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.

Reformation! Europe In The Age Of Religious War, 1517-1618 HIST4109

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course offers a history of the reformation and assesses the ways in which it irrevocably altered the social and religious fabric of Western Europe, from the first stirrings of reform under the German monk Martin Luther in 1517 to the beginnings of the Thirty Years War in 1618.


13 x 1hr lecture and 7 x 1hr seminar over 11 weeks. 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.

Excluded Courses





■ Essay 1 (2,000 words) - 40%

■ Essay 2 (2,000 words)- 40%

■ Seminar Paper (1,000 words) - 20%

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.

■ Create 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.

■ Develop 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.

■ Development of transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Outline the major differences and similarities between the Catholic and Protestant faiths in sixteenth century Europe, and why these differences mattered in context.

■ Critically evaluate the impact and successes of the reform programmes advanced by Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, and the Tridentine Catholic Church.

■ Articulate how reform affected Western Europe at a national and international level, using a variety of case studies.

■ Articulate knowledge of recent historiography on the Reformation in Western Europe

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.