Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Social and Economic History of Early Modern Europe
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 1 hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Semester Assessment  2 x 2,500 word essays  50%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Semester Examination - 3 hr closed exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary Assessment  submit any missing or failed written work  50%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Supplementary Examination  3 hour closed exmanination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

a) Demonstrate familiarity with a substantial body of historical knowledge in the field of early modern European social and economic history
b) Engage in source criticism, discussion and understanding of key concepts in social and economic history as these relate to this period
c) Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of historical techniques relevant to the reconstruction of early modern communities, trade patterns, population movements and wage/price fluctuations
d) Gather and sift appropriate items of historical evidence
e) Read, analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts, in particular on early examples of 'economic' writing relating to inflation and 'mercantilist' concerns
f) Explore the relationships between history and other disciplines, particularly sociology, social anthropology, economics and literary criticism
g) Develop the ability to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of particular historical arguments and where necessary challenge them.
h) Develop oral (not assessed) and written skills which will have been improved through seminar discussions and essays
i) Work both independently and collaboratively, and to participate in group discussions (not assessed).

Brief description

This option module is intended to provide students with a broad general understanding of social forms and economic activity in (mainly) western Europe between the later 15th and the 18th centuries. The module will combine approaches drawn from more traditional economic history, with the more recent work of cliometricians, historical demographers, and historians of popular culture. In this sense, the module aims to convey the totalising ambitions of historians currently working in this field, who are aiming to examine early modern society as a 'whole'. Among the topics considered are: trade, agriculture and manufacture; 'idleness' and poverty, marriage patterns, family and household forms, festivals, holy days, guilds, town life, population mobility.


This module is at CQFW Level 6