Skip to main content

Unit information: The Early Modern World: Europe and the Wider World in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name The Early Modern World: Europe and the Wider World
Unit code HIST10065
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Velasco Berenguer
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


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

Unit Information

This unit will introduce students to the history of Europe in the early modern period. It will also explore the history of early modern Europe from global perspectives, looking at connections with non-European peoples and polities, and examining what happened when very different cultures came into contact with each other. It will compare changes and continuities in different parts of Europe, in a period marked by the disintegration of Western Christendom and the emergence of nation states. Chronologically, the main focus will be on the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, a period which saw changes of profound significance for the long-term development of Europe and the wider world, changes which continue to shape the landscape, institutions, and culture of our world today.

Assuming no prior knowledge, this unit provides an overview of the key political, social, economic, environmental, religious and intellectual developments of the early modern period. Lectures, workshops and seminars explore a range of topics such as plague, the Reformation, witch-hunting, political rebellion, colonialism, and the advent of print, all helping us to figure out how early modern people understood themselves, their world, and their place within it.

This unit shares a common lecture series with the other 'Early Modern World' unit, but follows a distinct series of seminars.

The unit therefore aims to:

  • Offer an introductory grounding in the early modern history of Europe and its interactions with the wider world.
  • Provide an awareness of the main issues at stake in undertaking historical analysis in the period.
  • Give an introduction to the use of early modern primary sources.
  • Create an opportunity for students to discuss various issues in early modern history and to work on primary sources in a small-group context.

Your learning on this unit

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

  1. Identify and analyse key themes and issues in early modern history.
  2. Discuss and evaluate the historiographical debates that surround the period and a range of topics.
  3. Interpret primary sources and select pertinent evidence in order to illustrate specific and more general historical points.
  4. Present their research and judgements in written forms and styles appropriate to the discipline and to level C.

How you will learn

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.

This unit shares a common lecture series with the other 'Early Modern World' unit, but follows a distinct series of seminars.

How you will be assessed

Tasks which help you learn and prepare you for summative tasks (formative):

There are no formative assessments in this unit.

Tasks which count towards your unit mark (summative):

One 1500-word essay (33%) [ILOs 1-4]. 2-hour Unseen Examination (67%) [ILOs 1-4].

When assessment does not go to plan

If you are not able to take or pass a summative assessment, you will have another opportunity during the autumn reassessment period. The assessment format will remain the same as that originally planned.

If unforeseen circumstances mean that the examination cannot proceed as planned for any reason, the assessment paper will be released to students and they will be able to complete it according to the University’s rules on Timed Assessments.


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. HIST10065).

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.