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ME4752   Robert Bruce and Edward II: Kings, Nobles and Communities in the British Isles (1306 - 1346)

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 60

ECTS credits : 30

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: Full Year

Availability restrictions: Available only to students in the Second Year of the Honours Programme.

Planned timetable: See

Through much of the British Isles the opening decades of the fourteenth century were characterised by war and political troubles. The Scottish war, which had begun in the 1290s, intensified and widened through the 1300s and 1310s. The ambitions of Robert Bruce were at the heart of this extended conflict which spread from Scotland into northern England and Ireland. His opponent, Edward II of England, experienced revolts in Wales and repeated opposition and civil war in England which culminated in the first deposition of an English king since the Norman Conquest. War and rebellion in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland involved issues of contemporary political ideology and altered the internal character and external relationships of these lands. This module uses the reigns of Robert Bruce and Edward II to examine issues of kingship, community and identity in the early fourteenth century. It pays special attention to questions of legitimate authority and resistance and examines the way in which major nobles, like Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and James Douglas operated as royal lieutenants, leaders of the opposition or regional magnates. Particular focus is placed on the key narratives of the period like the Gesta Edwardi Secundi and John Barbour's The Bruce and on the place of kingship and community in a wider European context.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 3-hour meeting, plus 1 office hour.

Scheduled learning hours: 66

Guided independent study hours: 534

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2 x 3-hour Written Examinations = 60%, Coursework = 40%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 60%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 40%

Re-assessment: New Coursework: 1 x source exercise (2,000 - 2,500 words) and 1 x 4,000- to 5,000-word essay = 100%


Module teaching staff: Prof M Brown