Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Wales under the Tudors
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour supplementary (resit) examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an understanding of developments in society, religion and authority in Wales in the sixteenth century.

Demonstrate an understanding of historiographical debates in sixteenth century Welsh history.

Identify and evaluate a wide range of relevant primary and secondary material.

Demonstrate an ability to analyse and deploy relevant historical evidence to produce appropriate arguments.


This module complements the existing provision in Welsh history in the department and provides a further option to second year students registered on various degree schemes offered in the department. It will be of interest to those keen to study Welsh history but also those students with an interest in the early modern period, particularly those on the degree scheme V190 Medieval and Early Modern History. Through the module, students will be introduced to a crucial period in the history of Wales and the British Isles.

Brief description

The Tudor dynasty ruled over the kingdom of England between 1485 and 1603, during which time Wales formally became a part of the kingdom through the ‘Acts of Union’. This was therefore a key period in Welsh history and, for centuries, it was believed that Wales had benefited greatly under the reign of a family with roots in Wales. During this course we will attempt to assess how justified these claims are, whilst also investigating the impact of the new ideas and developments of this age on the people of Wales. The major themes studied will include the question of the ‘Union’ between Wales and England, the influence of the Renaissance and the means by which the new and alien religion of Protestantism was introduced to the Welsh and the extent to which it displaced superstition and magic amongst the majority of the population.


1. ‘Poor Taffy’ or ‘of the Trojan Brutus line’: who were the Welsh?
2. Henry Tudor: towards Bosworth
3. Henry VII: ‘the son of prophecy’?
4. Welsh society under the Tudors
5. Ruling Principality and March: Rhys ap Thomas and Rowland Lee
6. The Church on the eve of Reformation
7. Henry VIII and Reformation
8. The ‘Acts of Union’ 1536-43
9. The impact of Union
10. The rise of the gentry
11. Ruling Wales: Tudors, Herberts and Cecils
12. Culture and Renaissance in Wales
13. Edward VI: the planting of Protestantism?
14. ‘Bloody’ Mary?
15. Elizabeth I: Establishing the Church
16. The Established Church: resistance and recusancy
17. Magic and superstition in sixteenth-century Wales
18. Loyalty and Treason in Tudor Wales

Seminars (4 x 1.5 hours):
1. Henry Tudor and Wales
2. Union between Wales and England
3. The Religious Changes
4. The Renaissance and the Welsh Language

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 Develop a familiarity with the main developments in Wales in the sixteenth century through the study of certain important 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 5