Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Ritual, kingship and power in Norman and Angevin England: methods, sources & actors (Part 1)
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Document analysis 2  1500 Words  25%
Semester Assessment Document analysis 1  1500 Words  25%
Supplementary Assessment (resit) Document analysis 2  1500 Words  25%
Supplementary Assessment (resit) essay  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment (resit) Document analysis 1  1500 Words  25%

Learning Outcomes

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

demonstrate an understanding of a body of historical sources in the field of twelfth-century English history;

demonstrate an understanding of comparative perspectives on the history of England and other parts of the medieval West;

demonstrate an understanding of a range of approaches, political, social and cultural, to the study of how politics worked in what has been termed a ‘stateless’ society;

demonstrate an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts, including contemporary historiographical, administrative and religious writings;

demonstrate an understanding of different actors and agents in high medieval political exchanges;

demonstrate an ability to construct an argument based on a thorough understanding of primary sources;

Brief description

This module will explore how politics were conducted in England under the Norman and Angevin kings (1066-1272). How did people define their political status? How were conflicts settled, how were complaints and criticism voiced? What were the standards by which political actions were judged in ethical and moral terms? This module will, furthermore, seek to place England within a broader European context by tracing and highlighting how similar issues were dealt with in other parts of the contemporary Latin West. This module will be concerned with exploring some of the principal questions underpinning the module as a whole: we will, for instance, discuss some misconceptions about politics and political culture as a distinctly modern phenomenon, and will then turn, first, to the sources (what they can and cannot tell us about values and norms, what contemporaries meant by power and its exercise, and so on), and, second, chief actors (especially nobles and the clergy).


This provides an essential introduction into the study of medieval political culture, and reflects current research interests of staff members involved.


1. Introduction.
2. English kingship in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
3. What is political culture?
4. Sources and methods
5. Case study: William of Malmesbury
6. The personnel of power (i): the nobility
7. The personnel of power (ii): bishops
8. Case study (i): William Marshal and the earls
9. Case study (ii): Gilbert Foliot and St Hugh
10. Conclusion and preparation for semester 2

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills Primary source analysis; applying comparative historical analysis.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6