Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Making of Western Christendom C 800-C 1200
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures


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:

1. Display a knowledge of the history of European society in the Early and High Middle Ages
2. Comprehend comparative perspectives on the history of medieval Europe
3. Display an understanding of a range of approaches, political, social and cultural, to the structures and developments which defined Latin Europe in the period
4. An ability to read, analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts, including contemporary literary, philosophical and religious writings.

Brief description

This survey module will offer students an overview of the development of the Christian church and the Christian faith in western Europe from the end of the eighth century to the beginning of the thirteenth century. The survey will be taught through lectures and two seminars. Students will be provided with a full bibliography and encouraged to develop particular research interests through essay assignments. It is a primary aim of the module to provide students with a clear sense of the major developments in the growth of Christianity in the west during the early and high middle ages. Furthermore, the module will introduce students to an important canon of historical literature as well as enhancing their awareness of a range of primary material, including saints? lives, chronicles, charters, and the pronouncements of the church. Finally, the seminars, of which there are two, will explore the developments outlined in the lecture series through closer examination of two important features of medieval Christianity: sainthood and lay piety.


To outline the broad developments in Christianity and the Church in Europe between the eighth and the thirteenth centuries.
To introduce a canon of historical literature and to give students an insight into the various types of sources that can shed light on the period.
To adopt a thematic approach to the early history of Christianity.


1. Introduction: The Making of Western Christendom 800-1215: Issues and structures
2. Political context: the Carolingians
3. The Ottonians
4. Anglo-Saxon England
5. New kingdoms
6. Angevin England
7. Capetian France
8. The Church in the Middle Ages (i): The Papacy
9. The Church in the Middle Ages (ii): Religious Orders
10. The Church in the Middle Ages (iii): Bishops and parishes
11. Patterns of lay piety
12. The Church and war
13. The First Crusade
14. Later crusades
15. Military orders
16. The rise of heresy
17. The rise of universities
18. Conclusions

1. Sainthood
2. Lay piety

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
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 Develop knowledge of Christianity in western Europe from the end of the eighth century to the beginning of the thirteenth century through consideration of particular types of primary historical sources.
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