The Norman Conquest 1042-1087 (SS) HIST4252

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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 will explore the lead up to and battle of 14th October 1066 and offer a survey of the politics and processes of conquest, colonization and assimilation so far as they had progressed by 1100. It will also compare and contrast the political, social and religious structures of the two societies that met at Hastings and that which was formed in its aftermath. Throughout it will make extensive use of a unique collection of source material, from the contradictory English and Norman views of the succession, through the magnificent Bayeux Tapestry to Domesday Book, and engage with continuing historiographical debates about the significance of the Conquest and the degree of change and continuity it would cause.


1x3hr session per week over 20 weeks as scheduled 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

Successful completion of Junior Honours in History.

Excluded Courses

The Norman Conquest HIST4033.




Two x 120 minute Examinations - 30% each

Two x 2,500 word Essays (one in each semester)  - 10% each

10 minute seminar presentation accompanied by power point slides or a written text (c. 800 words) - 6%

Domesday Book case study (1000 words) - 6%

Seminar contribution (one grade for each semester) - 4% each

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:

Prepare students for independent and original analysis of a complex range of evidence, including source materials, thereby developing intellectual skills which will be of benefit in a wide range of careers;

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 (whether written, visual or other);

Ensure, through student-led discussion, that the relative validity of alternative historical interpretations is fully recognised;

Develop professional and practical skills such as the selection, sifting, and synthesis of information from a wide range of primary and secondary sources or the use of IT to search for and access historical sources and information;

Develop transferable skills including oral and written communication, the ability both to lead a group and to work as part of a group, respect for the reasoned views of others, and the ability to manage and take responsibility for one's own learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Compare and contrast the societies of eleventh century Anglo-Saxon England, Ducal Normandy and Anglo-Norman England.

■ Analyse and evaluate primary source materials of different kinds from the three societies.

■ Identify and explain the changes in how historians have approached the Norman Conquest.

■ Present critical arguments in written and oral form.

■ Research and construct a case study of the Conquest through analysis of a Domesday record.

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.