Module Catalogue 2019/20

HIS2072 : Anglo-Saxon England: From Roman Britain to the Norman Conquest, 410 - 1066

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Anne Redgate
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module considers historical trends and developments 410-1066, particularly in relation to the creation of ‘England’, the formation of an ‘English’ ‘identity’ and England’s place in Europe. Students will acquire: knowledge of different types of evidence (textual evidence of different types - Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, vernacular poetry, charters, law codes - archaeology and art-history) and different interpretations; experience of critical assessment of evidence and interpretations and of analysis of historical problems; an introduction to various categories of history (cultural, economic, political, religious and social) and their interrelationship) and particular developments in the period (e.g. the role of women, towns) and of particular milestones and problems.

This module aims:
• To attain an appreciation of historical trends and developments 410-1066
• Particularly in relation to the creation of ‘England’, to the formation of an ‘English’ ‘identity’ and to England’s place in Europe
• To acquire : a knowledge of the different types of evidence available and of different interpretations; some experience of critical assessment of evidence and of interpretations and of analysis of historical problems;
• To acquire an introduction to various categories of history (cultural, economic, political, religious and social) and their interrelationship).
• To provide an opportunity of investigating in some depth selected problems, including the appraisal of selected source material and the critical examination of current historiography.
• To develop the capacity for independent study.

Outline Of Syllabus

The historical importance of Bede and of King Alfred, especially regarding the formation of a united England, English identity and culture; twentieth-century approaches to Anglo-Saxon history; the contribution of other disciplines and of the interdisciplinary approach.
Milestones, controversies and problems in Anglo-Saxon history: the recommended reading covers all the above and the following in outline, and a selection will be made for coverage /discussion in lectures and seminars: the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons and British resistance; the Sutton Hoo ship-burial and cemetery; the conversion to Christianity; seventh-century Northumbria; the Mercian overlordship; Bede; the poem Beowulf; Viking invasion and settlement; Alfred’s victories, promotion of learning and of Christianity; the flowering of culture and monasticism in the tenth century; Aethelstan, 'the English Charlemagne'; tenth- and eleventh-century Scandinavian attacks; the late Old English state; towns, trade; women.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

• The workings and ethos of the society and kingdoms which arose out of the wreck of Roman Britain
• The progression from division to unity and to ‘national’ feeling
• Awareness of textual evidence of different types; Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, vernacular poetry, charters, law codes and of archaeological and art-historical evidence
• Awareness of particular developments in the period (e.g. the role of women, towns) and of particular milestones and problems

Intended Skill Outcomes

• Practice of listening skills, note-taking and summary writing, oral communication, essay planning, evaluation, analysis
• Experience of debating questions, pooling knowledge and explaining conclusions
• Experience of independent study
• Development of associated skills in research, in critical reading and reasoning, in sustained discussion and appropriate presentation of the results

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:0020% of guided independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures: impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills.
Seminars encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral communication, problem-solving skills and adaptability.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1351A75N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M252,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress.

The exam tests acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided, and to write clearly and concisely.

The form of the resit is no different from the above, i.e. no marks are carried over from the sit to the resit. Students are not allowed to submit for the resit any work that they have previously submitted.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree unless they have compelling reasons not to do so. If this is the case, they are offered the alternative of writing one 3,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all assessment work required of other students on the module. In order to take up this option, students need to discuss it with the Study Abroad Co-ordinator and their module leader, having checked with their home university that the new assessment will be accepted by them. The Study Abroad Co-ordinator will have the final say on such issues.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will require the provision of an alternative assessment before the end of teaching week 12. The alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 1,500 word essays in addition to the other coursework assessment. The essays should be set so as to assure full coverage of the course content.

Study-abroad, exchange proper and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.