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Unit information: The Medieval 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 Medieval World: Europe and the Wider World
Unit code HIST10066
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Wei
Open unit status Not open
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Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


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

Unit Information

This unit will introduce students to the vibrant history and culture of Western Europe in the Middle Ages. It will compare changes and continuities in different parts of Europe, and thus consider the extent to which a distinct European community and sense of identity emerged. It will also explore the history of medieval 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. Chronologically, the main focus will be on the eleventh to fourteenth centuries 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, religious and intellectual developments of the medieval period. Lectures, workshops, and seminars explore a range of topics including race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, environment, political systems, religious beliefs and practices, and material culture, all helping us to figure out how medieval people understood themselves, their world, and their place within it.

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

The unit therefore aims to:

  • Offer an introductory grounding in the medieval 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 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.

Your learning on this unit

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.

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 'Medieval World' unit, but follows a distinct series of seminars.

Each week will involve an asynchronous collaborative task.

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. HIST10066).

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.