Course Description

Course Name

Reformation! Europe In The Age Of Religious War, 1517-1618

Session: VGSS3120

Hours & Credits

20 Scotcat Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level


Over the course of the sixteenth century the supremacy of the Catholic Church was shattered by the Protestant Reformation, and with it the religious unity of western culture. This course offers a survey of the European Reformation and the ways in which it irrevocably altered the social and religious fabric of Western Europe.
The aims common to all History Honours 20 credit courses are as follows:
1. To prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.
Students? research capacity will be enriched by their introduction to diverse source materials and their oral and written communication skills enhanced in ways designed to address employers? expectations for highly literate and highly articulate graduates who are fully cognisant of a range of research tools.
2. To show students how a professional historian works.
By supporting students in the production of their essay and seminar presentation, students will gain first hand experience of the scoping and shaping of research projects and the challenges faced by historians in the pursuit of advances in knowledge.
3. To familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide-range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).
The critical interpretation of key historiographical and theoretical debates relating to this subject will inform the close reading of sources. Provenance, perspective, context, intent and audience will be core considerations in students? interpretation of sources.
4. To ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised. The seminars aim to encourage student-led learning and the facilitation of rigorous and informed debate.
5. To encourage students to develop imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research or in any sphere or employment where these qualities are valuable.
Students will be encouraged to reflect on the range of generic research and communication skills they are developing over the course of this course in order to align their academic and professional aspirations and competencies and encourage reflective practice.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
? Demonstrate the ability to outline the major differences and similarities between the Catholic and Protestant faiths in sixteenth century Europe, and why these differences mattered in context
? Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate the impact and successes of the reform programmes advanced by Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, and the Tridentine Catholic Church
? Articulate how reform affected Western Europe at a national and international level, using a variety of case studies
? To have read sufficiently widely to demonstrate a knowledge of recent historiography on the Reformation in Western Europe
? To have developed a critical sensitivity to the limitation of the historical evidence available on this period
? To be able to write clearly argued essays about the subject, supported with accurate relevant evidence
? To have developed oral, organizational, and interpersonal skills by participating in group discussions on prescribed topics
Coursework - class essay (2,000 words) (20%)
Coursework - seminar presentation (6%) seminar contribution (4%)
Examination - 120 minutes duration (70%)

*Course content subject to change