Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Saints And Sinners HIST4023

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will consider the impact of the English Reformation on the religious beliefs and cultural practices of ordinary men and women up to the Civil Wars of the 1640s, and the ongoing debates of historians about this issue.


10 x1 hr lectures, 5x1hr active learning workshops and 5x1hr seminars, over 10 weeks as schedule on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.


■ Essay (1,500 words) - 30%

■ Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

■ 4 x 500 word learning journal on active learning workshops (20%)

■ 1 oral seminar presentation (5 minutes) - (10%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ Develop the intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years.

■ Gain an awareness of previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options.

■ Develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness.

■ Develop a familiarity with complex historical debates and interpretations, skill in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research.

■ Develop transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving teamwork.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students should be able to:


■ Critique alternative interpretations of the Protestant Reformation from the early sixteenth to the late seventeenth century.

■ Explain alternative meanings of the word 'popular', and relate these to debates over popular culture, politics and religion.

■ Evaluate relevant sources, which may be used to consider popular religion, and the methodologies based on these sources.

■ Identify and describe key developments in the history of religion, politics, culture and society in the period of the course, and explain the relationships between these developments.

■ Evaluate key concepts, such as puritanism, otherness, radicalism, nonconformity, iconoclasm, and dissent, among others.

■ Present lucid arguments, well supported by relevant evidence, which show an understanding of key historical interpretations, in the form of a written essay.

■ Make a brief oral presentation of arguments and evidence relating to an historical question in a manner which encourages discussion.

■ Work in small groups to analyse evidence and historical arguments.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.