HS1MCP-Medieval Castles and Palaces

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:4
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Lindy Grant

Email: l.m.grant@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is optional for SINGLE HONOURS STUDENTS ONLY.

Aims:
This course aims to introduce students to the history of castles and palaces in the Middle Ages, exploring the history of a type of building which is often taken as emblematic of the militaristic society of the middle ages, and exploring their use as high status residences in both peace and war. It is interdisciplinary in approach, introducing students to architectural history and archaeology, as well as military, political, social and cultural history.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
• identify the sources of the topic in question
• trace its historical development
• be aware of differing historiographical interpretations of the pattern and causes of this development
• understand how ideas and events are shaped by their historical contexts
• organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays
• demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims:
• to encourage students to think independently
• to help students develop good oral and written communication skills
• to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations
• to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources.

Outline content:
This module will explore the development of high status residences between c. 800 and c. 1400. In the turbulent Middle Ages, most high status residences were fortified, and this is the period when fortified residences become castles, often seen as one of the defining building types of the Middle Ages. But how easy is it to define a castle? What is the difference between a castle and a palace? How far did castle design respond to military imperatives? How far can the castle been seen as a status symbol rather than a piece of advanced military engineering? How far was western castle and palace design influenced by the fortifications and palaces of the Islamic world? And what was it like to live in them? We will explore these issues looking at, among others, William the Conqueror’s Tower of London, Henry II’s great castles at Scarborough, Orford and Dover, Richard the Lionheart’s great castle of Chateau Gaillard in Normandy, the original Louvre and the castles of Angers and Coucy in France, Westminster and Clarendon Palaces, and the Welsh castles of Edward I.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching is by eight two-hour seminars over one term. Students are reminded to email their tutors for help and advice whenever needed and to note office hours.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 74
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Written exam 50%:
one 1-hour unseen paper requiring 1 answer

Written assignment, including essay 50%:
1 essay of c. 2000 words, to be submitted once via Blackboard on Turnitin by latest 12 noon on the Monday of 11th week of each term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:



The Module Convenor 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:
    1 hour

    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: 22 September 2016

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