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HIST3189 War and Society: England at War, c.1300-c.1400: Part 2

Module Overview

The Hundred Years War was fought between France and England and it had a profound affect on both countries. The focus of this module is not on the political background of the conflict. Rather it will concentrate on the impact of war on both countries including how all levels of society were involved in the war effort and how people responded to it. You will focus on ideals and ‘mentalities’ and the gap between them and the realities of war. Consequently you will begin by considering what the ‘laws of war’ were and to what extent they were applied in reality. From there you will move to assess some of the lengthy accounts of the ravages of war and the oppression of the non-combatants to be found in the primary sources. However, these accounts need to be carefully handled because non-combatants were not confined to the role of victims. They denounced the abuses of war and were often vocal in expressing their discontent. More importantly, they could oppose war in other ways. For example English kings needed the consent of Parliament to levy war taxes. The significance of non-combatants is reflected in the propaganda developed by the French and English states to win them over. As in semester one, these themes will be explored through a large body of primary sources that you will study in English. These include financial and administrative records such as indentures, contracts and accounts, as well as chronicles, and biographies.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- introduce you to the impact of war on France and England - consider the impact of war upon all levels of society involved in the war effort - assess the effect on combatants and non-combatants

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the laws of war (theory and practice)
  • the treatment of the defeated
  • the problems raised by the absence of a clear distinction between the status of combatants and non-combatants in a pre-modern era
  • the impact of propaganda on the formation of ‘national identities’
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify and solve historical problems
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse a wide range of primary sources, appreciate the particular contexts in which those sources were produced and comment succinctly on their significance in a source-related assessed essay and in an examination in which answers will informed by a knowledge of sources
  • draw connections between different historical periods
  • identify and critically assess scholarly views and arguments
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • explore the difference between the theory and reality of war in late Medieval Europe
  • explore the role of non-combatants during the Hundred Years War


Themes to be covered typically may include: - The status of combatants and non-combatants - The laws of war - Towns at war - The crisis of capitulation - The treatment of the defeated - Propaganda and public opinion

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - Two weekly seminars - Group work - Tutor-led guidance on the sources, on the preparation of assessed essays and gobbets (including practice session), on the conventions used in the presentation of written work. - Student-led seminars, with the module convenor acting as guide and learning facilitator - Individual consultation in person and by email about assessed work on the module. Learning activities include: - Preparatory reading for seminar discussions - Preparation of brief reports on particular questions as directed for classes - Preparing and delivering presentations - Discussion of set topics - Further reading and independent research for the essay and dissertation - Preparation and completion of module assignments Knowledge and understanding will be developed through a continuous study and analysis of primary sources. You will develop your research skills – how to find relevant material and secondary literature, how to use primary material – in groups and in consultation with the seminar tutor. Attendance of lectures, independent study and the writing of essays will further develop your intellectual skills and enable you to communicate your findings in oral presentations.

Independent Study276
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

M. Prestwich (2018). A Short History of the Hundred Years War. 

J. Sumption (2009). Divided Houses: The Hundred Years War III. 

C. J. Rogers (1999). The Wars of Edward III: Sources and Interpretations. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Exam  (3 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules


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