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Module HGH-2133:
The Tudors 1485-1603

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Shaun Evans

Overall aims and purpose

This module offers a survey of Britain and Ireland under the rule of the Tudor royal dynasty. It ranges chronologically from the accession of Henry VII (Henry Tudor) with the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. It examines the lives and reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I (Mary Tudor, often known as Bloody Mary'), and Elizabeth I. In the course of this period, a number of momentous changes occurred in the religion, society, and politics of England, Wales, and Ireland - fundamentally altering long-held ideas about the nature of authority, monarchy, female rulers, the church, and much else. This module examines these in some depth, from the end of the Wars of the Roses and accession of the Tudor dynasty in 1485 to Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon (the first of his many wives) and his break from Rome to the restoration of Catholicism under his daughter Mary, and the so-calledGolden Age' of Elizabeth I - who was known as `The Virgin Queen.' Seminars will allow students to critically assess the central concepts, issues, and evidence, as well as engage with modern historiography on the subject.

Course content

  1. Bosworth Field and the end of the Wars of the Roses; 2. Henry VII and the Tudor Dynasty; 3. The reign of Henry VII; 4. The accession of Henry VIII; 5. Henry VIII: ; 6. Henry VIII: The Early Years; Henry VIII: The King's `Great Matter' and Rome ; 7. The Later Years of Henry VIII; 8. Edward VI; 9. Edward VI and the Disputed Succession; 10. The Reign of Mary Tudor: Part I; 11. The Reign of Mary Tudor: Part II; 12. Elizabeth I: 1558-1580; 13. Elizabeth I: 1580-1603; 14. Elizabeth I: The Golden Age?; 15. Religion, Society, and Politics under the Tudors.

Students taking this module will study these topics through a in-depth grasp of the modern historiography on the subject, complimented by the use of some primary sources (including select contemporary writings, records, contemporary paintings and woodcuts).

Assessment Criteria


Threshold students (lower 40s) will demonstrate an appropriate range or depth of knowledge of at least parts of the relevant field, and will make partially-successful attempts to frame an argument that engages with historiographical controversies or problems.


Good students (60s) will show a solid level of achievement in all of the criteria of the paragraphs above.


Excellent students (70s and above) will demonstrate this level of solid achievement across the criteria combined with particularly impressive depths of knowledge and/or subtlety of analysis.

Learning outcomes

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Set out and judge between alternate historical interpretations of the period and subjects, including current historiographic positions and critical approaches.

  4. 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, exam, and seminars), and support these arguments with detailed evidence.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Coursework Portfolio 50
ESSAY Essay 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

  1. This module will be taught through a combination of 12 online lectures and 12 seminar workshops, plus activities on Blackboard.
  1. This module will be taught through a combination of 12 online lectures and 12 seminar workshops, plus activities on Blackboard.
Private study



Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • problem solving to develop solutions to understand the past
  • understanding the complexity of change over time; in specific contexts and chronologies
  • being sensitive to the differences, or the "otherness" of the past, and the difficulty to using it as a guide to present or future action
  • being sensitive to the role of perceptions of the past in contemporary cultures
  • producing logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
  • planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
  • marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
  • demonstrating a positive and can-do approach to practical problems
  • demonstrating an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking
  • presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
  • preparing effective written communications for different readerships
  • making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation
  • making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
  • making critical and effective use of information retrieval skills using paper-based and electronic resources
  • collaborating effectively in a team via experience of working in a group
  • appreciating and being sensitive to different cultures and dealing with unfamiliar situations
  • critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions
  • engaging with relevant aspects of current agendas such as global perspectives, public engagement, employability, enterprise, and creativity

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: