Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
HA32120, HY32220, HY32320, HY32520, HY32720, HY32820, HY33320, HY33420, HY33520, HY34420, HY34620, HY34720, HY34820
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour seminars per week + individual tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 X SOURCE ANALYSIS OF 1,500 WORDS  20%
Semester Assessment 1 X 5,000 WORD PROJECT  60%
Semester Assessment 1 X ESSAY OF 1,500 WORDS  20%

Learning Outcomes

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

demonstrate familiarity with different ways in which history has been portrayed in film;

demonstrate an awareness of how the makers of films attempt to engage with their audience, and the kinds of issues that determine their content and style.

analyze and reflect critically on the relationship between history in film as `popular history' and tensions between history in film and history as an academic discipline

construct and sustain arguments orally and in writing;

work both independently and collaboratively, and to participate in group discussion (not formally assessed).

Brief description

This course will encourage students to engage critically with one of the main ways through which history is communicated to a mass audience - namely film.
The module will begin by addressing key concepts and themes, including the notion of Early Modernity and of how history is consumed outside of academia.
The remainder of the module will explore directly how history has been portrayed in film. This will be done through looking at a series of themes, and will examine the ways in which those themes have been addressed in a range of films. The module will attempt to provide students with the skills necessary to read films critically, from a historical perspective. Long-term changes in the ways in which history has been presented will be discussed, and the rationale behind the choice of themes for films and the ways in which such themes are addressed will be analysed. These questions will be examined by looking at a range of films based in the Early Modern Period. These films will cover a range of themes, reflecting the particular interests of the three lecturers contributing to the module.


History has always proven to be a rich source of material for film makers. While there seems to have been an interest in all historical periods, the Early Modern Period appears to have been a particularly rich source. However, the representation of the period in film has varied enormously. For many people, films are often their prime source of their knowledge of the past, and therefore, historians need to take them seriously. This module will select a series of films, some well-known, others less so, through which to examine some of the way in which the early modern period, and some of the key events, personalities and movements within it, have been portrayed.


1. Introduction: history and film
2. Reading a film critically
3. The concept of Early Modernity
4. Monarchy
5. Empire
6. Religion
7. Revolution
8. Gender
9. Culture
10. Politics

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will not utilize statistical sources in this module.
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed through seminars and feedback on written work. These skills will be assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given on improving students¿ research techniques and essay writing skills. There will be no formal assessment of this skill.
Information Technology Students will be required to locate source materials through library catalogues and on-line sources. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their assessed work. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help develop written and oral skills. Other activities, including research, assessment of information and writing in a critical and clear manner, will further develop useful skills of analysis and presentation.
Problem solving Students will be expected to locate and assess primary source materials. This skill will be assessed through the three pieces of work.
Research skills Students will be required to carry out research for seminars and for the required pieces of work. Such research will be assessed in each of the three elements of assessment.
Team work Students will work together in seminar preparation and will lead the seminars. There will be no formal assessment of this skill.


This module is at CQFW Level 6