Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Tudors: A European Dynasty?
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
HY20920 Year-2 version of the module
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Open examination  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Open examination  2000 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the secondary source material and the ongoing debates in the study of early modern Europe and the British Isles and their relationship.

Demonstrate an ability to reflect upon and critically analyze relevant sources from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Demonstrate an ability to collect, collate and analyze relevant historical evidence in order to construct sophisticated written arguments.

Produce work in a professional manner and demonstrate historiographical and primary source skills appropriate to the study of the Tudor period.​

Brief description

The Tudors have attracted a great deal of interest from professional historians, popular biographers and historical novelists, as well as film and television, but have their power and achievements been exaggerated? This module explores the extent to which the Tudor dynasty managed to establish themselves as a major European power, from a rather uncertain position in 1485. How did the Tudors deal with their neighbours in the British Isles and in Europe more widely? Ways in which the kingdom was influenced by broader European developments are also considered, which means that issues such as the influence of the Reformation and the Renaissance will naturally figure, but so too will the emergence of ruling queens, with the question of whether this reflected a Europe-wide development. Other topics include the influence of prominent individuals such as Thomas Cromwell, the importance of trade, the development of the navy and the spread of ideas about witchcraft.



1. Introduction to the period and context
2. York, Burgundy and Henry VII
3. The Tudor borders and borderlands
4. The Tudors, trade and discovery
5. Queenship: consort, regent and regnant
6. Erasmus, Thomas More and the Renaissance
7. Henry VII, Henry VIII and the Spanish Marriage
8. Henry VIII, France and the Field of the Cloth of Gold
9. The Church of England and the European Reformation
10. Thomas Cromwell: a Renaissance man?
11. Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn: Spain v France?
12. Hans Holbein and the court of Henry VIII
13. Mary, Spain and Calais
14. Tudor law and the European witch hunt
15. Elizabeth, Spain and the Netherlands
16. Elizabeth and the privateers
17. Elizabeth and Scotland
18. Conclusion: a European dynasty?


1. The Tudor World Stage: the British Isles, Europe and the New World
2. Henry VII: Tudors and Pretenders
3. Henry VIII and European Catholics and Protestants
4. Elizabeth: ‘Good Queen Bess’?
5. Queens and Regents: when women ruled?
6. The Tudors and Tudorism

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will familiarize themselves with professional standards of communication in the discipline of history and will develop these skills through presenting written argument, supported by suitable referencing.
Improving own Learning and Performance This will be developed consistently throughout the module, as students will need to reflect on what they have read and on questions posed in seminars and essays in order to reach conclusions. This will be an essential element of seminar discussions which will then inform the students’ written work.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to make use of digital resources in order to enhance their learning, including Blackboard, but also potentially other resources such as Box of Broadcasts.
Personal Development and Career planning This will be developed through the need to organize work to meet deadlines in a satisfactory manner.
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 Critical and analytical thinking are essential in order to gather relevant evidence in order to produce convincing arguments in essays and in seminar discussions.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop a familiarity with sources relating to the Tudor period and with current historical debates in this area.
Team work This is chiefly developed through the seminars, where group work will require students to consult and agree over how to reach and present their conclusions.


This module is at CQFW Level 6