The Covenanters HIST4140

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • 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

The 1638 National Covenant and 1643 Solemn League & Covenant have cast a long shadow over Scotland and its diaspora. But who were the Covenanters? In this module students will investigate the origins, development and legacy of the Scottish Covenanting tradition by exploring: the reception of the Covenants in Scottish parishes; government under the Covenanters; the anti-Covenanter backlash after the 1660 Restoration; key features of later Covenanting protest; and the ways in which the Covenants were remembered and reimagined in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


1 x 1hr lecture and 1 x 1hr seminar per week for 10 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.

Excluded Courses



Exam (2 hours) - 50%

Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

8 minute seminar presentation with handout or powerpoints - 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

The aim of this course is to:

■ Introduce students to the historical significance of the Covenanters within and beyond Scotland.

■ Provide students with an opportunity to engage with forms of protest, print, and political discourse in the early modern period.

■ Develop students' ability to analyse and evaluate primary and secondary sources.

■ Develop students' ability to formulate and communicate arguments using evidence.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Indicate an understanding of the evolving activities and significance of the Covenanters.

■ Identify contested interpretations of the Covenants made by contemporaries and historians.

■ Analyse and evaluate a variety of early modern Scottish documents.

■ Present clear and effective arguments orally and in writing, supported by appropriate evidence drawn from primary and secondary sources.

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.