Skip to main content


HIS2319 : Reformation and Revolution: Tudors to the Georgians

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Rachel Hammersley
  • Lecturer: Dr Katie East, Dr Adam Morton
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Early-Modern Britain is not central to the school history curriculum. If they are lucky Key Stage 1 pupils get a brief introduction to the Great Fire of London, while at Key Stage 2 the Tudors (generally Henry VIII and Elizabeth I) get a mention somewhere between the Normans and the World Wars. Yet this is one of the most exciting and fascinating periods in our nation's history. It has everything the budding historian might wish for: colourful characters, war, brutal executions, regime change and international exploration. It also laid the foundations for many of the institutions and ideas we take for granted today: parliamentary democracy; religious diversity and toleration; a world dominated by print; while also sowing the seeds of some less edifying aspects of our history such as the British Empire. As such, learning about the period from the Tudors to the Georgians is not just valuable in itself, but crucial to understanding the world we inhabit today.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus may include the following topics in lectures and non-synchronous materials:

Henry VII: England's Dullest King
Tudor Brexit? Henry VIII's Reformation
A Mid-Tudor Crisis? Edward VI & Mary I
Protestant England? Protestants, Puritans, and Catholics in Elizabethan England
Waiting for the Queen to Die: Succession, Republicanism and Power in the 1590s
James VI and I: A Tale of Two Kingdoms
Charles I: Conservative or Revolutionary?
By the Sword Divided: England's Civil War
Regicide and Republic
A New Regime? Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate
The End of the Revolution? The Restoration of 1660
Revolution Revivified: The Exclusion Crisis
A Glorious Revolution? 1688-9
A Revolution in Government: Britain in the 1690s
High Church Conflicts and Tory Power
The Rise of Natural Religion
A Return to the Crisis of Succession: The Hanoverians
The Age of Walpole

In addition the following topics may be covered in seminars or workshops:

The Tudor World View
Print Culture
Catholics and Protestants in Early Modern Britain
Political Thought 1: The Monarchy, Absolutism and Patriarcha
Political Thought 2: Resistance, Rights and Republicanism
London: An Early Modern Metropolis?
Popular Politics
Plague and its Consequences
Religious Conflicts.
Britain and the World: The Rise of a British Empire
Georgian Society
Sources and Methods in Early Modern History
Assessment Support and Feedback
Dissertations on Early Modern Britain

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:001 lecture p/w. Will be recorded & made available to students via Canvas & count as contact hours.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:00For two assessment components (split as needed).
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading331:0033:003 hours reading around the lecture topics per week based on material on the reading list.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:001 seminar per week.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities331:0033:003 hours per week of seminar preparation tasks.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops91:009:001 per week apart from the first and last weeks. Used for skills development and feedback.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study351:0035:00Independent study and general consolidation activities.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Introduction and conclusion to module (first/last weeks)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Recorded Lectures and non-synchronous materials:
- Impart core knowledge and an overview of key themes and historiographical views
- Stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills

- Preparation for seminars will involve private reading, reflection, and personal responsibility for learning
- The seminars will allow extended discussion of the topics covered in the lecture
- Seminars will also centre on close reading of primary sources
In the event that on-campus sessions need to be reduced, there is capacity to hold live seminar discussions online and retain timetabled slots.

- These will provide more informal opportunities to guide students in key skills such as source analysis.
- They will also allow the opportunity for one-on-one feedback for assignments, and guided preparation for on-going assignments
In the event that on-campus sessions need to be reduced, there is capacity to hold some or all of these sessions online and retain timetabled slots.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M301000 words.
Essay1A702,500 words.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MEssay Plan - 500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exercises will test the ability to formulate, develop and support an argument, and also source analysis and independent research skills.

Summative Assessment
Written Exercise 1 - will give the students an opportunity to engage with the primary material and to gain feedback on their analysis and writing skills before the final assessment.

Essay 1 - allows the students to demonstrate their analysis and writing skills and to develop a sustained argument, showcasing the work they have done on the module.

Formative Assessment
Essay Plan - by submitting a formative essay plan, students will gain feedback on their approach they are taking and the structure of their essay before submitting the final version.

All of the assessments for this module will be submitted and marked online.

Reading Lists