Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LISS1002 The English Country House: A Social History

10 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Dr Kerry Bristol

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

GPA of 2.8 (US) or equivalent and enrolled at a university

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to undertake a critical analysis of visual and textual documentation relating to the history of the country house in England between the Tudor era and the present day.

Students should be able to:
- identify who built country houses, when and why
- understand how the 'upstairs' and 'downstairs' realms functioned
- understand how patrons, architects/designers and craftsmen interacted
- and distinguish between different types of country house.

Learning outcomes
With critical engagement suitable for a summer school module, students should be able to demonstrate:
- an understanding of when, why and by whom country houses were built
- an understanding of the relationship between the country house and its estate
- visual literacy through the identification of key country houses
- an awareness of the relationship between masters/mistresses and servants in the country house
- how planning reflects social hierarchies
- how interior decoration could reflect socially constructed 'taste'
- an understanding of the development of the architectural profession.


Country houses are one of Britain's greatest contributions to world culture, but who created them and why? Have they always functioned as 'containers' for art collections or have they had deeper meanings and a wider social impact?

Using Yorkshire's country houses as case studies, this course will introduce you to:
- the builders of the country house
- the rise and fall of the great estates
- the 'upstairs' lives of the men, women and children who lived in the country house and the 'downstairs' world of the men and women who served them
- the idea of a 'court style' and its regional variations
- the often difficult relationship between patron and architect
- the allied arts of interior design and decoration
- the relationship between the aristocratic great house, the more modest gentleman's house and the villa
Tutor-led visits to houses such as Temple Newsam, Harewood House and Castle Howard are an important feature of this course.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning115.0015.00
Private study hours35.00
Total Contact hours65.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Reading, preparation of seminar presentations, preparation of 3 pieces of work for the portfolio.

Pre-course preparatory work (materials available on the VLE): 15 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Participation in class discussion
- Unassessed oral presentations

The small group presentation encourages them to develop team-building skills and, for those whose first language is not English, can help develop a student-based support system as well as what is provided by the LISS team and academic tutors.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Portfolio3 pieces of written work (33.33 % each)100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 05/08/2020 13:06:39


Browse Other Catalogues

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

© Copyright Leeds 2019