Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module HIST59830: Power and Ethnicity in Medieval Europe

Department: History

HIST59830: Power and Ethnicity in Medieval Europe

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


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students to evaluate the importance of conceptions of ethnicity and nationality in the political life and political culture of Medieval Europe and to gain a detailed understanding of the relationship between the imagining of ethnicity and the exercise of power.


  • The components of ethnicity and nationality in medieval thought, and medieval views on their relationship with power.
  • The varieties of medieval political organisation (strong and weak kingdoms, frontier societies, etc.) and the different courses of development of concepts of ethnicity within them.
  • The role of litereary models (e.g., the Old Testament, classical antiquity, barbarian traditions) in shaping medieval thoughts about ethnicity.
  • The size and composition of the social groups reached by conceptions of ethnicity, and the capacity of such ideas to act as a source of cohesion and mobilisation among different groups.
  • Changes in the character of ethnic and national thought, and in their relationship with political power, over the course of the Middle Ages.

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

        • Individual tutorials

        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