Historical Methods and Approaches
This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.
Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.
New Departures in the Writing of History
This module provides an introduction to advanced historiography. It is designed to develop students¿ awareness of traditional historiographical concerns alongside their knowledge current trends and new directions in writing and thinking about the past.
This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.
Directed Reading in History
Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.
Medieval Europe: an introduction
The module is a basic introduction to the history of Europe c600-c1450, a period usually described as 'Medieval'. It outlines the political and economic structures of the period, and examines the medieval 'world view' by discussing attitudes to life, death and the afterlife. Its first theme, expansion, charts the growth of Europe as a major world power and includes topics such as the crusades against the Muslims and pagans, political and economic growth, and intellectual development in the foundation of the universities. Its second theme, crisis, focuses on the devastating impact of plague, famine and warfare, and the increasing persecution of heretics, lepers, homosexuals, and Jews.
The Crusades and the Making of Latin Christendom, 1050-1300
The purpose of this module will be to examine the crusades by setting them in the context of the rapid expansion of Latin Christendom in the Middle Ages. The module will consider the crusades from the perspective of the Latin Christian society that created and sustained them, focussing on the major campaigns carried out to the Holy Land as well as the crusading expeditions to theatres including Byzantium, the Mediterranean, and within Western Europe. In so doing, it considers the impact of crusading activity at the 'periphery' or Europe - places including the Holy Land, Spain and Scandinavia - as well as at its 'core' - areas including France, Germany and the British Isles. The course will examine how the crusades influenced the military and cultural expansion of Latin Christendom in this era, as well as the impact of the crusading movement on ideas, institutions and developments within the heartlands of Europe.
The Cathars and the Albigensian Crusades
This module examines the history of the Cathar heresy in the 12th and 13th centuries and the so-called Albigensian Crusades that were launched to suppress them between 1209 and 1229. It will consider the appeal of Catharism to its supporters; the reasons for the brutal treatment of the Cathars by the Catholic Church and Northern French aristocracy; and the legacy for European civilisation of this medieval heresy and the military campaigns against it.
The Reign of King John 1199-1216: Misrule and Magna Carta (I)
The reign of King John (1199-1216) was a critical period in medieval western European history, notably on account of the collapse of the Angevin `empire¿ in France (1202-5); the Papal Interdict (1207-13); a radical shift in English relations with Wales, Ireland, and Scotland; and the Magna Carta crisis (1214-17). This module is the first part of a two-part Special Subject concerning John¿s reign (with HIH3230), and introduces students to the main historical debates and primary sources for the reign.
The Reign of King John 1199-1216: Misrule and Magna Carta (II)
The reign of King John (1199-1216) was a critical period in medieval western European history, notably on account of the collapse of the Angevin `empire¿ in France (1202-5); the Papal Interdict (1207-13); a radical shift in English relations with Wales, Ireland, and Scotland; and the Magna Carta crisis (1214-17). This module is the second part of a two-part Special Subject concerning John¿s reign (with HIH3229). It comprises a detailed examination of the primary sources for this period, and places the developments of John¿s reign in their broader context, exploring such themes as political society, government, justice and law, and concepts of identity.
The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.
Kings, Queens and Emperors: the cultures of Medieval Monarchy, c.800-c.1500
Monarchs dominated the history of Medieval Europe. How and why was this so? This thematic module explores the institution of monarchy and its development in the West between the ninth and fifteenth centuries. It considers kingship in its wider historical context, and examines classical and biblical influences from before our period. The module chiefly investigates the roles played by kings, queens and emperors in Medieval Europe, and examines the ways in which different royal dynasties created images of monarchy. Students will learn to place the changes seen in medieval monarchy in the context of wider trends of development in European history in this period. The module also introduces students to the primary sources which relate to the institution of medieval monarchy in this period, and assesses the modern historiography devoted to the subject.
Reading Medieval Manuscripts
Medieval manuscript sources are crucial to our understanding of the Middle Ages. Research across the disciplines of medieval studies is grounded in the study and use of medieval books and documentary sources. This module aims to give students the skills, knowledge and confidence to engage with original manuscript sources of various types, from early Anglo-Saxon Gospel books to medieval chronicles, from illustrated books of hours to critical legal documents. Students will engage with these sources via digital and printed images and full-scale printed facsimiles, learning to recognise and transcribe medieval hands from all periods. Students will be given the chance to read original manuscripts during visits to the West Glamorgan Archive Service (Swansea) and the National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth). This module assumes no prior knowledge of medieval manuscripts, nor any prior knowledge of the medieval languages featured in the manuscript samples, including Latin, Old English and Middle English.
Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches
This module introduces students to recent and current trends in medieval studies, to the research skills required for MA-level research, and to the medieval heritage of South Wales and the surrounding region. Seminars will consider the nature of medieval sources and texts, and a selection of themes that have made a significant impact upon medieval studies in recent years.
Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 2: Themes and Sources
This module aims to apply the skills and approaches learned in the module HIMM01: Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches to a range of important themes in Medieval Studies, including gender, identity, laws and customs, spirituality, heritage. The module is interdisciplinary and draws on historical, literary and visual sources. The content of the module will be arranged in 2-weekly blocks, with the first week in each block dedicated to introducing students to the specific theme and the second week being used as a practical application of this knowledge to a source or text.
Directed Reading in Medieval Studies
Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and either historiography or literary criticism, relating to a topic in Medieval Studies which they choose from a wide range of options.