Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module HIST58030: Early Western Saints' Lives

Department: History

HIST58030: Early Western Saints' Lives

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students to gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of this genre and a grasp of the ways in which historians can utilise saints' lives through intensive study of one or more specific examples. Through a programme of independent bibliographical research and reading focused on a particular theme of Life or group of Lives, to be selected according to the special interests of particular students and leading to a 5000 word essay to be defined on the basis of that reading.


  • Saints' Lives as texts: structure, contents, relationships with the hagiographical tradition
  • Genre and varieties of saints' lives
  • Saints' Lives in the context of contemporary religious beliefs, doctrines and practices
  • The political function of saints' Lives in context of European Christianisation
  • Saints' Lives as sources for social history: social status, gender relations etc.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
      Key Skills:

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

        Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

        Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
        Tutorials 9 Weekly 1 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:

        There is no seperate formative assessment, but at least one initial draft of the summative essay will be handed in for comment. The tutor will provide regular oral feedback on work in progress.

        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