Course Description

Course Name

Scottish Wars of Independence, c.1286-1371

Session: VSRU3121

Hours & Credits

10 SCQF Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


By the late thirteenth century, Scotland was an increasingly consolidated kingdom with a stable
dynasty that had enforced hereditary succession, achieved a string of high profile marriages,
extended its boundaries of control, and existed in relative peace with its southern neighbours.
However, the death of Alexander III (the last adult king of the Canmore line) in 1286 shook the
foundations of the realm. It brought challenges to autonomy from within, as the succession crisis
forced open cracks between powerful ruling families, and from outside the realm, due to acquisitive
and aggressive southern neighbours now under the leadership of the infamous Edward I. The
subsequent period, from 1286 to c. 1371, was one of turmoil and confusion marked by violent wars
and feuding nobility, but was also one of self-realisation and the solidifying of an increasingly
potent national identity for the ruling classes and the people at large in Scotland. This module will
look at the crisis of kingship, the war and governance of the Guardians and William Wallace, the
kingship of John Balliol, the rise of Robert the Bruce, Bannockburn and consolidating the Bruce
dynasty, war of the three monarchs, and the legacy of a childless dynasty to assess this pivotal
historic era in Scottish history.
Excursion(s): This module will include a field trip to the iconic Bannockburn Battlefield (with an
opportunity to recreate the battle with the centre?s new interactive battle simulation technology).

*Course content subject to change