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The University of Southampton

HIST1187 Castles: Military technology and social change from the middle ages to the modern

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The changing nature of the castle in society, and the multiple roles (social, political, economic, military) it played
  • How sources from different disciplines can combine to allow greater understanding of castles
  • What meanings castles may have carried to the people who lived in them, or next to them


The castle was one of the most characteristic creations and symbols of the middle ages. Castles were lordly residences, and also advanced military technology which supported a range of functions; they were centres of government and lordship; they dominated populations and secured conquests; and they were garrisons, among other functions. Within this module, you will examine how the functions and uses of castle developed in relation to changing military technology and society and culture. Finally, you will look at the end of the castle as a serious military asset, and how some of its functions and values survived even that.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The current intention is to deliver teaching for this module online. If circumstances allow, some form of blended delivery methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, or individual tutorials may be introduced if it is safe for all concerned to do so. However, delivery will remain entirely online if face to face teaching is not possible or advisable.

Independent Study276
Total study time300



MethodPercentage contribution
Timed Assignment 50%
Written assignment 50%
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