Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module HIST58930: The Black Death

Department: History

HIST58930: The Black Death

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


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • An understanding of the impact of a major epidemic on medieval society.
  • An understanding of the evidence of mortality from plague.
  • Consideration of the reaction of government to the 1348 plague in England


  • The module will examine the impact of the plague epidemic of 1348 in England. It will cover the medical evidence for plague and plague mortality. The tools available for demographic analysis - bishops' registers, manorial court rolls etc. will be studied, as will the chronicle evidence, much of which is available in translation. The reaction of government will be studied, using records such as the 'Calendar of Close Rolls'. The module will not examine the long-term effects of plague in England, but students will look at the immediate effects on the economy, and on the war effort.

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

        • The teaching methods for the module will be informal, based on individual tutorial sessions

        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 seprate 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