HIS-10045 - The Early Modern World, 1490-1700
Coordinator: Ian Atherton Room: CBB0.046 Tel: +44 1782 7 33205
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module introduces first-year students from any discipline to the study of the most significant developments in early modern history from the late fifteenth century to the late seventeenth century (i.e. from about the 1490s, when Columbus first landed in the New World, to the end of the seventeenth century, when Isaac Newton was publishing his ideas about gravity). It covers political, economic, religious and social themes, and considers Europe within a global context. It aims to advance students' historical knowledge and understanding by enabling participants on the module to comprehend sympathetically a society and culture very different to today, because people's ideas and motivations were based on beliefs and knowledge that might seem quite alien to us in the twenty-first century.

Intended Learning Outcomes

recognise and explain the most significant political, economic, social and religious developments in European history of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, and to discuss sympathetically a society and culture distinct from their own: 1,2
assess critically different historical explanations: 1,2
develop and demonstrate general skills in time-management, reading effectively, note-taking from lectures and reading material, oral presentation and debate, essay writing and exam revision: 1,2
assess the balance between change and continuity in early modern European history, and to relate detailed evidence and case studies to more general issues: 1,2

Study hours

12 one-hour lectures; 12 one-hour whole-cohort workshops; 12 one-hour seminar classes; 38 hours seminar preparation; 38 hours essay preparation; 38 hours exam revision and completion.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 50%
An essay of c. 1,500 words
One essay from a list of at least eight and not more than ten titles, to be supplied by seminar tutors.

2: Seen Exam weighted 50%
Timed Online Assessment
A timed online assessment of one paper requiring students to answer one essay question (from a choice of five) and two document-based questions (from a choice of five). Students will have 28 hours to upload their answers from the time that the questions are released, though completion of the exam should take 2 hours. Approximate word length: 1,000 words