Module Catalogue 2020/21

HIS3204 : The English Revolution, 1640-1660 (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rachel Hammersley
  • 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



The English Revolution (1640-1660) is one of the most important events in British history. The period between 1640 and 1660 witnessed a bitter civil war which set the two components of the government (King and Parliament) against each other; the first public execution of an English king in history; and the first and only English republic. This period has also generated a huge amount of historical debate. This module will focus on the period 1640-1660 and, in spite of the title, will examine events not only in England, but also in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. There will also be some attempt to set the English Revolution in a European context and to view it within the broader framework of British history. Since this is a Special Subject, the focus throughout will be on examining primary documents and texts and using them to reconstruct and interpret this period in British history.

The aims of this module are:
•To enable students to study the period of the English Revolution (1640-1660) in depth and to engage with both primary sources from the period and the major historiographical debates concerning it.
•To give students the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of this short period of English history.
•To introduce students to historical research and to guide them in the analysis of primary documents and texts.
•Thereby to enable students to develop their own interpretation of the period.
•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 provide an opportunity to acquire a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature associated with it and to develop the capacity for independent study.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is a guide only. Actual subjects may differ from those listed.
Seminar 1 – Background and Causes
Seminar 2 – The Descent into Civil War
Seminar 3 – The New Model Army and the Civil Wars
Seminar 4 – Regicide and Republic
Seminar 5 – Oliver Cromwell and the Protectorate
Seminar 6 – Restoration
Seminar 7 – Religion and Revolution
Seminar 8 – Radicalism and Revolution
Seminar 9 – The Political Thought of the English Revolution
Seminar 10 - English Republicanism
Seminar 11 - Revision session

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

- In-depth knowledge of the period 1640-1660 in English and British history.
- Knowledge of different aspects of this period (political, religious, intellectual etc.) and an understanding of the interrelationship between them.
- Detailed knowledge of, and ability to engage with, the key historiographical debates concerning this period.
- Sense of the significance of this period in British history.
- Ability to engage with and analyse primary source material relating to the period.

Intended Skill Outcomes

•       Students are expected to improve their ability to read quickly and with an eye for the distinction between the particular and the general (in taking notes on the material they read to prepare themselves for seminars and the examination).
•       To argue clearly and succinctly both on paper (in their essay and examination) and orally (in their contributions to seminars)
•       To manage their time (in order to prepare for the seminars and the examination.)
•       Students will thus develop their capacity for independent study and critical judgement and the ability to respond promptly, cogently and clearly to new and unexpected question arising from this study.
•       They will also develop associated skills in research, critical reading and reasoning, sustained discussion and appropriate presentation of the results.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching113:0033:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery13:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminars encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral communication, problem solving skills and adaptability.
Surgery time provides the opportunity for students to have individual discussions with the module leader regarding their assessment for the module. This means that individual problems can be picked up on and dealt with.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1801A75N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M25Essay/doc.commentary of 1,500 to 2,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) due mid semester
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Exams test 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.

Documentary commentary exercises and examinations test knowledge and understanding of the texts set for the module. The ability to compare and contrast related source texts on a common subject. The ability to expound and criticize a textual extract lucidly, succinctly and with relevance in a relatively brief space, and, in an exam, under pressure of time.

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. Submitted work tests knowledge outcomes and develops skills in research, reading and writing'.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.
All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange 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 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.