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Unit information: The Medieval World in 2021/22

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Unit name The Medieval World
Unit code HIST10042
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Hodgson
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

Unit Directors - Vicki Hodgson and Ian Wei

This unit will introduce students to the vibrant history and culture of the Middle Ages. The main focus will be on Europe (incl. the British Isles) in the period between 1000 and 1300, known as the ‘high’ or ‘central’ Middle Ages, supplemented by selected examples from other areas and earlier and/or later periods. The Middle Ages were an age of immense variety and complexity, marked by both continuity and dramatic changes. The vital significance of these changes for the long-term development of Europe and the wider world is not always appreciated, even though they continue to shape the landscape, built environment, socio-political institutions and cultural concepts of our society today.

Assuming no prior knowledge, this unit offers an overview of the key political, social, economic, religious and intellectual developments of the medieval period. Lectures, seminars and workshops explore, amongst other themes, the ordering of society, changing relationships between religion and state, and the Church and ordinary believers, key issues in the educational, governmental, commercial and religious ‘revolutions’ of the period, and ways in which medieval men and women understood themselves, their world and their place within it.

The unit aims to:

•offer an introductory grounding in medieval history;
•provide an awareness of the main issues at stake in undertaking historical analysis in the period;
•give an introduction to the use of medieval texts as source material;
•create an opportunity for students to discuss various issues in medieval history and to work on texts in a small-group context.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  1. reflect critically upon of some of the key issues and debates in medieval history;
  2. demonstrate an awareness of how medieval historians approach the analysis of their period;
  3. analyse specific issues and sources within their longer-term historical context;
  4. select pertinent textual evidence in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general historical points
  5. demonstrate skills in oral presentation appropriate to level C

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, 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 Timed Assessment (100%) [ILOs 1-4]; 1 x 5-minute Formative In-Class Presentation [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. HIST10042).

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.