Home Courses History BA (Hons) Medieval and Early Modern History

BA (Hons) Medieval and Early Modern History

Study 700 years of local, national, and international history

Study 700 years of local, national, and international history

3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)
  • Study historical events and contexts from around the world, from the Middle Ages through to the end of the seventeenth century
  • Build your degree around your own research interests
  • Learn from experts in their fields
  • Smaller class sizes for better learning
Arundel castle

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Explore early modern and medieval history from around the world

Explore events and contexts from across the world

You will learn how to analyse historical events from the aftermath of the Norman Conquest, through Tudor England, and into the Napoleonic era.

You will learn from internationally recognised research staff who use latest research to underline their teaching to ensure that you have access to current debates within the study of modern history.

Pursue your interests

The course will allow you to pursue your own area of interest, whether political, cultural or social. You will then develop your knowledge and skills to take a critical perspective on historical events and their outcomes for the modern world.

Learn from experts

You will learn from internationally recognised staff who use the latest research to underpin their teaching to ensure you engage with the current historiographical debates.

On this course you will:

  • Study key periods and events from Medieval Europe, the Wars of the Roses, the Renaissance and Reformation World and the Age of Revolution, 1776-1848.
  • Discover specialist subjects like the courts of Henry VIII, Louis XIV’s France, the eighteenth century Enlightenment era, and the cultural history of death.
  • Learn from our team of expert staff at the forefront of their fields.
  • Build your degree around your interests.
  • Develop your critical thinking, team-working, research and digital skills, all vital for post-degree employment.

The Course

Gain a rich understanding of medieval and early modern history

Our BA (Hons) Medieval and Early Modern History degree introduces you to the fundamentals of the periods.

You will then be able to branch out to discover your interests and follow your passions to really make your degree unique to you.

Year One

In your first year, you will be introduced to the academic standards required of history students such as the necessary research skills and the ability to evaluate primary and secondary historical sources.

You will also explore a variety of social and political context from the period.

You will establish a strong historiographical foundation for your three years of study, including modules that introduce you to Medieval England, the wars and torture practices of the Early Modern era, and Renaissance Europe.

Year Two

In your second year, you will begin to mould your degree around your interests.

You can explore:

  • The expansion of art and knowledge during the Renaissance period.
  • Women and gender throughout the Medieval and Tudor eras.
  • The Social histories of Early Modern Britain.
  • The political tribulations culminating in the Restoration of the British monarchy in the seventeenth century.

Year Three

By your final year, you will have a strong sense of what historical area you would like to focus on for your final dissertation project.

Alongside your thesis, you will have the opportunity to explore aspects of history including: Louis XIV’s France, the role of the monarchy in Early Modern Europe, and the royal courts of Henry VIII.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Britain and the Early Medieval World, C.500-1100

This module delivers an overview of the history of early medieval Britain.

You will examine major political events and social change from around 500AD to the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of 1066. You will explore the Saxon societies of the 6th century, through incursions by the Vikings and Danes in the 8th-11th centuries, to the death of William Rufus in 1100.

England in Europe C.1154-C.1400: An Introduction to the Late Medieval World

This module explores major themes and events in English History from the 12th to the 15th century.

You will study events including: the Angevin Empire and its loss, Magna Carta and the role of the Papal Monarchy, the relative peace and prosperity of the mid- 13th century, Edward I’s campaigns in Wales and Scotland, the upheavals of 1307-27, the Black Death of 1348 and the Hundred Years’ War.

Europe and the Mediterranean World: Society, Identity and Encounters: 1450-1700

This module will introduce you to conflicts and relations between southern Europe, the Maghreb and the Ottomans from 1450 to 1700.

You will explore the socio-political structure of Mediterranean Europe through the study of early modern urban history with a focus on communities and cultural encounters.

Subjects under discussion will include revolts, diplomatic affairs, trade, piracy, spying and human trafficking between Europe and other Mediterranean states.

Game of Thrones: the Hundred Years’ War: 1337-1453

This module examines the causes and ramifications of the Hundred Years’ War.

You will explore the long-standing tensions between the royalties of England and France in the lead up to the war, as well as military tactics used by both sides and focus on the role of chivalry in the conflict.

In addition, you will consider the leadership of both the English and French armies, and the socio-economic impact of the conflicts in both nations.

Making History: Theory and Practice

This module examines different approaches to a range of historical case studies. These will include, amongst others, social and cultural history, the history of women, gender and sexuality, ideology and discourse analysis, postcolonial, the history of the visual image, landscape and public history, the legacy of modern war, and heritage studies. Key concepts common to history writing such as periodisation and the nature of the archive are also examined.

Renaissance and Reformation Europe: 1350-1600

This module evaluates the political, intellectual and religious development, popular, elite and court culture, warfare and international relations and gender issues across Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire within the Renaissance and Reformation periods.

In doing so, you will gain a better understanding of Early Modern European society and the way it responded to pressure and change.

The Tudors: 1485-1603

This module moves chronologically through the monarchs and events of the sixteenth century.

You will consider the role of political faction in the decision-making process under Henry VIII; the impact of the Reformation at the centre and in the localities; the shaping of monarchical authority by the royal minority of Edward VI; and the female monarchies of Mary and Elizabeth.

Torture to Terror: European Order and Repression: 1492-1792

This module explores the brutality, atrocity and savagery of the so-called ‘Age of Reason’, with the persecution of witches and religious minorities, endemic warfare and the trade in slavery, concluding with the French Revolutionary Terror, 1792-94.
You will consider recurrent themes and debates, such as the interaction between European and non-European cultures, ‘just’ welfare, colonial exploitation, religious and cultural oppression, torture, slavery and human rights.

A Social History of Early Modern England: 1550-1750

This module will explore the lives of ‘ordinary’ (i.e. non elite) men, women and children living in England from c1550 to c1750.

You will consider key defining factors of the society during this period including social structures; gender relations; lifecycles; urban and rural life; poverty and welfare; crime and punishment; popular culture; and the church.

Approaches to Research

This module will build on your earlier explorations of research techniques, with a focus on the development of time and project management skills as you begin to prepare for your dissertation.
Questions concerning how one starts on a research project and establishes viability of subject to a range of different approaches/theoretical perspectives will be discussed in detail, in relation to how you will choose their own dissertation topic.

Art & Knowledge in Europe: From Early Renaissance to Baroque: 1250-1650

This module examines the development of art, knowledge, taste, fashion and beliefs in Europe from c.1250-1650 as you consider the importance of intellectual history, cultural history, science and art as key aspects of European culture.
You will pay close attention to a range of textual and visual sources — from literature, diaries, correspondence, journals, painting, sculpture and architecture.

Culture and Civilisation in Late Medieval England: C.1200-1550

This module offers a thematic and contextual survey of late-medieval England.

It commences by problematising ‘The Middle Ages’, focusing on historiography, myth, public perception, and the constructed nature of historical periodisation.

The focus is on England, but material from elsewhere may be used, and videos and field trips are normally employed in order to enhance your understanding of late-medieval culture and its conceptualisation.

Enlightenment Europe: 1688-1789

The ideas of the Enlightenment provided new ways of thinking about science, religion, education, politics and society and the place of ‘mankind’ in the world, but to what extent did the ‘philosophers’ transform society and how enlightened were they?

You will explore these ideas as you engage with the works of Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Beccaria and Wollstonecraft.

Fairy Tales: Early Modern to Postmodern

Gain an informed historical and critical perspective on a powerful literary and cultural tradition beginning with the fairy tales written in early modern Italy, continuing through Perrault, D’Aulnoy, Grimm, Andersen to the work of more contemporary authors such as Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. It also asks where we can turn to for modern fairy tales, through a focus on the use of fairy tale tropes in the work of J.K Rowling and Philip Pullman.

Heritage in Practice: Work Placements for History Students

The aim of the module is to introduce you to the ways in which your learning experiences in the discipline of History can be applied to the working environment.

The work placement experience will provide you with an understanding of the practical, ethical and technical issues involved in the collection, cataloguing and preservation or conservation of physical traces of the past.

Kingdom of Heaven: Crusading and the Holy Land: 1095-1291

This module assesses the causes and consequences of crusading to the Holy Land between 1095-1291.

You will examine the motives of the First Crusaders and the subsequent defence of the Holy Land, including leaders such as Richard the Lionheart, as well as the political and economic ramifications for the Latin East and the indigenous populations of the invaded territories.

Renaissance to Restoration

This module explores the evolution of poetry and prose throughout the Renaissance era and into the Restoration period of the 17th century, as result of major political and religious turbulence.

You will consider the works of Spencer, Marlowe and Shakespeare, who begin to explore gender and history in their work, before moving on to the satirical poetry of Donne, Marvell, Milton, and Rochester.

Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries

The module will also assess how far second-generation Romantic poets developed the key Romantic theme of reform, as you consider the influence of the French Revolution on the work of British writers during the 18th century.

You will study the work of renowned and revered Romantic poets including Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Wollstonecraft, alongside the work of Mary Shelley and Jane Austen.

Stuart England 1603-88: Rebellion, Restoration and Revolution

This module introduces you to the Stuart Age, circa 1603-88, as you explore why England went through such a period of extended turbulence and instability in the seventeenth century.

You will explore the radical political, religious, economic, social, cultural and intellectual changes that took place in Britain and beyond, in era of constitutional instability.

Women and Gender: 1000-1600

This module explores the term ‘gender’ and its usefulness as a category of historical analysis. It will then explore major areas of research on gender and sexuality by medieval and early modern historians, examining women across all social strata, from queens and regents to prophets and peasants.


The dissertation represents the culmination of your History studies as you complete an individual research project on a topic of your choosing.

The 10,500-word thesis will include explicit methodological and historiographical dimensions and where appropriate, theoretical discussions integrated into the text.

Gothic, Romanticism and Women’s Writing: From Mary Wollstonecraft to Jane Austen

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the exciting range of women’s prose writing in the late 18th century, as you consider the relationship between such writing and the political debates of the period.

You will discover how this writing, while often underrated, was of importance to Romantic aesthetics, often primarily understood and defined in terms of poetry written by men.

Henry VIII and Court Culture 1509-1547: Faction, Faith and Fornication

This module examines the structures and cultures of royal courts of the Tudor period.
In particular, you will consider court culture through the eyes of contemporaries in order to explore the centrality of the royal court and its relationship to the localities during this period of such immense change.
You will explore the royal court’s political influence, the role of faction and division and the relationship to the literary arts.

Kingship, Queenship and Power in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

This module considers the nature of social, cultural and political power in the late medieval and early modern periods by examining a variety of different topics such as royal ritual and law-making, visual and material culture, and social exclusion and popular rebellion.

You will understand how power was conceptualised and exercised in different socio-cultural contexts and chronological periods, as well as consider the role of gendered within power structures and social responses to rulers.

Louis XVI’s France: 1643-1715

This module assesses the extent to which an ‘absolutist’ monarchy was established in France in the seventeenth century. You will consider various historiographical perspectives of the French monarchy, with a focus on the social and cultural contexts of the period as well as the impact of the military tensions with other European nations.

The Cultural History of Death

This module explores how literary representations of the historical and social treatment of the dead presents a vivid insight into the cultural behaviour, ideology and social order of different cultural and historical contexts.
You will explore the beliefs and attitudes towards the dead within literature from the Middles Ages through to more contemporary examples and debates.

Vice to Virtue? the Origins and Outcomes of the French Revolution: 1744-94

This module examines the roots and consequences of the French Revolution, as well the major historiographical debates that continue through to today. You will gain a clear understanding of the political, social and economic context of the revolution’s origins, the complexities and evolution of the Revolution itself, and the fallout and ramifications across the subsequent decades.


Discover facilities that support your academic learning


"My readings enabled me to form better opinions, develop new ideas and add new dimensions to these ideas. Being able to research in this environment, with the support that was offered to me was an exceptional experience that will be difficult to replicate."


"There is an amazing group of lecturers who are all experts in their respective fields - many have written several books on the content they teach! It's a very supportive environment as lecturers are easy to contact via email or their office and you always know the peers you're sat with in lectures. A huge range of both history and politics modules across the Department means you're always learning something new.”

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of internationally-recognised research staff


At our University, you will find a friendly atmosphere and an encouraging team of staff who will work hard to support you throughout your learning.

Our record in Student Satisfaction polls for History is second to none and we are delighted that our students find the University a supportive and positive learning environment.

Our team of experienced tutors and experts use the latest research to underlie their teaching. This ensures that you have access the latest debates within the study of Medieval and Early Modern History.

Much of our teaching is in small groups. Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment.

It also allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.


Our BA (Hons) Medieval and Early Modern History course uses a range of assessments methods, including:

  • Essays
  • Source evaluations and reviews
  • Research projects
  • Collaborative project work
  • Dissertation

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress throughout your degree.

Learn more about our teaching staff

Mark Bryant

Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History

I did my undergraduate B.A. (Hons) degree at Royal Holloway, and then stayed at the University of London to complete my Ph.D., supervised by Dr Roger Mettam, at Queen Mary that was underpinned by research conducted in the Parisian and Versailles archives.

Work Placements

Gain vital workplace experience with our local partners

In your second year, you will have the option to work with a sector-leading museums, gallery or heritage sites.

These placements will give you the opportunity to acquire a fundamental insight into the way these institutions preserve for and present history to the public, as well as gain vital workplace experience to increase your employability.

Our prestigious partners include:

  • Arundel Castle
  • Bignor Roman Villa
  • ButserAncient Farm
  • Chichester Cathedral
  • Chichester District Museum
  • D-Day Museum, Southsea
  • Emsworth Museum
  • Fishbourne Roman Palace
  • Mary Rose Museum
  • Pallant House Gallery
  • Petworth House
  • Portsmouth City Museum
  • Royal Marines Museum
  • Tangmere Aviation Museum
  • University of Chichester Archive Collections
  • Weald and Downland Open Air Museum
  • West Sussex Record Office
  • Worthing Library

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.


Open up your future career options

A degree in History provides you with the opportunity to take up a number of career roles after graduation. Our graduates are valued by employers as they possess key skills in communication, analysis and reporting.

The option to study issues of political, social, and cultural significance, as well as work placement opportunities in archives, institutes and research centres, provides you with experience suitable for a range of career paths.

Many of our graduates continue on as teachers, lawyers, accountants, as well as management roles within a variety of settings.

Career paths include:

  • Education
  • Teaching
  • Local and national government
  • Journalism
  • Public service
  • Communications and PR
  • Law

Postgraduate pathways

  • MA Cultural History
  • MRes The History of Africa and the African Diaspora
  • PGCEs
  • MA Creative Writing
  • Postgraduate Research (MPhil/PhD)

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)

104 - 120
tariff points.
A Levels
Access to HE Diploma
28 points
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5.


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