History, Archaeology and Religious Studies

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

Learn more about the modules study abroad students can take at the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

Module codeHS1001
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits10

The module provides an introduction to the history of Europe during the Middle Ages. Europe between the years 1050 and 1320 was a dynamic region experiencing rapid  social, economic and cultural change. This period saw the rise of castles and knights, of towns and trade routes, of faith and heresy, new learning and crusades. Old certainties were being challenged and new vistas of knowledge and geographical expansion opened. Modern states and governments began to form, and the old empires crumbled. This module draws on original records and commentaries, written and visual evidence, to examine this transformation of Europe from a continent emerging from the Dark Ages to the dawn of the Renaissance.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeHS1002
LevelL4
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeHS1004
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits10

This module is designed as an introduction to the history of Wales from c.1750 onwards, a period replete with profound transformations. Intense industrialisation during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, based on the coal, iron and steel and slate industries and primarily located in South Wales, together with large-scale in-migration and urbanisation, fundamentally reordered Welsh society and economy. At the same time, Welsh identity was further reshaped by religious and cultural developments whilst Wales acquired a reputation for political radicalism which is still nurtured today. During the twentieth century social, economic, cultural and linguistic changes have undermined familiar symbols of Welshness whilst momentous new governmental configurations have been inaugurated following the 1997 devolution referendum and the creation of the Welsh Assembly. All these developments have ensured that the Wales’s modern experience has been a complex one, and has given rise to divergent, contested, even controversial interpretations of Welsh identity. As well as in academic works and literature, this ‘history’ is now also available for consumption as part of the `heritage industry' and in television documentaries.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeHS1005
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits10

This module is intended to provide you with an introduction to the modern and contemporary periods of world history.  By adopting a European and global perspective, the module aims to provide you with a broad knowledge and understanding of the main political, economic, social and cultural factors that have shaped the modern world.  Individual themes – the impact of industrialism, the nature and impact of nationalism, imperialism and decolonization, women and gender, culture and representation, war and peace – are explored in the context of several countries or regions of the world.  This comparative approach will not only deepen your understanding of the making of the modern world, and how historians have written about modern world history, but also highlight the interconnected nature of the development of societies and peoples in different locations.  The geographical range – a distinctive feature of this module – encompasses many countries of Western Europe as well as Asia and Africa.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeHS1006
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits10

This module serves as an introduction to early modern English and Welsh history. As Wales and England were united as a political unit at this time, a comparative perspective is essential to a study of the nature and scope of the Tudor and Stuart state and the lives of the people – both rich and poor – who lived within it. This comparative approach will deepen your understanding of why things happened the way they did, and will allow you to explore the differences and similarities between different social and cultural groups within both Wales and England as well as between national groups.  Larger themes run through these topics and will be considered throughout the course: the extent to which the early modern period experienced a transition from ‘tradition’ towards ‘modernity’; the extent to which a process of social and cultural polarisation occurred, separating the better-off from their poorer neighbours; and the nature of political, cultural, linguistic, and ethnic relationships within the British Isles.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeHS1008
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits10

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeHS1010
LevelL4
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits10

Assessment

    Module codeHS1101
    LevelL4
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    The module provides an introduction to the history of Europe during the Middle Ages. Europe between the years 1050 and 1320 was a dynamic region experiencing rapid  social, economic and cultural change. This period saw the rise of castles and knights, of towns and trade routes, of faith and heresy, new learning and crusades. Old certainties were being challenged and new vistas of knowledge and geographical expansion opened. Modern states and governments began to form, and the old empires crumbled. This module draws on original records and commentaries, written and visual evidence, to examine this transformation of Europe from a continent emerging from the Dark Ages to the dawn of the Renaissance.

    Assessment

    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeHS1104
    LevelL4
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module is designed as an introduction to the history of Wales from c.1750 onwards, a period replete with profound transformations. Intense industrialisation during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, based on the coal, iron and steel and slate industries and primarily located in South Wales, together with large-scale in-migration and urbanisation, fundamentally reordered Welsh society and economy. At the same time, Welsh identity was further reshaped by religious and cultural developments whilst Wales acquired a reputation for political radicalism which is still nurtured today. During the twentieth century social, economic, cultural and linguistic changes have undermined familiar symbols of Welshness whilst momentous new governmental configurations have been inaugurated following the 1997 devolution referendum and the creation of the Welsh Assembly. All these developments have ensured that the Wales’s modern experience has been a complex one, and has given rise to divergent, contested, even controversial interpretations of Welsh identity. As well as in academic works and literature, this ‘history’ is now also available for consumption as part of the `heritage industry' and in television documentaries.

    Assessment

    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeHS1105
    LevelL4
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module is designed to provide an introduction to some of the key themes in modern and contemporary world history, covering the period approximately 1750-1945. The geographic focus will be Europe and the Americas, but the thematic structure of the module will provide understanding of the main political, social, economic and cultural factors that have shaped the modern world more broadly. The module will prepare students, conceptually and methodologically, for more in-depth study of various aspects of modern (and not just modern) history in the subsequent years of their degrees. Students will engage with questions of period, such as ‘What made the modern world distinctly modern?’, and they will engage with complex but fascinating questions about how ideas and technologies migrate across borders in an increasingly interconnected, transnational world. However, does the ‘modern’ era of history mean that the world as a whole is uniformly ‘modern’?

    Lectures and seminars will adhere to a coherent thematic structure, but some will have more specific geographic focus. The study of modern history is one of major developments and revolutions in ideas, politics, social relations, cultural forms and technology. It is a story of dramatic leaps in human progress, but it is also a story with some of the most horrifying chapters of human history. Engagement with the complexities, contradictions, and contingencies that have shaped the modern world, as well as with the major challenges and alternatives to the dominant ways in which we live, will challenge students to think deeply and with historical awareness about the world around them.

    Assessment

    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeHS1106
    LevelL4
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module is an introduction to the history of early modern England and Wales. As it was in this period that the two countries were united as a political unit, the module offers a comparative perspective not only on the nature and scope of the early modern state but also on the lives and beliefs of the people – both rich and poor – who lived within it. We do not focus on any particular strand of historical writing but rather draw on a range of social, cultural, economic and political history. This approach allows you to deepen your understanding of why things happened the way they did and to explore the differences and similarities between the experiences of various social and cultural groups. Topics covered include the family, class relations, life in the countryside and in towns, local and national identities, oral and print culture, legends and prophecies, order and disorder, popular politics in the form of  news and riots, as well as seminal events and processes such as the Acts of Union, the Reformation and the British civil wars. Certain themes run through these topics and will be considered throughout the course: the extent to which the early modern period experienced a transition from ‘tradition’ towards ‘modernity’; the extent to which a process of social and cultural polarisation occurred in which the better-off became separated from their poorer neighbours; and the nature of political, cultural, linguistic, and ethnic relationships within the British Isles.

    Assessment

    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeHS1108
    LevelL4
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module provides an introduction to the modern and contemporary histories of Asia including India, China and Japan. Western representations of Asia are filled with exotic images of Shangri La, Geisha, Samurai and snake charmers, yet in the present day, the twenty-first century is often described as the ‘Asian century’. This module attempts to familiarize students with major themes in the history of a diverse, yet interconnected continent.  Mainly focusing on the last two and half centuries (ca.1757-ca.2000), we will trace the historical processes of imperialism, colonialism, and nationalism and the attendant process of globalization in India, China and Japan. Asia and the West, have deep connections going back in historical time. We will examine the transformations Asian peoples underwent as a result of their interaction with Western colonialism, and the different strategies of resistance adopted by them to overcome and/or adapt to the changes they confronted.  Asian interaction with the West created three very different forms of political, economic and ideological systems in the three Asian societies under scrutiny. The module seeks to analyse the historical processes that led to the emergence of a popular communist leadership in China, an elite liberal-democratic leadership in India and an oligarchy devoted to the market economy in Japan. Exploring the similarities and differences in the experience of Japan, China and India, this course compels students to reflect on the factors that link Asian societies and histories together, and those that make them distinct. The class will follow a lecture-seminar discussion format.  To gain diverse perspectives, various types of readings are utilised such as primary sources in English and in translation, alongside fictional works and scholarly interpretations of Asian societies. Where possible, visual aids such as films, trips to museums and guest lectures are integrated in order to explore and deepen students’ understanding of Asian history and culture. No prior knowledge of Asia is required.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1201
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    From 1000 onwards religious dissent became more prominent in Europe. Some religious movements were seen as such a threat to social stability that the authorities went to great lengths to crush them, resorting to crusades, inquisitions and burning those who refused to recant their beliefs. This module will seek to contextualise these movements within the society from which they came and to examine the impact they made on that society. It will also examine who became involved in such movements and explore reasons for their involvement. Why were so many women attracted to heresy? Why did religious dissent become such a problem for the ecclesiastical and lay authorities and why were those authorities unable to counter that problem effectively? The module will focus on certain large-scale movements such as the Cathars of S. France and the Albigensian Crusade which set out to crush them.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1202
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    During the period 1200–1450 religious dissent was prominent in Europe. Some religious movements were seen as such a threat to social stability that the authorities went to great lengths to crush them, resorting to crusades, inquisitions and burning those who refused to recant their beliefs. This course will seek to contextualise these movements within the society from which they came and to examine the impact that they made on that society. It will also examine who became involved in such movements and explore reasons for their involvement. Why were so many women attracted to heresy? Why did religious dissent become such a problem for the ecclesiastical and lay authorities and why were those authorities unable to counter that problem effectively? The course will focus on certain large-scale movements such as the Rhineland mystics; the Lollards of England; the Hussites of Bohemia and the disastrously unsuccessful crusades launched against them. It concludes by looking forward to the Reformation and asks how far the European heresies before 1450 contributed to the religious and philosophical revolution of the sixteenth century.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1203
    LevelL5
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    Today’s China is widely perceived as an economic powerhouse and a crucial player in Asia and the international arena. However, China’s path to both economic and political prominence has been long and tortuous. The history of modern China provides an exciting and challenging platform for discussing key themes in modern history such as empire and imperialism, nationalism, revolution and state building. This module will discuss the pivotal events in Chinese modern history by laying emphasis on China’s quest for modernity, the interaction/confrontation with the outside world and the centrality of ideology. The module will explore topics such as the transition from imperial to Republican China, the impact of western imperialism on Chinese state and society, the ideological roots and the implementation of the Communist revolution, the impact and consequences of the War against Japan, and the Civil War.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1204
    LevelL5
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20
    Today’s China is widely perceived as an economic powerhouse and a crucial player in Asia and the international arena. However, China’s path to both economic and political prominence has been long and tortuous. This module will discuss the pivotal events in Chinese modern history by laying emphasis on China’s quest for modernity, the centrality of ideology, and China’s economic development. This module will focus on post-1949 by discussing the Chinese Communist Party’s vision for new China in the 1950s, the unfolding of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping’s reform era, and China in the last decade.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1213
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module explores the nature of the disorienting social, economic and political changes which affected Welsh society between 1939 and 2000. It examines the impact of the sexual revolution, the Americanization of popular culture, the rebirth of political nationalism and the foundation of the welfare state against the backdrop of a rapidly-changing economy. Through photographs, films, oral testimonies, literature and newspapers, the module questions the historical reality behind popular perceptions of a period that continues to be fiercely debated. Was Welsh society swinging in the sixties? What was the impact of post-war immigration? Did women gain equality? Were ‘family values’ undermined? This module will address such questions through key themes including identity, class and gender, and will place the experience of Wales within a broader British and international context

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1214
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20
    This module explores the nature of the disorienting social, economic and political changes which affected Welsh society between 1939 and 2000. It examines the impact of the sexual revolution, the Americanization of popular culture, the rebirth of political nationalism and the foundation of the welfare state against the backdrop of a rapidly-changing economy. Through photographs, films, oral testimonies, literature and newspapers, the module questions the historical reality behind popular perceptions of a period that continues to be fiercely debated. Was Welsh society swinging in the sixties? What was the impact of post-war immigration? Did women gain equality? Were ‘family values’ undermined? This module will address such questions through key themes including identity, class and gender, and will place the experience of Wales within a broader British and international context.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1217
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    In the mid-seventeenth century England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were engulfed in a destructive and transformative civil war. This module examines this remarkable period in an innovative fashion by considering the British dimension of the conflict. This charts how developments in Scotland and Ireland as well as England and Wales are crucial to understanding the origins and progress of conflict. The course thus considers episodes such as the nature and impact of the Scottish Covenanters who rose against their king in 1638, as well as events such as the bloody Irish Rebellion of 1641 which speeded England’s descent into Civil War. It also explores recent interpretations of the conflict as an ‘ethnic’ war by examining attitudes towards cultures such as the Welsh and Cornish, and examines the aggressive Englishness of a figure like Oliver Cromwell. In addition to this multi-kingdom perspective, the module also pays particular attention to the cultural and social impact of war in England and Wales. It explores the newly-expanded world of print and propaganda in this ‘first age of journalism’, drawing on the explosion of news and propaganda which competed for readership in a much-expanded public sphere. It examines the impact of war on the literary culture of the period through authors like John Milton and Robert Herrick. It considers the radical political groups like the Levellers and Diggers who argued that a more democratic society should rise from the ruins of Charles I’s kingdoms. It also charts the effect of war on questions of gender and the role of women, as fiery female preachers and prophetesses gained space for new expression in the turmoil of war. The module deals with one of the most exciting and absorbing periods of British History when the fault lines between kingdoms and communities released forces which ultimately saw the king executed and a pan-British Republic established by the force of Cromwell’s New Model Army.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1219
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module will examine the history of popular movements in Britain in the period of the industrial revolution and its aftermath. It will begin with an examination of the process and nature of industrialisation. Questions will be raised about the social effects of industrialisation, including its impact upon living standards, gender relations, the labour process and class structure. Having established the socio-economic context, the module will then examine the various popular movements and ideologies that developed during the period, including the Corresponding Societies of the 1790s, subsequent movements for political reform, industrial movements such as Luddism and trade unionism, Owenism and early socialism and Chartism. A range of questions will be explored: How revolutionary were such movements, and why did Britain escape the revolutionary convulsions that affected other European countries? What were the main ideological characteristics of these movements? Is it possible to perceive ideological continuities through the period? To what extent were such movements ‘national’ and how did various parts of the British Isles relate to one another through them?

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1223
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    The twentieth century was a turbulent period in French history. The French experienced victory and defeat in war, foreign occupation, change in political regime, civil unrest and near revolution in 1936, 1945 and 1968, the demise of their empire and integration into the European Union. The course provides a broad introduction to the major political, social and cultural turning points in the period and examines some of the major themes that shape the period as a whole (such as immigration, the birth-rate, class conflict and economic modernisation).

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1230
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module considers Japan’s twentieth century. The Russo-Japanese war at the very start of the century marked Japan’s ascent to join the great powers, the crowning achievement of a revolutionary transformation during the second half of the 19th century. However it also highlighted the possibility that social reforms were lagging the diplomatic and military successes. The 1920s were a period of relative liberalism, but they were followed by the ‘dark valley’ of militarism and the disaster of World War Two. Finally, the post-war period saw the second rise of Japan, this time as an economic powerhouse without a military dimension.

    This tumultuous history reveals that Japan was subjected to many of the same events and trends as European nations, but within a different context. As a result, we can look at Japan’s twentieth century not only on its own terms, but also within a global setting and with a comparative perspective, seeking broader lessons for the experience of modernity and the wider world.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1231
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    The transformation in Japan during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was remarkable both for its breadth and its rapidity. In the space of a few decades, a tradition-bound society governed by the samurai class of sword carrying warrior-bureaucrats was replaced by an industrialising modern nation-state built along a western model. Increasing contact with the west touched all elements of society: politics, culture, thought, and even daily life. Rather than a straightforward narrative of modernisation, however, the picture which emerges is a complex and ambiguous one, with new ideas inspiring competing visions of Japan's future and its position in the wider world.

    This module considers the modern history of Japan from the nineteenth century – the late Tokugawa period and the Meiji Restoration – up to World War Two, the occupation era, and beyond. The focus will be on cultural and intellectual history, but along the way we will evaluate models and concepts which have been used in the interpretation of Japanese history, as well as encountering familiar events from unfamiliar perspectives, and seeking to ask what Japan’s experiences can tell us of the broader modern world.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1234
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    The tenth to the early thirteenth century was a rapidly changing period in European history, seeing economic growth, ecclesiastical reforms, crusades, growth in castle-building, a revival of classical learning, and the beginnings of state formation. Diplomacy between rulers and the means by which wars and threats of war were brought to resolution were an essential part of these changes. This module examines some of these interactions and how they contribute to wider debates about the nature of kingship and rule, law and enforcement, and the nature of oral and written culture in a period of transformative change. The course will focus on the experience of the English kings, from their relations with the Vikings through their involvement in European diplomacy following the Norman Conquest and ending with the loss of Normandy in the thirteenth century. Comparisons will also be made with other European rulers and events such as the conquest of Pomerania in 1185 and the captivity and ransom of the crusader kings Richard I (the Lionheart) and Valdemar II.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1235
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    The tenth to the early thirteenth century was a rapidly changing period in European history, seeing economic growth, ecclesiastical reforms, crusades, growth in castle-building, a revival of classical learning, and the beginnings of state formation. Diplomacy between rulers and the means by which wars and threats of war were brought to resolution were an essential part of these changes. This module examines some of these interactions and how they contribute to wider debates about the nature of kingship and rule, law and enforcement, and the nature of oral and written culture in a period of transformative change. The course will focus on the experience of the English kings, from their relations with the Vikings through their involvement in European diplomacy following the Norman Conquest and ending with the loss of Normandy in the thirteenth century. Comparisons will also be made with other European rulers and events such as the conquest of Pomerania in 1185 and the captivity and ransom of the crusader kings Richard I (the Lionheart) and Valdemar II.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1238
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module looks at how the modern world was literally as well as metaphorically ‘built’, usually in response to practical demands but often as an attempt to realise utopian visions.  It uses the material evidence of the built environment to complement written sources in a re-examination of the ‘short twentieth century’ (in this case from the First World War to the ‘seventies).  Conversely, situating such – often commonplace – material within its contemporary context will equally enable the critical appraisal of this particular type of material evidence, often misunderstood or even disregarded in standard histories.  While mainly focusing on British examples, it will also look overseas, albeit mainly to the continent and North America, with some consideration of the impact upon developments in, and by, the British Commonwealth.  Beginning from an awareness of increasing industrialisation and urbanisation across Europe and North America in the late nineteenth century and and (often visionary) reactions to this, this module will examine the period in terms of themes of international relevance. It will take account of the roles played on the one hand of ideologies – of both politicians and designers – and on the other of pragmatic demands and constraints – notably availability of finance, materials and technologies – in order to explain how the ‘Modern World’ came to be built the way that it was.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1239
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module looks at how the modern world was literally as well as metaphorically ‘built’, usually in response to practical demands but often as an attempt to realise utopian visions.  It uses the material evidence of the built environment to complement written sources in a re-examination of the ‘short twentieth century’ (in this case from the First World War to the ‘seventies).  Conversely, situating such – often commonplace – material within its contemporary context will equally enable the critical appraisal of this particular type of material evidence, often misunderstood or even disregarded in standard histories.  While mainly focusing on British examples, it will also look overseas, albeit mainly to the continent and North America, with some consideration of the impact upon developments in, and by, the British Commonwealth.  Beginning from an awareness of increasing industrialisation and urbanisation across Europe and North America in the late nineteenth century and and (often visionary) reactions to this, this module will examine the period in terms of themes of international relevance. It will take account of the roles played on the one hand of ideologies – of both politicians and designers – and on the other of pragmatic demands and constraints – notably availability of finance, materials and technologies – in order to explain how the ‘Modern World’ came to be built the way that it was.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1240
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    Historically, the European continent has constituted an exceedingly cosmopolitan and multi-national region consisting of various cultures, peoples and languages. Only following the devastating impact of war, ethnic cleansing and genocide in the mid-twentieth century did continental Europe become organized into hermetic national enclaves roughly corresponding to the realities of modern nation-states. This course will assess the ways in which European states over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries contended with cultural pluralism and diversity in an age of national identification. Starting with the growth of nationalist ideologies during the French Revolution and Napoleonic period, the module will examine how nationalism impacted continental societies through assessments of identity politics, imperial conquest and understandings of cosmopolitanism in both national and imperial contexts. Throughout the semester, students will be asked to assess a variety of polities spanning from France and Germany to borderland regions in the Ottoman Balkans and Slavic periphery and be expected to analyze processes of identity formation, ethnic violence and nation building in comparative contexts. The course will conclude with an examination of the current shift in Europe’s cultural geography spurred by postcolonial immigration and transnational migrations and consider to what extent these phenomena are transforming European capitals into new cultural borderlands that pose significant challenges to imagining a “European” identity today.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1241
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    Historically, the European continent has constituted an exceedingly cosmopolitan and multi-national region consisting of various cultures, peoples and languages. Only following the devastating impact of war, ethnic cleansing and genocide in the mid-twentieth century did continental Europe become organized into hermetic national enclaves roughly corresponding to the realities of modern nation-states. This course will assess the ways in which European states over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries contended with cultural pluralism and diversity in an age of national identification. Starting with the growth of nationalist ideologies during the French Revolution and Napoleonic period, the module will examine how nationalism impacted continental societies through assessments of identity politics, imperial conquest and understandings of cosmopolitanism in both national and imperial contexts. Throughout the semester, students will be asked to assess a variety of polities spanning from France and Germany to borderland regions in the Ottoman Balkans and Slavic periphery and be expected to analyze processes of identity formation, ethnic violence and nation building in comparative contexts. The course will conclude with an examination of the current shift in Europe’s cultural geography spurred by postcolonial immigration and transnational migrations and consider to what extent these phenomena are transforming European capitals into new cultural borderlands that pose significant challenges to imagining a “European” identity today.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1242
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    In 1775, thirteen of Britain’s twenty-six American colonies began an unlikely revolt against the most powerful army in the world. By 1898, the United States had brushed aside European rivals and assumed continental dimensions, announcing itself as an economic, political, and military rival to the great imperial powers of Europe. This course examines the development of the United States from the American Revolution to the Spanish-American war, but challenges simple narratives of triumph or exceptionalism by focusing on the limitations placed on the diverse population of the United States and the very human costs of expansion. Indeed, for a nation “conceived in liberty”, the simple premise that “all men are created equal” proved rather more problematic in practice. How can we explain the effective exile of non-whites from the promises of the Declaration of Independence? Did white Americans view black people and Native Americans as inherently inferior, perhaps even sub-human? Did expansion into the space of the frontier place impossible strains on the political, cultural, and social unity of the new nation? And what impact did race, class, and gender have upon both the politics of the period and the understandings and projections of power in the United States and abroad?

    This course explores issues associated with race, space, and power in the United States from the 1770s to the 1890s. Topics include: the American Revolution; race and slavery in the early Republic; America’s unstable position in an “Age of Revolutions”; politics and class divisions; the various plans of the U.S. government for ‘civilizing’ or ‘removing’ Native Americans and free blacks; the influence of racial prejudice on the Mexican-American War and the Civil War; the violence of Reconstruction; western expansion and the rise of the United States as an imperial power.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1243
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    In 1775, thirteen of Britain’s twenty-six American colonies began an unlikely revolt against the most powerful army in the world. By 1898, the United States had brushed aside European rivals and assumed continental dimensions, announcing itself as an economic, political, and military rival to the great imperial powers of Europe. This course examines the development of the United States from the American Revolution to the Spanish-American war, but challenges simple narratives of triumph or exceptionalism by focusing on the limitations placed on the diverse population of the United States and the very human costs of expansion. Indeed, for a nation “conceived in liberty”, the simple premise that “all men are created equal” proved rather more problematic in practice. How can we explain the effective exile of non-whites from the promises of the Declaration of Independence? Did white Americans view black people and Native Americans as inherently inferior, perhaps even sub-human? Did expansion into the space of the frontier place impossible strains on the political, cultural, and social unity of the new nation? And what impact did race, class, and gender have upon both the politics of the period and the understandings and projections of power in the United States and abroad?

    This course explores issues associated with race, space, and power in the United States from the 1770s to the 1890s. Topics include: the American Revolution; race and slavery in the early Republic; America’s unstable position in an “Age of Revolutions”; politics and class divisions; the various plans of the U.S. government for ‘civilizing’ or ‘removing’ Native Americans and free blacks; the influence of racial prejudice on the Mexican-American War and the Civil War; the violence of Reconstruction; western expansion and the rise of the United States as an imperial power.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1248
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module will examine the most ambitious and sustained revolutionary project in modern European history: the attempt of the Bolshevik party to introduce socialism in Russia, and to transform fundamentally the nature of social relations not just in Russia, but also throughout the world. The main themes will include: processes of socio-economic modernisation; the impact of war on society; processes of state building; ideological and cultural revolution; the role of violence in political life; the development of civil society and ‘everyday life’ under political dictatorship; and Russia, the Soviet Union and the outside world

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1249
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module will examine the most ambitious and sustained revolutionary project in modern European history: the attempt of the Bolshevik party to introduce socialism in Russia, and to transform fundamentally the nature of social relations not just in Russia, but also throughout the world. The main themes will include: processes of socio-economic modernisation; the impact of war on society; processes of state building; ideological and cultural revolution; the role of violence in political life; the development of civil society and ‘everyday life’ under political dictatorship; and Russia, the Soviet Union and the outside world

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1250
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module explores Britain’s role in the First World War, and examines the impact the war had on British society and culture. It takes a twin track approach, one exploring the military history of the war, the other examining this history through the study of a selected group of artists whose work both embodied the experience of war, and shaped British views of the war. It examines how these artists were involved in the war, how they viewed its progress, and how they responded to it in their work. The lectures and seminars focus on a group of selected authors, poets, artists, composers and the work they produced either during the war, or in the years after 1918, and have in many cases taken on an iconic role in twentieth-century Britain. The artists we focus on are not all from one school or style, but have been chosen to represent the traditional and the modern, and something of a cross section of British society in 1914; for example the poets Rupert Brooke and Hedd Wyn; the authors Vera Brittain, Siegfried Sassoon, and T. E. Lawrence; the painters Christopher Nevinson, Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer; and the composers Edward Elgar and Hubert Parry. In looking at the impact of the First World War on British society and culture, the module blends the military and social history of the period to examine how the British tried to come to terms with the war, how its progress was viewed, and how society responded to the war.

     

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeHS1707
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    The tenth to the early thirteenth century was a rapidly changing period in European history, seeing economic growth, ecclesiastical reforms, crusades, growth in castle-building, a revival of classical learning, and the beginnings of state formation. Diplomacy between rulers and the means by which wars and threats of war were brought to resolution were an essential part of these changes. This module examines some of these interactions and how they contribute to wider debates about the nature of kingship and rule, law and enforcement, and the nature of oral and written culture in a period of transformative change. The course will focus on the experience of the English kings, from their relations with the Vikings through their involvement in European diplomacy following the Norman Conquest and ending with the loss of Normandy in the thirteenth century. Comparisons will also be made with other European rulers and events such as the conquest of Pomerania in 1185 and the captivity and ransom of the crusader kings Richard I (the Lionheart) and Valdemar II.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    Module codeHS1710
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    From 1000 onwards religious dissent became more prominent in Europe. Some religious movements were seen as such a threat to social stability that the authorities went to great lengths to crush them, resorting to crusades, inquisitions and burning those who refused to recant their beliefs. This course will examine who became involved in such movements and explore reasons for their involvement. Why were so many women attracted to heresy? Why did religious dissent become such a problem for the authorities? The course will go on to look at certain large-scale movements such as the Cathars of S. France and the Albigensian Crusade which set out to crush them; the Rhineland mystics; the Lollards of England; the Hussites of Bohemia and the disastrously unsuccessful crusades launched against them.

    Assessment

    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    Module codeHS1742
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    In the mid-seventeenth century England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were engulfed in a destructive and transformative civil war. This module examines this remarkable period in an innovative fashion by considering the British dimension of the conflict. This charts how developments in Scotland and Ireland as well as England and Wales are crucial to understanding the origins and progress of conflict. In addition to this multi-kingdom perspective, the module also pays particular attention to the cultural and social impact of war in England and Wales. It explores the newly-expanded world of print and propaganda in this 'first age of journalism', drawing on the explosion of news and propaganda which competed for readership in a much-expanded public sphere. It examines the impact of war on the literary culture of the period through authors like John Milton and Robert Herrick. It considers the radical political groups like the Levellers who argued that a more democratic society should rise from the ruins of Charles I's kingdoms. The module deals with one of the most exciting and absorbing periods of British History when the fault lines between kingdoms and communities released forces which ultimately saw the king executed and a pan-British Republic established by the force of Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1744
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    This module looks at how the modern world was literally as well as metaphorically ‘built’, usually in response to practical demands but often as an attempt to realise utopian visions.  It uses the material evidence of the built environment to complement written sources in a re-examination of the ‘short twentieth century’ (in this case from the First World War to the ‘seventies).  Conversely, situating such – often commonplace – material within its contemporary context will equally enable the critical appraisal of this particular type of material evidence, often misunderstood or even disregarded in standard histories.  While mainly focusing on British examples, it will also look overseas, albeit mainly to the continent and North America, with some consideration of the impact upon developments in, and by, the British Commonwealth.  Beginning from an awareness of increasing industrialisation and urbanisation across Europe and North America in the late nineteenth century and and (often visionary) reactions to this, this module will examine the period in terms of themes of international relevance. It will take account of the roles played on the one hand of ideologies – of both politicians and designers – and on the other of pragmatic demands and constraints – notably availability of finance, materials and technologies – in order to explain how the ‘Modern World’ came to be built the way that it was.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1749
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    Historically, the European continent has constituted an exceedingly cosmopolitan and multi-national region comprised of various cultures, peoples and languages. Only following the devastating impact of war, ethnic cleansing and genocide in the mid-twentieth century did continental Europe become organized into hermetic national enclaves roughly corresponding to the realities of modern nation-states. This course will assess the ways in which Europe states over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries contended with cultural pluralism and diversity in an age of national identification. Starting with the growth of nationalist ideologies during the French Revolution and Napoleonic period, the module will examine how nationalism impacted continental societies through assessments of identity politics, imperial conquest and understandings of cosmopolitanism in both national and imperial contexts. Throughout the semester, students will be asked to assess a variety of polities spanning from France and Germany to borderland regions in the Ottoman Balkans and Slavic periphery and be expected to analyze processes of identity formation, ethnic violence and nation building in comparative contexts. The course will conclude with an examination of the current shift in Europe’s cultural geography spurred by postcolonial immigration and transnational migrations and consider to what extent these phenomena are transforming European capitals into new cultural borderlands that pose significant challenges to imagining a “European” identity today.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1752
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    Today’s China is widely perceived as an economic powerhouse and a crucial player in Asia and more broadly in the international arena. However, China’s path to both economic and political prominence has been long and tortuous. The history of modern China provides an exciting and challenging platform for discussing key themes in modern history such as an empire’s disintegration, imperialism, nationalism, revolution and state building. This module will discuss the pivotal events in Chinese modern history by laying emphasis on China’s quest for modernity, the interaction/confrontation with the outside world and the centrality of ideology all in the context of modern historiography. The first part of the module will explore topics such as the transition from imperial to Republican China, the ‘impact’ of western imperialism on Chinese state and society, the ideological roots and the implementation of the Communist revolution, and the impact and consequences of the War against Japan (1937-1945). The second part will focus on post-1949 by discussing the Chinese Communist Party’s vision for new China in the 1950s, the unfolding of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping’s reform era, and contemporary politics and society.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1756
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    This module explores the nature of the disorienting social, economic and political changes which affected Welsh society between 1939 and 2000. It examines the impact of the sexual revolution, the Americanization of popular culture, the rebirth of political nationalism and the foundation of the welfare state against the backdrop of a rapidly-changing economy. Through photographs, films, oral testimonies, literature and newspapers, the module questions the historical reality behind popular perceptions of a period that continues to be fiercely debated. Was Welsh society swinging in the sixties? Was Thatcherism ultimately beneficial for Wales? What was the impact of post-war immigration? Did women gain equality? Were ‘family values’ undermined? Did devolution reflect a growth in nationalist feelings? This module will address such questions through key themes including identity, class and gender, and will place the experience of Wales within a broader British and international context.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1758
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    This module examines the history of popular movements in Britain in the period of the industrial revolution and its aftermath. It considers the social effects of industrialisation upon living standards, gender relations, the labour process and class structures. The module then examines the various popular movements and ideologies that developed from this context. These include the Corresponding Societies of the 1790s, industrial movements such as Luddism and trade unionism, Owenism and early socialism, Chartism, radicalism and feminism. A range of questions will be explored: How revolutionary were such movements, and why did Britain escape the revolutionary convulsions that affected other European countries? What were the main ideological characteristics of these movements? Is it possible to perceive ideological continuities through the period? To what extent were such movements ‘national’ and how did various parts of the British Isles relate to one another through them? The module will take a four nations approach to explore the startling dynamics of this period of upheaval in a variety of contexts.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1760
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    In 1775, thirteen of Britain’s twenty-six American colonies began an unlikely revolt against the most powerful army in the world. By 1898, the United States had brushed aside European rivals and assumed continental dimensions, announcing itself as an economic, political, and military rival to the great imperial powers of Europe. This course examines the development of the United States from the American Revolution to the Spanish-American war, but challenges simple narratives of triumph or exceptionalism by focusing on the limitations placed on the diverse population of the United States and the very human costs of expansion. Indeed, for a nation “conceived in liberty”, the simple premise that “all men are created equal”proved rather more problematic in practice. How can we explain the effective exile of non-whites from the promises of the Declaration of Independence? Did white Americans view black people and Native Americans as inherently inferior, perhaps even sub-human? Did expansion into the space of the frontier place impossible strains on the political, cultural, and social unity of the new nation? And what impact did race, class, and gender have upon both the politics of the period and the understandings and projections of power in the United States and abroad?

    This course explores issues associated with race, space, and power in the United States from the 1770s to the 1890s. Topics include: the American Revolution; race and slavery in the early Republic; America’s unstable position in an “Age of Revolutions”; politics and class divisions; the various plans of the U.S. government for ‘civilizing’ or ‘removing’ Native Americans and free blacks; the influence of racial prejudice on the Mexican-American War and the Civil War; the violence of Reconstruction; western expansion and the rise of the United States as an imperial power.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1768
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    The transformation in Japan during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was remarkable both for its breadth and its rapidity. In the space of a few decades, a tradition-bound society governed by the samurai class of sword carrying warrior-bureaucrats was replaced by an industrialising modern nation-state built along a western model. Increasing contact with the west touched all elements of society: politics, culture, thought, and even daily life. Rather than a straightforward narrative of modernisation, however, the picture which emerges is a complex and ambiguous one, with new ideas inspiring competing visions of Japan's future and its position in the wider world.

    This module considers the modern history of Japan from the nineteenth century – the late Tokugawa period and the Meiji Restoration – up to World War Two, the occupation era, and beyond. The focus will be on cultural and intellectual history, but along the way we will evaluate models and concepts which have been used in the interpretation of Japanese history, as well as encountering familiar events from unfamiliar perspectives, and seeking to ask what Japan’s experiences can tell us of the broader modern world.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1776
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    This module will examine the most ambitious and sustained revolutionary project in modern European history: the attempt of the Bolshevik party to introduce socialism in Russia, and to transform fundamentally the nature of social relations not just in Russia, but also throughout the world. The main themes will include: processes of socio-economic modernisation; the impact of war on society; processes of state building; ideological and cultural revolution; the role of violence in political life; the development of civil society and ‘everyday life’ under political dictatorship; and Russia, the Soviet Union and the outside world.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeHS1793
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits30

    This module will examine the deep cultural, political, and religious roots of the British Empire from the sixteenth through to the early eighteenth centuries. Beginning with early attempts by the English (and later ‘British’) state to extend influence over the ‘British Isles’ through Ireland and Scotland in the sixteenth century, this module will investigate how such models of extending control influenced imperial endeavours abroad. This will include analysis of the operation of and life within growing colonies in the Americas, Tangier, and India. Central to these discussions will be the interactions between the centre and the periphery. For example, the module considers how power was extended across imperial networks; how religion shaped imperial ideas; and it explores the role of ‘marginal’ groups (e.g. women, religious minorities, radicals) in these imperial efforts. A wide variety of sources – including contemporary correspondence, political tracts, artwork, material objects, architecture, and fashion – will help to illuminate a side of the British Empire which challenges the place of empire in world history and the idea of ‘Britishness’ in an increasingly transnational world.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 15%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeRT1106
    LevelL4
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    The module is designed primarily for students interested in Indian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism), who wish to deepen their knowledge by studying a range of sacred texts in the original language. (Pali, the language of the Buddhist canon of S.E. Asia, is offered in Part Two for those who have previously studied Sanskrit.) It may also be of interest to those wishing to sample a classical Indo-European language. Students are also expected to take Further Elementary Sanskrit (RT1107) in the Spring Semester, and will be encouraged to follow this up, as appropriate, with the Sanskrit Texts modules in Year Two. No previous language learning experience is expected or required. The class is likely to be small and all students will receive individual attention.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeRT1109
    LevelL4
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    Arabic is the language of the Qur’an. A student of Islam will need to be able to use the language of its religion and many of its adherents. This module lays the foundation for reading the sacred text in the original. Students will be introduced to elements of the language, its script, morphology, grammar and syntax.
    Methods of Teaching = Seminars, exercises and translations.
    Methods of Assessment = Class based exercises.
    Requisites = None.

    The double module RT1109 is designed to provide an introduction to elementary Classical Arabic grammar and to develop skills in reading the early Makkan suras of the Qur’an and early Arabic historical texts.

    Arabic is a language spoken throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  It is also widely read in South Asia and Africa because of the influence of Islam whose scripture, the Qur’an, has had a far-reaching effect on religious thought since the seventh century A.D.  A knowledge of Classical Arabic opens the way to understanding a world civilisation that has produced important literature in historical writing, poetry and philosophy.  Arabic belongs to the Semitic family of languages, whose long history embraces ancient languages of the Near East such as Akkadian, Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic, and modern ones like Amharic, the written and spoken tongue of present-day Ethiopia.  Unlike English, the Arabic alphabet is written in a cursive script from right to left and has no vowels as such.  Consequently it can be a difficult language to learn in the early stages.  Once mastered, however, it will allow you to penetrate an important branch of world literature and the everyday life of the Middle East.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 40%
    • Examination - autumn semester: 60%
    Module codeRT1111
    LevelL4
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    Introduction to the Study of Religion 1 is a user-friendly introduction to both the study of religion and the rigours of undergraduate research in the Humanities. Through a series of case studies this module explores both the history and contemporary relevance of key debates concerning religious and cultural products and processes, and suggesting ways in which scholars of religion use concepts such as ritual, gender, and place, to illuminate these debates.  Students will have the opportunity to consider a range of objects and actions relevant to the study of religion, including poetry, art and drama and will thereby be encouraged to contextualize their understanding of religious traditions with insights into ways in which those traditions are continuously shaped, contested, and re-formed in the course of both social action and scholarly analysis. The module sets out to train students in all the basic skills required of a university undergraduate in the Humanities. In this way, the module offers a double foundation. It takes up both the ‘how to’ aspect of the study of religion and the ‘how to’ of getting the most out of University-level study in the Humanities.  

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 20%
    • Examination - autumn semester: 80%
    Module codeRT1112
    LevelL4
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    Introduction to the Study of Religion 2 gives students the opportunity to develop skills introduced in Introduction to the Study of Religion 1 through the lens of exploring the notion of the religious life as constructed and contested by both practitioners and scholars. Students will be introduced to the analysis of a variety of sources, including biographies, letters, religious objects, and fieldwork observations and film, and the role of these sources in a number of broader scholarly debates will be explored. Theories about the nature of individual and collective identity will be introduced in the context of a series of case studies that place religious lives at the heart of complex social and political processes, both historical and contemporary.

    Assessment

    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeRT1201
    LevelL5
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
    Module codeRT1203
    LevelL5
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    The double module RT 1203 is designed to provide an introduction to elementary Classical Arabic grammar and to develop skills in reading the early Makkan suras of the Qur’an and early Arabic historical texts.

    Arabic is a language spoken throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  It is also widely read in South Asia and Africa because of the influence of Islam whose scripture, the Qur’an, has had a far-reaching effect on religious thought since the seventh century A.D.  A knowledge of Classical Arabic opens the way to understanding a world civilisation that has produced important literature in historical writing, poetry and philosophy.  Arabic belongs to the Semitic family of languages, whose long history embraces ancient languages of the Near East such as Akkadian, Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic, and modern ones like Amharic, the written and spoken tongue of present-day Ethiopia.  Unlike English, the Arabic alphabet is written in a cursive script from right to left and has no vowels as such.  Consequently it can be a difficult language to learn in the early stages.  Once mastered, however, it will allow you to penetrate an important branch of world literature and the everyday life of the Middle East.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 40%
    • Examination - autumn semester: 60%
    Module codeRT1215
    LevelL5
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module aims to introduce students to the anthropology of religion and facilitate their critical engagement with theoretical and ethnographic writing.   Students will also be introduced to the issues raised by ethnographic and contemporary film, with particular attention paid to representations of gender and indigenous peoples.  In addition to suggesting ways in which anthropology has contributed to the study of religion, the module will explore ways in which the study of religion has made vital contributions to the development of anthropology as a discipline.  It will focus on the relationship between emotions, symbols, and rituals in the shaping of  individuals and society in the contemporary world

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeRT1310
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    The double module RT 1310 is designed to provide an introduction to intermediate Classical Arabic grammar and to advance skills in reading the early Makkan suras of the Qur’an and early Arabic historical texts.

    Arabic is a language spoken throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  It is also widely read in South Asia and Africa because of the influence of Islam whose scripture, the Qur’an, has had a far-reaching effect on religious thought since the seventh century A.D.  A knowledge of Classical Arabic opens the way to understanding a world civilisation that has produced important literature in historical writing, poetry and philosophy.  Arabic belongs to the Semitic family of languages, whose long history embraces ancient languages of the Near East such as Akkadian, Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic, and modern ones like Amharic, the written and spoken tongue of present-day Ethiopia.  Unlike English, the Arabic alphabet is written in a cursive script from right to left and has no vowels as such.  Consequently it can be a difficult language to learn in the early stages.  Once mastered, however, it will allow you to penetrate an important branch of world literature and the everyday life of the Middle East

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
    Module codeRT1327
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module critically investigates a number of debates and topics relating to Islam and the contemporary Muslim world.  We shall focus upon Muslims in the Western European context, especially Britain.  We shall look at two concepts: identity and racism and consider how these map onto the case of Muslims in Britain and Western Europe.  In this way, the module will enable students to engage with a range of issues affecting Islam and Muslims in the contemporary context: gender, youth, sacred place and authority, freedom of expression, politics and media.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeRT1352
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module will provide a critical overview of the ways in which accounts of the life of the Buddha have been a resource for the fashioning of religious and political identities in South Asia and beyond. The module will consider the primary source materials available for the study of the life of the Buddha and different ways in which these materials have been interpreted by academics: as sources of historical data, as evidence of the shaping ideals of the early Buddhist community and as narratives connected to broader social, political and philosophical debates in South Asia and beyond. The module will provide a broad examination of the conventions and functions of biography in relation to scriptural, inscriptional, and visual evidence in the history of Buddhist traditions. In particular, it will look at the ways in which the construction and re-construction of the life of the Buddha can give us clues concerning changing patterns of historical, political and religious consciousness amongst Buddhists both within, and beyond, South Asia. The module will also look at the modern (19th, 20th century) reception of the Buddha’s biography in popular literature, film and manga.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeRT1355
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    The Bhagavad-Gita, or ‘Song of the Lord’, is a short excerpt of a longer narrative text, the Mahabharata. In the Bhagavad-Gita the great warrior Arjuna Pandava refuses to fight in a great war, and his chariot-driver Krishna Vasudeva, who is actually God, persuades him to fight. Students of this module will gain a fairly detailed understanding of the Bhagavad-Gita in its formative context (circa 2nd century BCE to 3rd century CE). They will then explore the text’s later career, focusing on its role in medieval philosophy, European Orientalism of the 18th and 19th centuries, Indian nationalist politics of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the ‘spiritual marketplace’. Introductory reading: W.J. Johnson, trans., The Bhagavad Gita (Oxford World’s Classics, 1994; shelfmark BL1138.62.E6.J6).

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeRT1357
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    How are issues related to ethics and morality to be understood in light of Islamic scripture, law, theology, tradition and Muslim society? Is there a morality independent of God? Why is there suffering and disability? What does Islam say about euthanasia, suicide, abortion, brain death and war? What can these tell us about what it means to be human in Islam? How has Darwin’s evolution theory affected this understanding of the human in Islam? Where does environmentalism fit in to an Islamic understanding of cosmology? We will explore the answers to these questions and many more in this module through lectures and various teaching and learning methods. This module compliments RT7317 Christian Social Ethics Today and RT1345 Gender and Sexuality: Islamic Perspectives.  

    Assessment

    • Portfolio: 100%
    Module codeRT1359
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    ‘Exploring Gnosticism’ introduces the ‘other side’ of ancient Christianity. Through an examination of ancient Christian writings, such as The Secret Book of John, The Gospel of Judas, and The Gospel of Mary (and many others), the module will explore the theology, rituals, and beliefs of the ancient Gnostics. From the 1st to the 5th centuries AD, communities of Christians emerged in the ancient Mediterranean and Persian worlds, whose ideas about Jesus Christ, Church organisation, and sacred texts differed greatly from those of the so-called established churches. These Christians, referred to as the ‘Knowers’ (i.e. Gnostics), produced some of the most important religious writings from the late-antique period, the majority of which first came to light in 1944 in Egypt, known as the Nag Hammadi library. These texts reveal a very different Christianity from the more familiar Christian teachings of the time, the differences evident in Gnostic ideas of sin, sacrifice, theology, and gender. Over the course of time, the Gnostics were transformed by their opponents into the arch-heretics of Christianity, and their literature and ideas about the world were lost. This module will present in an accessible manner, the fruits of 70 years of academic research on ancient Gnostic and Manichaean writings since the time of the re-emergence of ancient Gnostic texts and traditions, in addition to examining the continuing appeal of ancient Gnostic spirituality in the modern world.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    Module codeRT2103
    LevelL4
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    The Bible is one of the most influential books ever written, affecting history, literature and art, not to mention social debates down to the present day. It is also considered to be a holy book by Jews, Christians and Muslims. This module will introduce students to the literature and religions of the Bible and help them begin to develop the use of the critical skills and techniques of Biblical Studies. Students will engage with some of the approaches which have characterised scholarly work on the Old and New Testaments in the past hundred years. Through interacting with selected texts, students will gain familiarity with the main literary genres of the Bible, its contents and contexts. 

    Assessment

    • Examination - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Written assessment: 15%
    Module codeRT4103
    LevelL4
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    The Story of Christianity aims to introduce you to the theological and historical traditions of the Christian religion and provide you with an overview of Christianity in its historical context.

    Assessment

    • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 35%
    • Written assessment: 15%
    Module codeRT4320
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    Worship is central to Christian faith and life, as it is to most religious traditions.  This module explores Christian worship from a variety of perspectives, such as theological, historical, anthropological, aesthetic and pastoral.  By focusing this exploration on a number of significant issues relating to Christian worship in the contemporary context, the module seeks to deepen students’ understanding of the lived and experienced reality of Christian worship today.  This understanding will be of value to those preparing to lead worship themselves, as well as to other students of theology and religious studies who want to gain insight into this core religious activity.  The module values the diverse starting points of different groups of students and seeks to make this diversity part of the learning experience.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 25%
    • Written assessment: 75%
    Module codeRT5204
    LevelL5
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    The module aims to

    1. enhance critical and empathetic understanding of how Christian beliefs hold together, by exploring in context various key
    2. enable an approach to key Christian doctrines that releases them as resources for engagement with experience and practice, reflection and constructive contribution to culture and society.
    3. enable a critical and reflective understanding of Christian life and practice by relating it to key Christian accounts of God, humanity and their interaction, expressed in the doctrine of the Trinity and accounts of the person and nature of Jesus Christ.
    4. enable critical understanding of Christian life and practice by relating it to key Christian versions of ‘salvation’ in history and experience, particularly focusing on ‘atonement’ theory, the place and role of the Holy Spirit in theology and selected approaches to questions about human and cosmic destiny

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeRT5205
    LevelL5
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Cerdits20

    The Course is taught in three sections. the course is taught in three sections.

    The first examines the historical and contemporary understanding of the identity and purpose of the Christian Church. There is an examination of how it has evolved from its beginnings as a Jewish sect, through the extended Western era of Christendom when it was often at the centre of power and influence. There is a consideration of  phenomena of post-Christendom times that have been emerging in the last few decades. There is a critical evaluation of the ecumenical ‘Notes’ of the Church. The larger part of this section is spent in a detailed study of five core models of the historical Church. Finally there is consideration given to fresh expressions and emerging forms of Church, including new monasticism. 

    The second section examines the role of ministry in the Church, beginning with Biblical patterns and tracing the role of the clergy from the early Church, through Papal authority and the Reformation to current models in the Church today including chaplaincy and emerging models of pioneering ministry. Finally there is a critical evaluation of issues of contemporary debate such as the place of gender and homosexuality in relation to ordained Christian ministry.

    The final section explores the biblical paradigms of mission and traces the historical paradigm shifts in mission theology and praxis. It evaluates the tensions between evangelism and social action and critically evaluates current trends In missional thinking as they interact with local cultures and global concerns.

    The first examines the historical and contemporary understanding of the identity and purpose of the Christian Church. The second section examines critical issues of contemporary debate such as leadership and authority, gender and homosexuality in relation to ordained Christian ministry. The final section explores historical landmarks in the theology of mission and critically evaluates current theory and practice.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeRT7317
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module provides a study of the bases for Christian Ethics in relation (e.g.) to the Bible, tradition, Natural Law or context, together with a consideration of Christian responses to selected contemporary issues such as abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, capitalism war, and the environment.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeRT7342
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Cerdits20

    This module explores the significance for theology of the changing centre of gravity of world Christianity. With the majority of the world’s Christians now living in Africa, Asia and Latin America some claim that ‘the era of Western Christianity has passed and the day of Southern Christianity is dawning.’ Such dramatic changes in world Christianity imply that any evaluation of the nature and significance of Christian faith in the contemporary world needs to engage with theologies emerging from the Global South. This module enables students to engage critically with significant Christian voices from the Global South, and to examine how Majority World perspectives challenge and enrich discussion of central Christian themes.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%