Learning Outcomes

History 213's learning outcomes - that is, the skills and the body of knowledge which we hope you will attain as a result of participating in this course - may be defined as follows.

Extending your Knowledge of the Past.

The course aims to extend your historical knowledge into themes and periods which you may not have studied before. You should gain:

  1. A grasp of the shape of early medieval history that includes an awareness of the principal developments and pivotal moments in this period - that is, a sense of the significance of key events such as the imperial coronation of Charlemagne in 800 A.D.
  2. A knowledge of the major peoples, political units, personalities and events that dominate the history of medieval Europe between 450 and 1025.
  3. An appreciation of the diversity of early medieval society and culture as well as of its essential differences from the cultures and societies that preceded and followed it in the history of western Europe.
  4. An understanding of the roles that Christianity and the Roman and Germanic cultural legacies have played in the development of Europe.
  5. A grasp of the reasons why, in spite of their common origins and history, the kingdoms and social structures of France and Germany evolved along increasingly divergent lines as the period progressed.

Understanding the Discipline of History

Studying the themes outlined above should help you to develop your understanding of what historians do. In particular, you should gain

  1. An understanding of the concepts and terms that historians have used to analyse and to make sense of this period - concepts such as 'Christianisation', 'lordship'.
  2. An appreciation of the problems confronting historians in their efforts to trace patterns of continuity and change in a period for which there are glaring gaps in the historical record.
  3. An awareness of the problems involved in relating the course of events to the cultures and beliefs that were part of the thought-world of the protagonists involved in them.
  4. An awareness of the options open to historical actors at critical historical moments.

Developing your Intellectual Skills

This course should help you to build on your research skills. This will be achieved in part through the practice of writing essays and by taking part in seminar discussions. This course will help you to develop:

  1. Your ability to evaluate between differing interpretations of events and periods.
  2. Your ability to construct your own arguments and to reach your own conclusions using the materials and primary sources that have been made available in English.

Developing your Practical Transferable Skills

Skills developed in this course have a wide range of applications both within and beyond the discipline of History. You should develop:

  1. Your ability to read quickly and critically, and to take accurate notes of what you have read.
  2. Your ability to summarise and express complex arguments in oral and in written form.
  3. Your ability to write persuasively and accurately, using sound English prose.
  4. Your ability to operate within a group and to debate different points of view.
  5. Your ability to manage your time and to set priorities.

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