Module Catalogue 2024/25

HCA1003 : Global Middle Ages

HCA1003 : Global Middle Ages

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Philip Garrett
  • Lecturer: Dr Sophie Moore, Professor Sam Turner, Ms Anne Redgate, Dr Darakhshan Khan, Dr Nicola Clarke, Dr Chloe Duckworth
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



•This module aims to introduce students to the histories and cultures of several different world regions within the period c. 500 to c. 1500 AD, to some of their interconnections, and to the questions of ‘the Middle Ages’ as a concept and of whether ‘the Middle Ages’ was a global phenomenon. This introduction aims to enable students to identify and reflect on resemblances and contrasts between the different regions, the extent of their influence upon each other, and whether they underwent similar historical developments. Chronology, Comparison, and Connections are the major concerns. Students should acquire: knowledge and understanding of chronology – periodisation, and issues of continuity and change – and connections; and the confidence to engage in comparative history.

•An overall aim is that students broaden their knowledge and understanding of the past by studying regions and topics that are probably unfamiliar to them, as well as ones that have been traditional content in curricula. This is in line with the School’s aim of supplementing traditional focuses with diversity and inclusive ways of thinking about the past. Students should be able to see familiar things and places in a new light, and to see unfamiliar places and things as more central than they had previously understood.

•The module is shaped by research-led teaching, by specialists from the disciplines of Archaeology and of History in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology. An overall aim is to introduce students not only to new ideas and the approaches of different disciplines, but also to different sorts of evidence

•A general overall aim of the module is to provide students with an opportunity to acquire a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and critically in the literature that is set by the lecturers.

•Another general aim is to develop students’ capacity for independent study.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will typically be delivered following this kind of syllabus:

Themes and Topics
•Week 1 - The concept of ‘the Middle Ages’ and its different dates in different regions
•Weeks 2-6 - The political, economic, religious, cultural, and social circumstances, trends and developments in the histories of several world regions within the period/particular centuries within the period c. 500 -c. 1500.
•Week 7 - The global phenomenon of sacred landscapes
•Week 8 - Localities that have global as well as local significance
•Week 9 - Networks and connections of various kinds (e.g. disease networks, trade networks, intellectual networks)
•Week 10 - the year 1000, turning points and globalisation
•Week 11 - ‘the Global Middle Ages’, reviewing the concept and the actuality

World regions
Different geographical regions will be included in the module in varying proportions, four different regions being featured in most weeks. These regions will include most, or all of the following, listed in alphabetical order, but will not necessarily be limited to them:
•The Arab/Islamic world
•The world of the Mongols

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Knowledge of the syllabus, as outlined above:
significant general knowledge of the chronology and circumstances of four or more different world regions in the period/particular centuries within the period c. 500 - c. 1500, with regard to their political, economic, religious, cultural, and social histories; networks, commonalties, and connections within and between the regions; globalisation; problems of periodisation and concepts of ‘the Middle Ages’.

Intended Skill Outcomes

•Students should have practiced listening skills and note-taking, essay planning, evaluation of historiographical material, and analysis.
•Students should have gained some experience of debating questions, pooling knowledge and explaining conclusions, and of team work (in the summative assessment and in seminars generally).
•Students should have developed their ability: to read quickly and with an eye for the distinction between the particular and the general (in taking notes on the material that is read in preparation for seminars and the examination); to argue clearly and succinctly both on paper (in the examination) and orally (in students’ contributions to the seminars); and to manage their time (in order to prepare for the seminars and the assessments).
•Students should have developed associated skills in research, in critical reading and reasoning, in sustained discussion and appropriate presentation of the results. Students will thus develop their:
capacity for independent study; and critical judgement; and ability to respond promptly, cogently and clearly to new and unexpected questions arising from this study.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Part of student contact hours
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading651:0065:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities361:0036:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and non-synchronous Lecture Materials will be provided by experts and will introduce topics and core knowledge and outline knowledge that students are expected to acquire and to think about. In almost every week, the combination of the in-person lecture and the lecture materials will introduce students to the week’s topic in four different world regions. Lecture materials can be viewed at any point in the week, though they should be viewed before that week’s seminar, and can be viewed at any time subsequently.

Seminars are intended to consolidate students’ learning and enhance their understanding, by (1) providing an opportunity to review the week’s lecture and lecture materials and its set reading materials, and to discuss any questions that students have about them, but more importantly (2) providing an opportunity for creative work, in group discussion and debate that engages in comparative history, comparing the different societies/regions that the lecturers have introduced and that the students have read about.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14402A100One 24-hour take-home examination. Students to be expected to work for 2.5hrs on the exam during this period.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2M(Small) group presentation within a timetabled seminar. Five minutes. (If written out, maximum of 500 words, but no written work is to be given in.)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Formative assessment provides an opportunity to monitor student progress, and to advise students appropriately.

The Group (four/five students) Presentation will require students to engage in team work which will include discussing and deciding on an answer to the question set, and how to present it. It will test their oral communication skills. The team’s question will be its choice from questions relating to seminar questions set before the summative, so the formative assessment will test student engagement with the lectures, lecture materials, reading and seminars without requiring further studying. Students will be allocated to groups by the Module Leader, and advice and further details will be available to them well in advance.

Summative assessment by examination.

There will be a choice of questions, whose range will cover the module though individual questions will require some specialisation. This will test students’ breadth of approach and engagement with the breadth of the module, as well as their recall, knowledge and understanding of particular topics, themes, and regions. It will test their ability to analyse a problem, to address new and unexpected questions about what they have studied, and to argue clearly and succinctly in writing.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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