THE REIGN OF JAMES VI, c.1578-1603I HIST4035

  • Academic Session: 2015-16
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course provides an in-depth examination of Scottish politics, culture and society during the personal reign of King James VI.


The course will be taught for three hours every week as scheduled in MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of third year honours.

Excluded Courses






2 essays (one in each semester) 10% each

2 seminar papers (one in each semester) 6% each

Seminar contribution (one assessment in each semester) 4% each

Examination: 2 x 120 minute examinations, worth 60% overall

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The following aims are shared by all History special subjects:

6. to prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills that will be of benefit in a wide range of careers.

7. to show students how a professional historian works.

8. to familiarise students, through source-criticism, with a wide range of problems of interpretation arising from different usages of language, underlying meanings and intentions, differing standards of objectivity, and the variety of purpose and intent associated with historical evidence (written, visual or other).

9. to ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised.

10. to encourage students to develop the confidence, imagination, skills and self-discipline required to master a similarly demanding brief in the future, whether in historical research or in any sphere or employment where these qualities are valuable.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


demonstrate a deep and broad knowledge of the personality of James VI, and of the major events and issues connected to his life and reign;

critically assess the major developments in political, cultural and religious life in Scotland between 1567 and 1625, using sources in a variety of media to do so;

account for the ways in which Scottish society was transformed by James' transition to England in 1603, particularly the extent to which English cultural models impacted upon Scotland after the Union of the Crowns;

show a thorough knowledge of the relevant primary and secondary sources, and the problems of interpretation arising from these sources;

understand and reconcile multiple interpretations of complex historical debates relating to james and his reign, and to events within it;

present such understanding in clear, concise and effect prose in exams, essays and seminar papers, or in verbal argument in seminars, incorporating a range of substantiating evidence.