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Unit information: The Black Death in England in 2021/22

Unit name The Black Death in England
Unit code HIST20125
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Smith
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit aims to provide students with insights into the course and consequences of the Black Death in England from its first appearance in 1348-9 up to the sixteenth century, when population levels finally began to recover. The unit considers the impact of pestilence on a wide range of aspects of late medieval English life: politics; agricultural practices; town-life; the role of women; religious devotion; medical thought; diet; dress; charity; literary and artistic fashions; international trade; warfare, and social relations.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate in-depth understanding and detailed knowledge of the course and consequences of the Black Death in England;
  2. display the ability to integrate both primary and secondary source material into a wider historical analysis and argument
  3. approach a long-term historical analysis from a modern perspective
  4. select relevant evidence in order to illustrate historical arguments
  5. identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically and form an individual viewpoint, as appropriate to level I

Teaching details

1 x 2hr Seminar per week

1 x 1hr Seminar per week

Assessment Details

  • Portfolio Part 1: 750 word primary source analysis [10%] (ILOs 1-3)
  • Portfolio Part 2: 750 word broad question [10%] (ILOs 1-3)
  • 4000 word research project [80%] (ILOs 1-5)


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. HIST20125).