HUMN 3115 Medieval Europe from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the Reformation

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102861

Coordinator Simon Burrows Opens in new window

Description This subject is an introductory survey of European history from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. It begins chronologically with the fall of the Roman Empire, and concludes with the Protestant Reformation. Students will be introduced to three core themes. The first is the gradual emergence of a distinction between church and state in the Christian west, the second is the feudal organization of medieval societies, and the third is the development of intellectual life, including the origin of universities, natural law, and the Renaissance. Students will develop their knowledge as well as their skills in interpreting a variety of primary sources, including Medieval epic, theology, Renaissance art, political tracts, and archival documents including the Domesday book.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline History

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

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Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled course

Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss the major events, persons and ideas of the Medieval and Early Modern west.
  2. Analyse major historical developments of the Medieval and Early Modern period and how they helped lay the foundations of the modern world. 
  3. Critically analyse a variety of primary and secondary sources, and articulate their significance to relevant historical problems.
  4. Communicate thoughtful arguments and evidence-based conclusions orally and in writing.

Subject Content

The topics covered include but are not limited to:

  1. The Fall of Rome
  2. The “Dark Ages”
  3. The Vikings
  4. The Carolingians and the Holy Roman Empire
  5. William the Conqueror and the Domesday book
  6. Thomas Aquinas and natural law
  7. Everyday life: the feudal system, plagues, war and famine
  8. Christianity meets Islam: the Crusades
  9. The origin of universities
  10. The Renaissance – art, literature, music
  11. The Renaissance – humanism 
  12. Interactions with the rest of the globe: trade and voyages of discovery
  13. Medieval women
  14. Crises of the late Medieval church
  15. The Protestant Reformation


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 2500 45 N Individual
Log/Workbook 2000 35 N Individual
Presentation 5 mins 20 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Simon Burrows Opens in new window

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