the transformation of European culture through the 'renaissances' of the twelfth and the fourteenth & fifteenth centuries.

This module covers a long time-span, and individual tutors may choose to concentrate on a more restricted chronological era in their classes, although the lectures will offer an overview of the whole period. However, all tutors will teach a chronological span of at least six centuries.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours167.00
Total Contact hours33.00
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. 167 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, non-assessed essay, assessed essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000 word essay due by 12 noon on Monday of teaching week 940.00
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
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 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: 12/04/2019


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