Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 X 2,500 WORDS ESSAYS  40%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   1 X 3 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate a firm grounding in the secondary literature and on-going debates in the study of western European history, c.1090 to c.1220.

Show an understanding of the value of an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of the past.

Reflect upon and critically analyze secondary and primary sources.

Collect, collate and analyze historical evidence and produce both oral and written arguments.

Work independently and collaboratively.

Produce work in a professional manner and demonstrate skills appropriate to the study of history.

Brief description

This course examines a dynamic period in European history, The twelfth century was crucial for the formation of many institutions and attitudes regarded as fundamental to the `modern' world. These include a coinage-based profit economy, literate modes of thought, universities, city life, the persecution of religious dissidents, and systems of formal, written, law. Yet this was also a profoundly different world from our own, whose material and conceptual conditions we will seek to appreciate on their own terms. We will explore this era through some of the most vivid and fascinating sources produced in the Middle Ages, including letters, autobiographies, travel narratives, and histories.


This module introduces students to the study of twelfth-century western Europe. This field has long been the subject of considerable interest to historians. The purpose of the module is to engage students both with the modern historiography, and with many of the primary texts (in translation) on which this is based. It will allow students to deal with questions of religious and intellectual history, and to integrate these with consideration of changing social and economic conditions. The course will draw on a variety of medieval and modern genres, and also archaeological and art historical evidence.


1. Henry the Monk and Robert of Arbrissel
2. People and profit: Demographic and economic overview
3. Monasticism
4. Mediterranean crusades
5. France and the Capetian monarchy
6. Warfare
7. Germany and the Empire
8. Architecture and art
9. The British Isles
10. Urban life and economy
11. Urban government
12. Northern and eastern Europe
13. The Jews
14. Heretics
15. Intellectual life: the moderni
16. Thomas Becket: career and cult
17. The Friars
18. Innocent III and the Fourth Lateran Council

1. Monasticism: old and new
2. Urban society and government
3. Demography and economics
4. Warfare and chivalry
5. Kings and Emperors
6. Authority and heresy
7. Centres and peripheries
8. Women and men
9. The laity and the church
10. Intellectual life

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; improve listening skills during the lectures, and consequently develop skills in note taking; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in two essays; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but not assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies; devise a personal action plan to include short and long-term goals and to develop personal awareness of how to improve on these.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD-Roms and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills, beliefs and qualities in relation to course in progression; plan and prepare for future course/career.
Problem solving Identify problems and factors which might influence potential solutions; develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Understand a range of research methods and plans and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars); exercise negotiation and persuasion skills; evaluate group activities and own contribution.


This module is at CQFW Level 6