Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Soldiers, Saints & Serfs: England, 1042-1154
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 5 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  70%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour supplementary (resit) examination  70%

Learning Outcomes

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

Identify the key issues relating to society, government, politics and religion in England, 1042-1154

Demonstrate a familiarity with secondary sources relating to England 1042-1154 and the main areas of historical debate for this period.

Reflect upon and analyze published and translated primary sources from Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England.

Demonstrate a familiarity with the main types of cross-disciplinary (artistic, architectural and literary) material from the same period.

Produce coherent written (assessed) and oral (unassessed) arguments relating to primary and secondary material.

Work independently and collaboratively.

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

Brief description

This module covers the years 1042-1154, a crucial period in English history. In just over a century the country witnessed political turmoil, invasion and civil war, but it was also a time of administrative transformation, church reform, artistic creativity and linguistic changes. The course is deliberately broad-based and will use contemporary texts and non-documentary material to explore key themes. It will introduce important social, political, administrative and religious issues, and address the artistic and literary output which so enriched Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England. Students will be encouraged to use primary sources available in translation and to engage with the lively academic debate about the period.


This module will introduce students to the changes in government, law, religion and society which occurred in the years 1042-1154. This was a pivotal time in England's history, and helped shape English society in its broadest sense for the rest of the middle ages. The module aims to provide a foundation for further study of British medieval history, and will introduce students to a range of textual and non-documentary sources.



1. Late Anglo-Saxon England I: social structure, government and law
2. Late Anglo-Saxon England II: religion, arts and literature
3. Politics in the mid-eleventh century: England and the wider world
4. Edward the Confessor and the image of Anglo-Saxon kingship
5. Crisis of Succession: the struggle for the crown, 1065 - 1066
6. The Norman Conquest, 1066-68
7. The Bastard and the Red King: William I and William II
8. The Lion of Justice: Henry I
9. Domesday Book and the governing of England, 1066-1135
10. Keeping the peace; law and administration, 1066-1135
11. (Another) Crisis of Succession: Matilda and Stephen
12. `Christ and His saints slept?: Civil War and anarchy, 1139-45
13. The reign of Stephen
14. The Anglo-Norman church I: the secular church
15. The Anglo-Norman church II: monasticism
16. The finer things: art and architecture in Anglo-Norman England
17. Recording it all: official documents, chronicles and histories 1042-1154
18. Review: Anglo-Saxon to Anglo-Norman


1. An insular culture? Late Anglo-Saxon society
2.1066 And All That: is Hastings a watershed in English history?
3. The role of the monarch in England, 1042-1154
4. The Church
5. Art, architecture and literature

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; improve their 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 plan and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different medieval sources; develop the ability to use appropriate historical research tools effectively.
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 4