Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: History


Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with an understanding of the development of the city and of civic life in England between the 13th and 15th centuries


  • The module explores the public life of the city in England between the 13th and 15th centuries.
  • Drawing upon the civic records of major medieval English cities, the module offers students the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics: the nature of public authority and the development of civic government; the purpose and policing of civic legislation; the notion of citizenship and the meaning of civic virtue; the creation of civic myths and history; the function of the market-place as a site of commercial exchange; the role and importance of civic ritual and ceremonial; the performance of civic drama and the idea of the city as a stage; the regulation of public health and sanitation; the concept of town planning; and the construction and reconstruction of urban housing.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Detailed knowledge of important aspects of the history of the city in late medieval England.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Capacity to evaluate critically a wide range of texts and other source materials.
  • Engagement on a high level of sophistication with historiographical concepts and interpretations relating to the late medieval city.
Key Skills:
  • self-discipline, self-direction, initiative and the capacity for extended independent work on complex subjects.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Appropriate specialised areas for focus are identified in dialogue between the module leader and individual students in weekly tutorials. These are also the means by which the module leader directs and monitors the on-going, directed reading of each student. In addition, they provide the framework within which each student plans, researches and writes, under the module leader’s supervision, an extended essay, making use both of original sources and of the fruits of modern scholarship.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 9 Weekly One Hour 9
Preparation and Reading 291
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

<enter text as appropriate for the module>

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University