THE TUDORS: POLITICS, SOCIETY,
The Tudors: Politics, Society, and Culture in Britain & Ireland, 1485-1603 2022-23
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 1
The module provides a survey of England, Wales and Ireland under the rule of the Tudor dynasty. It ranges chronologically from the accession of Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. It examines the lives and reigns of some of the most famous and infamous monarchs in English history: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.
Across this period momentous changes occurred in religion, society and politics which fundamentally altered long-held ideas about the nature of authority, monarchy, the state, female rulers, the church, and much else. Many historians view this period as the transition from the medieval to the early modern world. The module examines the impact and influence of major events such as Henry VIII’s break from Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Pilgrimage of Grace and Spanish Armada. It will also explore the end of the Wars of the Roses, the kingship and image of Henry VIII and his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, the Reformation and the restoration of Catholicism under Mary I, the introduction of Renaissance culture to England and Wales, and the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of Elizabeth I – who was known as ‘The Virgin Queen.’
As well as looking at the political history of the period, we will also be exploring the nature of society in sixteenth-century England and Wales, and the lives and experiences of so-called ‘ordinary’ people across the period.
Each week we will be focusing on a different topic. This might be the life and reign of one of the Tudor monarchs, or a theme such as Religion, Church and Reformation.
Week 1 - The Wars of the Roses and the Impact of Bosworth
Week 2 - Henry VII and his Reign (1485-1509)
Week 3 - The Tudor Realm: Regions, Identities and Control
Week 4 - Henry VIII and his Reign (1509-47)
Week 5 - Religion, Church and Reformation
Week 6 - Reading Week
Week 7 - Edward VI and his Reign (1547-53)
Week 8 - Tudor Society 1: The Nobility and Gentry
Week 9 - Mary I and her Reign (1553-58)
Week 10 - Tudor Society 2: Lives and Experiences in the Tudor Commonwealth
Week 11 - Elizabeth I and her Reign (1558-1603)
Week 12 - Renaissance: Learning, Literature and Display
• Threshold students (D- to D+) will demonstrate an appropriate range or depth of knowledge and understanding of at least parts of the module, and will make partly-successful attempts to develop skills which correlate with the requirements of History undergraduate work. The structure of the essay and coursework tasks may be rather opaque, and the discussion ambiguous, lacking in clarity and articulacy at times. The coursework portfolio may be incomplete, or include one or more tasks which lack focus on core themes and issues, or address the problems/questions with imprecision. The coursework tasks may display cursory intellectual engagement and some confusion of source material. Little attempt is made to engage with secondary or primary evidence. One or more of the coursework tasks may not be correctly formatted. One or more of the coursework tasks may have an unclear structure and the portfolio overall may contain insufficient well-presented, well-chosen material.
• Good students (C- to C+) will show evidence of solid reading and understanding in both the essay and coursework portfolio, but parts of their work will still remain superficial; cover most of the important aspects of the field, but lack depth or accuracy; have an argument, but only employ limited evidence. There will be lack of engagement with source materials. The coursework portfolio may include one or more tasks which lack a precise focus on core themes and issues, or address the problems/questions with sketchiness. Tasks may demonstrate some intellectual engagement with relevant primary and secondary evidence. Lines of argument may not be as clear as they could have been. The tasks generally conform to the correct format but may display anomalies. One or more of the coursework tasks may have an unclear structure. The portfolio overall contains some well-presented, well-chosen material.
• Good students (B- to B+) will show a solid level of achievement in all the criteria outlined in the paragraph above, and will exhibit constructive engagement with different types of historical evidence and historiographical controversies. Ideas and arguments will be communicated effectively in both the essay and across the coursework portfolio. The coursework portfolio will always retain a precise focus on the core themes and issues, and address the problems/questions with accurate and relevant material. Tasks will demonstrate good intellectual engagement with relevant primary and secondary evidence. Arguments are presented and almost all lines of argument are supported and illustrated with appropriate evidence. The tasks conform to the correct format and are mostly presented in an accurate fashion, with some engaging elements. All of the coursework tasks will have a clear structure. The portfolio overall contains material which is mostly well-presented and well-chosen.
• Excellent students (A- and above) will show depth of achievement across the criteria outlined above, combined with particularly impressive depths of knowledge, sophistication and/or subtlety of analysis across the essay and coursework portfolio. Work will exhibit a sophisticated engagement with core themes and issues, and address the problems/questions with reference to an impressive selection of illuminating material. Tasks will demonstrate in depth and detailed intellectual engagement with relevant primary and secondary evidence. Coherent and convincing arguments are presented, which are comprehensively supported with appropriate evidence. All of the tasks conform to the correct format and are presented in an accurate and engaging fashion. All of the coursework tasks will have a clear structure. The portfolio overall contains material which is always well-presented and well-chosen.
- Demonstrate a wide-ranging and conceptual knowledge of the history of Britain and Ireland under Tudor rule, the debates surrounding this, as well as the subject’s wider religious, social, and political contexts.
- Set out and judge between alternate historical interpretations of the period and subjects, including current historiographical positions and critical approaches.
- Show a detailed knowledge of specific aspects of the topic, in particular the lives and reigns of the Tudor monarchs, as well as politics, religion, society, and other related topics (such as monarchy and the nature of authority) during this period.
- Synthesize and present clear historical arguments concerning long-term developments and specific aspects of the history of Britain and Ireland under Tudor rule (in a degree essay, coursework, and workshops), and support these arguments with detailed evidence.
- Use primary sources as an integral part of historical argument
Coursework Portfolio Task 1: Academic Review Book reviews are a staple part of life as a historian – you will see dozens of examples in each volume of an academic journal. For this task you will be required to write an academic review (1,000-1,500 words) of a journal article, book chapter, podcast or website focusing on any aspect of the module.
3,000 word essay from a list provided in the module handbook
Coursework Portfolio Task 2: Exhibition Design For this task you will be asked to design a thematic exhibition with a selection of 5 primary sources. The design should include an overview of the exhibition, 5 images of primary sources and accompanying text. 1,000-1,500 words