Religion, Society and Culture in Tudor England (HIH2218A)

StaffDr Laura Sangha - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The period of the Reformation was a pivotal phase in the history of Europe, and not least in England, where the religious climate shifted radically under all five successive monarchs of the Tudor dynasty. In an age when religion was intricately interwoven with every aspect of society, the effects of religious change were felt by everyone, and as people struggled to come to terms with a new religious landscape England itself was reshaped in the process. This module explores the religious, social and cultural changes which took place in England under the Tudors, c.1485-1603. It looks at developments in theology and pious practice, the impact of religious change on the fabric of society, and the relationship between religious identity formation and a range of cultural media.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand the main themes in the subject, and to collate information upon and evaluate in greater detail those aspects of the module discussed in seminars, and especially those topics selected by the students for their essays
  • 2. Trace the development of religion, culture and society in England under the Tudor dynasty, 1485-1603

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Analyse the key developments within a specific historical period and theme
  • 4. Collate data from a range of sources
  • 5. Trace long-term as well as short-term historical developments
  • 6. Understand and deploy historical terminology in a comprehensible manner
  • 7. Handle different approaches to history in areas of controversy
  • 8. Work with primary sources under direction from the module tutor

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Carry out independent study and group work, including participating in oral discussions
  • 10. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment

Syllabus plan

- Part I - Religious Change
o Henry VII: Church & Society and Religious Life
o Challenges to Tradition: Lollardy and Humanism
o Henry VIII: Political and Religious Change
o Edward VI: Reformed Theology and Religion
o Mary I: (Re-)establishing Catholicism, Continuity and Change
o Elizabeth I: Conformists, Puritans and Papists

- Part II - Society and Culture
o Society I: Gender and Social Change
o Society II: Persecution, Riot and Rebellion
o Culture I: Word, Text and Image
o Culture II: Music and Drama
o Tudor England: National Identity and Nation State

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Seminars; these will be led by the tutor. You will need to prepare for each seminar and present on a given topic in groups of 4, on 4 occasions
Guided Independent Study22Web-based activities located on ELE - preparation for seminars and presentations
Guidede Independent Study234Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan x 1500 words1-10Verbal and written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay x 1303000 words1-10Verbal and written
Exam502 questions in 2 hours1-10Written
Group presentation2025 minutes1-10Verbal and written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-10Referral/deferral period
Exam2 questions in 2 hours1-10Referral/deferral period
Group presentationScript as for individual presentation, equivalent to 10 minutes1-10Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

- Margaret Aston, England's Iconoclasts. Volume I: Laws Against Images (Oxford, 1988).
- Bernard Capp, When Gossips Meet: Women, Family and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England, (Oxford, 2003).
- Patrick Collinson, 'From Iconoclasm to Iconophobia: the Cultural Impact of the Second English Reformation', The Sternton Lecture 1985 (Reading, 1986).
- Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars (New Haven, 1992).
- Anthony Fletcher and Diarmaid MacCulloch, Tudor Rebellions (5th edn, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd., 2004).
- Peter Lake with Michael Questier, The Antichrist's Lewd Hat: Protestants, Papists and Players in Post-Reformation England (New Haven, 2002).
- Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Later Reformation in England 1547-1603 (Basingstoke, 1990).
- Peter Marshall, Reformation England 1480-1640 (London, 2003).
- Beth Quitslund, The Reformation in Rhyme: Sternhold, Hopkins and the English Metrical Psalter, 1547-1603 (Aldershot, 2008).
- Richard Rex, The Lollards (Basingstoke, 2002).
- Alexandra Walsham, Charitable hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England, 1500-1700 (Manchester, 2006).
- Tessa Watt, Cheap Print and Popular Piety 1550-1640 (Cambridge: CUP, 1996).

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Based on student interest, the course may include screenings of one or more films portraying England under the Tudors. Students will be invited to critically engage with modern media portrayals of the most enduring dynasty in the English popular imagination.

Available as distance learning?