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Unit information: Tudor Britain (Level H Lecture Response Unit) in 2018/19

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Unit name Tudor Britain (Level H Lecture Response Unit)
Unit code HIST30090
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Jones
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The long century (1485-1603) of Tudor rule has long fascinated both historians and the general public. During this period, England broke with Rome, Wales became fully integrated into the British state, Ireland was suppressed and Scotland achieved a new amity with its southern neighbour. At the same time, England as a whole saw new prosperity, but also rising poverty, as its population doubled and its commercial horizons expanded. An emergent national identity and a flourishing cultural landscape - epitomised by Shakespeare - also characterised this period. By the end of the century Britain was in crisis, but at the same time had started down the track that would turn it into the world's leading maritime and imperial power.

This unit will explore Britain's tumultuous Tudor century from a broad perspective: we will go beyond the traditional, narrow focus on the personalities of the Tudor monarchs to think about the highly significant religious, geo-political, social, economic and cultural changes of the sixteenth century, and their role in shaping the subsequent history of Britain and it's place in the world. We will also reflect at length on the reasons for our enduring fascination with the period's events and personalities.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. a wide historical knowledge of the political, social and economic conditions of Britain during the period 1485-1603;
  2. a deep awareness of how to approach a long term historical analysis;
  3. the ability to set individual issues within their longer term historical context;
  4. the ability to analyse and generalise about issues of continuity and change;
  5. the ability to select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general historical points;
  6. the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically and form an individual viewpoint;
  7. the acquisition of key writing, research, and presentation skills, as appropriate to level H.

Teaching details

1 x 2-hr interactive lecture per week

Assessment Details

1 x 3000 word summative essay (50%) and 1 x 2 hr summative exam (50%) [ILOs 1-7]

Reading and References

John Guy, The Tudors, A Very Short Introduction (2000)

Susan Doran and Norman Jones (eds), The Elizabethan World (2011)

Tatiana C. String and Marcus Bull (eds), Tudorism: Historical Imagination and the Appropriation of the Sixteenth Century (2011)

Peter Marshall, Reformation England 1480-1642 (2012)

Keith Wrightson (ed), A Social History of England, 1500-1750 (2017)

Trevor Herbert and Gareth Elwyn Jones, Tudor Wales (1988)