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Module Details

Aims and Objectives

This module is a 30 CAT Advanced Option, which with the addition of a 30 CAT Dissertation can account for half of your third-year work. It involves the intensive study of a tightly focused set of topics or problems using a large quantity of primary sources, and will enable you to acquire hands-on experience of the skills involved in working with primary sources.


The module offers students who have studied The European World 1500-1720 or an early modern option, an opportunity to explore in depth the popular movements and ideas thrown up by the first European revolution.

Teaching and Learning

The module will be taught through weekly seminars on the individual topics, some focused on the secondary literature, others on the primary sources. As a third-year student, you are expected to organise your learning more independently. The module does not include lectures, but the first seminar is designed to provide an introduction and context for those who have not previously studied early modern Britain in any depth. .


The module will be assessed by :a 1500 word essay (10%) in Term 1, a 3000 word source-related essay (40%) in Term 2, and a 3000 word essay (40%) in Term 3, with the remaining 10% based on seminar performance.. For details of assessment, and essay deadlines, please see:

Expected Learning Outcomes
  1. The further development of essay-writing and seminar participation skills.
  2. An understanding of how the critical analysis of sources contributes to historical debate, and a capacity to undertake such analysis.
  3. An opportunity, for those students that have elected to take the 30 CAT Dissertation option, to develop the skills needed to carry through a project of independent research. This will involve digesting existing historical knowledge, formulating research questions, locating material, handling significant quantities if information, and writing up research findings in a form similar to that employed in articles prepared for academic journals. This exercise provides invaluable preparation for students intending to proceed to postgraduate MA work, and fosters skills highly relevant to the future careers of most History students.
  4. A capacity to handle evidence of many different kinds, written in unfamiliar language, and the skills of empathy to engage with views of the world far removed from our own.