HS2P41-Period in Early Modern History: Population, Economy and Society in England, 1450-1750

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof Richard Hoyle

Email: r.w.hoyle@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
Periods involve the study of substantial chronological periods. They aim to acquaint students with the causes and consequences of continuity and change over the long term in the political, social, economic and cultural systems under study. Periods are distinguished as Medieval, Early Modern or Modern.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • identify and explain the main issues and events studied
  • appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject
  • think comparatively about aspects of British, European or American history over a substantial period
  • assess the nature of social, economic, political and cultural change
  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in different kinds of written exercise and orally
  • locate and assemble bibliographic and other information by independent research, using IT as appropriate

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources and databases.

Outline content:
This course offers an interpretation of English history which places changing levels of population centre stage. The number of people in the country doubled between the beginning of the sixteenth century and the middle of the next: it remained static for most of the next century. Moreover, population became much more urban in its geography. Each phase of the demographic cycle produced its own problems of under- or unemployment: moreover periods of low population growth produced an increase in the numbers of the elderly who needed to be supported. The course begins by looking at the dynamics of population change, weighing the relative contributions of marriage, disease, famine and migration and the evidence for the contribution of the Malthusian check. It then turns to consider the impact of population change on aspects of the economy, on agriculture, employment and poor relief, reviewing the ways in which contemporaries tried to cope with periods of labour shortage interspersed with periods of un- and under-employment. The course will also offer opportunities to look at the parallel and connected histories of Scotland, Ireland and the American Colonies. Finally it will ask broad questions about the relationship between population levels and economic development.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars, requiring preparatory reading and investigation, may include informal and interactive presentations by the module teacher; structured group discussion; short seminar papers by students; occasional tutorials; team-based simulation exercises and debates; examination of primary and secondary sources. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn or Spring Summer
Lectures    
Tutorials/seminars 30  
Practicals    
Other contact (eg study visits)    
     
Total hours 30  
     
Number of essays or assignments 1  
Other (eg major seminar paper) see above  

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 67
Written assignment including essay 33

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write ONE essay of 2,500 words, to be handed in by 12 noon on the Monday of week 8 of term, which should be submitted electronically via Blackboard and in hard copy to the History office.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 2 examinations

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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