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Unit information: Kingship and Crisis during the Wars of the Roses. (Level H Special Subject) in 2021/22

Unit name Kingship and Crisis during the Wars of the Roses. (Level H Special Subject)
Unit code HIST37011
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Reeks
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

'Sackage, carnage and wreckage' is the 1066 & All That summary of the fifteenth century in England, and its image as an era of anarchy and bloodshed has been crystallised in the popular imagination from the history plays of William Shakespeare to Game of Thrones. However, over the last forty years, increasing interest has been taken in this 'Cinderella century' by scholars and controversy continues to rage over major issues of interpretation. This special subject will address perhaps the most vital question - that of kingship during a period of dynastic turbulence and usurpation. How was kingly authority conferred and its continued validity restated and reaffirmed in a century when every occupant of the English throne had his right to it challenged?

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed:

  1. an in-depth and detailed knowledge and understanding of the Wars of the Roses and their affect on English society and politics;
  2. the ability to work at an advanced level with primary sources;
  3. the ability to integrate both primary and secondary source material into a wider historical analysis;
  4. the ability to learn independently within a small-group context;
  5. a deeper awareness of how to approach a long term historical analysis;
  6. the ability to select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general historical points;
  7. the ability to derive benefit from and contribute effectively to group discussion;
  8. the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically and form an individual viewpoint;
  9. the acquisition of advanced writing, research, and presentation skills.

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

1 x 3500-word Essay (50%) [ILOs 1-9]; 1 x Timed Assessment (50%) [ILOs 1-9]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HIST37011).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.